For 24 years we has been providing direct support through the Light Work Grant Program to photographers, photo-historians, and critics who reside within a 50-mile radius of Syracuse, NY. Light Work serves many different communities, and our local community of artists is an important link to the artists who participate in our programs from around the world. The Light Work Grant was conceived to show support and encouragement for artists living and working in Central New York and is one of the longest running photography fellowships in the country.
Awards are made based on the quality of the applicants’ portfolio and decisions are made by three judges who reside outside of the geographic grant area. The judges for 1998 were Bill Gaskins, photographer, writer, and Assistant Professor of African American Studies at the University of Missouri at Kansas City; Margaret Stratton, artist and Associate Professor of Photography at the University of Iowa; and Bill McDowell, artist and Assistant Professor of Photo- graphy at East Texas State University.
The three recipients each received a $1,000 fellowship, and their work was exhibited in the Light Work Gallery from June 1 to August 15, 1998. We extend our congratulations to each recipient for their well deserved award and their contribution to the vital cultural community in Central New York.
The recipients of the 24th Annual Light Work Grants in Photography:
In 1988 Michael Greenlar (Syracuse, NY) began documenting the life of the late Lena Jerome Nottaway, an 84-year-old Algonquin matriarch. The Algonquin people have used the Canadian Ottawa River Basin for over ten millenniums, and Greenlar has been photographing their attempts to maintain a traditional lifestyle in the Canadian bush.
To her people Lena Jerome Nottaway was a living example of sustaining self-sufficiency. Greenlar’s photographs depict her life as spiritual counselor, mid-wife, medicine woman, hunter, trapper, fisherman, craftsman and caretaker for the grieving and the dying in her community.
Michael Greenlar is a freelance editorial photographer, and his work has appeared in Time, Life, and the New York Times Magazine, among others.
Dede Hatch (Ithaca, NY) began the series Close to Home in response to a friend’s 9-year battle with cancer. During this time the artist began to question life, death, and fairness. As her daily walk with her dog became increasingly important, she realized her home, yard, and the fields around her home were full of life and subtle possibility, and she began to photograph these familiar places and things. According to the artist, “It was a process of escape and connection at the same time, which is what photography is so good at.” Through these humble and reflective images Hatch shows us the acute process of grieving and acceptance.
Dede Hatch is a professional photographer and her work has been published in several books, including Our Grandmothers: Loving Portraits by 74 Granddaughters, edited by Linda Sunshine, and published by Stewart, Tabouri and Chang, and Happy Motoring: Canine Life in the Fast Lane, edited by Jon Winokur and Norrie Epstein, and published by Abbeville Press.
In the series Spaces Between, Janice Levy (Ithaca, NY) depicts quite literally the physical distance that separates houses. After overhearing some intimate conversations across the narrow driveway that separates her home from her neighbors, Levy began to think about the physical boundaries and personal boundaries that define her own space. In searching for a way to articulate this space between she began to photograph in her immediate neighborhood. About the series she states, “…the images reveal a less tangible phenomenon: the implication of the inadvertent blending of lives which takes place as a result of close physical proximity.”
Janice Levy is an Associate Professor of Photography at Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY. Her work has been exhibited widely including CEPA Gallery, Buffalo, NY, and The American Culture Center, Madagascar.
Mary Lee Hodgens
Light Work awards three grants each year to photographers who reside in Central New York. The 39th annual Light Work Grants in Photography were awarded to Laura Heyman, Jared Landberg, and Janice Levy. This program is a part of Light Work’s ongoing effort to provide support and encouragement to artists working in photography. Established in 1975, it is one of the longest-running photography fellowship programs in the country and has supported more than 110 artists.
Each recipient receives a $2,000 award and has their work exhibited at Light Work. With the help of this regional grant, many artists have been able to continue long-term projects, purchase equipment, frame photographs for exhibitions, promote their work, collaborate with others, or otherwise continue their artistic goals. The judges for this year were Christopher Gianunzio (assistant director, Philadelphia Photo Arts Center), Akemi Hiatt (independent curator), and Chuck Mobley (director, SF Camerawork).
Laura Heyman submitted a group of photographs from her ongoing series Pa Bouje Ankò: Don’t Move Again. Interested in longstanding questions around photographic representation, Heyman uses the formal studio portrait to explore embedded hierarchies between photographers, subjects, and viewers. The project, which began in an outdoor portrait studio in the Grand Rue neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, continues to evolve and now includes several populations in the city tied to and affected by development, aid, politics, and reconstruction efforts.
Heyman is an associate professor of photography in the Department of Transmedia at Syracuse University. Her work has been exhibited at the Philadelphia Photographic Arts Center, Philadelphia, PA; Deutsches Polen Institute, Darmstadt, Germany; Senko Studio, Viborg, Denmark; Small A Projects, Portland, OR; United Nations, New York, NY; and National Portrait Gallery, London, UK. She is the recipient of a Silver Eye Fellowship. Her most recent curatorial project, Who’s Afraid of America, was exhibited at Wonderland Art Space in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Jared Landberg is captivated by remnants, abandoned structures, overgrown paths, found ephemera, and expansive views. His site-specific photographic projects capture what is left behind in the wake of progress. Past photographic essays have included a nuclear power plant, mental health asylum, and a government munitions base. Landberg received the grant for his photographs of the community of Cortland, NY, and the hydrofracking controversy. The artist plans to create a book of photographs, archival and found photos, maps, and an assortment of texts.
Landberg is a photographer and bookbinder based in Syracuse, NY. He has recently exhibited in the Syracuse area at the Everson Museum’s Fit to be Bound exhibition as well as various local galleries. With a large format camera, natural light and flash, using both black-and-white and color film,he photographs the landscape of Central New York. Through images of place, he historically preserves and documents personal and collective narratives of society.
Janice Levy submitted a series of photographs taken in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. While living in Riyadh for ten months the artist taught photography at the largest women’s university in the world, Princess Nora bint Abdulrahman University. Saudi Arabia invests in the illusion of wealth and prosperity, but Levy’s photographs show something entirely different. Levy says, “In addition to revealing the neglect of the underclass, the photographs reflect my own reaction to living in a nation where isolation causes xenophobia, adherence to Sharia law justifies oppression of women, and an absolute monarchy hides its dictatorial power behind a veneer of paternalism.”
Levy is a professor of photography in the Department of Media Arts, Sciences and Studies, in the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY. She has been a finalist and semi- finalist in the Honickman First Book Award competition, received a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, and was awarded the prestigious three-year National Kellogg Fellowship Award for Leadership. Publications include “What I See, Who I Am,” a feature article about disabled students exploring their world through photography, with the help of photography students at Princess Nora University. Recent exhibitions include Les Yeaux du Monde, Charlottesville, VA; Gallery Notre Dame, Dijon, France; Les Amis du 7, Dijon, France. She was interviewed by NPR’s Robin Young for Here and Now where she spoke about her experiences teaching and living in Saudi Arabia.