The Light Work collection was started in 1976 by circumstances rather than by design. Many photographers that had conducted workshops over the years expressed a need for time and space to concentrate on their own work. So we began to fill this need through our Artist-in-Residence Program. Some of the artists, in return, donated prints to Light Work as a gesture of thanks. And so the Light Work Collection began to take shape.
Over the years prints have been donated by many artists involved in Light Work/Community Darkrooms in different capacities; including grant winners, exhibitors, staff, darkroom members, workshop leaders, etc. The Collection has become a history of our organization.
To date, we have accumulated 2,076 works, and each year we add to the collection. It wasn't until the mid 1980's that we had the time and staff to adopt a formal process of accessioning work. We found that some of the works in the collection were unsigned or had no documentation regarding the artist. Although we've searched the collective unconscious of our staff, we have come up empty handed. And so a small percentage of our Collection is labeled UNKNOWN or in some cases we have the artist's name but no other information.