SOHO PHOTO GALLERY: 2015 Juried National Photography Competition Award Winners

First Place
“Entering the Metropolitan Opera (2014)”
Photograph © Paul Kessel

Second Place
“Net” from "Letting My Guard Down" series
Photograph © Yorgos Efthymiadis

3rd Place
“Finding and Losing My Father #3"
Photograph © Mark Rousell

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Four Honorable Mentions

“Daughter of a Slave, Timbuktu, Mali”
Photograph © Robert Moran 

“The More That Is Taken Away, Act 1, Year Two, November”
Photograph © Ben Altman

“Watching You” 
Photograph © Sheri Lynn Behr

“Untitled” from the series “You Who Never Arrived"
Photograph © Jennifer McClure

The Soho Photo Gallery
 2015 Juried National Photography Competition
Opening Reception: July 7, 2015, 6–8 pm

Soho Photo Gallery initiated its first juried National Photo Competition in 1995 and it has been an annual event ever since. Each year, the Gallery receives hundreds of entries from photographers all over the United States. I was honored to be this year's juror.

I want to thank everyone who entered the 2015 National Competition for the Soho Photo Gallery. It was a difficult task to edit many great images out, but there were only 40 spaces and over 2000 images. At first glance, I never wavered from my choice of Paul Kessel's somber beauty "Entering The Metropolitan Opera" as the First Place winner. It stayed with me like the atmosphere of a 70's era Winogrand scene. For 2nd Place, I chose Yorgos Efthymiadis’s "Net" from his "Letting My Guard Down" body of work for it's serene, solitary empty space and color. 3rd Place, I was deeply drawn into the unusual landscape by artist Mark Roussel from his series "Finding and Losing My Father." All Honorable Mentions; Ben Altman, Sheri Lynn Behr, Jennifer McClure, and Robert Moran, along with all the photographs accepted into the exhibition, represent my interest and love for fine art photography as well as portraiture, landscape, street and travel work.
July 7–25, 2015
15 White Street, NY, NY

Special thanks to this year’s sponsor, Archival Methods, for their generous support. View all 40 images here.


PEDRO FARIAS-NARDI: Let Me Introduce You at Photolucida

"Let me introduce you to my deceased Mother"
Photograph © Pedro Farias-Nardi

"Let me introduce you to my daughter and her husband"
Photograph © Pedro Farias-Nardi

"Let me introduce you to my Mother"
Photograph © Pedro Farias-Nardi

"This series of portraits are the result of the lingering power of the image in bringing memories to life.  I was working for an NGO (TU, MUJER) in Los Mina, Santo Domingo Este, Dominican Republic; devising a program to help the recipients of remittance to understanding their hard work overseas, thus to avoid that it is wasted in banal issues.  While visiting houses for people to talk to them, they always brought a picture of the relative that had left the country."

"For the series I placed the person holding the picture on front of a blue curtain, to resemblance a studio, but included the surroundings as a metaphor, allegory, of what is left behind, sometimes, what had been acquired from the money send: furniture, a store, emptiness –like the image of a woman holding a picture of her deceased mother (Let me introduce you to my mother…).  She was denied a visa for the funeral, and she had not the resources to bring the body back home, thus a lot of sadness, among the thins she mentioned was “who will tend to her grave there?”  Or the young girl, that can hardly hold the picture, and hardly knows her mother...." read more here

"Let me introduce you to my wife"
"A picture of myself, holding a picture of my wife; she is overseas continuing her studies in surgery" Self-Portrait © Pedro Farias-Nardi

Pedro Farias-Nardi was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic in 1957 and started photography at the early age of seven. Focusing on long-term photographic projects in Latin America and the Caribbean, Farias-Nardi has extensively documented the lives of economically and socially marginal people. He holds degrees in anthropology from the City University of New York and the University of Florida, Gainesville, and studied photography and visual anthropology at the International Center for Photography, the University of Southern California, and with photojournalist Antonin Kratochvil. He currently lives in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. We met at Photolucida's 2015 Portfolio Review. His work is posted on FotoVisura's Guild.

From the series El Otro
Photograph © Pedro Farias-Nardi

From the series El Otro
Photograph © Pedro Farias-Nardi

Pedro Farias-Nardi’s El Otro is a series of portraits of undocumented Haitian migrant workers in the Dominican Republic. In collaboration with the Immigration Department, the portraits were taken when the Jesuit Refugee and Migrant Service (JRMS) started an ID campaign.

“My reason for these re-presentations is to call attention to the plight of these workers who are ignored by the Dominican population but are an important segment of our economy. I cooperated with the JRMS for almost two years, documenting the life of the migrants in the region.”

Check out Farias-Nardi's Otro series at Blue Sky Gallery in Portland 


fossils of light + time: A Juried Publication // Open Call for Entries to June 30th

 from "White and Vinegar" © Daidō Moriyama

 © Daidō Moriyama

fossils of light + time  // I am collaborating with the Detroit Center for Contemporary Photography on a juried black and white photo publication. Details here!

L.A. Noir, 2014 © Daidō Moriyama

Stray Dog, Misawa, 1971
© Daidō Moriyama

L.A. Noir, 2014
© Daidō Moriyama

Entertainer on Stage, Shimizu, 1967
© Daidō Moriyama

The title of this publication is from a beautiful and seductive quote by Daido Moriyama, "If you were to ask me to define a photograph in a few words, I would say it is “a fossil of light and time.”

Moriyama continues to be such an instrumental figure in the art of the photo book, it seems only natural to base this publication on his use of the interplay between extremes of the real and the ideal; bold, stark unpredictable images of life in the streets and in anonymous places. DCCP's "fossils of light + time" exhibition speaks to that space between images not yet taken – memory and photography captured in a 30th of a second.  – Juror, Elizabeth Avedon

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"His prints are not only super grainy but also dark and heavily over-inked but suitably strangely composed for their subjects – a feral dog fills a large frame and in Moriyama’s new book, faces an equally feral man, crouching on a pavement; in the Tokyo streets and roads, he hones in on rubbish bags, wet pavements, crashed cars printed as dark as negatives, and lit up factories and skyscrapers which veer to abstraction." – WPO: Sue Steward on Daido Moriyama here

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Photographers may submit 1-5 black and white images by June 30th. After submitting the application fee, you'll be redirected to DCCP's page where you can follow the link to the SlideRoom application. Entrants will be notified of the juror's selections by July 31st. All entrants will receive a copy of the publication. 


SARAH MALAKOFF: Second Nature + Photolucida + The Photoville Fence

Untitled Interior (deer couch), 2010
Photograph @ Sarah Malakoff

Untitled Interior (telescopes), 2011
Photograph @ Sarah Malakoff

Untitled Interior (fur wall), 2012
Photograph @ Sarah Malakoff

Sarah Malakoff’s large-format photographs of domestic interiors appear at once familiar and strange. In her exquisite and psychologically resonant images, the rooms become both a refuge from and a reinvention of the world outside. As Linda Benedict-Jones writes in her introduction to Malakoff's book "Second Nature" published by Charta, “.....we walk through rooms large and small where brightly patterned curtains and dark wood paneling take over, as canoes become coffee tables and living rooms accommodate tree trunks....Each space is carefully transcribed in the warm vocabulary of contemporary color photographs, creating an ensemble greater than the sum of its parts.” Boundaries between inside and outside, shelter and vulnerability, the real and the imagined all become blurred. Malakoff’s formally precise compositions set the stage for viewers to imagine the characters that reside within.” I was fortunate to meet Sarah Malakoff at the 2015 Photolucida Portfolio Review in Portland, Orego. You can view her work this summer in Brooklyn on Photoville's 2015 FENCE.

"Second Nature" by Sarah Malakoff 
(Publisher: Charta)

MARINA FONT: El Peso de las Cosas + Photolucida + The Weight of Things

El Peso de Las Cosas
Photograph @ Marina Font

El Peso de Las Cosas
Photograph @ Marina Font

El Peso de Las Cosas
Photograph @ Marina Font

El Peso de Las Cosas
Photograph @ Marina Font
"What happens when the weight of something is determined by other attributes? How much do memory, traditions, a life lived or the importance that we ascribe to certain things weigh? What are the bridges that connect our experiences with our memories?"
– Marina Font
In El Peso de Las Cosas, my constant search around objects is centered in discovering their meaning and also to explore what are the stimuli that connects them to our senses in many different ways. They are things that are used, acquired, inherited, preserved and that evoke ones history and define our existence, along with the emotional weight that we attribute to them. While photographing these objects and ideas, through the act of virtually weighing them, I explore the capacity they have to represent beyond their real function or to symbolize what they actually represent. This way I play with the possibility that these visual constructions suggest new encounters and significance to the beholder.

Exhibition: El Contrato, 2009
Born in Cordoba, Argentina, now living and working in Miami, Florida, Marina Font studied at the Escuela de Artes Visuales Martin A. Malharro, Argentina. She spent the summer of 1998 studying photography at Speos Ecole de la Photographie in Paris, and earned her MFA in Photography at Barry University, Miami in 2009. Her work has been exhibited in many solo and group shows; and in the collections of the LOWE Museum at the University of Miami, Miami Dade College Museum of Art and Design's Permanent Collection, Miami, and various private international collections. We met at Photolucida's 2015 Portfolio Review.


DEBI CORNWALL: Gitmo At Home, Gitmo At Play, the Legacy of Guantánamo Bay

Smoke Break, Camp America
Photograph @ Debi Cornwall

Downtown Lyceum (Outdoor Cinema)
Photograph @ Debi Cornwall

Kiddie Pool
Photograph @ Debi Cornwall

I first met Debi Cornwall last year at the opening reception for the NEXT exhibition I juried at Castell Gallery in Asheville, NC. I was impressed by the work she entered from her series "Gitmo at Home, Gitmo at Play” photographed on the U.S. Naval Base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba and chose one of the images for the show. This is Debi Cornwall in her own words:

"I trained in photography at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) while completing a Bachelor's degree in Modern Culture and Media at Brown University. After working for photographers Mary Ellen Mark and Sylvia Plachy, as an AP stringer, and as an investigator for the federal public defender's office, I attended Harvard Law School and practiced for more than a decade as a civil rights attorney.

Now, my values as an advocate and trained mediator, as well as my background representing innocent DNA exonerees, inform my visual work. My photographs examine the human experience of systemic injustice, trauma and transition; look to transcend simple labels of "perps" and "victims;" and explore the ways in which spaces reflect conflict and its aftermath.

"Gitmo at Home, Gitmo at Play," the first chapter in a long-term project on the legacy of Guantánamo Bay, marked my return to visual expression in 2014. The project has been profiled around the world. "
– Debi Cornwall



LYDIA PANAS: Longing In Black + Photolucida + The Mark of Abel Monograph

Photograph © 2013 Lydia Panas

Photograph © 2013 Lydia Panas

Photograph © 2014 Lydia Panas

"There is almost nothing I would rather do than look at someone through the lens of my camera. It's hard to describe what it feels like, a seduction of sorts or a way of getting close. It's got something to do with desire.  We see one another and we don't have to speak or smile.   The photograph is a record of our connection; intimate, intense and very present." – Lydia Panas

"Lydia Panas is a fine art photographer whose work has been widely exhibited in the US and internationally. Lydia was one of nine artists selected by Houston FotoFest curators for the prestigious International Discoveries Exhibition in 2007 and has since garnered numerous awards and honors, including  an Image Award from CENTER, Santa Fe. She was twice included in both the Critical Mass Top Fifty and the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize Exhibition. She has received six Pennsylvania Partner's in the Arts Grants and a Puffin Foundation Grant among others. She is currently a Visual Arts Fellow with CFEVA in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Her work has been featured in periodicals such as the New York Times Magazine, Photo District News and Popular Photography. Lydia has degrees from Boston College, School of Visual Arts, and New York University / International Center of Photography. She has received a Whitney Museum Independent Study Fellowship." Her book, The Mark of Abel, is available at photo-eye Bookstore.

 publisher: Kehrer Verlag

GHOST PORTRAITS / October Gold 2

Text: Lydia Panas website


kaleidescope eyes
Photograph © Mary Anne Mitchell

Photograph © Mary Anne Mitchell

"Mary Anne Mitchell's work is derived from her experiences and visual "dreams" that move her to create. Her work documents the world in a manner that transforms the subject into something quite different from reality. The images depict situations, often mysterious, which draw the viewer into a narrative. The subject often appears isolated in a strange or surreal setting. In each piece, the artist invites the observer into her curious world. The images evoke ambiguous moods and each viewer’s response to them will be tempered by their own experiences. Mary Anne's artwork is primarily shot on film and printed by the artist as silver gelatin photographs."

I met Mary Anne Mitchell at Atlanta Celebrates Photography's ACP Portfolio Reviews in 2014. The above images are from one of my favorite of her series "Reflecting Back." View all of her work here.

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GORDON STETTINIUS: Mangini Studio + Photolucida + Candela Books

A Collaboration with Terry Brown

A Collaboration with Terry Brown

 A Collaboration with Terry Brown

"Mangini Studio" Published by Candela Books 
A Collaboration between Terry Brown + Gordon Stettinius

"For a period spanning eight years or so, Gordon Stettinius, a photographer and a man of average appearance, sporadically visited the Mangini Studio in Richmond, Virginia, to have his portrait taken. Terry Brown, a fine art photographer as well as a commercial portraitist, happened, at that time, to be Mangini’s principal studio photographer.  The first of the styled portraits Brown recorded came about as the result of Stettinius’ disquieting need to experiment with the proud but oft-maligned hairstyle known to some as the permanent wave. To date, Brown and Stettinius have produced over fifty of these studio portraits.  Taken individually, the images run from believable to the slightly ridiculous. Taken collectively, one has to wonder if these two might have found something more productive to do with their time." – Candela Books 

I met photographer, curator and gallery owner Gordon Stettinius as a fellow reviewer at the recent Photolucida Portfolio Review in Portland. Up to then I'd known of him only as the publisher of one of my favorite books, "Salt + Truth," powerful photographs by Shelby Lee Adams of the hollow dwellers of eastern Kentucky.

Stettinius has been a photographer for over twenty-five years and his work can be found in numerous private and public collections. His work is represented by Robin Rice Gallery in New York and Page Bond Gallery in Richmond, Virginia. In 2010, he founded Candela Books, a fine art photography book publishing company; and in 2011, founded Candela Books + Gallery a 3,800 square foot fine art photography gallery in the downtown arts district of Richmond, Virginia.

An important must read for photographers:
by Gordon Stettinius 

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CRAIG J. BARBER: Photolucida + Tintypes

Nancy & Toulouse, 2011
Photograph (c) Craig J. Barber

 Cody Washing Potatoes, 2013
Photograph (c) Craig J. Barber

Jared In His Sugarbush, 2010 
Photograph (c) Craig J. Barber

Craig J. Barber is a photographer who travels and works using antiquarian processes and focuses on the cultural landscape.  During the past 20 years he has  focused his camera on Viet Nam, Havana, and the Catskill region of New York State, documenting cultures in rapid transition and fading from memory.  In 2006 Umbrage Editions published his book, “Ghosts in the Landscape: Vietnam Revisited,” with text by curator Alison Nordstrom.
I met Barber at the recent Photolucida Portfolio Reviews in Portland with his series "Working The Land." He explained, "There are still those who continue a close relationship with the land and all it has to offer:  hunters, farmers, woodsmen, gardeners, foragers.  I want to recognize and honor these individuals and their commitment, in a series of portraits in their working environments. I have chosen to work with the tintype process for it's feeling of timelessness and it's aesthetic connection to an era when we were all closer to the land."

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LOLI KANTOR: Photolucida + Eastern Europe

Family Room. Bershad, Ukraine, 2008
Photograph (c) Loli Kantor 

Sisters. Bershad, Ukraine, 2008
Photograph (c) Loli Kantor 

Jewish Cemetery Cameo Pictures. Bershad, Ukraine, 2007
Photograph (c) Loli Kantor 

Natalia in her Room. Gnivan, Ukraine, 2007 
Photograph (c) Loli Kantor
Loli Kantor is a fine art and independent documentary photographer I met at Portland's Photolucida Portfolio Reviews in April. She was born in Paris, France, raised in Tel Aviv, Israel and has lived in the U.S. and now Fort Worth, Texas since 1984. 

Although both her parents were Holocaust survivors, photographer Kantor knew very little about that terrible time. In 2004, she began an odyssey in Poland and Ukraine (her parents were from different areas of Poland) that was not immediately personal. Her resulting photo album shows a progression of her observations.

On her first trip, Kantor participated in restoration work at a former concentration camp, and her images are black and white—train tracks, a foggy train window, a snow-covered road in a forest, an empty courtyard leading to her family’s home in Czestochowa, a portrait of a woman with an old family picture. The photos reflect the grimness of the past, the paths the victims took to their death. By 2008, her pictures are in color and include more people—a young woman and her baby, children rehearsing to perform at a retirement home, a table spread with platters of food. Conceived as a short-term project, the work has evolved into nearly a decade of a photographic exploration and now published as a book, Beyond The Forest, published by the University of Texas Press.

Published by University of Texas Press

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