Photographer Presentations

Saturday, October 17, 1 – 5:30 p.m.


In 2020, the new award and grant recipients will give a brief presentation followed by a question and answer session. Check back for information regarding the 2020 Photographers. Below you will find information about the 2019 program that as moderated by Mary Statzer, Ph.D.

This program is made possible with the support of the New Mexico Humanities Council.

Mary Statzer, Ph.D.
Curator of Prints and Photographs
University of New Mexico Art Museum
Mary Statzer holds an MFA in printmaking and Ph.D. in art history with specialties in the history of photography and museum studies. She has published articles in Aperture magazine and edited a multi-author book, The Photographic Object 1970, released in 2016. She organized the exhibition Patrick Nagatani: A Survey of Early Photographs, University of New Mexico.
Sama Alshaibi
Carry Over
Project Development Grant, Winner
Juror: Lucy Gallun, Museum of Modern Art
“I’m interested in the societal impact of unequal power relations between the West and the Middle East, and how that domination is articulated through photographs. By using Albumen printing, a popular print process of the 19th and early 20th century, I am evoking a near century in which the West controlled the Middle East.”
Kitra Cahana
Caravana Migrante
Editor’s Choice Award, 2nd Place
Juror: MaryAnne Golon, Washington Post
A caravan of thousands of asylum seekers reached Tijuana in Mexico in November 2018, hoping to gain asylum in the US. The caravan was self-organized and swelled in numbers along the way as it made its way from Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico, heading toward the Californian border. This particular caravan has become a symbol of the Central American migration crisis.
Tony Chirinos
Excellence in Teaching Award, Winner
Farewell is an ongoing and deeply personal project. The purpose of my work is to create a visual narrative for a story that examines rather than shy’s away from how precious life is and that, despite how cold and finite death may seem, it is a vital and integral conclusion of a story that can’t ever be fully told without including it.
Cody Cobb
Strange Land
Curator’s Choice Award, 2nd Place
Juror: Makeda Best, Harvard Art Museum
“These portraits of the Earth’s surface were made during extended periods of solitude while in various states of being lost, cold, hungry or sleep-deprived. Having been stripped of basic human comforts, I’m forced to confront the staggering indifference of the forces that have shaped our existence. In this exhaustion, there’s a moment of surrender to the unforgiving and unknowable.”
Tara Cronin
Director’s Choice Award, 2nd Place
Juror: Monica Allende, Getxo Photo
For nearly a century, within psychiatric and medical establishments, members of the LGBTQ community were characterized within the psychiatric diagnostic manual, the DSM, as mentally ill, and treated as such by the community at large. This project highlights the history of mischaracter- izing LGBT members as mentally ill, psychotic, unstable, unhinged, and “crazy” so that society can remember what this community had to struggle through to reach their current status of equality.
Annette Fournet
The Goddess Series
Excellence in Multimedia Award, 2nd Place
Juror: Josh Raab, National Geographic
“In The Goddess Series I am using vintage photographic portraits of women. I transform each individual with digital collage into a particular mythological goddess. Disturbed and concerned by the regressive and repressive attitudes towards women found in current in political and religious groups today, I am moved to create images of women who can wield power (in positive or sometimes in negative behaviors). I am expressing the power, exotic, spiritual, and esoteric qualities of women.”
Rich Frishman
Ghosts of Segregation
Curator’s Choice Award, 1st Place
Juror: Makeda Best, Harvard Art Museum
Ghosts of Segregation photographically explores America’s racism as seen in the vernacular landscape; schools for “colored” children, theatre entrances and restrooms for “colored people,” lynching sites, juke joints, jails, hotels and bus stations. Past is prologue. Segregation is as much current events as it is history. These ghosts haunt us because they are very much alive.
Astrid Jahnsen
Curator’s Choice Award, 3rd Place
Juror: Makeda Best, Harvard Art Museum
“I check the encyclopedias I used to study and the absence of women seems evident in both its content and its editing. Backdrop highlights this lack, re-photographing the woman who appears in the encyclopedia by chance, as someone who walked by unexpectedly at the time of the shoot, without the photographer’s intentional gaze, and without her knowing being looked at.”
Lesia Maruschak
Director’s Choice Award, 1st Place
Juror: Monica Allende, Getxo Photo
“MARIA — a complex exploration of memory and its sensual expression — memorializes the more than four million victims of the 1932-33 famine in Soviet Ukraine — an event widely thought to be genocidal; this portable memorial offers diverse entry points for a broad audience and is intended to transform the ways we remember this historic event which has impacted my identity, my community, and the one living Canadian survivor known to me, Maria F., and be transformative to the ways we remember similar atrocities happening now.”
Rania Matar
Editor’s Choice Award, 1st Place
Juror: MaryAnne Golon, Washington Post
“In my continuous exploration of what it is like to be a girl and a woman today, in a world that poses endless questions on girls and women of all backgrounds, I am focusing this project on young women in their late teens/early twenties. They are the ages of my daughters — they are leaving the cocoon of home, entering adulthood and facing a new reality they are often not prepared for — a humbling reality most often harder than they expected and less glamorous than what is portrayed on social media.”
Rocky McCorkle
You and Me on a Sunny Day
Excellence in Multimedia Award, 1st Place
Juror: Josh Raab, National Geographic
Photographer Rocky McCorkle created the narrative and directed the photographs in the first ever “walk-through movie” with 88-year-old Gilda, You and Me on a Sunny Day. McCorkle’s series of 135 photographs is conceived as a silent film in the form of a sequence of stills. Gilda Todar’s (1927 – 2017) colorful life is revealed in photographs that share her memories.
Moira McDonald
Project Launch Grant, Honorable Mention
Juror: Virginia Heckert, The J. Paul Getty Museum
“I placed my darkroom trays out overnight to collect small puddles of the clouds to dip my silver papers in; they were then exposed on an overcast day until the fog was either absorbed by the paper or evaporated back into the atmosphere. These photographs are traces of automated nature, of collecting and letting go, of natural breath, of process, and of intervention, participation and engagement within the landscape — these are photographs of the fog in Pacifica.”
Kevin Mooney
366247 • 2012
Excellence in Multimedia Award, 3rd Place
Juror: Josh Raab, National Geographic
366247 • 2012 is a time-based piece, rooted in still photography, and can be presented as a video or video projection installation. The more than 256,000 still images, presented as a photographic stop-motion animation, allow the viewer to witness Mooney’s day-to-day routines, the same acts that everyone engages in on a regular or daily basis. Time.
Xan Padrón
Time Lapse
Editor’s Choice Award, 3rd Place
Juror: MaryAnne Golon, Washington Post
“I consider my work a kind of documentation of a city or a specific neighborhood. For the Time Lapse project I sit on a single spot, unnoticed, for about 2 hours, photographing a sequence of people passing by against one unique background. These quotidian gestures, combined, create a unique narrative of life by a wall in a place in the world.”
Maria Sturm
You don’t look Native to me
Director’s Choice Award, 3rd Place
Juror: Monica Allende, Getxo Photo
Since 2011, Maria Sturm has photographed teenagers from the Lumbee tribe in and around Pembroke, North Carolina, where almost 90 percent of the population identifies as Native American. Sturm’s series You Don’t Look Native to Me considers how young Native people present themselves today in relation to their identity and culture.


Any views findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or the New Mexico Humanities Council.

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