Teaching Award

Teaching Award

Images from the series Calle Ocho, Trailer Park © Tony Chirinos, 2019 Recipient

“Teaching is the greatest act of optimism” – Colleen Wilcox

The Callanan Excellence in Teaching Award honors a high school, college or postgraduate teacher’s dedication and commitment to their students and field, educators in all areas of photographic teaching are eligible – including fine art, documentary, history, and criticism. In honor of their exemplary teaching skills and techniques the Teaching Award recipient receives a $5,000 cash award and a FREE Supporting Level Membership. Each educator must be nominated by their student(s) in order to be considered.

Students are invited to nominate educators by submitting an email, limited to three paragraphs, describing why this educator deserves this award. Nominations are now closed. We will announce the Award Winner come September.

// A genuine passion for teaching
// An ability to excite students to learn
// A respect for students as individuals
// An enduring artistic curiosity

Established in 1998, CENTER has been awarding unsung heroes to recognize great teaching and its exceptional contribution to photographers’ artistic and personal development with the Biennial Excellence in Teaching Award. The award recognizes teachers who demonstrate a genuine passion for teaching, an ability to excite students to learn, respect for students as individuals, and an enduring artistic curiosity.


Tony Chirinos
Artist, Photographer, & Associate Senior Professor of Photography at Miami Dade College


2017 – Cig Harvey
Maine Media College, Anderson Ranch, Santa Fe Photographic Workshops
2015 – Joe Johnson
Head of Photography Department, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO., Lecturer at Carnegie Mellon, Indiana University, MassArt, Rhode Island College, the DeCordova Museum, and the Beach Museum
2014 – Aline Smithson
CENTER Workshop Instructor, Fine Art Department Instructor, Los Angeles Center of Photography, Los Angeles, CA
2013 – Jessamyn Lovell
Art Department Senior Lecturer, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
2012 – Stephan Hillenbrand
Associate Professor, University of Houston, Houston, TX
2011 – Kerry Skarbakka
Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY
2010 – Sean Kernan
Savannah Collece of Art and Design, Maine Photo Workshops, Santa Fe Photographic Workshops and the Art Center, Pasadena
2009 – Archy Baker LaSalle
Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School, MA
2008 – Patrick Hebert
Instructor, Art Center College of Design, CA & Associate Director of Education, AIDS Project Los Angeles
2007 – Joan Dooley
Bell School of Humanitas Academy, Los Angeles, CA
2006 – John Weiss
Professor of Art, University of Delaware, Newark, DE
2005 – Rose Marasco
Professor of Art, University of Southern Maine, Portland, ME
2004 – Lauren Shaw
Associate Professor, Emerson College, Boston, MA
2003 – Susan Kae Grant
Professor of Photography, Texas Women’s University, Denton, TX
2002 – Don Gregorio Anton
Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA
2001 – Joleen Mahoney Roe
Bethlehem Central high School, Delmar, NY
2000 – Catherine Angel
Associate Professor, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV
1998 – Eddie Soloway
Instructor at the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops, National Geographic Presenter, Santa Fe, NM


Thanks to a generous donor, the Excellence in Teaching Award has been renamed to the Callanan Excellence in Teaching Award, after our Founder Reid Callanan. Thank you for the future support of the Teaching Award.

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