Fellowship 17 features solo exhibitions by our International and Keystone Award winners, selected from an open call for entries held in mid-2016.
Location: Pittsburgh Filmmakers Melwood Gallery, 477 Melwood Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Fellowship 17 is presented in partnership with Pittsburgh Filmmakers/Pittsburgh Center for the Arts.
International Award winner Kris Sanford (Mount Pleasant, MI) showcases her series Through the Lens of Desire, which creates implied narratives using snapshots from the 1920s – 1950s. The series brings a contemporary rereading to old photographs to address sensuality and relationships in a subtle way. Sanford, who grew up queer, searched for a family history that spoke to her but did not find any couples that mirrored her own intimate relationships. Instead, she uses vernacular photographs originally created as private keepsakes, which allow modern viewers to see moments that were never intended to be public. By purposefully selecting images that picture men together and women together, Sanford creates an imaginary queer past. Drawn to the subtle points of contact and the spaces between the figures pictured, Sanford creates works of fiction from each gesture or distracted glance whose stories reflect her own desires and experiences.
Keystone Award winner Francis Crisafio (Pittsburgh, PA) showcases his series HOLDUP in the HOOD, which documents a collaborative, after-school arts curriculum rooted in self-portraiture. The curriculum and documentation have been ongoing for 13 years and offers young students a chance to learn to look at, and expressively assert, a vision of themselves. Taking place in the Manchester neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Crisafio photographs each student and, along with his teaching partner Meda Rago, instructs students on how to draw and collage themselves from their photo using recycled photographs and print media from current magazines. In a world where self-perception is continually evolving, many students bring to the project an altered perception of what they think they look like, including what they may have heard or been told, and what they may imagine themselves becoming or not. Throughout the process students are challenged to question their perception as they wrestle with what the world says they look like and what they see and feel in themselves.
This year's juror was Rebecca Senf, Chief Curator, Center for Creative Photography, Tucson, AZ, Norton Family Curator of Photography, Phoenix Museum of Art.