Fellowship 21

May 7–Jul 31, 2021
Silver Eye Center for Photography

This exhibition highlights the award winners and honorable mentions from Fellowship 21, our annual call for entries. This year's panel of jurors included Elizabeth Chodos, Director of the Regina Gouger Miller Institute of Contemporary Art at Carnegie Mellon University; Karen Irvine, Chief Curator and Deputy Director, Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College Chicago, and Drew Sawyer, Phillip Leonian and Edith Rosenbaum Leonian Curator, Brooklyn Museum.

Fellowship Award

Sasha Phyars-Burgess' project, UNTITLED AND YET TO BE DETERMINED, 41.8949° N, 87.7654° W (AUSTIN), looks deeply and closely into the Chicago neighborhood of Austin, and how this community has grappled with the effects of disinvestment, redlining and socioeconomic injustices. While the title of Phyars-Burgess' series looks to the future, towards an unknown and yet to be decided fate for the neighborhood, her photographs speak to a careful, sustained act of listening and learning through the community members she works with.

Keystone Award

J Houston and Aleem Hurst have created a body of work together, using their childhoods in the Midwest as a physical and emotional backdrop. Creating carefully constructed sets using found objects and one another's bodies, Houston and Hurst inject agency and new ways of seeing into the spaces and environments which helped to shape their personal beginnings.

Honorable Mentions

Odette England's project, The Long Shadow uses contemporary photographs, snapshots and archival images to help shed light on how her personal experiences are linked to that of other women through the histories of gender divisions in rural farming communities.

Kata Geibl is a Budapest born photographer currently living in The Hague, and her series, There is Nothing New Under the Sun, reflects upon large issues in contemporary culture such as individualism, economic systems, and global warming, through staging carefully created, almost cinematic feeling photographs.

Vikesh Kapoor's project, See You At Home is an intimate narrative focusing on the artist's parents, and their lives in a rural Pennsylvania community after immigrating to the United States from India in the 1970s. Kapoor vacillates between contemporary images of his parents in the US with images of their youth in India, looking at fissures of family life and personal identity, and probing into what constitutes a homeland.

Marcus Maddox's ongoing body of work, Figures of Color, looks closely at how black skin is represented in works of art, and the relationship between this representation and the elements of light and darkness. Taking inspiration from painters such as Kerry James Marshall and Jon Key, Maddox's images contain a painterly quality which pushes at the boundaries of photography.

Participating Artists

  1. Sasha Phyars-Burgess was born in Brooklyn, New York to Trinidadian parents and raised in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. She holds a BA in Photography from Bard College. She is interested in using photography education as community empowerment, the African diaspora, particularly in the Caribbean and Latin America.

  2. Aleem Hurst is a photographer living and working in Pittsburgh, PA. They received a BFA from Point Park University, and have had their work included in spaces such as Sweetwater Center for the Arts, Silver Eye Center for Photography, Bunker Projects and the CVA Clement Gallery at the University of Toledo

  3. J Houston is an artist & photographer working in Pittsburgh, PA and NYC. Their work has been recently featured in W Magazine, Aint-Bad, Klemm Gallery at Siena Heights University, MI, CONTACT Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, and Houston Center for Photography. They hold a BA from Carnegie Mellon University.

  4. Odette England is an Assistant Professor and Artist-in-Residence at Amherst College in Massachusetts. She is also a resident artist of the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts Studio Program in New York.

    Her work has shown venues including the George Eastman Museum, Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago, New Mexico Museum of Art, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, RISD Museum, Center for Photography at Woodstock, Colorado Photographic Arts Center, Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, among others

    England was recently named a 2021 Light Work Artist in Residence.

  5. Kata Geibl (1989, Budapest) is a photographer living and working in The Hague. Her work is mainly focused on global issues, capitalism, the Anthropocene, and the ambiguities of the photographic medium. Her previous work entitled Sisyphus received international attention, was exhibited at UNSEEN Amsterdam which was followed by her first solo show in Budapest. She received the emerging talent Paris Photo Carte Blanche Award for the series and in the same year she was nominated for Palm Photo Prize. In 2019, she received the József Pécsi Photography Scholarship and was a talent for Futures Platform nominated by Capa Center Budapest. In 2020 she is a Grand Prix Finalist at Fotofestiwal Lodz, won the PHmuseum Vogue Italia Prize and is shortlisted for Palm Photo Prize.

  6. Vikesh Kapoor is a multidisciplinary artist whose work examines race, class and identity as a first-generation American. Kapoor has exhibited his series “See You at Home” in solo exhibitions at The Print Center, Philadelphia PA; Filter Space, Chicago, IL; and New Orleans Photo Alliance Gallery, LA. Kapoor is currently a fellow in the inaugural Google Image Equity Fellowship, with partners For Freedoms, Aperture Foundation, Free the Work and Creative Theory Agency. In 2024, he received the Keystone Award in Silver Eye's annual photography competition, which recognizes an artist making exceptional work in Pennsylvania.

  7. Marcus Maddox (b. 1994) is a photographer working and living in Philadelphia, PA. His work is characterized by a natural tone, guided by intuition and empathy. Drawn towards the personal, Maddox sets out to capture the human condition in a meaningful and cinematic way. His prints have been exhibited in the United States and internationally, and his work has appeared in The New Yorker, NPR, American Chordata, Wire Magazine, She Shreds Magazine, The FADER, New York Magazine, The Independent Photographer, Washington Post, and The New York Times.

    Figures of Color is an ongoing series that deviates from his traditional photographic approach. This collection is underscored by his appreciation of fine-art painting, and uses figuration to highlight the importance of Blackness. Maddox has been working on this project for the past four years

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