May 11–Jul 28, 2023
Silver Eye Center for Photography
The Aaronel deRoy Gruber & Irving Gruber Gallery
4808 Penn Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
1/6: Fellowship award winner: Samantha Box, Transplant Family Portrait, 2020
2/6: Fellowship honorable mention: Trent Bozeman, Waiting For An Echo, 2020
3/6: Fellowship honorable mention: André Ramos-Woodard, trophies, 2020
4/6: Keystone award winner: Dominick McDuffie, Springtime Again, Ode to Sun Ra, 2021
5/6: Keystone honorable mention: Terrell Halsey, Generations, January 2020
6/6: Keystone honorable mention: Karen Lue, 爺爺奶奶 & me, 2018
For over twenty years, Silver Eye has supported vital new voices in contemporary photography through Fellowship, our annual international juried photography competition. Taking the Fellowship 23 competition as a point of departure, this original exhibition reflects the myriad ways photography shapes our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.
Working in different creative modes, Fellowship Award winner Samantha Box and Keystone Award honorable mention Karen Lue both use photography to examine, construct, and affirm multiple identities. Box's tableaux present cultural and personal symbols in a photographic space of her making, while Lue contemplates her own movement through her grandmother's apartment in China. Keystone Award winner Dominick McDuffie and Keystone Award honorable mention Terrell Halsey each pursue individual approaches to documenting place in the context of community and belonging. McDuffie’s practice is rooted in documenting Black spaces in Pittsburgh and the people within them, while Halsey utilizes multiple genres to represent the experiences of communities in his home city of Philadelphia.
While this exhibition speaks to photography as a powerful medium for affirmation, it also confronts how visual culture perpetuates harm and racial injustice. Fellowship Award honorable mention André Ramos-Woodard uses reappropriation to challenge the racist history of cartooning and center contemporary Black experience. With a background in journalism, Fellowship Award honorable mention Trent Bozeman’s collaborative social practice brings attention to the continuing racial divide in Elaine, which in 1919 was the site of the deadliest racial confrontation in Arkansas history.
This exhibition reflects Silver Eye’s mission to showcase contemporary photography that addresses artistic and social concerns, often in dialogue with the past. Silver Eye is delighted to support these Fellowship 23 artists at a pivotal point in their creative practice and present their innovative work in dialogue together for the first time.
Samantha Box is a Bronx-based photographer. Box has been in residence at Center of Photography at Woodstock, the Visual Studies Workshop and at Light Work. She has been awarded two NYFA Fellowships in Photography, an En Foco Fellowship, and a Silver Eye Fellowship. In 2023, she was shortlisted for the Aperture Portfolio Prize and the Louis Roederer Discovery Award. Her work is in the collections of the MFA Houston and of the Harvard Art Museums. Instagram: @samantha.box Image: Transplant Family Portrait, 2020
Trent Bozeman is a photographer based in Fayetteville, Arkansas, focusing on the erasure of Black legacies in the American South. He received his bachelors degree in journalism from DePaul University and is currently an MFA graduate student at the University of Arkansas. He is interested in how black history is reshaped, documented, and preserved. His current photographic work is based in the Arkansas Delta in the small town of Elaine, Arkansas. His past ongoing work explores Gullah sea islands communities, specifically Wadmalaw Island, where his family is from, and the memories that continue to prolong their cultural significance.
André Ramos-Woodard (he/they) is a contemporary artist who uses their work to emphasize the experiences of the underrepresented: celebrating the experience of marginalized peoples while accenting the repercussions of contemporary and historical discrimination. Working in a variety of media including photography, text, and illustration Ramos-Woodard creates collages that convey ideas of communal and personal identity, influenced by their direct experience with life as a queer African American. Focusing on Black liberation, queer justice, and the reality of mental health, Ramos-Woodard works to amplify repressed voices and bring power to the people.
Dominick McDuffie (b.1993) is an emerging multidisciplinary artist specializing in documentary photography. As a self-taught photographer, his photography is rooted in community, cultural preservation and authentically documenting Black spaces, as well as the people in and around them. Following the tradition of image makers he admires such as Gordon Parks, Teenie Harris and Ming Smith he uses film photography to give a warmness and a natural feel that he wants to convey in images. His images attempt to invoke feelings within the viewer through images.
Terrell Halsey (b. 1993) is an artist/photographer in Philadelphia, PA. A film and media arts graduate of Temple University, he transferred his knowledge of the camera from video to still imagery. As an artist he fuses street, conceptual, documentary, and portraiture to create visual experiences of humanity and better contextualize the world around him. He seeks to progress the voice and representation of black and brown people and use his craft to spark conversations. His work paints realities while also allowing space for reflection, conception, and abstraction.
Karen Lue is a first-generation Chinese American artist whose photographs explore aspects of identity in relation to concepts of grief, loss, isolation, and displacement. Chronicling her own construction of identity beginning with the search for “home,” she looks for objects, people, and scenes that objectify feelings of irrelevance in environments that are supposed to function as spaces of shelter and refuge. She also examines her identity through self-portraiture and the body as it is shaped by her race, ethnicity, chronic illness, and mental well-being.