Fellowship 17

Feb 3–Apr 15, 2017
Pittsburgh Filmmakers

Fellowship 17: Kris Sanford & Francis Crisafio, featurs the winning portfolios from an open call for entries held in mid-2016. Juror was Rebecca Senf, Chief Curator, Center for Creative Photography, Tucson, AZ, selected the winners from 200 applications from 16 countries around the world.

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.

Juror’s Commendations were awarded to the following ten photographers for their exceptional portfolios: Ben Altman (Danby, NY); Bremner Benedict (West Concord, MA); Marcus DeSieno (North Port, FL); Cynthia Greig (Bloomfield, MI); Wen Hang Lin (Mesa, AZ); Deborah Hosking (Pittsburgh, PA); Travis Mitzel (Pittsburgh, PA); George Nobechi (Tucson, AZ); Carla Shapiro (Chichester, NY); and Motohiro Takeda (Brooklyn, NY).

Participating Artists

  1. Kris Sanford (b. 1974) is the International Award winner for her series Through the Lens of Desire. She received a BFA in photography from the College for Creative Studies, and an MFA in photography from Arizona State University. Sanford has exhibited her work internationally, including recently at GETXOPHOTO; Elizabeth Houston Gallery, amongst others. Her work is part of the permanent collections of the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture, Texas Woman’s University Library, and Central Michigan University. Her photographs have been featured online at Fraction Magazine, Light Leaked, Slate, and Huffington Post. She is represented by Catherine Couturier Gallery and Tilt Gallery, and is an assistant professor at Central Michigan University.

  2. Francis Crisafio (b. 1954) is the Keystone Award winner for his series HOLDUP in the HOOD. He is a self-taught photographer who studied painting and printmaking at Carnegie Mellon University before turning to photography as his main discipline of expression. Crisafio has exhibited his work nationally and internationally, including recently at Newspace Center for Photography; The Center for Fine Art Photography; The Griffin Museum of Photography; Philadelphia Photo Arts Center; the Westmoreland Museum; and Wood Street Galleries, amongst others. His work has been included in a number of publications, including Slate, Lenscratch, Hyperallergic, and The Photo Review.