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SVA MFA Photo/Video Alumni Yoav Friedlander ('14), Niko J. Kallianiotis ('13) are co-foudners of the Rust Belt Biennial, sponsored by alumna Dana Stirling ('16) and juried by faculty member Andrew Moore.

This is the first Rust Belt Biennial, and will feature a series of lectures, gallery talks, and panel discussions to celebrate and showcase artists native to Pennsylvania and the Rust Belt region.

Andrew Moore is quoted in the show's press release stating: "...I was once again reaffirmed in my belief that the stories of the Rust Belt continue to be of singular importance for the greater trajectory of America today."

The Biennial is currently on display at the Sordoni Art Gallery at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, PA.

Opening reception is to be held September 7th at 6 p.m.

More info on the Rust Belt Biennial can be found at: https://www.rustbeltbiennial.com/

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MFA Photo, Video, and Related Media Faculty and Alumni Named NYFA Fellows

New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) has announced the recipients and finalists of the NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship Program. Among this year's honorees were many MFA Photo, Video, and Related Media faculty and alumni. Congratulations to all!

Fellows: Jiatong Lu, Rehan Miskci, Lucas Blalock

for architecture and environmental studies: Ming Jer Kuo, Shimon Attie

Finalists: Julianne Nash, Dana Stirling

Photography Panelists: Penelope Umbrico, Sinan Tuncay

Used Electrical Cords for Sale (eBay), 2009 – 2018 and Bad Display (eBay), 2017-2018, installation at BRIC Arts Media,  Penelope Umbrico

Used Electrical Cords for Sale (eBay), 2009 – 2018 and Bad Display (eBay), 2017-2018, installation at BRIC Arts Media, Penelope Umbrico

© Dana Stirling

© Dana Stirling

The NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship Program makes grants of $7,000 to artists working in 15 disciplines, awarding five per year on a triennial basis. The program is highly competitive, and this year’s recipients and finalists were selected by discipline-specific peer panels from an applicant pool of 2,542. Since it was launched in 1985, the program has awarded over $31 million to more than 5,000 artists. This year, thanks to the generous support of photography nonprofit Joy of Giving Something, NYFA was able to award an additional five Fellowships in Photography, which has the largest application pool of any Fellowship category.

Foundations 2013-15,  Lucas Blalock

Foundations 2013-15, Lucas Blalock

NASA Stack No. 8 (Palouse, Australian Wildfire, Khyber Pass and Western Slope of Andes),  Julianne Nash

NASA Stack No. 8 (Palouse, Australian Wildfire, Khyber Pass and Western Slope of Andes), Julianne Nash

Pardon Our Appearance, 2017, Sinan Tuncay

Pardon Our Appearance, 2017, Sinan Tuncay

Lucas Blalock in Whitney Biennial

An Other Shadow  ©Lucas Blalock

An Other Shadow ©Lucas Blalock

A broad range of projects and artists will be presented at this year's Whitney Biennial, including MFA Photo/Video faculty member Lucas Blalock. The 2019 Whitney Biennial will run from May 17 through September 22 with seventy-nine artists directly engaging with dance, performance, and the space of social engagement and critique.

The artists selected for the 2019 edition, ranging from emerging to well-established individuals and collectives, are working in painting, sculpture, drawing, installation, film and video, photography, performance, and sound.

Blalock will create a mural-sized photographic work to be exhibited on the façade of 95 Horatio Street, located opposite the Museum and across from the southern entrance to the High Line, on the corner of Gansevoort and Washington Streets.

The Whitney Biennial's curators traveled throughout the country and made more than 300 studio visits over the past year. A small number of the artists in the exhibition are Canadian, several are based in Puerto Rico, and a number were born abroad or now live and work outside the U.S.

The House Guest  ©Lucas Blalock

The House Guest ©Lucas Blalock

Lucas Blalock was born in Asheville, North Carolina and now lives and works in New York. Citing the poet and playwright Bertolt Brecht’s insistence on a theater that reveals its labor, Blalock is interested in revealing the process behind photographic images. Equally invested in both the history and the possibility of photography, Blalock shoots with a large-format camera on film and then scans his images in order to digitally alter them.

Andrew Moore's "Blue Sweep"

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Blue Sweep, an exhibition of new photographs taken in Alabama and Mississippi by American artist and MFA Photo/Video faculty Andrew Moore, is on view this month at Yancey Richardson Gallery in New York. Following in-depth explorations of the economically ravaged city of Detroit (2007 – 2009) and the mythic high plains region along the 100th meridian (2011 – 2014), Blue Sweep continues the artist’s investigation of “the inner empire” of the United States.

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The result of twelve trips over three years, Moore’s work in the American South uses historic homes, both grand and modest, the preserved backroom of a Jewish social club, the curtained entry to a Freemason’s temple, a worm-eaten map of Hale County and a ruined bridge in a verdant swamp to suggest the economic, social and cultural divisions that characterize the South and the love of history, tradition and land that binds its citizens. The exhibition juxtaposes three different views of domestic dwellings which allude to these themes: the richly adorned library of a grand plantation house; a modest bare-floor bedroom decorated with emblems of God and country hung on unpainted wooden walls; and a remote trailer home with a dirt swept yard, a traditional landscaping practice brought to the south by West African slaves.

The son of a Connecticut architect, Moore has frequently used architectural structures as a means to explore themes of time, culture and a complicated history of place. While he has often undertaken a study of place on the verge of change - the shuttered theaters of New York’s 42nd Street preceding its remaking as a vortex of consumerism, Havana just prior to the suspension of U.S. travel restrictions and early post-Cold War Russia before the embrace of western capitalism - the images in the exhibition Blue Sweep suggest a place lost in time and in full embrace of the old.

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Born in 1957, Andrew Moore lives and works in New York City. His work has been featured in solo and group museum exhibitions at the National Gallery of Art, the Akron Art Museum, the Queens Museum of Art, Colby College Museum of Art, and the National Building Museum, Washington D.C. He will be featured in upcoming exhibitions at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the San Francisco Museum of Art. Moore’s photographs have been acquired by numerous museums in the United States and internationally, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Library of Congress, the Israel Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Yale University Art Gallery, and the Detroit Institute of Arts, among others. Five monographs of his work have been published: Inside Havana (2002, Chronicle), Russia (2005, Chronicle), Detroit Disassembled (2010, Damiani), and Andrew Moore: Cuba (2012, Damiani). In 2019, Damiani will release Blue Alabama, a monograph on Moore’s work in the American South.

Penelope Umbrico in conversation with Lyle Rexer

Accomplished writer, curator, art critic and MFA Photo/ Video faculty member Lyle Rexer had the chance to sit down with fellow faculty member and artist Penelope Umbrico to discuss Umbrico's work in the upcoming November/ December issue of "Photograph Magazine." As Rexer states, "Penelope Umbrico is that rare artist who has built a significant reputation largely through public commissions and installations at institutions from the Musee des Beaux Arts in Le Locle, Switzerland, to New York City's Grand Central Station.

Umbrico currently has two works on display simultaneously around New York. First, her wall installation in the exhibition Anna Atkins Refracted is part of the New York Public Library's 175th-year celebration of the English cyanotypist (through January 6). Lastly, her installation Monument, a collection of, among other elements, disassembled television screens, is featured at BRIC Media House, the Brooklyn art and performance space (November 29- January 20)."

Installation view of Umbrico’s work

Installation view of Umbrico’s work

Penelope Umbrico offers a radical reinterpretation of everyday consumer and vernacular images. She works “within the virtual world of consumer marketing and social media, traveling through the relentless flow of seductive images, objects, and information that surrounds us, searching for decisive moments—but in these worlds, decisive moments are cultural absurdities," finding these moments in the pages of consumer product mail-order catalogs, travel and leisure brochures; and websites like Craigslist, EBay, and Flickr."

As Umbrico states in her interview with Rexer, "The internet changed everything. For one, it gave me access to unlimited source material, and the screen became my studio, in a sense. And living and working through the screen made it become part of what the work is about."

For the full interview, visit Photograph Magazine for the November/December issue.

Kevin Cooley's "Smoke & Mirrors" at Laney Contemporary

Laney Contemporary introduces Smoke & Mirrors an immersive video installation by Los Angeles based artist and MFA Photo/ Video faculty Kevin Cooley. The piece will be on view through June 9th, 2018. For more information, please click here.

A time-based multimedia installation, Smoke & Mirrors physically manifests a frequent, and recurring, political dialogue taking place on Twitter. Each time a tweet containing the term ‘smoke and mirrors’ is posted online, billowing clouds of fog immediately stream through the gallery’s darkened and mirrored environment, obscuring one’s ability to see across the room. Appearing as white projected letters, the text of these tweets float nebulously through the air onto the mist while also reflecting onto the surrounding mirrors. Lingering for a moment until dissipating into obscurity, this action repeats dozens of times an hour on average, mimicking the short-lived relevance of any singular tweet among the 350 million that are posted every day.


The hashtag #smokeandmirrors is most often used as an expression of horror, dissatisfaction, and skepticism of the current state of American political affairs, and the work’s implicit connection to the political realm is further elevated by the room’s alleged political history. Built by the original owner as a private entertaining space, this unique mirrored room was reportedly used by Jesse Jackson’s campaign during his presidential bids.

As the tweets build up over the day, highlighting Twitter’s collective, yet largely invisible presence, the room becomes increasingly murky and mysterious. The piece provides a visualization of social media’s power to connect us, while also underlining the increasing difficulty in distinguishing truth and relevance in the online world.

In addition to Cooley’s installation, Laney Contemporary will exhibit six related photographs. These images of caves, explosion craters, and smoke columns highlight dark undertones in the current state of our environmental and political affairs.


Also on view across the country in Portland, the PDX Art Program is presenting a selection of ten large scale photographs fromCooley’s series titled Nachtfluge (German for night flight) which depicts long exposure photography of the light trails made by commercial aircraft in the dark skies of nighttime. Cooley’s exhibition will be on view through November 4th of 2018 and is located at pre-security in the International Arrivals area of North Baggage Claim


Kevin Cooley (b. 1975 Los Angeles) is a multi-disciplinary artist using photography, video, and installation, he creates frameworks through which to observe experimental and performative gestures to decipher our complex, evolving relationships to nature, to technology, and ultimately to each other. His photographic series Nachtfluge is currently on view at Portland International Airport, and At Light’s Edge is prominently featured in the most recent issue of Aesthetica Magazine. His work is in the permanent collections of The Guggenheim Museum, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, 21c Museum, The Nelson-Atkins Museum and The Museum of Photographic Arts.

Credit: Press Release Laney Contemporary; PDX Art Port of Portland

Shimon Attie exhibition at The School by Jack Shainman Gallery

Faculty member Shimon Attie is featured in the the fourth anniversary of Jack Shainman's The School. Attie's work will be showcased along with a concurrent series of solo exhibitions by Nina Chanel Abney, Math Bass, Valérie Blass, Vibha Galhotra, Brad Kahlhamer, Margaret Kilgallen, Lyne Lapointe, Gordon Parks, and Leslie Wayne. The exhibitions will run through October 6th, 2018 at The School located at 25 Broad Street in Kinderhook, NY.

For more information on the featured artists and works, please click here.

The artwork, Lost in Space (After Huck), combines cast resin sculpture w/a multi-channel video and sound environment to create an immersive Installation. For Lost in Space, I drew inspiration from the St. Louis Art Museum’s proximity both to the Mississippi River and to Ferguson, MO. The artwork conflates Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn – in part an allegory on 19th century American race relations- with present-day first responder/community relations. A sculpture of a hybrid raft/police vehicle appears to float in “celestial space”. Yet the surrounding video is actually animated still images of American cities shot at nighttime by NASA satellites above. Rather then looking up at the nighttime sky, we are actually looking down at American cities where many of these issues remain alive.

installation shot courtesy of Shimon Attie

installation shot courtesy of Shimon Attie

Steel Stillman in exhibition 'Defamiliarization' at Studio 10

Opening May 18th, 2018, 'Defamiliarization' at Studio 10 will feature the works of Gary Stephan, Susan Wides and faculty member and artist Steel Stillman.

For more information and hours, please click here.


Steel Stillman was born in New York City in 1955. Recent New York group exhibitions include Foundation Barbin Presents Sort Of at Kai Matsumiya Gallery, and Cuts Noon Light at Brian Morris Gallery. In 2014, he had solo exhibitions at Galerie van Gelder, Amsterdam, and Show Room, Brooklyn. He is also a writer and a contributing editor at Art in America.

image courtesy of Studio 10

image courtesy of Studio 10