Joseph Sywenkyj Receives $30,000 Grant from W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund in Humanistic Photography for ‘Verses from a Nation in Transition’
Project Looks at the Profound Impact the Revolution and Russian Supported War in Ukraine Has on Families
–Moises Saman Receives Fellowship for “Discordia: The Arab Spring”–
–Muriel Hasbun Receives Howard Chapnick Grant for “laberinto projects”–
New York, NY – October 15, 2014 – The W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund is pleased to announce that Joseph Sywenkyj is the recipient of its 2014 grant in humanistic photography for his project, Verses from a Nation in Transition, which takes a sensitive look at families who have been seriously impacted physically, mentally and economically by the crisis they currently endure in Ukraine. A U.S. Citizen who divides his time between New Hampshire and Ukraine, Sywenkyj has spent more than a decade documenting a country his family called home until after WWII. The $30,000 grant was presented to Joseph Sywenkyj during a special ceremony at the SVA Theater in New York City this evening.
Believing that photographs are unique visual poems, Sywenkyj applied different approaches to the time he spent with a family in Odesa, compared with his time covering the revolution. “One represents the formalities of domestic life, while my images from the revolution are more immediate, which is the reason I made them in 35mm,” he explained in a recent interview.
“Receiving the W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography is a tremendous honor. The grant will allow me to continue my long-term documentation of Ukraine at this historic time of immense transition,” he said. “The fact that the award went to a project that touches upon life in this nation will hopefully help create more awareness about the situation here and its effects on individuals and families,” Sywenkyj added.
Smith grant recipients were selected from 170 entries received from 37 Countries. Past recipients of the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund grant include Jane Evelyn Atwood, Donna Ferrato, James Nachtwey, Eli Reed, Eugene Richards, Paolo Pellegrin, Gilles Peress, and Sebastiao Salgado, to name a few. This year’s panel of judges was comprised of Jury Chair Stuart Alexander, Anne McNeill, and Dora Somosi.
Also honored last night was Moises Saman, the recipient of a $5,000 Fellowship from the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund for Discordia: The Arab Spring. Through the eyes of Saman, Discordia takes the viewer on a four-year journey through Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Iraq, Lebanon and Syria as these states drift from revolutionary throes to violent fallouts. Saman’s personal journey chronicles the indelible transformation of the region in this momentous period in Arab history. “I am humbled and thrilled to receive this year’s Eugene Smith Fellowship, an award that puts me in the company of so many photographers that I have deeply admired throughout my career,” Moises Saman said.
This year’s Howard Chapnick Grant was presented to Muriel Hasbun for laberinto project, a collaborative arts and lens-based media, education and cultural legacy preservation project, consisting of digital photographic archiving of artwork, documenting the histories of artists working in Central America during the Salvadoran civil war and its aftermath.
“Being the recipient of this year’s Howard Chapnick Grant is a great honor,” said Muriel Hasbun. “I wholeheartedly believe in laberinto projects, and to be supported in this way is humbling, validating and exciting,” Hasbun said. “The grant will help relate an important – and as of yet untold – story of how art gives voice to a community.”
Hasbun plans to use the Chapnick grant to work with a group of students and colleagues at the Corcoran School of the Arts + Design in Washington, DC to populate the digital archive and implement Legacy and Memory: Mapping the Labyrinth, a pilot, lens-based engagement program planned for March 2015 at the Centro Cultural de España in San Salvador.
Award recipients presented their work on Wednesday evening to a capacity crowd at the School of Visual Arts (SVA) Theater in New York City. Clarissa Ward, CBS News Foreign Correspondent, gave the keynote presentation. Ward is among the most intrepid and recognized international journalists working today. She has reported from every major news hotspot in the past decade and has earned numerous honors for her work from inside the civil war in Syria, as well as the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Ukraine.
In addition to Miss Ward’s keynote, presentations included remarks from ICP Executive Director, Mark Lubell, segments from an upcoming documentary on the life and career of W. Eugene Smith, a presentation of work from past Smith Grant recipient, Eugene Richards, and this year’s Smith Grant finalists including Mary Calvert, Ed Ou, Matt Eich, Encarni Pindado, and Majid Saeedi.
“Joseph Sywenkyj’s Verses from a Nation in Transition takes a sensitive and poignant look at how Ukranian families who are most affected by acts of war and terrorism are not even on the international community’s radar,” explains Stuart Alexander, vice president/international specialist at Christie’s, Smith Fund board member, and lead adjudicator for this year’s grant. “His images remind us that in the end it is the citizens, the communities, and the families that are always the ones who suffer most, and forces us to look at who we are as a world community to allow it to continue. His work stood out among many worthy candidates including Moises Saman who is receiving the $5,000 Fellowship for his project about Arab Spring,” Alexander concluded.
Now in its 35th year, the grant is a testament to W. Eugene Smith, an acknowledged pioneer in exploring the human condition with his camera. Established in 1979, the grant is intended to support and encourage photographers producing humanistic photo stories in the Smith tradition.
Financial support for the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund comes from the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), Anastasia Photo, Canon USA, The Harbers Family Foundation, and Open Society Foundations. Additional Smith Fund support is provided by Anastasia Foundation, Aperture Foundation, Center for Creative Photography (CCP), International Center of Photography, MediaStorm, Open Society Foundations (OSF), Photo District News (PDN), School of Visual Arts (SVA), and Synergy Communications, Inc.
About The Smith Fund Grant
The W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund is presented annually to photographers whose work is judged by a panel of experts to be in the best tradition of the compassionate dedication exhibited by W. Eugene Smith during his 45-year career in photojournalism. The grant enables recipients to undertake and complete worthy photojournalistic projects.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Portfolios from this year’s award recipients are available upon request. Please contact Lou Desiderio at email@example.com
SAVE THE DATE: W. Eugene Smith Fund Awards in New York City
The 35th annual W. Eugene Smith Grant and awards presentation honors the very best in photojournalism and will take place on at the SVA Theater on Wednesday, October 15th at 7:00 p.m.
More than $35,000 in grants will be presented to this year’s nominees, and anyone who is a fan of photojournalism or the very best in documentary photography will want to attend. Admission is FREE!
What: 35th annual W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography awards presentation
When: Wednesday, October 15, 2014 / 7:00 p.m. (Doors open at 6:00 p.m.)
Where: The School of Visual Arts Theatre
333 West 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011
Why: This annual event honors one of the greatest photojournalists in the history of photography and also honors those who continue to tell the stories of human spirit and condition from around the world. If you love photography, or have an appreciation for the power and impact photography has on society, you will want to be here.
Keynote Presentation: Clarissa Ward, CBS News Foreign Correspondent
Images from this year’s award recipients, and press release with details, is available under NDA (and by request). Announcement date is October 15 at 7:00 p.m.
Smith Fund Board of Trustees
Smith Fund Board Members
Marcel Saba: President
W. M. Hunt: Vice-President
Robert Stevens: Secretary
Aaron Schindler: Treasurer
Phillip S. Block: Assistant Treasurer
Stuart Alexander, Rich Clarkson, Lou Desiderio, Stephen Frailey, David Friend, Jodi Garner, Renee Harbers, Whitney Johnson, Daile Kaplan, Helen Marcus, John G. Morris, Robert Pledge, Brian Storm, Aidan Sullivan, Lauren Wendle, David Wolf
Ryan Libre is an award-winning documentary photographer and the founder of Documentary Arts Asia (DAA), a non-profit organization working to tell stories from Asia that need to be heard. The organization was conceived in 2008 after Ryan’s work on NGO documentary projects brought Asia’s need for visual literacy education to his attention.
In 2011, he was awarded he Howard Chapnick Grant, part of the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund, to build a physical space for the organization. Three years later, DAA flourishes in its mission. The DAA center supports documentary artists in Asia with various amenities including a gallery, a library and a workshop space.
Film production and interactive design studio MediaStorm caught up with Ryan to learn more about DAA’s current role in providing community and resources for Asia’s storytellers and what’s next for his organization and his career.
MediaStorm: What did you hope to accomplish when you started the Documentary Arts Center?
Ryan: I wanted to raise the interest in and an awareness of documentary photography and film in Southeast Asia. From there my goal for the organization was to find talented, local emerging and established photographers to support.
Why is visual literacy important?
Right now kids spend a lot of time learning to read the written word. But the visual image, still and moving, is increasingly where people get their information. It shapes their world view and life choices. I want people and institutions to make visual literacy training a higher priority.
And why was it important to have the Center in Thailand?
Chiang Mai is a major hub and crossroads for Southeast Asia. Lots of ideas are born and shared there. The idea of DAA is to have a center in most Asian countries, but still most governments in the region are not as open to NGO’s and showing sensitive or critical work. Chiang Mai is known as the cultural and art capital of Thailand. So it was a perfect choice for the first center. We now have a second center in N. Burma. Inside the Kachin Independence autonomous region. The gallery/library/cinema is just 11 kilometers from front line fighting in a region with very few if any resources for aspiring documentary photographers. I hope to open more DAA centers like this in the future.
You were awarded the Howard Chapnick Grant in 2011. How did the grant impact your organization?
Well, before the Chapnick Grant we had no physical center and were mostly known only by a few photographers N Burma. After Chapnick we were able to open a beautiful center and it helped a lot with recognition also. After the ceremony I stayed in NYC for a few weeks and it opened up a lot of doors for me to meet great people to talk about DAA.
What initiatives have the Center’s focus now?
Right now we’re building a new center! 5,000 square feet. It may sound like we are rolling in money now, but the land was donated and we are designing and building it ourselves from adobe bricks and straw-bales.
What lessons did you learn launching your organization?
Wow, I’ve learned so much, personally and professionally. One of the main things is the power of design. A nice logo, website and posters are powerful tools for advancing your message. I’ve also become a much better photo editor, for others works and my own.
How can readers support the work you’re doing?
A couple ways:
- Join a workshop – our photo and film workshops are very affordable and half of the fees support the artist, with the remaining half reinvested into our programs.
- Buy a print from one of our exhibitions, or choose from the many matted prints for sale at the center.
- Become a member – both paid and unpaid memberships help us.
- Give in-kind gifts to our artist in residence program – such as meal or drinks vouchers.
- Donate a portion of your tax money to DAA. You can write it off your taxes so it costs you nothing!
- Donate a print for our annual silent auction.
- Give DAA something from our center wish list or a book from our library wish list.
- Donate online – DAA keeps its overheads low so that every penny, baht & yen goes to useful projects.
More information on all of these options is available on our site.
Are you working on anything outside of the center? Can we expect any new projects from you?
I’m finishing a feature length documentary, When Will It Be, about the Kachin Independence organization. I’m looking for a publisher to publish a book of the stills from this 6 year project as well.
After those projects finish I have a long list of projects I’m dying to shoot.
About the Howard Chapnick Grant
In 1996 the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund announced a new award, the Howard Chapnick Grant, to honor the memory of Howard Chapnick, and acknowledge the value of his enormous contribution to photography.
The annual $5,000 grant may be used to finance any of a range of qualified undertakings, which might include a program of further education, research, a special long-term sabbatical project, or an internship to work with a noteworthy group or individual. Special consideration will be given to projects that promote social change and/or serve significant concerns of photojournalism.
Applications are due July 16, 2014. Learn more and apply at http://smithfund.org/howard-chapnick-grant.
W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund Announces Call for Entries for 35th Annual Grant in Humanistic Photography
$30,000 Grant and $5,000 Fellowship Provided to Photographers Whose Proposed Projects Follow W. Eugene Smith’s Humanistic Approach to Storytelling
Howard Chapnick Grant Now Open for Entries
New York, NY – March 5, 2014 – The 2014 W. Eugene Smith Grant for Humanistic Photography is now open for entries. Photographers interested in applying for the grant can learn more by visiting SmithFund.org. The Smith Fund also announced that the annual Howard Chapnick Grant for leadership in fields ancillary to photojournalism, such as editing research, education and management, is open for entries. Entries for both grants must be submitted by May 31, 2014.
The W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography is presented annually to a photographer whose past work and proposed project, as judged by a panel of experts, follows the tradition of W. Eugene Smith’s concerned photography and dedicated compassion exhibited during his 45-year career as a photographic essayist. Now in its 35th year, the Grant was established in 1978 in honor of the legendary American photo essayist.
The recipient of the 2014 Smith Award will receive a $30,000 grant to complete a current or future documentary project. In addition, one or more Fellowships totaling $5,000 will be given to one or more photographers whom the judges feel represent exemplary efforts in humanistic photography.
“We are very excited to open the application process for the 2014 W. Eugene Smith Grant for Humanistic Photography,” explains Marcel Saba, President W.Eugene Memorial Fund Smith. “The Smith Fund has supported dozens of world-class photographers who have created bodies of work that illustrate the human condition and provide a voice for those who cannot provide one for themselves. We are very proud of the work that has been produced and shared with the world with the grant money provided by the Smith Fund.”
The Howard Chapnick Grant was established in 1996 to honor the memory of Howard Chapnick, and acknowledge the value of his enormous contribution to photography. The annual $5,000 grant may be used to finance any of a range of qualified undertakings, which might include a program of further education, research, a special long-term sabbatical project, or an internship to work with a noteworthy group or individual, and is not to be used for the creation of photographs.
Each year, the Fund’s Board of Trustees appoints a three-member international jury who meet twice during the adjudication process and finalists are selected primarily on the basis of the substantive (and intellectual) merit of their project. Finalists will then be asked to submit a comprehensive photographic print portfolio, to write (if necessary) a more detailed and focused proposal, and to answer questions about their project. Grant and Fellowship recipients will be selected based on the detailed proposals.
Photographers interested in learning more or applying for both grants should visit SmithFund.org.
There is a $50 application fee for the W. Eugene Smith Grant for Humanistic Photography. No preliminary materials will be returned unless expressly requested by the applicant, and sent accompanied either by a self-addressed stamped envelope or appropriate packaging and a prepaid courier waybill. Non-returned materials will be destroyed at the end of the entire judging process. The Fund is not responsible for loss or damage to any work.
About The Smith Fund Grant
The Smith Fund Grant is named for the legendary documentary photographer W. Eugene Smith. Now in its 35th year the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund has become the one of the longest standing and most prestigious awards in photojournalism. A grant of $30,000 is given to a photographer to complete a project deemed most worthy by a panel of jurors.
Synergy Communications, Inc.
Robin Hammond Receives 2013 W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund Grant in Humanistic Photography for Condemned — Mental Health in African Countries in Crisis
Project Takes a Sensitive and Intense Look at Mental Illness and How Government and Society Ignore the Neediest Who Spend Lives Suffering in Silence
–Javier Arcenillas Receives $5,000 Fellowship for “Red Note”–Violence in Latin America–
–FotoKonbit Receives Howard Chapnick Grant to Teach Photo Workshops in Haiti–
New York, NY – October 16, 2013 — The W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund is pleased to announce that Robin Hammond is the recipient of its 2013 grant in humanistic photography for his project, Condemned – Mental Health in African Countries in Crisis, which documents the mental health crisis throughout Africa. For two years, Hammond visited several regions including South Sudan, Mogadishu, and Somalia, among others, to create awareness about the neglect, abuse, and politics that feed this crisis and provide a voice for those who could not provide one themselves. As recipient of the award, Hammond will receive a $30,000 grant, which he will use to complete this project.
“I can remember the day I picked up a black-and-white photo book about mercury poisoning in a small town in Japan and everything changed for me that day,” explains Robin Hammond. “I never knew photos had the ability to move me in such a way, to connect me to people in a faraway place, to sadden and enrage me. That book was called, “Minamata,” by W. Eugene Smith.
In addition, the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund awarded Javier Arcenillas a $5,000 grant for Red Note — Violence in Latin America. Latin America is considered one of the most violent places in the world, with cities like San Pedro Sula, Guatemala, San Salvador, and Mexico City, among the highest for murders and robberies. Unstable government policies and uncontrollable drug trafficking into the U.S. add to problem. Arcenillas spent two months with criminals, victims, and their families, to tell an incredible story of violence, mourning, and fear.
“I cannot express how wonderful it is for my name and my photography to be associated with the name of Eugene Smith,” explains Javier Arcenillas, who was unable to attend the award presentations in New York. “I do not recall ever feeling more satisfaction than knowing I belong to an illustrious group of photographers who have been honored with this grant.”
This year’s Howard Chapnick Grant was presented to FotoKonbit, a non-profit organization that provides photography workshops to Haitian youth and adults. FotoKonbit will use the $5,000 grant to produce a ten-day workshop for a group of Haitian students the organization began working with last year in the fishing village of Labadie. Named after the legendary director of the Black Star Agency, and co-founder of the Smith Fund, the Howard Chapnick Grant, encourages and supports leadership in fields ancillary to photojournalism such as management and education.
Smith grant recipients were selected from entries received from more than 42 countries.
Award recipients presented their work on Wednesday evening to a capacity crowd at the School of Visual Arts (SVA) Theater in New York City. Jon Lee Anderson, staff writer for the New Yorker, gave the keynote presentation. Mr. Anderson has reported from numerous countries for the magazine since 1998 and covered the conflicts in Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Liberia, Somalia, Sudan and others. He is the author of several books, including “Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life,” “The Lion’s Grave: Dispatches from Afghanistan,” and “The Fall of Baghdad.” He currently lives in England.
In addition to Anderson’s keynote, presentations included “W. Eugene Smith, Myself and Minamata: 1971-2012” with Takeshi Ishikawa sharing his unique collaboration with Smith in post WW II Japan. In addition, Gideon Mendel, a Smith Fund recipient in 1996, gave a special presentation of his ground-breaking work on the AIDS epidemic in Africa, which he was able to complete using his Smith grant.
“Smith Fund 2013 Grant recipient Robin Hammond’s Condemned is a powerful look at people balanced on the edge of life who are generally neglected, forgotten and often abused, says Sarah Leen, Senior Editor, Photo Story Development at National Geographic and juror for this year’s grant. “His images, often shocking but always tender, highlight this tragedy and search for moments of hope. His work stood out among many worthy candidates including Javier Arcenillas who is receiving the $5,000 Fellowship for his project about violence in Central and South America.”
“To document the mental health impact of crises in sub-Saharan Africa for this project, I travelled to war ravaged regions of eastern Congo, South Sudan, Mogadishu, northern Uganda and Liberia and spent time with the displaced in Somalia and Dadaab,” Hammond recalls. “I witnessed mental illness caused by horrors experienced and those with mental disabilities from birth. I discovered an entire section of communities abandoned by their governments, forgotten by the aid community, neglected and abused by entire societies; A voiceless minority condemned to lives of quiet misery. The worst was the children – wide eyed with fear, faces aged from never having known the touch of love.”
“Robin Hammond takes photographs that bring home with a profound force the plight of some of the most vulnerable human beings on earth: the mentally ill from underprivileged countries,” explains Ann Thomas, Curator of Photographs, Nationally Gallery in Ottawa, Canada and juror for the 2013 Smith Grant. “Extremely powerful and sensitively executed, Hammond’s images, once seen, are not forgotten. They are testimony to the continuing legacy of Eugene Smith and his belief that we should not turn a blind eye to the suffering of others but by witnessing and recording, and try to bring about change for the better.”
Additional finalists in the annual grant awards program for 2013 include, Bharat Choudhary, Edmond Clark, Maxim Dondyuk, Sebastian Liste, Benjamin Lowy, Pierpaolo Mittica, Ebrahim Noroozi, Sim Chi Yin, and Christian Warner.
“Gene Smith was the icon of photojournalism, combining artistry, story-telling and insightful commitment to what pictures can convey,” explains Rich Clarkson, head of Rich Clarkson and Associates, longtime Smith Board member and third juror of this year’s award entries. “The award was created to both honor Smith and recognize and encourage other talented and dedicated photojournalists to continue their own style of photography while maintaining the deep-rooted integrity Eugene Smith established so many years ago.”
Now in its 34th year, the continued interest and demand for photographic grants is a great testament to W. Eugene Smith, a true pioneer in exploring the human condition and exposing the truth with his camera. Established in 1979, its primary purpose is to support and encourage photographers producing humanistic photo stories in the style of the legendary American photojournalist who sought to expose the truth about issues affecting and afflicting humankind.
Cash awarded to recipients of the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund Grants is supported by generous contributions from American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), Anastasia Photo, Canon USA, The Harbers Family Foundation, and Open Society Foundations. Additional Smith Fund support is provided International Center of Photography, MediaStorm, NYC Fotoworks, Photo District News, School of Visual Arts BFA Photography; MFA Photography, Video and Related Media departments and Synergy Communications, Inc.
The 2012 Howard Chapnick Grant is co-sponsored by Rich Clarkson and Associates LLC, NYC FOTOWORKS, and The Harbers Family Foundation.
About The Smith Fund Grant
The Smith Fund Grant is named for the legendary documentary photographer W. Eugene Smith. Now in its 34th year the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund has become the one of the longest standing and most prestigious awards in photojournalism. A grant of $30,000 is given to a photographer to complete a project deemed most worthy by a panel of jurors. This year’s jurors included Rich Clarkson, Ann Thomas, Sarah Leen, and Marcel Saba.
The W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund extends an open invitation to attend the ceremony for the 34th Annual W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography and Howard Chapnick Grant for the Advancement of Photojournalism.
W. Eugene Smith Grant Ceremony
October 16, 2013
Doors open at 6:00 p.m.
Event runs 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Free admission, limited seating
The School of Visual Arts Theatre
333 West 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011
The program will include presentations of photo essays by this year’s grant and fellowship recipients and finalists, a unique tribute to the work of W. Eugene Smith, a special keynote speech, and the announcement and presentation of the 2013 jurors’ discretionary grant, the 2013 Howard Chapnick grant, and the 2013 W. Eugene Smith Grant.
About The Grant
The W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography is presented annually to photographers whose work is judged by a panel of experts to be in the best tradition of the compassionate dedication exhibited by W. Eugene Smith during his 45-year photojournalism career. The grant enables recipients to undertake and complete worthy photojournalistic projects.
The W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography is funded by generous contributions from American Society of Media Photographers, the Open Society Foundations, the International Center for Photography, NYCFotoWorks, Harbers Family Foundation, Canon USA, MediaStorm, the School of Visual Arts, and Photo District News.
For more information visit www.smithfund.org.
W. Eugene Smith Grant for Humanistic Photography 2013
Discretionary Fellowship: $5,000
To Apply: http://smithfund.org/eugene-smith-grant
Howard Chapnick Grant 2013
To Apply: http://smithfund.org/howard-chapnick-grant
W. Eugene Smith Grant for Humanistic Photography 2013
Established in 1979 in honor of W. Eugene Smith (1918-1978), the legendary American photo essayist, the Smith grant is given to a photographer who demonstrates an exemplary commitment to documenting the human condition in the spirit of Smith’s humanistic photography. Administered by the W. Eugene Smith Fund for Humanistic Photography, an independent non-profit organization, the $30,000 annual grant provides photographers with the financial freedom to continue or complete a major photographic project. The grant has often been referred to as the most prestigious honor in the field of documentary photography.
The W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund is supported by generous contributions from:
American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP); Open Society Foundations; Harbers Family Foundation; The International Center of Photography; School of Visual Arts BFA Photography; MFA Photography, Video and Related Media departments; and Canon USA, with the support of MediaStorm; Photo District News; and Synergy Communications, Inc.
Prior Recipients of the Grant for Humanistic Photography (Representing 14 Countries):
Marc Asnin, Jane Evelyn Atwood, Letizia Battaglia, Ernesto Bazan, Ellen Binder, Pep Bonet, Chien-Chi Chang, Stephen Dupont, Carl DeKeyzer, Donna Ferrato, Maya Goded, Paul Graham, Stanley Greene, Lu Guang, Graciela Iturbide, Krisanne Johnson, Alain Keler, Brenda Ann Kenneally, Gideon Mendel, Dario Mitidieri, James Nachtwey, Darcy Padilla, Trent Parke, Paolo Pellegrin, Gilles Peress, Eli Reed, Eugene Richards, Cristina Garcia Rodero, Milton Rogovin, Sebastião Salgado, Mikhael Subotzky, Vladimir Syomin, Peter van Agtmael, John Vink, and Kai Wiedenhöfer.
Howard Chapnick Grant
Established in 1996 by the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund, the Howard Chapnick Grant encourages and supports leadership in fields ancillary to photojournalism, such as editing, research, education, and management. The grant honors the memory of Howard Chapnick and his enormous commitment to photojournalism.
The annual $5,000 Chapnick Grant may be used to finance any of a range of qualified undertakings, such as an educational program, research, a special long-term sabbatical project, or an internship to work with a noteworthy group or individual. Special consideration will be given to projects that promote social change and/or serve significant concerns of photojournalism. The grant is not intended to be used for the direct productions of photographs.
Recipients of the Howard Chapnick Grant will be selected by the Board of Trustees of the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund in Humanistic Photography.
The Howard Chapnick Grant is supported by Harbers Family Foundation.
Michael and his partner Taj Forer founded an organization dedicated to a print product in 2003, when the industry was already moving to digital. In this interview, he discusses the growth and adaptation of Daylight in the evolving digital landscape and how winning the Howard Chapnick Grant helped him reach his goals.
Interview with Michael Itkoff
Taj Forer and I founded Daylight in part because we felt that our specific area of interest—photo-based work existing somewhere between the documentary mode and that of fine art—was not being properly addressed by the industry.
We set up Daylight as a platform for more subjective, personally experienced truths that were realized through photography.
You founded an organization dedicated to publishing art and photography books in 2003, when the industry was already moving to digital. How has Daylight worked within the massive shift in art and photography publishing over the last decade?
Although only 10 years ago 2003 is ancient history in the context of the print/digital shift. In those days it was not yet obvious that a sea change was on the horizon. In fact, it took us over a year after publishing our first edition to develop a proper online presence as we were so committed to the physical object.
Since that time we have anticipated and embraced the continued shift toward digital formats with our multimedia program and newly launched iPad publishing program.
Tell us more about your multimedia program. Is it integrated with your books program?
The multimedia program highlights the work of an individual artist and presents a portfolio-based slideshow of work along with the artists narration and a curated musical selection. We feature artists from the Daylight Photo Awards as well as from our books program in addition to artists from outside the fold.
We have been producing multimedia as a separate initiative since 2007. To date we have over 50 features available for free.
Now that you are producing both digital and physical products, do you find your audience shifting in one direction or the other?
It is too early to tell. I believe our core audience shares our commitment to print as well as our interest in experiencing work within the digital space.
“Jeff Jacobson: The Last Roll” is Daylight’s most recent multimedia project. They now have more than 50 features available for free.
You were awarded the Howard Chapnick Grant in 2006. How did you use the grant and what has it meant for you personally?
The grant proceeds went straight into publication of Issue #5 of Daylight Magazine. Our goal at that time was to remain in print and the Chapnick grant certainly helped offset the cost of our fifth edition!
It was also a benchmark for Daylight as it signaled public acceptance and industry recognition. I am still proud to have received the award.
Daylight runs an award program of its own. When did you start running it? And who does it seek to award?
We launched the Daylight Photo Awards in 2010 along with the Center for Documentary Studies, but have since proceeded to offer the awards on our own.
The DPA offers $1,000, a solo show and a multimedia feature to an artist with a developed body of work in order to showcase it and aid in its development.
About the Howard Chapnick Grant
In 1996 the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund announced a new award, the Howard Chapnick Grant, to encourage and support leadership in fields ancillary to photojournalism, such as editing research, education and management.
The Grant was established to honor the memory of Howard Chapnick, and acknowledge the value of his enormous contribution to photography.
The annual $5,000 grant may be used to finance any of a range of qualified undertakings, which might include a program of further education, research, a special long-term sabbatical project, or an internship to work with a noteworthy group or individual.
According to the Fund’s Board of Trustees, special consideration will be given to projects that promote social change and/or serve significant concerns of photojournalism. The grant is not intended to be used for the production of photographs, which will continue to be funded by the main grant of the Smith Fund.
Applications are due May 31, 2013. Learn more and apply at http://smithfund.org/howard-chapnick-grant.
Strategies for Photographers: Thoughts On How To Apply For Fellowships and Other Competitions
Monday, March 4, 2013, 6:30 p.m.
547 W. 27th St.
New York, NY 10011
Event open to the public.
About the Event
One of the ways photographers are able to sustain careers is through grants and fellowships. For over 30 years the W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography has been one of the most prestigious.
The panel brings together some Smith Fund Board members to share their experiences judging competitions ranging from Smith to World Press Photo, World Photo Organization, Getty Images, PDN, Le Journal de la Photographie and American Photography to name a few. This is a unique opportunity to gain some insight into what takes place in the judging room and for photographers seeking advice.
Participants will include current Smith Board members David Friend (Vanity Fair) W.M. Hunt (Dancing Bear), Marcel Saba (Redux Pictures), and Lauren Wendle (PDN), all of whom have served as head jurors.
This panel is free and open to the public and will follow an afternoon press conference announcing the call for entries for the 2013 Smith Fund Fellowship.
Past recipients of the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund represent a “Who’s Who” of 20th Century documentary photography in the humanistic tradition of Smith. Recent W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund recipients include 2012: Peter von Agtmael, 2011: Krisanne Johnson, 2010: Darcy Padilla, 2009: Lu Guang, 2008: Mikhael Subotzky, 2007: Stephen Dupont, 2006: Paolo Pellegrin, and 2005: Pep Bonet.
Chronologically, earlier fellows range from Jane Evelyn Atwood, Eugene Richards, Sebastio Salgado, Milton Rogovin, Gilles Peress, Donna Ferrato, Letizia Battaglia, John VInk, Graciela Iturbide, Paul Graham, Cristina Garcia Rodero, Carl de Keyzer, Dario Mitideri, Eli Reed, Marc Asnin, James Nachtwey, Ellen Binder, Vladimir Syomin, Gideon Mendel, Alain Keler, Ernesto Bazan, Chien-Chi Chang, Brenda Ann Kenneally, Maya Goded, Kai Widenhofer, Trent Parke, to Stanley Greene through to Peter van Agtmael.
For more information visit smithfund.org. Entries for this year’s competition are due by the end of May.
About the Grants
The W. Eugene Smith Grant for Humanistic Photography was established in 1979 following the death of Gene Smith, the legendary American photo essayist. Today, the grant represents the most prestigious honor in the field of documentary photography.
The Howard Chapnick Grant encourages and supports professionals working in the fields of documentary photography and photojournalism. Applicants may be engaged in research, editing, education, or similar endeavors; the grant is not intended to be used for the production of photographs. Special consideration will be given to projects that promote social change or serve significant concerns within the field.
Learn more at smithfund.org.
“Disco Night September 11,” Which Looks at Conflicts of Afghan War on American Soil, Gives Peter van Agtmael Top Honors in W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography
Massimo Berruti Receives Smith Fellowship for “The Dusty Path,” Which Looks at the Violence and Political Corruption That Has Enveloped Once Peaceful Pakistan
David J. Spear and Two River Eagle School Receive Howard Chapnick Grant for “Our Community Record,” to Help Students Document Culture and History
NEW YORK, NY — October 17, 2012 – The Board of Trustees of the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund announced that Brooklyn, New York photographer Peter van Agtmael is the recipient of the prestigious 2012 W. Eugene Smith Grant for Humanistic Photography for Disco Night September 11, an American view of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The project earned Mr. van Agtmael a $30,000 grant to continue focussing on these wars, subjects that otherwise would be difficult to finance.
In addition, Massimo Berruti from Italy received a $5,000 W. Eugene Smith Fellowship for his documentary, The Dusty Path, which looks at Pakistan, a one-time peaceful nation now caught up in violence and political corruption…”a trembling giant on the brink of a deep abyss,” as Massimo Berruti describes it.
In addition to the W. Eugene Smith Grant and Fellowship awards, the annual Howard Chapnick Grant of $5,000 was presented to David J. Spear and the Two River Eagle School, a tribal middle and high school on the Flathead Reservation in Montana, (USA) for “Our Community Record.” The project was created as a way for the students to connect with their community by documenting their culture and history through photography.
Smith Grant recipients were selected from entries received from more than 43 countries.
The presentations were made to a capacity crowd at the School of Visual Arts (SVA) Theater on West 23rd street in New York City. Kimberly Dozier, AP correspondent and author of the book, “Breaking the Fire: Fighting to Report and Get Back to the Fight,” gave the keynote presentation.
“It was one of the great validations of my career to receive the W. Eugene Smith Grant,” explains Peter van Agtmael. “I tremendously admire Smith’s work, integrity and legacy, as well as that of the winners over the years. It will allow me to pursue work that otherwise would be difficult to finance. Most stories have a short media shelf life, yet their importance continues well beyond their presence in the public eye. This is a value that Smith embodied with his work and it’s an honor to continue in that tradition.”
“I was in bed checking my email one night when I received word that I received the Smith Fellowship award,” recalls Massimo Berruti who didn’t sleep at all after receiving the news. “There are many issues and stories I want to work on for the future and this gives me immense motivation, and tremendous pride, knowing that my stories are seen and have an impact.”
“What I find absolutely astonishing is the level of photography we continue to see year after year,” says Marcel Saba, President, Redux Pictures, LLC., and President of the Board of Trustees for the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Award. “The quality of the proposals is inspiring and visually expresses the passion, and respect these photographers have for their subjects, and their craft. It is a wonderful homage to Smith who was himself an early innovator and master of the photo essay. The works of Mr. van Agtmael, Mr. Berruti, Mr. Spear, and his students exemplify the power of photography and how it can foster change when needed, and build communications bridges between generations of people.”
“It seems that each year we are completely overwhelmed with the thoughtfulness, passion, and professionalism we see in the entries we receive and it is we, the judges, who are humbled by the works of these documentary photographers,” explains Lauren Wendle, Vice President & Publisher, Photo District News, and Jury Chair for the 2012 W. Eugene Smith Grant. “I see great photography everyday but photojournalism and documentary photography explore the joys and sorrows of everyday life and bring new dimensions to our perspective on life, and our own lives in particular.”
The adjudication panel for the W. Eugene Smith Grant included Lauren Wendle (President & Publisher, Photo District News, and Jury Chair for the 2012 W. Eugene Smith Grant for Humanistic Photography), Susan Bright (Curator and Writer), and Kira Pollack (Director of Photography at TIME Magazine).
The 2012 panel of judges for the Howard Chapnick Grant was drawn from the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund Board of Trustees including Rich Clarkson (co-founder of the Howard Chapnick Grant), Helen Marcus (photographer), Robert Pledge (President, Contact Press Images), and Marcel Saba (President of Redux Pictures LLC and President of the Smith Fund).
- Michael Christopher Brown (USA) “A State of Ashes, Libya”
- Bharat Choudhary (India) “The Silence of Others”
- Jon Lowenstein (USA), “Shadow Lives USA”
- Justin Maxon (USA) “When the Spirit Moves”
- Ami Vitale (USA) “Watching the Second Hand of a Clock”
- Farzana Wahidy (Afghanistan) “The New Young Generation of Afghan Women”
- Robert Yager (United Kingdom/USA) “Loaded”
Now in its 33rd year, the continued interest and demand for photographic grants is a great testament to W. Eugene Smith, a true pioneer in exploring the human condition and exposing the truth with his camera. Established in 1979, its primary purpose is to support and encourage photographers producing humanistic photo stories in the style of the legendary American photojournalist who sought to expose the truth about issues affecting and afflicting humankind.
The W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund is supported by generous contributions from American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), Open Society Foundations, School of Visual Arts BFA Photography; MFA Photography, Video and Related Media departments and Canon USA, with the support of MediaStorm, Photo District News and Synergy Communications, Inc. The 2012 Howard Chapnick Grant is co-sponsored by Rich Clarkson and Associates LLC and NYC FOTOWORKS.