Aperture Foundation, in collaboration with the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund, is pleased to present an artist talk with Jane Evelyn Atwood. Atwood was born in New York and has been living in France since 1971. She was the first recipient of the W. Eugene Smith Award in 1980 for her work on the blind. Atwood works primarily in the tradition of documentary photography, following individuals or groups of people—usually those on the fringes of society—for long periods of time. Fascinated by people and by the idea of exclusion, she has managed to penetrate worlds that most of us do not know, or choose to ignore.
The W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund is sponsored by Aperture Foundation as well as Anastasia Photo, American Society of Media Photographers, Brilliant, Canon, Center for Creative Photography, International Center of Photography, MediaStorm, Photo District News, Swann Galleries, School of Visual Arts, and Synergy Communications. More information can be found at smithfund.org.
547 West 27th Street, 4th Floor New York
Wednesday, March 2, 2016 6:30 p.m.
FREE for Aperture Foundation Members and students with valid ID
BFA Photography and Video presents The 36th Annual W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography
From October 14th, 2015
THE 36th ANNUAL W. EUGENE SMITH GRANTS IN HUMANISTIC PHOTOGRAPHY & HOWARD CHAPNICK GRANT FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF PHOTOJOURNALISM
The 36th 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 14, 2015 at 7:00 pm.
SAVE THE DATE:
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2015
7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
(Doors Open at 6:15 p.m.)
The School of Visual Arts (SVA) Theatre
333 West 23rd St. (between 8th and 9th Ave.)
New York, NY 10011
Keynote Presentation by David Remnick
Editor, The New Yorker
Please Click Here to Register Online
Seating is Limited. Doors Open at 6:15 p.m.
The program includes presentations of photo essays by this year’s grant and fellowship recipients, plus finalists
Announcement and presentation of
The 2015 W. Eugene Smith Grant of $30,000
The 2015 jurors’ discretionary Smith Fellowship(s) of $5,000
The 2015 Howard Chapnick Grant of $5,000
Reception to Follow
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 photojournalism career. The grant enables recipients to undertake and complete worthy photojournalistic projects.
The W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the Harbers Family Fund, Anastasia Photo, Canon USA, AND Swann Auction Galleries, PLUS Center for Creative Photography (CCP), International Center Of Photography (ICP), MediaStorm, Photo District News (PDN), & The School of Visual Arts.
W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund Announces Call for Entries for 36th Annual Grant in Humanistic Photography
Memorial Fund awards a $30,000 grant and $5,000 fellowships to photographers with projects produced in the spirit of W. Eugene Smith’s humanistic approach to storytelling
New York, NY – March 27, 2015 – The W. Eugene Smith Fund announced today it will begin accepting applications for its annual Grant in Humanistic Photography on April 15, 2015. Photographers interested in applying for the grant can learn more by visiting SmithFund.org. Applications will be accepted through May 31, 2015.
In addition, The Smith Fund also announced that applications for the 2015 Howard Chapnick Grant will be accepted from June 1 through June 30, 2015. The Howard Chapnick Grant is presented for leadership in fields ancillary to photojournalism, such as editing, research, education and management.
The W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography is presented annually to a photographer whose past work and proposed project follows the tradition and humanistic approach to storytelling of W. Eugene Smith who dedicated his 45-year career as a photographer to documenting the human condition with compassion and portraying his subjects dignity. Now in its 36th year, this Grant honors the legendary American photo essayist and his picture making practice.
The recipient of the 2015 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 photographers whose work represents exemplary efforts in humanistic photography.
“Each year we are both humbled and inspired by the quality of work that is submitted to the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund,” said Marcel Saba, president of the Smith Fund Board of Trustees. “We are honored to have supported so many remarkable photographers and incredible projects which have presented the human condition and spirit from around the world. In having the privilege of awarding these grants, the Smith Fund acknowledges the financial support of many organizations. Our goal as an organization has remained constant since 1978: to provide photographers with the necessary funding so they may tell their stories through photographs, in the spirit of Gene Smith.”
Each year, the Fund’s Board of Trustees appoints a three-member international jury who meet twice during the adjudication process. Finalists are selected on the basis of the substantive (and intellectual) merit of their project. Finalists are then 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. The Grant and Fellowship recipients are selected basis of these submissions.
19th Annual Howard Chapnick Grant
The Howard Chapnick Grant was established in 1996 to honor the memory of Howard Chapnick who led Black Star photo agency, and acknowledges the value of his enormous contribution to photography. The annual $5,000 grant may be used to finance 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. This grant is not to be used for the creation of photographs.
Photographers interested in learning more or applying for either grant should visit SmithFund.org.
Synergy Communications, Inc.
“The Howard Chapnick Legacy” was a special program in the “Smith Talks”, an ongoing collaboration between Aperture and W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund. The event took place on Monday, Sept. 22, 2014 at Aperture.
Howard Chapnick (1922-1996) is a legend of photography, the long time head of the Black Star Agency and author of the classic “The Truth Needs No Ally: Inside Photojournalism”.
In 1979 with colleagues, John Morris and Jim Hughes, Chapnick founded the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund, which awards grants for projects in humanistic photography. Shortly after his death in 1996, the Smith Fund announced a new and additional fellowship in Chapnick’s name, a $5.000 grant to encourage and support leadership in fields ancillary to photojournalism.
The evening celebrated his career and the grant’s recipients. Chapnick was a seminal influence on a roster of today’s leading photo-journalists like Pete Turnley, Donna Ferrato, Tony Suau, Chris Morris, Joseph Rodriquez, James Balog, and James Nachtwey to name a few, all of whom were invited to contribute to the evening’s proceedings.
The evening was hosted by Mickael Itkoff of Daylight Publishing. who received the Chapnick grant in 2006 which made it possible for Daylight to go to press. The Chapnick grant has been able to give smaller organizations an immediate boost like this. Other past Chapnick grantees Marie Arago, Ryan Libre, Liza Faktor, and Richard Steven Street talked about their projects and grant. There are also video commentaries from co-founders and Smith Board Members John Morris and Rich Clarkson and in person remarks from Trustees Aaron Schindler and Phil Block.
For more information about the Howard Chapnick Fund, go to http://smithfund.org/howard-chapnick-grant.
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.