Category Archives: Announcements

2012 W. Eugene Smith Grant Recipients Named

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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).

Additional Finalists

  • 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.

Attend the Smith Grant Ceremony

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The W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund extends an open invitation to attend the ceremony for the 33rd Annual W. Eugene Smith Grant in the Humanistic Photography and Howard Chapnick Grant for the Advancement of Photojournalism.

W. Eugene Smith Grant Ceremony
October 17, 2012
Doors 6:30 pm | Event 7:00 pm
Reception will follow
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 2012 jurors’ discretionary grant, the 2012 Howard Chapnick grant, and the 2012 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, Canon USA, MediaStorm, the Open Society Foundations, and School of Visual Arts.

For more information email aschindler@wagroupllc.com or visit www.smithfund.org.

*Photo: W. Eugene Smith, Steel Mill Worker, Pittsburgh, 1955

2011 W. Eugene Smith Grant Recipients Named

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The Board of Trustees of the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund announced that New York-based photographer Krisanne Johnson is the recipient of the prestigious 2011 W. Eugene Smith Grant for Humanistic Photography for I Love You Real Fast, a five-year project documenting young women coming of age amidst the H.I.V./AIDS epidemic in Swaziland. The project earned her a $30,000 grant to continue her ongoing work to explore the struggles and triumphs of women in Swaziland and other parts of the world. The Grant recipients were selected from 291 entries from 40 countries. You can see Krisanne’s winning submission here.

I Love You Real Fast is on exhibit now at The Half King in New York City through November 26.

The announcement was made during a reception last night at the Asia Society in New York. Sebastian Junger, the internationally acclaimed best-selling author of The Perfect Storm and War, director (with Tim Hetherington) of the Academy Award-nominated documentary Restrepo, and contributor for Vanity Fair, gave the keynote presentation.

“I am truly honored to receive a Grant from an organization bearing W. Eugene Smith’s name,” says Krisanne Johnson. “This recognition will help share the struggles of young women in Swaziland and bring greater attention to a problem that must be addressed. The Smith Grant will also allow me to continue to focus on this and other stories around the world without the restrictions associated with lack of funding.”

In addition, Dominic Bracco received a $5,000 W. Eugene Smith Fellowship for his documentary, Life and Death in the Northern Pass. Focusing on Ciudad Juarez, quite possibly the most violent city in the world, Bracco explores how society has become so ingrained in a tradition of violence that there is no immediate way out.

Finally, Ryan Libre is recipient of the Howard Chapnick Grant for “Documentary Arts Asia,” a program to advance visual literacy and support artists in Asia.

Update: W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund 2011 Grant Ceremony

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Journalist Sebastian Junger will give a keynote address at the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund 2011 Grant Ceremony on Wednesday, October 19th in New York City. Junger is the internationally acclaimed best-selling author of The Perfect Storm and War, Vanity Fair contributing editor, and director of the Academy Award-nominated documentary Restrepo.

The $30,000 grant recipient and finalists for the 2011 W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography will be announced. Other evening programs will feature audio-visual presentations by the finalists and grant recipient as well as:

– On the 10th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan, a special presentation of 2007 Smith grant recipient Stephen Dupont’s Generation AK: The Afghanistan Wars and The Perils of Freedom.

– Tributes to W. Eugene Smith, including his own commentary on Spanish Village, his acclaimed 1950 LIFE Magazine photo essay.

– The announcement of the $5,000 2011 Howard Chapnick Grant to encourage and support leadership in fields ancillary to photography, such as editing, education, and management.

The event, which is open to the public, will take place at the Asia Society, 725 Park Ave (at 70th Street). Admission is free, and on a first come, first served basis.  The doors will open at 6.30 PM. The ceremony will begin at 7pm with a reception following.

For more information, please go to our redesigned Web site at:
www.smithfund.org

Save the Date: W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund 2011 Grant Ceremony

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The Board of Directors of the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund cordially invites you to join us for the annual grant ceremony where the 2011 grant recipient and finalists will be announced. The annual Smith grant of $30,000 is considered one of the most prestigious honors in photojournalism. A special fellowship of $5,000 will also be presented.

The event will occur on Wednesday, October 19th, at 6:30 PM at the Asia Society, 725 Park Ave at 70th St., New York City. Please join us.

The program will include a keynote address, guest speakers (TBA), audio-visual presentations by this year’s finalists, as well as tributes to Smith and past honorees. More details will follow in the official invitation email blast in September.

An RSVP is not necessary. Admission is free, and on a first come, first served basis. The doors will open at 6 PM. The event will be followed by a reception.

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. The Smith Grant was established in 1978 following the death of Gene Smith.

The W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund, Inc., a not-for-profit corporation qualified under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, independently administers the grant program that provides photographers with the financial freedom to carry out or complete major photographic essays. For 2011, the amount of the grant will be $30,000. An additional $5,000 in fellowship money will be dispersed, at the discretion of the jury, to one or more finalists deemed worthy of special recognition.

For more information, please visit our newly redesigned Web site at:

www.smithfund.org

The W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund is sponsored by the generous support of the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), the Open Society Foundations, Asia Society, Blurb, Inc., and Canon USA, with additional support from MediaStorm and Photo District News.

W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund, INC. Launches New Website

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Deadline for 2011 extended to Friday, June 3rd; judging will commence later this month

NEW YORK, NY – June 1, 2011 – The W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund unveiled its newly revamped Website at www.smithfund.org. The portal, redesigned by MediaStorm — incorporating the MediaStorm Player — provides an expanded selection of work from the 33 past recipients of the grant as well as easier site navigation, streamlined online registration for grant applicants, and thumbnail histories of photojournalist W. Eugene Smith, the fund itself, and the Howard Chapnick grant. (The deadline for the 2011 grant has been extended to Friday, June 3rd.)

The W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography—considered by many to be the most prestigious, long-standing honorarium for completion of a photojournalistic project—was created in 1979, a year after Smith’s death. The grant’s mission is to support and encourage photographers producing humanistic photo stories in the tradition of the legendary American photo essayist who sought to expose the truth about issues affecting and afflicting humankind. Between 1980 and 2010, the fund issued grants to 33 recipients from 14 countries, including photographers who were honored at pivotal points in their careers: Jane Evelyn Atwood, Donna Ferrato, Brenda Ann Kenneally, Graciela Iturbide, James Nachtwey, Trent Parke, Paolo Pellegrin, Gilles Peress, Eugene Richards, Cristina Garcia Rodero, and Sebastião Salgado. The fund occasionally issues fellowships to promising projects as part of the judging process for the grant.

Judging for the 2011 grant will commence later this month. The jury will meet a second time in July. The grant ceremony will take place in New York in October, at Asia Society.

The W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund is sponsored by the generous support of the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), MediaStorm, the Open Society Foundations (OSF), Photo District News (PDN), Blurb, Inc., Canon USA, and Asia Society.

Editors note:
Images for media coverage are available upon request. Please contact: Marcelsaba@reduxpictures.com

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