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Email and Press Release Archive

VSW Email Newsletter Archive

VSW Press Release Archive


2021 / 2022 Project Space Artists-in-Residence

Phillip and Edith Leonian Foundation Grant and Jobs Announcement


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2021 / 2022 Project Space Artists-in-Residence

Announcing Visual Studies Workshop 2021 / 2022 Project Space Artists-in-Residence

From left to right: Rebecca Aloisio, Ambarien Alqadar, Keliy Anderson-Staley, Ligia Bouton, Samantha Box, Granville Carroll, Lili Chin, Maya Ciarrocchi, Kelli Connell and Natalie Krick, Duke and Battersby, India Johnson, Işık Kaya and Thomas Georg Blank, Salome Kokoladze, Jodie Mack, Bárbara Oettinger, Ahndraya Parlato, Jenn Poggi and Josh Meltzer, Rashaad Parker, Kelly Sears, Savannah Wood

Visual Studies Workshop announced today the 24 artists awarded upcoming September 2021 – September 2022 Project Space Artist Residencies. The Artists-in-Residence, including 4 collaborations, were selected from over 100 applicants by a team of VSW curators, a former Artist-in-Residence, and an outside curator. 

The Project Space residency program at Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, NY is a studio workspace for artists working in photography, book art, film, and media art. The residency program provides artists the opportunity to experiment with new work or new display strategies, and to have discussions with critics, curators, graduate students, and the community-at-large about works-in-progress. Selected artists receive a stipend, housing, and 4 weeks in a dedicated Project Space studio at VSW, where they will have access to bookbinding and digital printing studios, a photo darkroom and screen printing lab, and the Nathan Lyons Research Center library and collections.

Selected Artists

Rebecca Aloisio

Ambarien Alqadar

Keliy Anderson-Staley

Ligia Bouton

Samantha Box

Granville Carroll

Lili Chin

Maya Ciarrocchi

Kelli Connell and Natalie Krick

Duke and Battersby 

India Johnson 

Işık Kaya and Thomas Georg Blank

Salome Kokoladze 

Jodie Mack 

Bárbara Oettinger

Ahndraya Parlato

Jenn Poggi and Josh Meltzer

Rashaad Parker

Kelly Sears

Savannah Wood

Program Website: https://www.vsw.org/exhibitions/projectspace/

Org Website: https://www.vsw.org/

VSW Project Space Residencies are supported in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; the National Endowment for the Arts; the Max and Marian Farash Foundation; and Joy of Giving Something.




VSW Awarded Recordings at Risk Grant

Visual Studies Workshop (VSW) is pleased to announce our project, Towards a Democratic Medium: Video Activism and Community Television in the 1970’s-Preserving the Portable Channel Tapes has received a $36,950 Recordings at Risk grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR), a program made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This CLIR grant will enable the digitization and online access of two hundred open reel video tapes from the Portable Channel collection.

Portable Channel (1971-1987) was founded in Rochester by feminist filmmaker and disability rights activist Bonnie Sherr Klein. Klein, along with other independent media activists in the Rochester region, created Portable Channel to support community access to video equipment, provide training, and produce programs with an emphasis on community activism, documentary and independent filmmaking. Portable Channel also assisted underrepresented populations in Rochester with producing programs that addressed issues and interests important to their communities. Under Klein’s leadership (1971- 1975) Portable Channel developed a relationship with the public television station WXXI-TV, which gave the group a monthly slot that aired their program titled HOMEMADE TV. The programs varied in format and content but were united in the goal to expand television’s possibilities. A selection from the archive is available to watch on the VSW website

About VSW:
Visual Studies Workshop was founded in 1969 by photographer and curator Nathan Lyons (1930–2016). VSW’s mission is to support makers and interpreters of images through exhibitions, publications, education and research collections. Visit vsw.org for more information.

About CLIR:
The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) is an independent, nonprofit organization that forges strategies to enhance research, teaching, and learning environments in collaboration with libraries, cultural institutions, and communities of higher learning. To learn more, visit www.clir.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For more information:

Contact Tara Merenda Nelson, Curator of Moving Image Collections




Film Preservation at VSW


June 20, 2017


Visual Studies Workshop has been awarded a prestigious Basic Preservation Grant from the National Film Preservation Foundation to preserve About Us, a 16mm film made in 1972 by VSW students and visiting artist Robert Frank. This 38 minute film was written, directed and edited collaboratively by Robert Frank and six students during a 3 month workshop at VSW.

For students and scholars of the history of contemporary photography and film, both VSW and the work of Robert Frank are crucially important areas of research. About Us is especially significant because it reflects the experimental and collaborative ethos upon which Visual Studies Workshop was founded, and provides insight into an alternative, non-hierarchical pedagogical model that has sustained influence for nearly five decades. This film is a one-of-a-kind document of VSW’s earliest days as a pioneering “non-institution” of higher learning, and a valuable link in the legacy of one of the world’s most influential artists, Robert Frank.

The NFPF helps archives, historical societies, libraries, museums, and universities preserve and make available American films that are not likely to survive without public support.  Basic Preservation Grants are awarded to nonprofit and public institutions for laboratory work to preserve culturally and historically significant film materials. The grants are made possible by funds authorized through The Library of Congress Sound Recording and Film Preservation Programs Reauthorization Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-336) and secured through the leadership of the Library of Congress, and the contributions of public-spirited donors.

This is the first NFPF Basic Preservation Grant awarded to VSW.  The funding will be used to create a preservation copy and an access copy of the film.  Preservation lab work will be done at Colorlab in Rockville, MD.

Visual Studies Workshop’s mission is to support makers and interpreters of images through education, publications, exhibitions, and collections, and was founded in 1969 by photographer and curator Nathan Lyons.  Collections at VSW include: Artist Books, Lantern Slides, Photographs, Manuscripts, Screenprints as well as more than 10,000 film and video titles.

Contact: Tara Merenda Nelson, Curator of Moving Image Collections

taranelson@vsw.org, (585) 442-8676

Website: https://www.vsw.org/collections/research-center/film-and-video-archive/






Robert Frank and a student in a still from About Us (1972)

Robert Frank and a Kodak security guard, still from About Us (1972)

Still from About Us, 1972

Calls For Work

ImageOut Call For Art: We Are Family

Call for submissions of any media for the 2017 ImageOut exhibition

The 2015 US Supreme Court ruling that declared same-sex marriage legal provided same-gender loving individual’s access to one of the two dominant forms of kinship making (the other route being biological reproduction). However,this development does not signal LGBTQ people finally being able to access “family,” as LGBTQ people have had to and continue to create alternative models of family that exist outside of marriage and reproduction. With this in mind, ImageOut seeks submissions of art that explores:

• How contemporary LGBTQ people are accessing and navigating marriage
• Family building and child-rearing
• The cultural, social, and legal barriers to marriage and child-rearing that remain
• Historical and contemporary kinship practices that do not reflect dominant conceptions of family (e.g. the nuclear family)

In addition, ImageOut recognizes that abuse, neglect, estrangement, and expulsion cause many LGBTQ people discomfort around the concept of “family.” And so we invite work that does not just treat “family” as an inherent good, but as a concept that needs to be troubled, interrogated, and dismantled.

Exhibition: Visual Studies Workshop Gallery  September 1 – October 21, 2017
Submission deadline: July 15, 2017
Click for the full submission guidelines.


Phillip and Edith Leonian Foundation Grant and Jobs Announcement

Visual Studies Workshop is thrilled to announce the receipt of a grant from the Phillip and Edith Leonian Foundation to support the online cataloging of The Nathan Lyons Research Center’s photographic print collection, and the MFA program alumni collection. This project will increase the accessibility of VSW collections and promote the work of many under recognized artists.

The material in The Nathan Lyons Research Center has significant research value, and thanks to the Phillip and Edith Leonian Foundation, VSW will now be able to make these resources more widely accessible to the next generation of artists, critics and curators. Visual Studies Workshop will be hiring two part-time cataloging positions for this project. To apply for one of the positions of Cataloger:

(5/10/17 Please note that the positions have been filled)

Email a cover letter, resume and the contact information for two professional references to Jessica Johnston, Curator of Collections at jessicajohnston@vsw.org by April 17, 2017. Please use the subject heading “Cataloging Positions” in the email with your application materials. The two positions are six-month terms, 10-12 hour a week, with the possibility of extensions. The positions will begin in May 2017.

Catalogers will create and populate records in VSW’s online collections management system, eHive. The catalogers will also create box lists, photograph the objects, and prepare or amend biographies of the artists’ for publication on Wikipedia.

Desired Qualifications

• Experience handling photographic objects

• Experience cataloging photographs

• Excellent writing and research skills

• Knowledge of the history of photography

• Experience with copy stand photographic work

• Ability to lift 40lbs

Visual Studies Workshop is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Decisions to hire and promote are made without regard to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, sexuality, age, marital or veteran status, medical condition, disability, or any other legally protected status under federal, state, or local law. It is VSW’s stated goal to reach a broad and diverse candidate pool in hiring for positions as well as addressing audiences through its creative and educational programming.

Calls For Work

Afterimage Call For Submissions: Media Literacy in a “Post-Factual” Age

Afterimage: The Journal of Media Arts and Cultural Criticism invites submissions from all fields for a special issue on Media Literacy in a “Post-Factual” Age to be published January 8, 2018

Articles and artist’s projects addressing the theme of “media literacy in a ‘post-factual’ age” are welcome, and submissions that consider the intersections of art, activist, journalistic, and media literacy practices are particularly encouraged. There will be a print and an online edition of this special issue, so multimedia projects are welcome.

These contributions might include, but are in no way limited to, articles and projects addressing:

• Artistic interventions into mass media and spectacular culture

• Activist media practices

• Photojournalism and the production of alternative knowledges

• Current theoretical and practical approaches to teaching media literacy and media studies

• Media flows, borders, and walls: from neoliberal “openness” to populist enclosures

• Critiques of journalistic, scientific, and political objectivity

• Popular skepticism and challenges to the authority of mass media

• The emergence of “fake news” (particularly submissions that go beyond widely circulated definitions to critically consider issues surrounding the production of knowledge within globally networked culture)

• The networked production of truth: social media, news automation, algorithms, “filter bubbles,” “echo chambers,” robots, and bots

• Leakers and hackers: activist approaches to scrutiny, transparency, and accountability in a “post-factual” era

• Political satire as news critique


Titles and abstracts for papers and artist’s projects are invited by May 1, 2017 and should be submitted to Afterimage editor Karen vanMeenen at afterimageeditor [at] yahoo [dot] com. Authors and artists are encouraged to discuss proposals with the editor prior to submitting materials. Deadline to submit finalized projects is June 1, 2017.

For additional information regarding Afterimage submission guidelines, click here.

Note: No writer’s stipends are available for this issue. Contributors will receive copies and a complimentary subscription. All other submission details apply.