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Isa Leshko
Isa Leshko
Isa Leshko

Isa Leshko

Country: United States
Birth: 1971

Isa Leshko is a fine art photographer living in Philadelphia, PA. She has had solo exhibitions at the Corden|Potts Gallery, the Galveston Arts Center, the Griffin Museum of Photography, the Houston Center for Photography, the Silver Eye Center for Photography, and the Richard Levy Gallery. Her prints are in numerous private and public collections including the Boston Public Library, the Harry Ransom Center, Haverford College, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Her images have been published in print and/or online editions of The Atlantic, The Boston Globe, Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, The Guardian, Harper’s Magazine, The New York Times, Photo District News and Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin.

In 2012, Isa received both the Houston Center for Photography Fellowship and the Silver Eye Center for Photography Keystone Award for her Elderly Animals project. She was nominated for the 2011 Santa Fe Prize for Photography and was named a finalist for the 2011 New Orleans Photo Alliance Clarence John Laughlin Award.

Isa grew up in Carteret, NJ and received her BA from Haverford College, where she studied cognitive psychology and neurobiology. She spent the 1990s working for dot.com startups as a project manager and software engineer before she discovered her passion for photography. She has lived in Houston, TX, Salem, MA and Providence, RI.
 

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Niki Feijen
Netherlands
1977
Dutch photographer Niki Feijen immortilizes an astonishingly intact glimpse into the past. This autodidact specializes in documenting and capturing historic architecture and abandoned buildings. Each photo fuses together the conflicting notions of beauty and decay and corresponds with his desire to capture and silently communicate with his audience about the subject's very essence. Niki wants to recreate the exact same scene as he sees while standing in a location but the lightspectrum your eye can capture is much, much wider than a camera can capture. Photographing a dark setting with extreme highlights like a window causes the highlights to wash out into white or dark areas can become obscure black blobs. It's impossible to shoot a photo that captures both ends of this spectrum. Since Niki does not use any artificial lighting he uses different exposures to capture a much wider light spectrum than a traditional photograph. The result is a hyper realistic photo which would replicate the exact same thing you would see standing inside the location yourself. In 2010 Feijen visited the quintessential location of desertion: the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. After a catastrophic nuclear accident occurred in 1986 the entire city of Pripyat, all 50,000 inhabitants, were evacuated within 48 hours. Most of the belongings of the evacuated inhabitants were left behind and never returned to again. The incredible deafening silence of this location, in its absence of the living, permeates the senses and mind of visitors who venture to there to this day. Feijen is currently travelling around the globe looking for more hidden gems tucked away behind 'Do Not Enter' signs. Curious about what lies on the other side, he goes in search of the hidden world that is often in plain sight. When Feijen comes across impressive yet eerie locations, such as homes located in ghost towns, asylums, decaying hospitals, abandoned castles and long forgotten hotels, he intends to preserve the what is left of the past by encapsulating these forgotten masterpieces' ethos in a photo before they crumble and collapse. The impressions left from these places are represented in visual form for the public in three separate books. All works, 'Disciple of Decay' (April 2013) 'Frozen' (September 2014) and 'Tempus Fugit' (December 2017), have been independently published. The first sold out in six months. On top of these publications, Feijen's photographs are exhibited at art galleries and international art fairs several times a year. His works have been featured by NBC, BBC, The Huffington Post, ABC News, The Daily Mail and Chase Jarvis, among a variety of others. As of 2014 Feijen's work is part of the Sir Elton John Photography Collection where his name is among legendary photographers as ; Edward Weston, David LaChapelle, Diane Arbus and Henri Cartier-Bresson.
Bettina Rheims
France
1952
Bettina Rheims is a French artist and photographer. She is the daughter of Maurice Rheims, of the French Academy. After having been a model, a journalist, and opening an art gallery, she began to be a photographer in 1978 at the age of 26. Initially she did many commissioned works such as albums covers for Jean-Jacques Goldman and photos of various stars. From 1980 she devoted herself solely to photography. She made a series of photographs of strip-tease artists and acrobats, which were shown 1981 in two personal exhibitions, at the Centre Pompidou and at the Galerie Texbraun in Paris. Encouraged by this success, she worked on a series of stuffed animal portraits, which were exhibited in Paris and New York. At the same time she took portrait images for worldwide magazines and advertising campaigns (Well and Chanel), created her first fashion series, worked on cover sleeves, and film posters, and in 1986 directed her first advertising campaign. In 1989 her portraits of women were published in a monograph, Female Trouble, and were exhibited in Germany and Japan. In the following year she made a series of portraits of androgynous teenagers, Modern Lovers, which were shown in France, Great Britain and the United States as well as being issued in book-form. Her series Chambre Close, which was realized between 1990 and 1992 in collaboration with Serge Bramly, had an immense success not only in Europe but all over the world. The book is a collection of photographs of nude young women in various postures. It became a bestseller and is regularly reprinted. In the following years her fame began to become worldwide and she is renowned as a one of the most important photographers not only in Europe, but also in the United States, Japan, Korea, Australia and Moscow.(Source: en.wikipedia.org)
Lalla Essaydi
Morocco
1956
Lalla Essaydi (Lalla A. Essaydi) is a Moroccan-born photographer known for her staged photographs of Arab women in contemporary art. She currently works in Boston, Massachusetts, and Morocco. Her current residence is in New York. Essaydi was born in Marrakesh, Morocco in 1956. She left to attend high school in Paris at 16. She married after returning to Morocco and moved to Saudi Arabia where she had two children and divorced. Essaydi returned to Paris in the early 1990s to attend the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts. She moved to Boston in 1996 and earned her BFA from Tufts University in 1999 and her MFA in painting and photography from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in 2003. Influenced by her experiences growing up in Morocco and Saudi Arabia, Essaydi explores the ways that gender and power are inscribed on Muslim women's bodies and the spaces they inhabit. She has stated that her work is autobiographical and that she was inspired by the differences she perceived in women's lives in the United States versus in Morocco, in terms of freedom and identity. She explores a wide range of perspectives, including issues of diaspora, identity, and expected location through her studio practice in Boston. She also looks at the ways of viewing reality while questioning limits of other cultures and challenging Orientalist art, engaging tradition, history, art, and technology. Her Grand Odalisque from the series Les Femmes du Maroc (2008), for example, cites the French painter Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres' painting La Grande Odalisque (1814), although her model is dressed. She also presents the resistance of stereotypes maintained by Western and Eastern societies. The inspiration for many of her works came from her childhood, in the physical space where she, as a young woman, was sent when she disobeyed. She stepped outside the permissible behavioral space, as defined by Moroccan culture. Essaydi said her works will become haunted by spaces she inhabited as a child. Several pieces of her work (including Converging Territories) combine henna, which is traditionally used to decorate the hands and feet of brides, with Arabic calligraphy, a predominantly male practice. While she uses henna to apply calligraphy to her female subjects' bodies, the words are indecipherable in an attempt to question authority and meaning. According to Essaydi, "Although it is calligraphy that is usually associated with 'meaning' (as opposed to 'mere' decoration), in the visual medium of my photographs, the 'veil' of henna, in fact, enhances the expressivity of the images. Yet, by the same token, the male art of calligraphy has been brought into a world of female experience from which it has traditionally been excluded." The women depicted in her exhibition of photographs, Les Femmes du Maroc, are represented as decorative and confined by the art of henna. Essaydi thus poses her subjects in a way that exemplifies society's views of women as primarily destined for mere beauty. Henna, however, is extremely symbolic, especially to Moroccan women. It is an association with familial celebrations of a young girl reaching puberty and transitioning into a mature woman. The use of henna in her work creates a silent atmosphere of the women "speaking" to each other through a quality of femininity. It is predominantly a painting process where women who are discouraged to work outside the home find a profitable work in applying a tattoo-like material. Beyond creating powerful pieces revolving around the art of henna, Essaydi includes interpretations of traditional Moroccan elements, including draped folds of cloths adorning women's bodies, mosaic, tiles, and Islamic architecture. Lalla Essaydi’s photo series, Les Femmes du Maroc comments on contemporary social structures, as well as acknowledges the history that has aided in constructing representations of Arab female identity. Les Femmes du Maroc is one of her three major photographic series, which is influenced by nineteenth-century European and American Orientalist art. However, Essaydi appropriates Orientalist paintings by incorporating a new subject & style derived from her own personal history and experiences to emancipate Arabian women and to demonstrate a tradition that is misunderstood by a Western audience. The title of the series is an appropriation of a painting by the French Romantic Artist Eugène Delacroix. Therefore, each photo in the series is influenced by Orientalist art that is then appropriated. Essaydi's photographic series include Converging Territories (2003–2004), Les Femmes du Maroc (2005–2006), Harem (2009), Harem Revisited (2012–2013), Bullets, and Bullets Revisited (2012–2013). Her work has been exhibited around the world, including at the National Museum of African Art, and is represented in a number of collections, including the Art Institute of Chicago; the Museum Fünf Kontinente Munich/ Germany; the San Diego Museum of Art; the Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Winter Park, Florida; the Fries Museum in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and the Williams College Museum of Art in Williamstown, Massachusetts. She was named as #18 in Charchub's "Top 20 Contemporary Middle Eastern Artists in 2012-2014". In 2015, the San Diego Museum of Art mounted the exhibition, Lalla Essaydi: Photographs. Source: Wikipedia Lalla A. Essaydi grew up in Morocco and now lives in USA where she received her MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts/TUFTS University in May 2003. Essaydi’s work is represented by Howard Yezerski Gallery in Boston and Edwynn Houk Gallery in New York City. Her work has been exhibited in many major international locales, including Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis, Texas, Buffalo, Colorado, New York, Syria, Ireland, England, France, the Netherlands, Sharjah, U.A.E., and Japan and is represented in a number of collections, including the Williams College Museum of Art, The Art Institute of Chicago, the Fries Museum, the Netherlands, and The Kodak Museum of Art. Her art, which often combines Islamic calligraphy with representations of the female body, addresses the complex reality of Arab female identity from the unique perspective of personal experience. In much of her work, she returns to her Moroccan girlhood, looking back on it as an adult woman caught somewhere between past and present, and as an artist, exploring the language in which to “speak” from this uncertain space. Her paintings often appropriate Orientalist imagery from the Western painting tradition, thereby inviting viewers to reconsider the Orientalist mythology. She has worked in numerous media, including painting, video, film, installation, and analog photography. "In my art, I wish to present myself through multiple lenses -- as artist, as Moroccan, as traditionalist, as Liberal, as Muslim. In short, I invite viewers to resist stereotypes."Source: lallaessaydi.com
Anna Laza
Romania
"I started to be in photography about 15 years ago. At that time I used to model and participate in shootings. But quite quickly I got bored with posing and was becoming more curious to stand on the other side of the camera. So slowly, but certainly I started my own way in the big universe of photography. I have principles in my shootings and always keep in focus my own style. It’s very important for an artist to both keep his/her unique style and progress in it at the same time. When I shoot women I avoid sexualizing them and even photographing naked bodies there’ll be no sexual vision in the image, but sensual and sophisticated." Anna Laza is an influential visual artist working in Art and Fashion photography. Her projects are focused on finding new innovative styles both shooting and post-processing. Her work has been rewarded and been exhibited internationally, she has won in a number of famous photo contests, including LensCulture, MonoVisions and Minimalist Awards. She is often published in photography magazines and regularly appears on prestigious jury lists for photographic events. Besides her own photography, she is also a creator of the magazine FotoSlovo, which highlights every year new emerging talents in photography from Russia & CIS counties. Metaphysical Body Landscapes "My childhood I've spent at my grandmother's house in Romania, near the Carpathian Mountains. Seeing human's strong bond with the earth, observing nature, landscapes around influenced my understanding of earth beauty and men's connexion with it. All being is something whole, indivisible. Earth, sky, plants, fruits, mountains, rivers, men, women, day, night- all merged together and flow into each other. This process is infinite and harmonious. Men came from the earth, lives on earth and will return to earth. And landscapes of the earth are seen in body curves. Growing up I moved to live in big cities, my grandmother passed away and I felt the loss of spiritual connexion with nature. To reconnect, I start to search the Landscapes in body in my photography."
Michael Nguyen
Germany
1958
Michael Nguyen is a photo artist and documentary photographer living near Munich, Germany. He takes photographs since 1988. He has been living in Munich since 2007 and moved to Gauting near Munich in 2015. After a long break in the cultural sector and after a sickness he has dedicated himself 2018 entirely to art again. He is an artist and a photographic poet who moves away from the mainstream, at the same time blurs genres. Most of the time, he focuses on small, ordinary things but through the subjective lens, he give them new perspectives, a new soul. I found my way to photography when I was a journalist for art and culture. One of my main subjects was "Greece", and there was a lot to do with photography. Then, in close cooperation with Dr. Matthias Harder (now Director of the Helmut Newton Foundation, Berlin), we laid the foundation for understanding the photographs of Herbert List and Walter Hege. Since then, photography has opened up a whole new world to me. Michael Nguyen roamed various cities in Bavaria during the Corona pandemic. A focus of his works since COVID-19 are urban landscapes as well as urban spaces in different cities. Urban spaces can all enrich a life between buildings. Since Covid-19, social interaction in the Urban landscapes with their spaces has lain fallow. Michael Nguyen conveys this sensitively in his mostly "deserted pictures“. Nguyen enters the motifs of his urban landscapes with a great deal of empathy. He makes the city, urban landscapes and architecture visible and documents them for posterity. With his artistic documentary photography he refers to a reality that we all know, but interprets this reality with his images. Everywhere I go, my eyes and senses are in motion. With my camera I capture little things that we often don't notice in everyday life. At the BIFA Budapest International Foto Awards 2020 his artwork "Antimatter" was awarded in December 2020 with Gold. In addition to his artistic activities, Michael Nguyen is in Editor-in-chief of the online magazine for photography and art: Tagree. End of March 2021 Michael Nguyen is nominated for the Tassilo Culture Prize of the Süddeutsche Zeitung. Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) is a German national daily newspaper. It is published in Munich. SZ is the second largest daily newspaper in Germany (as of October 2020). Promoting the cultural sector in the Munich area and motivating creative artists (these are the goals of the Tassilo Culture Prize), which the Süddeutsche Zeitung is offering for the eleventh time this year. The SZ Prize is named after the Bavarian Duke Tassilo. Statement Our head is round so that thinking can change direction - a sentence by the writer and artist Francis Picabia, who inspired me as a young man interested in art and the art scene. Art broadened my perspectives and saved my soul. In the 1980s and 1990s I was a journalist, poet, photographer and event manager. After almost two decades, I found my way back to art in the dark times of my life in early 2018. Yes, once again art has saved my soul. Everywhere I go, my eyes and senses are in motion. With my camera I capture little things that we often don't notice in everyday life. The power of design and the contradictions between art and life Munich's most colorful shopping center facade by Prof. Dr. Rainer Funke When will the containers be loaded? Such a question comes to mind when approaching the shopping mall built in 2008 from a distance. But stop! The intense colors of the seemingly stacked cubes and their sophisticated composition immediately give rise to other associations. As if someone had created a special order out of building blocks. One wonders whether this is already the perfect final state, as one tries to create with the Magic Cube, for example. The variety of combinations seems too great for this. Both that of the colors and that of the surface structures. Added to this are the manifold reflections and the astonishing visual dynamics. One does not seem to move past the building itself, but its facades begin to run, to turn, to flow. One is almost reminded of the dancing of the facades and interiors of baroque courtly buildings in downtown Munich. Instead of baroque figurativeness, however, here it is geometry. The closer one gets, the more details become visible. No, these are neither containers nor building blocks. The prismatic shape of the colored and reflective metal plates gives the building shell pronounced plasticity. One would not have expected so much sophistication from a shopping center, especially not here, where Munich hardly has anything typically Munich anymore and is fraying into the landscape. Whether red voluptuousness with bold blue, pastel sweetness, noble gold, lush, or pale green: the overwhelming power of color is, of course, the basic theme of the series of images, always in powerfully soaring, a contrast-rich vertical sequence of seemingly endless parallels. Michael Nguyen's imposing photographs take us very close to this color organ. They make us stand at attention on the parade ground of the verticals. Especially the severity of the composition in detail becomes a theme. This gesture appears once again mercilessly emphasized by Nguyen's camera, as refractions and disturbances emerge from close up. Two framed, square blue lockers, for instance, according to their dimensions probably placed on a blue ground with metallic fittings not colored blue - the attempt to hide them has failed. Nguyen places them in the center. The wonderful striped pattern is disturbed in this way, less perfect and also a bit more lifelike. We experience something similar with the door locks (here the hinges additionally form a counter-rotating rhythm), the intercom, and the stickers on two other images. As a photographer, Michael Nguyen is as uninhibitedly consistent as the facades depicted want to be but cannot be in the storm of life and entropy. The mirrored surfaces evoke almost poetic associations when nature and urban space gently and carefully combine in them (in one picture, the soft shapes of the snow remains are added). Here, too, Nguyen is provocative. One picture is intended to irritate through eight seemingly irregular horizontal cuts in the surrounding colour surfaces. And, of course, dirt and trash. Such a design focused on geometric color perfection is highly moralistic. It points its moral finger in full size at the viewers, admonishing us not to disturb order, to preserve perfection and cleanliness. When we then perceive small discarded things and in addition a dirty floor or even dirty facade surfaces, it hits us with full force. At the same time, we are referred to the particularity and artistic rapture of the facade. Even a traffic sign, placed somewhat askew and in turn, defaced with remnants of a sticker, emphasizes the distance of the art object from life. Even the clash of different grid dimensions of the facade strips and the paving of the sidewalk draws attention and distances. Here nothing has grown out of the ground, where it has been landed. This impression is further emphasized by the filigree grid structure of the surfaces pointing to the left. If then still objects stand before the work of art, like a somewhat demolished container for the clothes collection, an ashtray (nevertheless in strict vertical-orthogonal high-grade steel form and exactly aligned), or admittedly color-coordinated garbage can one wished a ban mile for objects around the building. People appear in two photos. They make us breathe a sigh of relief: yes, the whole thing is made for people. The two people in a picture, shot somewhat voyeuristically behind a lamppost, could, however, already be a bit tighter, more upright, and perhaps defilade past the facade in step! The man with his shopping cart, on the other hand, seems to want to save himself from the austerity of the backdrop into the organic world of the leafy settlement. In an impressive way, Michael Nguyen presents us with this photo series of a building as a work of art and thus points us to the power of design but also to the contradictions between art and life. Prof. Dr. Rainer Funke researches and publishes on design-theoretical issues from a semiotic, cultural-theoretical and philosophical perspective and works as a design consultant for companies. He teaches design theory at the Potsdam University of Applied Sciences. After studying philosophy at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, he earned his doctorate in semiotics and subsequently worked in design-theoretical research at Burg Giebichenstein - University of Art and Design Halle. In 1992, he was appointed to Potsdam as the founding dean of the Department of Design. Rainer Funke was the owner of a design agency, chairman of the board of the Brandenburg Design Center, and visiting professor at the University of Art and Industrial Design Linz. Design theory is supposed to motivate in an enlightening way by conveying methods for the analysis of design, especially for the manifold relations between perceptible forms of artifacts and their meanings in the context of the process of use. Design theory explicates modes of action and historically founded developmental relationships of design and their various influencing factors. (Prof. Dr. Rainer Funke) Exclusive Interview with Michael Nguyen
Sean Gallagher
United Kingdom
1979
Sean Gallagher is a British photographer and filmmaker, who has been in Asia for over 15 years. Based out of Beijing, China, he specialises in covering issues surrounding the climate crisis and other global environmental issues for some of the world's leading news outlets. He creates innovative photographic, video and multimedia projects that highlight individual's stories from communities that are affected by issues such as climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution, desertification and deforestation. He is a 8-time recipient of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting travel grant, his images are represented by the National Geographic Image Collection and he is a Fellow of the UK Royal Geographical Society. He graduated in Zoology from university in the United Kingdom and it is his background in science that has led to much of his work being focused on communicating environmental issues through visual storytelling. His selected awards include; Environmental Photographer of the Year - Changing Environments Prize (2019), Resilience Science Journalism Fellow - Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at City University New York (2019), Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute Science Journalism Fellow (2017), Environmental Film of the Year - Winner - 'The Toxic Price of Leather', Environmental Photographer of the Year Competition (2014), Published 'Meltdown', a multimedia eBook documenting China's environmental crises in the early 21st Century (2013). Photography and Climate Change Awareness
Bill Burke
United States
1943
William M. Burke is an American photographer and educator known for his 20 years of documentary photography in Vietnam and neighboring countries, detailing the effects of war. Bill Burke was born in 1943 in Derby, Connecticut. In 1966, he received a B.A. degree in Art History from Middlebury College. He continued studies at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), and received a B.F.A degree in 1968 and a MFA degree in 1970, while studying with photographer Harry Callahan. In 1971, he started teaching at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. In 1978, he became a Guggenheim fellow in photography. His work is included in many public collections including the Smithsonian American Art Museum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Princeton University Art Museum, Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, among others.Source: Wikipedia Since 1971 he has taught at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. While he has contributed to the Christian Science Monitor and published his work in Fortune and Esquire, Burke prefers to present personal travelogue images in series in books and exhibitions. His monographs include They Shall Cast Out Demons (1983), Bill Burke Portraits (1987), I Want to Take Picture (1987), and Mine Fields (1994). He has exhibited alone and in groups at ICP and elsewhere. Bill Burke, who failed his draft physical, was spared the experience of many of his contemporaries who fought in the Vietnam War. Since the 1970s he has photographed his travels through Asia not to document military atrocities, but to record his personal reactions. His work reflects a fascination with historical events and sites, yet his interest is broader than the topical documentation of photojournalism. The independent spirit of works such as Robert Frank's The Americans (1959) informs Burke's approach to his subjects: he recognizes his outsider status, and the black-and-white photographs of his many trips to Cambodia are as much about the personal impact and experience of being a witness as they are about the cultures he visits. This visitor status is important: Burke makes no pretense trying to develop a photo essay with political overtones, in the tradition of American documentary photography of the 1930s.Source: International Center of Photography
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