Rashod Taylor, Donavon Smallwood, Christian K. Lee, Golden: The Arnold Newman Prize for New Directions in Photographic Portraiture
October 5 - October 24
Examining Themes of Race, Culture, Family, and Legacy, Taylor’s Intimate Work Will Be on View at The Griffin Museum through October 24, 2021
ROCKPORT, ME – The Arnold Newman Prize for New Directions in Photographic Portraiture is a $20,000 prize awarded annually by Maine Media Workshops + College to a photographer whose work demonstrates a compelling new vision in photographic portraiture.
Taylor’s award-winning work entitled Little Black Boy–modeled in part after a family photo album–offers not only a window into his family story, but also into the Black American experience.
About the Winner: Rashod Taylor (b.1985) is an emerging contemporary photographer who uses the frameworks and methods allied with the history of fine art portraiture to contemplate his own family’s narrative within contemporary America. His photographs are deeply rooted to photographic traditions and break new ground. Taylor is attached to analog practice–the large format camera, the slowing down and honoring of the moment, and the attraction to rich the lush prints produced from his home darkroom–all such factors underline his sentimentality, thoughtfulness, and ally him to the history of family portraiture while adding to its legacy;its future. Taylor attended Murray State University and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Art with a specialization in Fine Art Photography. He has since exhibited and been published nationally and internationally.
Implied in the title, Taylor pays particular attention to the relationship between father and son in his series. “As I document my son, I am interested in examining his childhood and the world he navigates. At the same time, these images show my own unspoken anxiety and fragility as it pertains to the wellbeing of my son and fatherhood,” explains Taylor. “He can’t live a carefree childhood as he deserves; there is a weight that comes with his blackness, a weight that he is not ready to bear.”
2021 Finalists: The finalists this year include Donavon Smallwood with Languor, Christian K. Lee with Armed Doesn’t Mean Dangerous, and GOLDEN with On Learning How to Live.
About the Award: The Prize is funded by the Arnold and Augusta Newman Foundation and administered by Maine Media Workshops + College. The influential and revered photographer and educator, Arnold Newman, enjoyed a decades’ long association with Maine Media, where he taught numerous photographic workshops over the years. The Arnold and Augusta Newman Foundation has continued his legacy at the College, supporting scholarships, media production, a distinguished lecture series, and the prestigious Arnold Newman Prize in Photographic Portraiture–a cash prize of $20,000 accompanied by an exhibition awarded annually to a photographer whose work demonstrates a compelling new vision in photography.
About the Selection Process: Selected by a jury of world-renowned photographers Daniella Zalcman (2021 Catchlight Fellow, grantee of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, a fellow with the International Women’s Media Foundation, a National Geographic Society grantee, and the founder of Women Photograph), Brent Lewis (co-founder of Diversify Photo, a photo editor at The New York Times, working on the Business Desk), and Lisa Volpe (Associate Curator, Photography at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston), each juror brought to the selection process a unique perspective guided by distinguished insight, analysis, and integrity.
About the Exhibition: The Griffin Museum of Photography will exhibit Taylor’s award-winning work, as well as that of the finalists, from October 5 through 24. On October 7, the awards ceremony and reception will take place.
About the Arnold & Augusta Newman Foundation: Thanks to a generous gift of $1.125M from the Arnold and Augusta Newman Foundation, the largest philanthropic contribution in the history of Maine Media College, the resources from this permanent endowment will be used to cultivate and celebrate the photographic arts. “Arnold Newman had a profound influence on photographers in the latter half of the 20th Century,” noted Maine Media President Michael Mansfield. “That his legacy continues to shape conversations around photography, to support new generations of image makers – portraiture in the 21st century – is truly inspiring.”
About Maine Media: Founded in 1973 as a summer school for photographers, Maine Media Workshops + College is now a not-for-profit degree granting institution offering more than 400 workshops, certificate programs, and master classes in the fields of photography, film, media art, printmaking, creative writing, and book arts, and serves nearly 2,000 national and international students annually on a 20 acre campus in Rockport, Maine.
Visit the Griffin
The Griffin Museum of Photography is open Tuesday through Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.
General admission is $9 for adults; $5 for seniors. Members and children under 12 are admitted free. Admission is free to all every Thursday, 2 to 4 p.m. For more information, call 781.729.1158, or visit www.griffinmuseum.org.
About the Griffin Museum –
The Griffin Museum of Photography was founded in 1992 to provide a forum for the exhibition of both historic and contemporary photography. The Museum houses three galleries dedicated solely to the exploration of photographic arts: The Main Gallery, which features rotating exhibits from some of the world’s leading photographers, the Atelier Gallery and Griffin Gallery dedicated to showcasing the works of prominent, up-and-coming artists. The Griffin is also home to the extensive archives of museum founder and world-renowned photojournalist Arthur Griffin. The Griffin Museum of Photography also maintains 2 additional satellite galleries: Lafayette City Center Passageway in Boston Downtown Crossing, in Winchester @WinCam at Winchester Community Access and Media. For more on the Griffin Museum of Photography, visit www.griffinmuseum.org.