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NYU Tisch Photography and The Nathan Cummings Foundation Cohost Exhibit on Collaboration in Art

March 10, 2014
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**Media are invited to attend the opening reception on Thursday, March 27th, from 6-8 p.m. RSVP required to attend: exhibits@nathancummings.org**

The Department of Photography & Imaging at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and The Nathan Cummings Foundation will present Social in Practice: The Art of Collaboration, an innovative exhibition curated by Deborah Willis, University Professor and Chair of the Department of Photography & Imaging, and Hank Willis Thomas, Photography & Imaging alumnus, class of 1998. The exhibition, focused on the use of community collaboration and activism in art making, will go on display at The Nathan Cummings Foundation from March 27 through October 2 before moving to the Gulf & Western and 8th Floor Galleries at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts from October 16 to November 29.

The Nathan Cummings Foundation is located at 475 Tenth Avenue (between 36th and 37th Streets), 14th floor. Reservations are required for viewing and can be made by emailing exhibits@nathancummings.org. For more information, visit www.photo.tisch.nyu.edu or call 212.998.1930.

The multimedia exhibition features artists, collectives and organizations based in New York and around the world. All projects presented in the exhibition share themes of community building and social activism and depend on collaboration to achieve their impact. Through portraiture, documentary photography, audio-visual installations, personal narratives and community initiatives, Social in Practice: The Art of Collaboration reflects a wide span of individuals’ pursuits to use art as a platform for greater conversation.

Below is a list of some of the artists and organizations that are highlighted in the exhibit:

  • Sonia Louise Davis facilitates sidewalk family portraits to document life along a Harlem street.
  • Russell Frederick mentors inner-city teenage boys in an attempt to guide them away from violence and provide them support and leadership. 
  • Wyatt Gallery collects and organizes iPhone photos from photographers who captured the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
  • Lonnie Graham’s garden project addresses the issues of nourishment, subsistence and prejudice in African American communities.
  • Eric Gottesman works alongside young people in Ethiopia whose lives had been affected by HIV/AIDS, producing photographs and videos to raise awareness about the epidemic.
  • Ayasha Guerin records the triumphs of Bushwick’s Afro-Caribbean community in beautifying their neighborhood.
  • Jamila Mohamad Hooker exchanges postcards to help eliminate the xenophobia associated with Muslims and the Arabic language.
  • Kristina Knipe tells a photographic narrative of the personal struggles of people who have engaged in self-harm.
  • Lorie Novak’s photographs explore how art can be used to pursue activism and intervention, particularly in regard to social issues in Mexico.
  • Paul Owen’s photographs bring attention to the violence against women in Mexico.
  • Lara Stein Pardo’s Mobile Public Studio encourages people to have their portrait taken spontaneously in a public space.
  • Richard Renaldi builds unexpected relationships between strangers by asking them to pose together intimately for a portrait.
  • Noelle Théard’s audio and photographic collaboration aims to improve the harsh living conditions of three Brooklyn residences. 
  • Hong-An Truong’s video and audio installations record experimental educational and artistic exercises.
  • Christine Wong-Yap’s make things (happen) distributes free activity kits to encourage the public to participate in artistic endeavor.
  • Be The Witness is a campaign organized by graduate students at New York University that works to exonerate wrongfully convicted individuals.
  • The Laundromat Project brings art into everyday public spaces, reinforcing the use of creativity in maintaining community networks.
  • Question Bridge Interactive’s trans-media initiative seeks to promote dialogue between black males of all backgrounds in order to redefine black male identity in America.


The Department of Photography and Imaging at the Tisch School of the Arts is a four-year B.F.A. program centered on the making and understanding of images. Students explore photo-based imagery as personal and cultural expression. Situated within New York University, the program offers students both the intensive focus of an arts curriculum and a serious and broad grounding in the liberal arts.

The Nathan Cummings Foundation is rooted in the Jewish tradition and committed to democratic values and social justice, including fairness, diversity, and community. We seek to build a socially and economically just society that values nature and protects the ecological balance for future generations; promotes humane health care; and fosters arts and culture that enriches communities.

Type: Press Release

Press Contact: Shonna Keogan | (212) 998-6796

Tisch Department of Photography & Imaging spotlights ativism art at new exhibition, "Social in Practice:  The Art of Collaboration"

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