Mary Engel is an award winning filmmaker, the director of the Orkin/Engel Film and Photo Archive, (which includes her parents Ruth Orkin and Morris Engel) and the founder and president of the American Photography Archives Group, APAG.
Engel, (for her role with APAG) is a recent recipient from the Griffin Museum of the Focus Spotlight Award in 2017. The Spotlight award is given to an organization “that consistently shines a light on photography and has created a far reaching impact in the field.”
She has been the director of the Ruth Orkin Photo Archive since its inception in 1985. Engel is responsible for all aspects of running the archive including sales, licensing, marketing, legal issues, and other areas. She works with photography galleries, museums and auction houses throughout the United States and abroad. She has published four catalogs of photography.
Engel’s first film “Ruth Orkin: Frames of Life” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 1996, and screened at many other festivals. The film was selected by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as one of the “Outstanding Documentaries of 1996.” Her film “Morris Engel: The Independent” premiered on Turner Classic Movies in 2009. Engel is a contributing producer on the feature length documentary, “Ordinary Miracles: The Photo League’s New York” 2011.
She has been published in The New York Times, the American Society of Media Photographers magazine, Photo District News and Film Comment. She has lectured at Harvard University, New York University, Brooklyn Historical Society, St. Louis Art Museum, the Central Park Conservancy, and has appeared at the Avon Theater, (Stamford, CT), Loews Jersey (Jersey City, NJ) Film Forum (New York, NY) Metrograph (New York, NY) Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY) and the Egyptian Theater (Park City, Utah).
Suzie Katz is a photographer, speaker, educator and is giving back to the world that has given her so much by creating and running an educational non-profit organization called PhotoWings. Our mission is to highlight and help facilitate the power of photography to influence the world. We help photography to be better understood, created, utilized, seen, and saved.
Through PhotoWings she concentrates on bringing the photos, knowledge and skills around photography to the world both inside and outside the photo silo across generations, cultures, and disciplines. We recognize this wisdom honed by the world’s best visual storytellers and those who use photography are also important to others’ work and life. These ideas can be utilized for self-discovery, better communication, critical thinking, visual literacy, resilience, storytelling and understanding context among others that are also valued in social emotional learning and executive function skills. To document and more richly utilize that legacy we’ve created, along with our innovative partners,100’s of hours of interviews, presentations, and other educational content incorporating these ideas for replication, adaptation, or inspiration.
Suzie also thinks a lot about addressing the often-under-appreciated value of photographs. To do that, however, involves saving images from being lost to the world. Pictures that may not seem important today can be deeply important later to loved ones, for multiple uses in education, and valued as history. So many photos are tossed, lost to technology in what is sometimes referred to as the “digital dark ages”, or destroyed by the elements that they’re no longer available, so an important aspect of our work is to proactively address this timely issue. As photo curator Malcolm Daniel states “Each time we lose a photograph that has power, we’ve lost the opportunity to be changed by it”.