Photoville Youth Artist Exchanges bring together youth photographers and professional photographers for engaging conversations. This exchange features artists whose work looks outward to explore and investigate their surroundings, communities, and pressing social issues within them.
Presenters: Amanda Vargas Andy Cheng Irma Bohórquez-Geisler
Moderators: Jessica Bal
Photoville Festival 2021 Sessions On-demand recordings are made possible thanks to our partner, PhotoWings.
Photoville Youth Artist Exchanges bring together youth photographers and professional photographers for engaging conversations on Zoom about their visual stories. This exchange features artists whose work looks outward to explore and investigate their surroundings, communities, and pressing social issues within them.
This panel is part of Photoville Education. See the full lineup here.
Amanda Vargas is a Brooklyn resident with a Puerto Rican-Spanish background. She gained an appreciation for photography in her childhood and began capturing images at age 12. Vargas is now a senior studying photography and film at Digital Arts and Cinema Technology High School, and has previously shown work in the 2020 Photoville exhibition. She strives to capture and share her perspective on the world using photography and other camera-based media. Outside of school, Vargas’s work features environmental landscapes. She also creates short film projects based on current events.
I am sixteen years old and I am a junior. I enjoy making art and being creative. Besides photography, I love drawing and painting. Using a real camera is a new thing for me, but now I realize how fun it is to hold one in your hand and take photos, using camera allows me to create art in just a second!
Irma Bohórquez-Geisler is a photographer, biologist, professor, traditional craftsperson, and cultural leader for Mexican-Americans on Staten Island. She immigrated to New York from Mexico City in 1991. She holds a doctorate in ecological entomology from Oxford University. She is the founder, artistic and program director of the annual Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) festival. Her photographs were featured in the New York Times in 2016, the 12th Julia Annual Margaret Cameron Award in Barcelona, and the first and second Alice Austen Triennial in 2019. She was awarded the Gabriela Mistral, Julia de Burgos, Frida Kahlo Award in 2017 as a photographer and cultural leader who preserves and promotes Mexican values and cultural heritage for younger generations of Mexican-Americans in New York. In 2011, New York City Councilwoman Debi Rose conferred on Bohórquez-Geisler the Staten Island Women Who Preserve History Award. Her photographs have been exhibited at numerous contemporary art galleries and museums. She has been awarded many grants for her photography, and for presenting Mexican traditions in the community, as well as many museums and schools.
Jessica Bal is a documentary artist, educator, and arts organizer passionate about projects that involve interdisciplinary collaboration and reciprocal approaches to storytelling. Bal’s work has been supported by the International Women’s Media Foundation, Magnum Foundation, The Polis Project, and Fledgling Fund, and published in The New York Times, BuzzFeed News, VICE, The Miami Herald, Narratively, and others. She coordinates education programming for Photoville and has taught photography to graduate students as well as middle and high school students in New York City. She also manages the digital archive of photographer Susan Meiselas. She received her master’s degree from the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism and holds a B.A. in english and art history from Tufts University.
Photoville is a New York-based non-profit organization that works to promote a wider understanding and increased access to the art of photography and visual storytelling by producing a free annual festival, amplifying impactful narratives, and connecting artists to a wide global audience by activating accessible public spaces via large scale exhibitions.
Proudly devoted to cultivating strategic partnerships and creative collaborations with community spirit, UPI approaches its mission of cultivating a wide, diverse audience for powerful photographic narratives by working closely with visual artists, city agencies, nonprofit organizations and educators worldwide to create new exhibition and public art opportunities that showcase thought-provoking, challenging, and exceptional photography. For more information about Photoville visit, www.photoville.com