Due to the coronavirus pandemic, academic institutions in New York City have altered how they pursue commencement ceremonies this year. Schools have either cancelled, postponed, or developed virtual ceremonies for 2020 graduates.
The traditional, in-person commencement ceremony is a rewarding moment for most graduates, celebrating several months or years of strenuous work. Any commencement ceremony outside of the norm means missing out on fulfilling and memorable moments, with proud family members and friends.
From pre-k to medical school, this work highlights New York City’s spring graduates and their diverse experiences at the height of the pandemic, during a significant time in their academic careers.
Elias Williams is a New York City-based photographer whose work honors under-represented people in the United States. Through portraiture and long-form essays, he studies the cultural and historical significance of everyday people within these communities.
His photographs have been showcased at the International Photo Festival Leiden, the Morris Museum, and The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Elias is also a contributing photographer to AARP, Bloomberg Markets, NPR, National Geographic, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal among others.
Williams is also a 2017 Magnum Foundation Photography and Social Justice Fellow, and 2017 recipient of the Bronx Council on the Arts’s Bronx Recognizes Its Own (BRIO) award, and he is currently participating in the 2020 World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass.
Times Square Arts
Times Square Arts, the public art program of the Times Square Alliance, is the largest public platform for innovative contemporary performance and visual arts. With 312,000 daily visitors to New York City’s Times Square, it is one of the highest profile public arts programs and since its inception, Times Square Arts has featured works by a diverse group of nearly two hundred prominent and emerging artists.
Pandemic Class of 2020
Featuring: Elias WilliamsView Location Details Number 64 on the official photoville map Click to download this year's map Times Square
Broadway, between 44th and 45th Street
Location open 24 hours
EDUCATION DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
How does the photographer use posture, light, and environment to create compelling portraits?
Which story do you relate to the most?
How has the pandemic changed school for you or your family/friends? What do you miss? What are you grateful for?