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 photographer born, raised and working in New York City. Through long-term portrait-based projects he celebrates historically underrepresented communities referencing lived experiences through the nuances of music, pride, race and resilience. His photographs have been showcased at the Photoville Festival, International Photo Festival Leiden, the Morris Museum, and The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and the Museum of the City of New York. His clients include Apple, Bloomberg Markets, Essence, HuffPost, Instagram, National Geographic, The New York Times, The New Yorker, TIME and The Wall Street Journal among others. Williams is also a recipient of the Bronx Council on the Arts’s Bronx Recognizes Its Own (BRIO) award (2017), Magnum Foundation Photography and Social Justice Fellowship (2017), World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass participant (2020) and Center of Photography at Woodstock Artist-in-Residence (2022).
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 Williams
LocationsView Location Details Times Square
Broadway, between 44th and 45th StreetNumber 64 on the official photoville map Click to download this year's map
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?