The images are part of a series of photographs that I have taken over the past two years at various beaches and state parks in Staten Island. Utilizing black and white, I was able to create wistful and romantic images that capture the essence of the environment, and the ambiguity that lies ahead. The title, We Are Too Dull-eyed to See that Beauty, is an excerpt from the poem Zen Circle by the Persian poet, Rumi, and is the inspiration behind these images. The ethereal, uncertain beauty described in Zen Circle is in some ways akin to Staten Island’s precarious natural landscape.

Artist Bios

  • Zahra Pars

    Zahra Pars was born in Tehran, Iran, and raised in the United States. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California at Berkeley, where she studied photography under Lewis Watts and painting under John Zurier, Katherine Sherwood, and Mary Lovelace O’Neal. Pars also pursued graduate studies in art history at the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University.


  • The Alice Austen House

    The Alice Austen House

    A vibrant cultural center, the Alice Austen House keeps the bold spirit of the early American photographer alive by presenting changing exhibitions of Austen’s pioneering historic photographs and of contemporary photography, providing education programs for students, offering a range of cultural programs for the public.

  • Photoville


    Founded in 2011 in Brooklyn, NY, Photoville was built on the principles of addressing cultural equity and inclusion, which we are always striving for, by ensuring that the artists we exhibit are diverse in gender, class, and race.

    In pursuit of its mission, Photoville produces an annual, city-wide open air photography festival in New York City, a wide range of free educational community initiatives, and a nationwide program of public art exhibitions.

    By activating public spaces, amplifying visual storytellers, and creating unique and highly innovative exhibition and programming environments, we join the cause of nurturing a new lens of representation.

    Through creative partnerships with festivals, city agencies, and other nonprofit organizations, Photoville offers visual storytellers, educators, and students financial support, mentorship, and promotional & production resources, on a range of exhibition opportunities.

    For more information about Photoville visit,

  • NYC Parks

    NYC Parks

    NYC Parks is the steward of more than 30,000 acres of land — 14 percent of New York City — including more than 5,000 individual properties ranging from Coney Island Beach and Central Park to community gardens  and Greenstreets. We operate more than 800 athletic fields and nearly 1,000 playgrounds, 1,800 basketball courts, 550 tennis courts, 65 public pools, 51 recreational facilities, 15 nature centers, 14 golf courses, and 14 miles of beaches. We care for 1,200 monuments and 23 historic house museums. We look after 600,000 street trees, and two million more in parks. We are New York City’s principal providers of recreational and athletic facilities and programs. We are home to free concerts, world-class sports events, and cultural festivals.

We Are Too Dull-Eyed to See That Beauty

 archive : 2023

Featuring: Zahra Pars

Curated by: Victoria Munro

Presented by: The Alice Austen House & Photoville
  • The Alice Austen House
  • Photoville
  • NYC Parks


View Location Details South Beach Promenade

656 Father Capodanno Blvd
Staten Island, NY 10305

Number 89 on the official photoville map Click to download this year's map
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