Photographer Nancy Siesel will speak at The Williston Northampton School on Thursday, February 23, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. Ms. Siesel’s visit is part of the School’s annual Photographers’ Lecture Series.
A former staff photographer for The New York Times, Ms. Siesel has a deep interest in the transformative power of documentary photography.
That interest was sparked by a project Ms. Siesel began at the School of Visual Arts about a former classmate who worked in Times Square as a topless dancer, and who later succumbed to AIDS before her 25th birthday. The project, entitled Solitary Dancer, was a personally painful and cathartic undertaking that spanned seven years.
Ms. Siesel has twice been awarded fellowships from the New York Foundation of the Arts. In 2008, she was awarded her first Brooklyn Arts Council grant for a project entitled View in a Room. In 2009, she was awarded a BAC grant for Kashmir Cross Culture, a personal narrative and a collaborative project of her landscapes of this profoundly beautiful and contested region, with conflict photos and video by Kashmiri photojournalists. She was a recipient of a 2010 DCA grant from BAC for Last Rites, Brooklyn. This project portrays rituals of death, mourning and remembrance among Brooklyn’s diverse ethnic and religious communities.
Ms. Siesel is currently in production on her first documentary film, The Man Corporations Love to Hate.
Williston presents its Photographers’ Lecture Series in the spring. Each year, an outstanding group of guest documentary photographers, photojournalists, commercial photographers, photo editors, and others involved in the field, individually visit the campus to show examples of their work and offer insight and opportunity for discussion. All presentations are open to the school community as well as the public. Williston photography students spend classroom time with the guest, receiving technical and creative guidance in advanced photography.
Over the years, distinguished guests have included a broad range of photographic influences including: award-winning photographer Steve McCurry, who is well known for his National Geographic magazine cover of a girl from Afghanistan, internationally known former New York Times photojournalist Ed Keating, portrait photographer and photojournalist Nina Berman, and award-winning Canon Explorer of Light photographer Seth Resnick, who has been lauded for his corporate and editorial work.