The Center Awards: Director’s Choice 2nd Place Winner: Tara Cronin
Congratulations to Tara Cronin for her Second Place win in CENTER’S Director’s Choice Award for her project, Thens. The Choice Awards recognize outstanding photographers working in all processes and subject matter. Images can be singular or part of a series. Winners receive admission to Review Santa Fe portfolio reviews and participation in a winner’s exhibition at Pictura Gallery in Bloomington, IN.
Monica Allende, Artistic Director, Getxo Photo and Independent Curator shares her insights:
I have been very impressed by the overall quality of the submissions. The works represented a wide range of visual narratives, conceptual perspectives and thought processes. It was inspiring to see stories artistically reframing topics at the core of human inquiry and quotidianity contributing to their originality.
The winner “The Maria Project” by Lesia Maruschak is a visual response to the Holodomor in Ukraine where millions died of famine in 1932-33 following the implementation of Stalin’s agricultural policies. Maruschak’s work reflects on the visual memory of history, and the role of the artist in the decolonization of narratives which are critical issues in photography debate.
It has been an enriching experience to discover previously unknown works which are now firmly included in my knowledge vault.
Monica Allende is an independent curator, consultant, strategist and educator. She is the Artistic Director of GetxoPhoto Photo Festival and Landskrona Foto Festival she has collaborated with WeTransfer as a Creative Producer and Consultant, she was the director of FORMAT17 International Photography Festival, she collaborated with Screen Projects and is producing and curating several multidisciplinary projects with artists and digital platforms worldwide.
For nearly a century, within psychiatric and medical establishments, members of the LGBTQ community were characterized within the psychiatric diagnostic manual, the DSM, as mentally ill, and treated as such by the community at large. I myself, have also been characterized as mentally ill, and have suffered through a number of the same mental institutions which were once used to house members of the LGBTQ community.
This project highlights the history of mischaracterizing LGBTQ members as mentally ill, psychotic, unstable, unhinged, and “crazy” so that society can remember what this community had to struggle through to reach their current status of equality.
It also touches on the winding road of any healing process and addresses the societal stigmas toward real mental instability, further obstructing individuals from finding their path toward a peace.
Tara Anne Cronin is an artist and writer focusing on photography, works on paper, installation and book-arts. She received a BA in Writing from New School University, an MFA from the International Center of Photography (ICP)/Bard Program, and has Twice-earned the ICP Director’s Fellowship Award.
Having exhibited throughout New York City, North America and internationally, recent exhibitions include a group show at Foley Gallery in New York, NY with PDN Magazine in 2016, a group show at the Kahilu Theatre in Waimea, HI, in 2018, and placing as a Finalist in the FRESH 2018 prize with Klompching Gallery in DUMBO, NY. Tara recently was awarded 2nd Place for the Director’s Choice Award 2019 with CENTER at Santa Fe.
Tara and her partner Ed took on the oldest Organically Certified Kona coffee farm in 2015 to apply their agricultural technology and she is now a coffee roaster and farmer as well. She sits on the board of directors of the Society for Kona’s Education and Art and has helped teach with International Center of Photography, Donkey Mill Art Center on Big Island, HI, and also is a member of Donkey Mill’s Exhibitions Committee.
Tara is nomadic, working between New York, New Jersey, and primarily in Hawai’i in the United States.
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