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Posted in FYI


Black Portraitures II_Save the Date_Mailchimp Header WITH Corners

The ‘BLACK PORTRAITURE{S} II: Imaging the Black Body and Re-Staging Histories’ conference took place earlier this summer at Villa La Pietra, home of the NYU Florence program. This was the 6th conference in 6 years organized in large part by DPI Chair Deborah Willis, exploring perspectives on the historical and contemporary role played by photography, art, film, literature, and music in referencing the image of the black body in the West. The conference was hugely successful with more than 580 people in attendance including New York City’s First Lady Chirlane McCray.

Hat tip to DPI administrators Edgar Castillo, Brandy Dyess, Patricia McKelvin, Abi Roucka for their hard work on the front, middle and backend of this endeavor. Other DPI community members in attendance included Dean Allyson Green, Shelley Rice, Ulrich Baer, Mary Schmidt Campbell, Zalika Abdul-Azim, Claudia Mann, Nicole Motta, Kalia Brooks, Hank Willis Thomas and former DPI admin M. Liz Andrews.

Click through for more details, videos of the presentations and performances, and for links to photos and discussions inspired by and included in BLACK PORTRAITURE{S} II >>>



Image by Deborah Willis

Posted in Department Events, Faculty News Tagged , , , , , |

DPI Chair Deborah Willis Featured on HuffPo


Following on the heels of “Black Portraiture{s} II, Imaging The Black Body and Re-Staging Histories” at NYU Florence, the Huffington Post’s Jacqueline Bishop has written up an informative essay and interview with DPI Chair Deb Willis. In the post the two discuss a wide range of topics from the aforementioned event in Florence to Deb’s influences growing up, bad teachers and the dedication it takes to make it in the art world as a woman of color. Read the whole HuffPo article on Deb Willis here.

Image by Deborah Willis


Posted in Faculty News Tagged , , , |

Alumni Update: Wrapping up May 2015

Here’s your one-stop shop for the new work, projects, events and exhibitions done by our DPI alums in the month of May.

• Damaso Reyes (’01) has his project ‘The Europeans’ written up in Art Link

• Kieran Kesner (’14) won a Webby award for Best Use of Photography, for his project ‘Eyewitness to Hell,’ photographs of the Ebola crisis in Liberia. Kieran also has “Steps of Glory: The 12-hour endurance test to honor U.S. soldiers” up on Mashable.

• Jonno Rattman (’14) had a large gallery images accompanying an article on about this year’s Preakness.

•  Cofounded by alum Alexandra Diracles (’07) , Vidcode has a new project that is free to play. “Draw on your video while learning about booleans!”

• Richard Renaldi (’90) has a wonderful travelogue from Burma in Condé Nast Traveler featuring stunning portraits in his classic style, with motifs of his “Touching Strangers“.

• Shoshana Zambryski-Stachel (’12) has cofounded, and is celebrating the grand opening of, Dimond Mine Arts in Oakland, CA. Dimond Mine Arts will feature workshops, classes, quality art supplies, and of course, art!

• Hank Willis Thomas (’98) was included in the NY Posts’s ‘7 hot NYC artists you need to know right now.’

• The collaborative and interactive project by faculty member Bayeté Ross Smith and alum Hank Willis Thomas, ‘Question Bridge,’ received the 2015 Infinity Award for New Media.

Fotografia Magazine interviewed Sara Macel (’03) about her book ‘May the Road Rise to Meet You.’

Posted in Alumni Work Tagged , , , , |

Congratulations DPI 2015 Graduates!


We recently said farewell to our most recent class of DPI graduates. DPI had a reception here on the 8th floor and graduates also celebrated at the Tisch Salute at Madison Square Garden. Here you can find a gallery of photos and snaps from those wonderful events. Bon voyage friends, write us often and come back to visit us soon! Click through for a gallery of our 2015 DPI graduation celebration!

Posted in Department Events Tagged , , , , |

Hank Willis Thomas – Unbranded

ALUM Hank Willis Thomas current NYC exhibition, Unbranded: A Century of White Women, 1915-2015,  at Jack Shainman Gallery in Chelsea closes tomorrow May 23. It has gotten a huge amount of press which we have excerpted and linked to below.

The essays from the excellent exhibition catalog are online at Africanah

[excerpt from The truth about adverts: selling the White Woman in The Guardian]

Hank Willis Thomas’s work examines the ways in which advertising has fabricated notions of gender and race, and then convinced us all to buy into them. “I always talk about racism as the most successful advertising campaign of all time,” Thomas says. His work serves as a sort of counter-campaign; one that aims to muddy the myths we’ve been marketed. “I want to complicate the way that I’m seen and the way that I look at other people.”

Chained to perfection, 1965/2015. Photograph courtesy Hank Willis Thomas and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

Chained to perfection, 1965/2015. courtesy HWT & Jack Shainman Gallery, NY

His latest exhibition is Unbranded: A Century of White Women, 1915-2015, in New York. It follows Unbranded: Reflections in Black by Corporate America, 1968-2000, his 2007 exhibition that surveyed the branding of blackness. A Century of White Women examines how advertising has helped construct gender ideals over the last 100 years. If racism is the most successful advertising campaign of all time, then sexism, as the work illustrates, isn’t far behind.

[read more]


More Press

You don’t have to try so hard!, 1958. Artist Hank Willis Thomas and NPR’s Linda Wertheimer used this “unbranded” ad from 1958 — with a man mischievously smiling as a woman laps up beer — as an example of the growing sexualization of women in ads from the late ’50s.

Interview on NPR

 HyperallericThe Unchanging Portrayal of White Women in 100 years of advertisements

Brooklyn Rail: Hank Willis Thomas in conversation with Allie Biswas

HANK WILLIS THOMAS, an essay by Shelley Rice

ForbesHank Willis Thomas reveals truths about women in advertising

IJ Review

NY Magazine

Musee Magazine

Town and Country Magazine

Huffington Post

Posted in Alumni Work Tagged , , , |

2015 Senior Reviews

Congratulations to our Class of 2015. As they participate in graduation celebrations, it seems like a good time to report on our annual Senior Portfolio Reviews where graduating seniors meet with an exciting range of reviewers ranging from curators, photo editors to commercial agents to discuss their work.

We thank our reviewers for their time, generosity, and insight:

  • Samantha Adler, Photo Editor,
  • Marcia Allert, Director of Photography, Daily Beast
  • Sam Barzilay, Creative Director, United Photo Industries/Photoville
  • Kalia Brooks, Curator
  • Isolde Brielmaier, Curator & Director of the Contemporary Art Initiative at the World Trade Center
  • Christina Caputo, Special Projects Producer at BOND Strategy and Influence
  • Conni Choi, Curator, Brooklyn Museum
  • Whitney Johnson, Photo Editor, National Geographic
  • Peter Kayafas, artist and book publisher, Eakins Press
  • Paula Kupfer, Managing Editor, Aperture Magazine
  • Olivier Laurent, Chief Photo Editor, TIME Lightbox
  • Myles Little, Photo Editor, TIME magazine
  • Jennifer Miller, Photography Director, Conde Nast Traveler Magazine
  • Whitney Richardson, Photo Editor, New York Times Lens Blog
  • Laura Roumanos, Executive Producer, United Photo Industries/Photoville
  • Anika Sabin, Managing Editor and Assistant Publisher of Capricious Magazine
  • Jeffrey Henson Scales, Photo Editor, New York Times, Sunday Review & Book Review.
  • Sam Shahid, Creative Director
Posted in Department Events, Student Work Tagged , , , |

Final Critiques and Fun at DPI, Saying Goodbye to Spring ’15

freshman Myles Golden

Freshman, Myles Golden

Final critiques took place this week at DPI. There was much work to see and many snacks to eat! Click through to enjoy a gallery DPI’s final critiques.

Above: Myles Golden with his project ‘Black Americana’

Posted in Student Work Tagged , , , , , |

Coming Around the Bend! DPI Alum Lili Holzer-Glier at the Kentucky Derby


DPI alum Lili Holzer-Glier has two slideshows up at Vogue: an overview “The Kentucky Derby 2015 Draws a Record Crowd” and one that’s style-oriented, “Street Style from the 2015 Kentucky Derby Weekend

Image by Lili Holzer-Glier via

Posted in Alumni Work Tagged , , , , |

Thinking about Graduate Programs?

Each year I visit our Business of Art Course to talk about attending graduate school. Here are some notes and links:

Making the decision to go to graduate school in photography and related fields is a very different one than deciding to go to college.Why do you want to go to graduate school? In what field? What type of program do you want? What are you goals for when you graduate?

Taking time off after receiving your BFA is recommended to be able to answer some of these questions.  In my opinion, you need some distance after college to know what you really want to do. To quote one alumnus who recently received her MFA:  My biggest advice would be for students to wait. I am so glad I waited 4 years before going back to school. I was able to learn how to balance working full-time and make work. And when I got to school, I felt like I was able then to appreciate and fully take advantage of graduate student. 

Another alumnus wrote that since you develop a strong peer group and make connections in graduate school, where you go to school might be something to consider. Another brought up the issue of cost. Many programs have good funding, many don’t. Some offer teacher assistantships. Some give you a studio.

DPI Alumni have attended a wide range of graduate programs in photography, imaging and related fields. Here is a list 

If you are thinking of applying for a MFA/Masters/PhD Programs in the Arts, here are some helpful links:

College Art Education (CAA) Graduate Programs in the Arts Directories
>> You can now browse the directory online.

Art & Education >
(Great list serv to learn about graduate programs nationally and internationally)

Tips for those considering MFA Programs 

DO YOUR RESEARCH. Talk to students who have gone through the programs, visit if you can.

Here are some suggestions for where to start your search for MFA programs.

Interdisciplinary Programs where students working in all mediums work together.
Columbia University,  California College of the Arts (CCA), Cal Arts, UCLA, UC San Diego, UC Riverside, UC Irvine, USC,  University of Pennsylvania, Bard Summer MFA, SUNY Purchase,  Whitney Independent Study Program (non degree granting), School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), Hunter College, Tulane University, Rutgers Mason Gross School of the Arts

Independent Photography Departments
Yale, School of Visual Arts, ICP/Bard,  University of New Mexico, Columbia College Chicago, Mass College of Art, RISD, Hartford Art School limited residency 

Photography Concentrations that are separate but students interact with students and faculty in other mediums and departments 
School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), Hunter College,  Cal ArtsSyracuse

Documentary Focus
Duke MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts, UC Santa Cruz MA in Social Documentary

New Media Focus
MIT, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), UCLA Media Arts, ITP, SAIC Art & Technology and Film, Video, New Media , Cal Arts, Hunter Integrated Media Arts (new)

Related Programs of Interest
California College of the Arts (CCA) has a wide range of MFA Programs – Social Practice, Curatorial Practice, Design, etc.
Maryland Institute of the Arts (MICA) also has a wide range of programs including Community Arts, Critical Studies, etc.

More schools are can be found on our list where DPI recent grads have gone.

There is an constantly growing number of low residency and summer MFAs programs. I would really do your research about these. There are also many great programs outside of the US, but they offer no funding for foreign students.

NOTE: If you are interested in a degree in order to teach, a MFA is the terminal degree needed to teach studio art at the college level. A MA in Education is needed to teach K-12 though private schools often accept and want MFAs.

****Tips for asking for Letters of Recommendation****




Posted in FYI, Resources Tagged , |