August 19, 2015 - Carnegie Museum of Art - Hillman Photography Initiative identifies new Agents
August 19, 2015

Hillman Photography Initiative identifies new Agents

Juliana Huxtable performs at #NOWSEETHIS, a party celebrating the Hillman Photography Initiative’s inaugural year. Photo: Bryan Conley for Carnegie Museum of Art.

Hillman Photography Initiative identifies new Agents

Carnegie Museum of Art
4400 Forbes Avenue

Lynn Zelevansky, The Henry J. Heinz II Director of Carnegie Museum of Art (CMOA), announced today the creative team of Agents charged with formulating the second cycle of programming for CMOA’s Hillman Photography Initiative. The Agents are Liz Deschenes, Steffani Jemison, and Laura Wexler, along with Dan Leers, CMOA’s curator of photography.

An incubator for innovative thinking about photography, the Initiative recruits these Agents to generate the theme and programming for the the following year. Cycle One launched the Initiative with an ambitious roster of forward-thinking projects, including:

The Invisible Photograph—a five-part documentary series
A People’s History of Pittsburgh—a collective digital and print photo album
The Sandbox: At Play with the Photobook—an in-museum photobook shop and events space
Orphaned Images, comprising the exhibition Antoine Catala: Distant Feel and Shannon Ebner’s artist book Auto Body Collision
This Picture—an online project inviting responses to a selection of images
#NOWSEETHIS—a celebration fusing interactive photography, live music, and digital art

Deschenes, Jemison, Wexler, and Leers will gather in Pittsburgh with program manager Divya Rao Heffley in September 2015 for conversations and strategy sessions facilitated by MAYA Design. Over the course of several days, the Agents will formulate plans for a public program to be realized by CMOA in 2016. The program will investigate photography in an era of the medium’s rapid transformations. Throughout the year, it will expand upon the museum’s photography program to offer dynamic, inventive, and interactive experiences both on site in the museum and on digital platforms.

About the Agents 
Liz Deschenes (lives and works in New York) uses photographic processes to reflect upon and push the boundaries of the medium itself. Deschenes was the recipient of the 2014 Rappaport Prize and has had one-person exhibitions at Mass MoCA (North Adams, MA), the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), and Secession (Vienna). A survey exhibition of her work at the ICA Boston is forthcoming in the summer of 2016.

Steffani Jemison (lives and works in Brooklyn) uses photography and performance as platforms for dialogue to examine “progress” and its alternatives. Jemison’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including solo projects at the Museum of Modern Art (New York) and the Rhode Island School of Design Museum (Providence), and group shows at the Brooklyn Museum, the Drawing Center (New York), and the Studio Museum in Harlem.

Laura Wexler (lives and works in New Haven) is professor of American Studies and Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies at Yale University. She is founder and director of the Photographic Memory Workshop at Yale. Wexler is also Principal Investigator of the Photogrammar Project, a web-based interactive research system for mapping, searching, and visualizing photographs created by the Farm Security Administration and Office of War Information. 

Dan Leers is curator of photography at Carnegie Museum of Art. From 2007 to 2011, he was the Beaumont and Nancy Newhall Curatorial Fellow in the Department of Photography at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. At MoMA, Leers organized the exhibition New Photography 2011. In 2013, he acted as a curatorial advisor to the The Encyclopedic Palace exhibition at the Venice Biennale.     

Stay tuned for announcements on Hillman Photography Initiative programming in 2016. Online conversations around the new topic of exploration begin in January 2016 at The next #NOWSEETHIS event will be held on May 7, 2016.

Support for the Hillman Photography Initiative is provided by the William T. Hillman Foundation and the Henry L. Hillman Foundation.

For more information about Carnegie Museum of Art, please visit

Carnegie Museum of Art's Hillman Photography Initiative identifies new Agents
Carnegie Museum of Art
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