Today Marks My 6th Month As Program Intern For The United Photo Industries Art Collective Founded By Dave Shelley, Laura Roumanos & Sam Barzilay Back In 2011 Is Currently Based In The Dumbo Section of Brooklyn. Creators of The Large-Scale Multi-City Traveling Photography Exhibition The FENCE & The Wildly Popular Annual Outdoor Container Festival Photoville. United Photo Industries Is A Non-Profit Organization That Works To Promote A Wider Understanding And An Increased Access To The Art Of Photography.
I Discovered UPI Upon The Conclusion of My Last Term At The New York Film Academy. UPI Placed An Open Call For College Level Artist & Alumni To Submit Work For An Upcoming Container Exhibition At Photoville. After Receiving Over 400 Submissions, A Portrait From My Ongoing Series "Fire & Ice" Was Selected. While Touring The Photoville Festival A Week Later To See My Work Displayed Live In My First Exhibition. I Was Impressed At How Expansive & Diverse The Various Genres of photography that were Present. As Well As The Many works that had a Social activism Component to it.
On My Way Out Of The Exhibition, I Had A Brief Convo With What Appeared To Be Two Photoville Volunteers (Who Turned Out To Be The Actual Founders Of UPI - Dave & Laura). I Asked Them What Was Their Purpose For Creating A "Photoville" & How It Came To Be. They Told Me About How Their Organization Was A Non-For Profit Entity & That They Created It Purely Out Of The Love For Photography. After Hearing That. I Was Sold & The Founders Took Me Under Their Wing.
Since Then My Knowledge & Passion For Visual Arts Was Heightened. Learning About The In's & Outs of The Art Industry, Combined With Aiding In The Curation of Two Major Gallery Exhibitions (Including Our Latest Exhibition That Allowed Me To Meet One of My Favorite Artist Claire Rosen - Blog Post About That Experience In The Works) Has Been Nothing But Amazing.
The Saying: "You Will Know If You Love The Work Do, When You Are Willing To Do It For Free" Definitely Applies To Me, Because This Internship Is Not A Paid One. But; The Ability To Have Full Access To A Creative Art Space & The Knowledge of The People Who Created It. To Be Fully Immersed In The Culture of The Art Business, Without Having To Pay Some Jerk For A Seminar That Might Be Informative or NOT... To Be In The Know of Any Major Productions From Established & Upcoming Artists As Soon As The News Breaks. To Be Able To Shake Hands With Enthusiasts, Creatives, Art Legends & Gallery Owners On A Daily Basis, and Finally Be Supported By People Who Care About My Art And Gives Me Pointers About Where My Art Can Improve Is Invaluable.
In Closing. I Suggest That All Up--and-coming Artists Who Are Still Trying To Find Their Voice & Esthetic Like I Am. Seek Out Aid. Either In The Form of An Art Database, Mentor That You Revere or An Organization That Is Passionate About Art & Who's Mission Statement Are Inline With Your Goals. I Feel Very Fortunate That The Lord Has Placed This Opportunity Before Me, Especially Since I Never Had Any Thoughts About Art Galleries Other Than I Would Like To Achieve As Much Solo Shows As A Lorna Simpson One Day. I Have A Deep Feeling That This Is Where I Am Supposed To Be & For How Ever Long I Am Working With UPI. I Know That My Life Was Better For It..
About UPI | Since 2011, UPI has rapidly solidified its position in the public art landscape by continuing to showcase thought-provoking, challenging, and exceptional photography from across the globe. In its first 6 years, UPI has had the opportunity to present the work of more than 2,500 visual artists in gallery exhibitions and public art installations worldwide. Proudly devoted to cultivating strategic partnerships, creative collaborations, and community spirit, we have approached our goal of cultivating a wide, diverse audience for powerful photographic narratives with unrelenting zeal, working closely with photo festivals, city agencies, and other nonprofit organizations across the globe to create new exhibition opportunities — and we are only getting started.
-Source "Our Mission" Page from unitedphotoindustries.com