Focal Points Volume 1

Focal Points is an exhibition of the inaugural CatchLight Fellowship and Everyday Bay Area photography project that invites viewers to recalibrate their understandings of what they think they know about the past, present and future of the United States.

CatchLight boldly recognizes the fact that social issues are challenging and complicated, and we need art more than ever to sort through the visual clutter, and fight the urge to oversimplify the nuanced world around us. In a time of constant image saturation, we exist to develop innovative “focal points” for your attention, connecting compelling visual storytelling with social impact.
— Nancy Farese, Founder & Board Chair

In this exhibition, we all must find our focal point.

Featuring work from the 2017 CatchLight fellows, Sarah Blesener, Brian L. Frank and Tomas Van Houtryve who were each paired with a media partner—the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, The Center for Investigative Reporting, and the Marshall Project, respectively, along with local artists from the Everyday Bay Area Collective, this traveling exhibition explores how visual storytelling has the power to drive social change.

Sarah Blesener’s project, Beckon Us From Home captures the emotion and vulnerability of youth in today’s political climate. Blesener’s ongoing work examines the interplay of religion, love of country, and military-style training in the teaching of “New Americanism” amongst youth.

Brian L. Frank’s latest work, Out of Bounds, looks at targeted policing and criminalization of youth in minority communities and asks what kind of a society we have built, where a prison camp becomes a boy’s only experience of summer camp.

Tomas van Houtryve’s project Lines and Lineage imagines what the history of the Mexican-American border might have looked like at the time of the area's Mexican Administration.

Curated by

Sam Barzilay (United Photo Industries),
Pei Ketron & Jenny Jacklin Stratton (CatchLight)

Produced by

CatchLight in partnership with United Photo Industries and SF Camerawork.

Printing by

Digital Silver Imaging.

It questions the role that photographs—both present and missing—have played in shaping the identity of the West.

Everyday Bay Area (EDBA) focuses on harnessing the power of visual storytelling to help San Francisco Bay Area residents see and understand each other across identities, ages, demographics and geographies. Based on a collaborative Instagram feed, Everyday Bay Area encourages professionals and amateur photographers alike to shoot “photography that matters,” like the Instagram feed, the EDBA community wall here, invites everyone to share photographic “focal points” of daily life in the Bay Area.

The diverse stories comprising this exhibition challenge the viewer to look deeper, to think beyond factual representations in the photographs, reaching outside the image frame and imagining our role in channeling responses, personal, social and political, to address the issues presented.The diverse stories comprising this exhibition challenge the viewer to look deeper, to think beyond factual representations in the photographs, reaching outside the image frame and imagining our role in channeling responses, personal, social and political, to address the issues presented.

 

Focal Points at SF Camerawork

San Francisco, CA
May 3, 2018 - June 22, 2018

Focal Points at Photoville

Brooklyn, NY
September 13 - 22, 2018