Monday, Jul 28, 2014 08:33 pm est

Tisch gallery celebrates 30 year anniversary of photography department

Posted on November 12, 2012 | by Alexandra Connolly

Along the walls of the lobby and on the eighth floor of 721 Broadway hang 90 works of varying media and subject matter that represent the diversity of work produced by the Department of Photography and Imaging at the Tisch School of the Arts over the last 30 years.

The works, created by NYU faculty, students and alumni, are compiled into an exhibit called “DPI@30: Act vs. React.” The collection celebrates the 30th anniversary of the department’s founding and looks back on shifts in the photo industry since the department was founded.

“The purpose of this exhibition is to explore ideas that have shaped photography and new media arts since the department’s founding,” said Deborah Willis, chair of the department.

The works displayed range from black-and-white and color photography to mixed media pieces, videos and tapestries. The subjects captured over the last three decades give visitors a look into how photography, learning photography and even society have changed over that time.

“This show gives a visual voice to 30 years of lens-based imagery explored by a number of photographers and artists, resulting from our commitment to personal, political and cultural expressions,” Willis said.

The show highlights the importance of NYU’s Department of Photography and Imaging to both the world of photography and to the students hoping to become a part of the  dynamic sphere.

“The photography department is significant because it helped many now-successful photographers get their start and was the first viable MFA degree program in Manhattan,” said professor emerita Elaine Mayes, who originally joined the department in 1983. She has been retired for 11 years, but her picture in the show depicts a home impacted by Hurricane Irene, which is especially pertinent in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

Another standout piece is a photograph by Tarek Al-Ghoussein, professor of Visual Arts at NYU Abu Dhabi. The image features a solitary figure standing against a rather plain setting. It serves to explore the theme of identity and the relationship between subject and space. The photograph is one of Al-Ghoussein’s many works of art that employs his desert home as a way to explore themes of identity and time and space.

“I was impressed with the depth and breadth of the work in the exhibition,” Al Ghoussein said. “Tisch was and clearly remains a very strong program. To maintain this for 30 years is a testament to the dedication of those involved.”

“DPI@30: Act vs. React” is on display in the Gulf + Western Gallery on the eighth floor at 721 Broadway. It is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and noon to 5 p.m. on Saturdays through Nov. 17.

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Nov. 12 print edition. Alexandra Connolly is a staff writer. Email her at 


profile portrait
Felipe De La Hoz

Multimedia Editor | Felipe De La Hoz is a Colombian national studying journalism at the College of Arts and Sciences. Having been born in Colombia and raised in the United States, Mexico and Brazil, Felipe is a trilingual travel aficionado and enjoys working in varied and difficult environments. Apart from his photography, Felipe enjoys investigative reporting and interviews, interviewing the likes of Colombian ex-M-19 guerrilla fighters and controversial politician Jimmy McMillan. He has covered everything from governmental conferences to full-blown riots, as well as portraiture shoots and dining photography. Having worked under Brazilian photojournalists for Reuters and AFP, Felipe hopes to one day work on demanding journalistic projects and contribute to the global news cycle.

Ann Schmidt

News Editor | Ann is a liberal studies sophomore who lived in Florence during her freshman year. She plans on double-majoring in journalism and political science and is always busy. She is constantly making lists and she loves to laugh.


Daniel Yeom

Daniel started at the Features desk of WSN last Spring, writing restaurant reviews whilst indulging on free food and consequently getting fat. Last Fall, he was the dining editor, and he this semester he is senior editor. Daniel is in Gallatin (living the dream) studying Food & Travel Narratives, incorporating aspects of Food Studies, Journalism, and Media, Culture, and Communication. He loves food more than life itself.

Hannah Luu

Deputy Multimedia Editor | Hannah Luu is a ridiculously great Deputy Multimedia Editor. She is a sophomore from Northern California. If you think Northern California means San Francisco you might need to closely examine a map. She is passionate about NPR and being half Asian.

  • How to join:

    The Washington Square News holds open weekly budget meetings at its office located at 838 Broadway every Sunday. All are welcome to attend, no matter your background in journalism, writing, or reporting. Specific times for meetings by desk are listed below. If you wish to talk to an editor before you attend, feel free to check out the Staff page.

    5 P.M. 6 P.M. 6 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 7 P.M.

    Applying for an editor position: Applications for editor positions during the fall or spring semesters are available twice each academic year and can be found here when posted. Applications for the Fall 2012 semester are closed, but check back for Spring 2013. Those who wish to apply are urged to publish pieces in the newspaper and contact current editors for shadowing.

    History of the Washington Square News:

    The Washington Square News is the official daily student newspaper of New York University and serves the NYU, Greenwich Village, and East Village communities. Founded as an independent newspaper in 1973, the WSN allows its undergraduate writers and photographers to cover campus and city news and continues to grow its strong body of award-winning journalists and photographers.

  • The WSN has a circulation of about 60,000 and can be found in over a hundred purple bins distributed throughout campus. It is published Monday through Thursday during the fall and spring semesters and online on Friday, with additional special issues published in the summer. The newspaper recently revamped its website during the Fall 2012 semester.

    Like few campus newspapers in the country, the paper is editorially and financially independent from the university and is solely responsible for selling advertisements to fund its production. The WSN, including its senior staff, is run solely by current undergraduate students and the business-division is largely student-operated as well.

    A Board of Directors comprised of alumni, NYU professors and working news media professionals serves as advisors to the paper. Board members have no control in the WSN's editorial policy or newsroom operations. Alumni of the newspaper are established and leading journalists in such news organizations as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NBC news, ABC news, Fox News, and USA Today.