Brooklyn’s Photoville fosters artistic community

Ankita Bhanot, Contributing Writer

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Photoville has been held annually since 2011, when three photographers from United Photo Industries — Sam Barzilay, Laura Roumanos and Dave Shelley — created the idea for a large public platform where photographers from around the world could share and display their work. Every year since then, Photoville has featured photos from publications such as The New York Times, TIME Magazine and National Geographic.

The creators of the event wanted it to be an immersive and engaging experience, and the outdoor location gives it a sense of intimacy and community. The photographs were impactful and thought-provoking, representing the essence of creative craftsmanship.

Frances Nguyen, a Brooklyn resident, attended this event for the second year, because she thought it was a unique experience.

“This is a very special event, because I don’t think people have access and exposure to this kind of art and these subjects otherwise,” Nguyen said. “I’m big on human interests, so it’s both comforting and illuminating to see into things in a very personal way.”

The subjects of the pieces ranged from dressed-up dogs and cats to vast and breathtaking landscapes and even to more moving pieces, like the depiction of Chinese World War II Veterans and criminals in the Congo.

Some of the exhibits featured work related to different charities and non-profit companies. One such organization was the Josephine Herrick Project, which teaches photography to often neglected communities.

Elena Hart, the organization’s developmental director, said they teach photography to people such a veterans and people suffering from disabilities.

“We think that photography is a wonderful platform for storytelling, and Photoville gives up the opportunity to share what we do with the larger New York population,” Hart said. “It’s an incredible platform.”

This year’s Photoville opened on Sept. 10 and concluded 10 days later. It attracted over 5,000 guests and featured work from over 60 photographers, companies and organizations. Its presence in the artistic community has provided students, professionals and admirers alike the opportunity to convene in a beautiful setting.

Students in NYU Tisch had work on display. Their photography showed stages of birth, death, family, history and identity. One of the main goals that students worked to reach was capturing tension in the photographs.

“My favorite thing was seeing work by photographers whom I follow on Instagram and being able to recognize their style,” Tisch sophomore Jilly Awner said. “Seeing work submitted by my classmates made Photoville seem closer to home, which was awesome.”

Email Ankita Bhanot at [email protected]