The Snider Prize is a purchase award given to emerging artists in their final year of graduate study. The winner receives $3,000, and two honorable mentions each receive $500 towards the purchase of work to be added to the MoCP’s permanent collection. Sponsored by Lawrence K. and Maxine Snider, the Snider Prize forms a part of the museum’s ongoing commitment to support new talent in the field of contemporary photography.
The 2023 Snider Prize has been awarded to Sidian Liu 刘思典 (b. 1997, China). Liu is a photo-based artist, translator, and home builder. She uses photography and performance to explore the notion of a self-made home. Her works are often participatory and interactive. In 2019, she obtained her BA in English at Shanghai International Studies University. She will be receiving her MFA in photography from Parsons, The New School in August 2023.
Sidian is the recipient of Top 10 of 9th Annual Photography Rankings in China (2022), “Kunpeng Award” of China Young Photographer Promotion Plan from the 21st Pingyao International Photography Festival (2021), the top prize of First Female Photographer Competition by Miroir Project (2021), and the top prize of Banshan Photography Award (2020).
Artists Charles Lee and Miraj Patel both received honorable mentions.
Previous Recipients of the Snider Prize
The 2022 Snider Prize has been awarded to Abdulhamid Kircher. In his series Rotting from Within, Abdulhamid Kircher investigates a complicated relationship with his father and patrilineal cycles of trauma. Weaving images from a limited family album with Kircher’s original photographs, the series features many elements, including religion, drugs, his father’s home country of Turkey, pages from journals, and portraits of family members, visualizing a fraught personal history. Kircher completed a BA in Culture and Media from the New School and an MFA in Visual Arts from the University of California San Diego.
The 2021 Snider Prize has been awarded to Alayna N. Pernell. In her series Our Mothers’ Gardens, Pernell spent months researching and uncovering suppressed images of Black women held in photographic collections and has re-excavated, re-photographed, re-captioned, and re-contextualized the original works. By engaging with these images with the intervention of her hands and her body, she attempts to rescue and protect Black women’s bodies and their humanity, and also unearth their stories so that they can be seen and heard. She received her MFA in Photography from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
The 2020 Snider Prize has been awarded to Widline Cadet. Widline Cadet is a Haitian-born artist. Her practice draws from personal history and examines race, memory, erasure, migration, immigration, and Haitian cultural identity from within the United States. She uses photography, video, and installations to construct a visual language that explores notions of visibility and hyper visibility, black feminine interiority, and selfhood. She earned her BA in studio art from The City College of New York and an MFA from Syracuse University.
The 2019 Snider Prize has been awarded to Steph Foster. Steph Foster is an interdisciplinary artist who works with film, photography, poetry, sculpture, performance, and music. His ongoing series, 8, considers racial discrimination within the criminal justice systems in the United States and the ways that prisons exist as one of many spaces where black lives are dehumanized and erased for others to gain profit and power. Additionally, his short films slow down moments and gestures within urban communities into poetic dream spaces that deconstruct larger racial stereotypes. Foster will complete his MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in June of 2019.
The 2018 Snider Prize was awarded to Kathryn Harrison. Harrison’s work deals with the complexities of addiction, disease, and mental illness and how those forces have shaped the lives of her family members. Her work straddles the uncomfortable boundaries of unconditional love and the fallibility of the human body. Harrison is an MFA candidate in photography at Yale University and holds a BFA in photography & digital imaging from Ringling College of Art & Design.
The 2017 Snider Prize was awarded to Nakeya Brown (American, b. 1988). Brown uses photography to extract and redefine symbols of femininity. Her practice centers around black female subjectivity, black beauty, and often uses hair as an apparatus to identity facets of womanhood. Brown completed her BA in Visual Art/Journalism and Media Studies from Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J. and received her MFA from George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
The 2016 Snider Prize was awarded to Adam Golfer (American, b. 1985). His series, A House Without a Roof, considers the fractures of the overlapping histories of violence and displacement connecting Europe, Israel and Palestine. With photographs, archival imagery, and original texts, Golfer weaves together fictions of his family history with representations from Israel’s founding and ongoing military occupation. Previously, his work has been exhibited in New York and Washington, DC, including at the 92Y in Manhattan, the Goethe-Institut Washington, the Camera Club of NY and at Booklyn Artists Space in Brooklyn. Golfer is currently an MFA candidate at Hunter College, and he received a BFA in Photography from the Maryland Institute College of Art.
The 2015 Snider Prize was awarded to Trent Davis Bailey (American, b. 1985). Bailey uses photography to piece together a map of his experience of The North Fork – a valley in Colorado whose landscape and inhabitants inspire the artist to explore his own complex terrain of memory and family. His work has been exhibited extensively in California and Colorado, including at The Piedmont Center for the Arts in Piedmont, CA, Gray Loft Gallery, in Oakland, and the Colorado Photographic Arts Center in Denver, among others. Bailey is currently an MFA candidate at the California College of the Arts, and received his BFA in Photography and BA in Art History from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
The 2014 Snider Prize award recipient was Hyounsang Yoo. Yoo’s works explore relationships between history and ideas of production of reality through photography, video, installation and sculpture. His work has been exhibited in the Bridge Art Fair, NY; EXPO Chicago; and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, among others. Yoo received his BFA in Photography from The School of the Art Institute Chicago, and is currently an MFA candidate at SAIC. Yoo received $2000 for the purchase of work to be added to MoCP’s permanent collection.
The 2013 Snider Prize award recipient was Janna Ireland. In her series,The Spotless Mirror (2011-2013), the artist creates self-portraits as a means to explore the performance of femininity, domesticity, isolation, and black identity. Ireland completed a BFA from the Department of Photography and Imaging at NYU (2007) and an MFA from UCLA (2013). Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including Schneider Gallery, Chicago (2013); The Santa Paula Art Museum, Santa Paula, California (2013); and Lennox Contemporary in Toronto, Canada (2005).