Maine Media announces Craig Easton as the recipient of the 2023 Arnold Newman Prize

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Maine Media announces Craig Easton as the recipient of the 2023 Arnold Newman Prize
Nader Khan from BANK TOP by Craig Easton, 2023.

ROCKPORT, ME.- Maine Media has announced Craig Easton as the recipient of the 2023 Arnold Newman Prize for New Directions in Photographic Portraiture, a $20,000 prize awarded annually by Maine Media to a photographer whose work demonstrates a compelling new vision in photographic portraiture.

The 2023 award recognizes photographer Craig Easton and his project BANK TOP, a photographic essay made in collaboration with writer, poet and social researcher Abdul Aziz Hafiz. The project examines the portrayal and misrepresentation of northern communities in the United Kingdom, and focuses on a small, tight-knit community in Blackburn, England.

Submissions to this year’s prize represented 36 countries, with artists of 74 different identified nationalities. This is the largest and most expansive group of submissions since the inception of the prize.

“The caliber and diversity of work submitted to the Arnold Newman Prize this year is a testament to the expanding, invigorating world of photographic portraiture,” said Elizabeth Greenberg, Maine Media’s Arnold and Augusta Newman Provost.

In addition to the prize itself, the 2023 winner and finalists are invited to participate in an installation with The Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester, Massachusetts. Additionally, the winner is invited to and recognized at Maine Media’s Visionary Awards Dinner on September 30th, where highly esteemed artist and author Cig Harvey will also be honored as the 2023 Visionary Award recipient.

Craig Easton’s work is deeply rooted in the documentary tradition. Easton shoots long-term documentary projects exploring issues around social policy, identity, culture and community. Known for his intimate portraits and expansive landscapes, his work regularly combines these elements with reportage approaches to storytelling. He often works collaboratively with others to incorporate words, pictures and audio in a research-based practice that weaves a narrative between contemporary experience and history.

Easton’s past achievements include the prestigious title of Photographer of the Year at the 2021 SONY World Photography Awards, as well as an Honorary Fellowship with the Royal Photographic Society in 2022. He has published three monographs - Thatcher’s Children, GOST Books, 2023; BANK TOP, GOST Books, 2022 and Fisherwomen, Ten O’Clock Books, 2020.

2023 Finalists: The three finalists this year include Dylan Hausthor for the project What the Rain Might Bring; Takako Kido for the project Skinship; and Nzingah Oyo for the project Of 30 Siblings.

2023 Top Ten: Additional artists recognized in the Top Ten include Matt Eich for the project Bird Song Over Black Water; Sarah Mei Herman for the project Solace; Lee-Ann Olwage for the project The Right to Play; Angelika Kollin for the project Mary’s Children; Irina Werning for the project Las Pelilargas; and Kiana Hayeri for the project Loss Piles on Loss for Afghan Women.

The Arnold Newman Prize for New Directions in Photographic Portraiture is organized and awarded annually by Maine Media, and endowed by the Arnold and Augusta Newman Foundation. The influential and revered photographer and educator, Arnold Newman, enjoyed a decades’ long association with Maine Media, where he taught numerous photographic workshops over the years. The Arnold and Augusta Newman Foundation has continued his legacy at the College, supporting scholarships, media production, and a distinguished lecture series.

Selection Process: Submissions for the prize are selected by a jury of respected figures in the world of photography. The 2023 jurors included Sarah Leen (first female Director of Photography at National Geographic Partners and Founder of Visual Thinking Collective), Caleb Cain Marcus (head of Brooklyn based design studio Luminosity Lab), and Lisa Elmaleh (visual artist, educator, and documentarian, and 2022 recipient of the Arnold Newman Prize).

Maine Media: Founded in 1973 as a summer school for photographers, Maine Media is today a not-for-profit and fully accredited degree granting institution offering more than 400 workshops, certificate programs and master classes in the fields of photography, film, media art, printmaking, creative writing and book arts. Maine Media serves more than 2000 national and international students annually from its 20 acre campus in Rockport, Maine.

The Griffin Museum of Photography
October 19th, 2023 - October 29th, 2023

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