The John Chervinsky Emerging Photographer Scholarship 2022
The Griffin Museum of Photography is pleased to announce the winner of the 2021 John Chervinsky Emerging Photographer Scholarship, Justin Michael Emmanuel. His series A Facefull of Mangos captivated this years jury to earn him a monetary award, an upcoming exhibition and artist talk at the Griffin Museum as well as a volume from the collection of photographer John Chervinsky.
Now in its sixth year, over 171 photographers submitted applications to be considered for the scholarship. The jurors, Tricia Capello, Bruce Myren and Connie and Jerry Rosenthal have selected Justin Michael Emmanuel as the 2021 recipient of the John Chervinsky Emerging Photographer Scholarship.
About A Facefull of Mangos –
With this photographic series, I present to the viewer a resistance to systemic racism and also a window into understanding what makes us human. I hope that by showing imagery of touch, warmth, laughter, and love, I may begin to unravel and break down any preconceived notions or ideas that do not give resonance to those qualities in regards to Blackness in the mind of the viewer. I am desperately attempting to declare my own humanity and have it recognized by others. By showing the gentle side of our human nature I am hopeful that the viewers will recognize their own familial behaviors and interactions, thus bridging gaps that are set by race, ethnicity, nationality, culture, and economic social-political forces. This work desires to deconstruct and challenge the mainstream historical imagery that has described Blackness in a light that wasn’t its own. I hope that the importance of these images are not only determined by what they express visually or culturally but also by the fact that they are documents of the human capacity to care for and feel empathy towards one another. Most importantly, the purpose of this work is to create empathy among people by showing the human aptitude to love. In the Bible, it is said that at the tower of Babel, God, frustrated and threatened by the power of human cooperation, fractured our language so that we could no longer understand each other and work together. And while an ancient story that reverberates with myth, the essence of this still rings true. That when we work together, not even the heavens will be the limit of our greatness. That God himself will pale in comparison to the vastness of our achievements. If only we could work together, we could become so much more. It is as the writer Eric Williams once said, “Together we aspire, together we achieve.” – JME
About Justin Michael Emmanuel –
Born in Hartford, CT, in 1995, Justin-Michael Emmanuel is a mixed media artist that primarily uses photography and the written word to explore ideas of family, love, and blackness. Justin was first exposed to photography in 2015 during his time at Hampshire College where he received both the David E. Smith and Elaine Mayes fellowship awards for his photographic work on Afrofuturism. He then completed a master of fine arts degree at the University of Hartford Art School in 2021 where he also won the Stanley Fellman Award for his graduate thesis work A Facefull of Mangos. Photographs from that series have been included in group exhibitions at the Chrysler Museum of Art, The Center for Photographers of Color, and the Joseloff Gallery. Justin currently resides in Quincy, MA, where he continues to make photographs that critically engage with his community. By using the camera to show our human aptitude to love, Justin hopes that his photographs will help give people the tools they need to shape the world around them.
We look forward to showcasing the work of Mr. Emmanuel in 2022, and are excited to watch his progress and an artist and visionary in the field of photography.
About the John Chervinsky Emerging Photographer Scholarship –
Photographer John Chervinsky, whose work explored the concept of time, passed away in December of 2015, following a typically resolute battle with pancreatic cancer. The modesty and unassuming character John conveyed in life belies the extent to which he will be missed, not only by his family and friends, but also by the entire photographic community of which he was so proud to be a part. The John Chervinsky Emerging Photographer Scholarship was announced in June 2016 to recognize, encourage and reward photographers with the potential to create a body of work and sustain solo exhibitions. Awarded annually, the Scholarship provides recipients with a monetary award, an exhibition of their work at the Griffin Museum of Photography, and a volume from John’s personal library of photography books. The Scholarship seeks to provide a watershed moment in the professional lives of emerging photographers, providing them with the support and encouragement necessary to develop, articulate and grow their own vision for photography.
We extend our gratitude and thanks to our jurors for their work in reviewing submissions and selecting our winner, and thank you to the artists who submitted their work for consideration.