Rising Star – 2020
Arnika Dawkins is the owner of her eponymous fine art photography gallery established in Atlanta in 2012. The gallerist shows work by talented emerging and mid-career artists with a specialization in showing fine art photography by African Americans and images of people from the African Diaspora. Her passion is connecting collectors to photography that is significant, inspiring, and provocative. As a fine art photographer and avid collector herself, she is a valuable resource to collectors and artists alike. She is passionate about the medium, having obtained a Master of Arts in Digital Photography from the Savannah College of Art and Design.
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Deborah Willis, Ph.D, is University Professor and Chair of the Department of Photography & Imaging at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University and has an affiliated appointment with the College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Social & Cultural Analysis, Africana Studies, where she teaches courses on Photography & Imaging, iconicity, and cultural histories visualizing the black body, women, and gender. Her research examines photography’s multifaceted histories, visual culture, the photographic history of Slavery and Emancipation; contemporary women photographers and beauty. She received the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship. Willis is the author of Posing Beauty: African American Images from the 1890s to the Present; and co-author of The Black Female Body A Photographic History; Envisioning Emancipation: Black Americans and the End of Slavery; and Michelle Obama: The First Lady in Photographs (both titles a NAACP Image Award Winner). Professor Willis’s curated exhibitions include: “In Pursuit of Beauty” at Express Newark; “Let Your Motto Be Resistance: African American Portraits” at the International Center of Photography and “Reframing Beauty: Intimate Moments” at Indiana University. Since 2006 she has co-organized thematic conferences exploring imaging the black body in the West such as the conference titled Black Portraiture[s] which was held in Johannesburg in 2016. She has appeared and consulted on media projects including documentary films such as Through A Lens Darkly and Question Bridge: Black Males, a transmedia project, which received the ICP Infinity Award 2015, and American Photography, PBS Documentary.
Photo credit: Alice Proujansky
Lifetime – 2020
Robert Klein is the owner and director of the Robert Klein Gallery in Boston. The gallery, established in 1980, specializes in the market for fine photographs. Robert Klein was the president of the Association of International Photography Art Dealers (AIPAD) from 1995 – 2008 and a board member of AIPAD from 1985 – 1995. As president of AIPAD, Klein initiated long range plans to position AIPAD into the mainstream of the art market. The Robert Klein Gallery has had an international presence for over 40 years and services an international clientele. Klein received his MBA from Babson College. He attended Hobart College and received his BA from Wilkes University
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Stan Trecker will present the Focus Award to Robert Klein. In his career Stan Trecker served as President of the Art Institute of Boston and Montserrat College. He also served as Dean of the Art Institute of Boston upon its merger with Lesley University in 1998. Upon his retirement, after the completion of the new home of the Lesley College of Art and Design in Porter Square, Cambridge in 2017, Stan Trecker serves as Dean Emeritus at Lesley University.
Stan Trecker earned a Masters of Fine Arts degree in photography from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1978, after earning a Masters in Business Administration and a brief career in the financial services industry. He was the Executive Director of the Photographic Resource Center (PRC) from 1980 to 1991, assuming that role following its founding by Chris Enos in 1977. During that time, the PRC constructed its new home on the campus of Boston University. He also served on the Founding Board of the Griffin Museum of Photography and was a National Board member of the of the Society for Photographic Education. Photo Credit: Lesley University