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Fellowship Exhibition at the School of the International Center of Photography
For Tierney. © Michele Borzoni.

NEW YORK, N.Y.- The International Center of Photography presents Faces of Aravind and The Tierney Foundation Fellowship Exhibition showcasing the work of fellowship recipients who documented daily life in India’s Aravind Eye Care System and explored personal projects.

Faces of Aravind Fellowship Exhibition by Willie Davis
Dramatic images from a day in the life of India’s internationally renowned Aravind Eye Care System will be on view at the School of the International Center of Photography, December 17, 2011 to March 18, 2012. The 10 photographs in the exhibition were taken by Willie Davis, an ICP alumnus, as part of an ICP travel fellowship to Aravind hospitals in Madurai and Pondicherry, India. This exhibition includes 10 prints of his work.

Headquartered in Madurai, India, Aravind Eye Care System is the world’s largest, most efficient provider of eye care services and trainer of eye care personnel. From its humble beginnings as an 11-bed eye hospital, Aravind has grown to a network of seven hospitals and 36 vision centers across India. Aravind was founded in 1976 by Dr. Govindappa Venkataswamy, a visionary eye surgeon with a fierce commitment to eliminating needless blindness.

“Willie’s photographs capture the daily life of those who are committed to eradicating blindness and the patients who benefit from their help. About 80 percent of the 40 million blind worldwide could be cured and this project highlights an important effort to provide better care,” said Alison Morley, Chair of ICP’s Documentary Photography and PhotojournalismProgram, who organized the exhibition.

Aravind has treated more than 30 million patients and performed over 3.6 million surgical and laser procedures—the vast majority for patients who are too poor to pay.

The Tierney Foundation Fellowship Exhibition
The Tierney Fellowship was created in 2003 by The Tierney Family Foundation to support emerging artists in the field of photography. A collection of images from ICP alumni and fellowship recipients Michele Borzoni, Francesca Cao, and Sam Falls will be on view from December 17, 2011 to March 18, 2012 in the Rita K. Hillman Education Gallery at the School of the International Center of Photography.

Borzoni (PJ06) created a series of photographs documenting Christian communities in Pakistan and Egypt. It was the beginning of a project that he continues to pursue, traveling through the Middle East documenting the lives of Christians. This exhibition includes 10 prints of his work.

Cao’s (PJ06) project “The Lion of Central Asia” shows the contrasts raised by the profits connected with the oil and gas industry in Kazakhstan. Considered to be one of the leading countries in central Asia, Kazakhstan produces wealth and progress that reach only the outskirts of a few cities while most of the nation lives in relative poverty. This exhibition includes 10 prints of her work.

The exhibition includes 10 books by Sam Falls (MFA10), who is best known for his colorful still life photographs. The images represented in this exhibition focus on his development as an artist. “In my photographs my goal is to take these very familiar elements, like my mom, a friend, flowers, the moon, planes, etc. and strip them down of their everyday tangential distractions and relationships to an image of their aesthetic essence,” says Falls.

“The primary goal of the Tierney Foundation Fellowship is to identify emerging photographers and help them overcome challenges that all photographers face early on. The recipients of the fellowship presented in this exhibition show great promise in becoming members of a global community who continue to support each other in the field,” said Morley, who organized the exhibition.

About the Photographers and Their Work
Willie Davis works as a photographer in New York City and his work can be seen regularly in the New York Times and The Village Voice. Willie’s editorial clients have also included Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, Bicycling magazine, CNNMoney and Vibe. His work has been featured by the WHO and in the film “When the Levees Broke.” Willie’s photography has been exhibited in New York City at the P.S. 122 Gallery, at ICP and the McGraw-Hill Companies, in Tokyo at the Canon Gallery and in Washington D.C. at the Signal 66 Gallery and at the Studio Gallery as part of the 2009 and 2010 FotoWeekDC. In addition to the ICP fellowship for this project, he received an ICP fellowship to work in Africa in partnership with Johnson & Johnson and a Rory Peck Foundation Grant for journalism training in hostile environments. He has taught as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism. He completed ICP’s Documentary Photography and Photojournalism Program and helped to found the photo collective Veras Images. Willie studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Arts and the Antioch Buddhist Studies program in India, and received a Bachelor of Arts in Painting with High Honors from Wesleyan University.

Michele Borzoni was born in 1979 in Florence, Italy. He is a 2006 graduate of ICP’s Documentary Photography and Photojournalism Program. In 2006 he was selected to attend the Eddie Adams Workshop, Barnstorm XIX. His “Srebrenica, Struggle for Justice” work won the First Prize Yann Geffroy Award in 2007 and he received the New York Times Scholarship for ICP students, and The Tierney Foundation Fellowship. In 2010, he won the first prize at World Press Photo in the “People in the News” singles category. Since 2006 he has worked with Italian and international magazines including D della Repubblica, Vanity Fair, Elle, Io Donna, Newsweek, Marie Claire France, Newsweek, Internazionale, L’Espresso, Financial Times, Amica, Le Monde2, and Geo, among others.

Francesca Cao was born in Norwich, Norfolk, United Kingdom, in 1981. She completed a university degree in philosophy in 2005 and was an assistant to photographer Mauro Galligani prior to attending ICP. In 2008, she won The Tierney Foundation Fellowship for her project called “The Lion of Central Asia,” which was exhibited at the 2009 and 2010 New York Photo Festival. In 2009, she was selected in the Descubrimientos section of Photoespana and attended the Eddie Adams Workshop. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Zoom magazine, The Guardian Weekend, Donna di Repubblica magazine, Il Corriere della Sera, 24 magazine, Wired, and Marie Claire. Her latest project, “Waiting For,” along with the work of the photographer Michela Palermo, is a travelling exhibition in Italy. She has displayed her work in Rome, Milan, Rimini, Avellino, Madrid, Valencia, and New York.

Sam Falls is a multi-disciplinary artist who builds his photographs through a complex process of large format photography, computer drawing, and painting and found material. Attending carefully to the aesthetics and conceptual meanings of each piece, Falls interest is in creating work that is non-serial and possesses a quality that is inherently timeless. Branching out beyond the digital photocollage, Falls’ work is poetic, reflective and strives for a simplicity deep with intention and humanity, working all the angles to make art that is dynamic and challenging while also lucid and available. Falls lives and works in Los Angeles and has completed the ICP-MFA Bard Program.

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