Food, © Suzanne Theodora White

Emerging Vision: Biennial Student Show

Detail of “Food” by Suzanne Theodora White


Juror: Nate Larson, Chair of Photography, Maryland Institute College of Art

DECEMBER 1, 2020 – JANUARY 2, 2021

Virtual Opening Reception (via Zoom) 

Friday, December 4th, 2020 @ 5:30 pm MST

The Colorado Photographic Arts Center is proud to announce its Biennial Student Show Emerging Vision. Juror Nate Larson, Chair of Photography at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, selected images by 25 talented photography students from various universities throughout the US, each student offering a unique perspective on the future of a medium that is constantly evolving.

Winners for Best in Show and Honorable Mention were also selected by Larson. The Best in Show winner received 3 portfolio reviews to take place during Portfolio Review Weekend at the 2021 Denver Month of Photography Festival. The Honorable Mention winner received a Complimentary CPAC Membership.

Congratulations to the 2020 Emerging Vision Award Winners:

Best in Show – Justin A. Carney

Honorable Mention – Iris Wu

Missed the Virtual Opening Reception? Watch the recording now!

2020 Emerging Vision: Biennial Student Show Opening Reception


Norman Mark Aragones, Noel Becerra, Trent Bozeman, Dillon Bryant, Justin Carney, Carlos Rene Castro, Robert Felderman, Mercedes Fernandez, Katie Grinell, Lily Guillen, Zachary Kaufman, Talmadge Krajowsky, Ethan Lassey, Shelby McAuliffe, Chelsea Minter-Brindley, Yejung Park, Nathan Rochefort, Bianca Roman, Victoria (Tori) Sampson, Julianna Souther, Stephanie Spyker, Shana Cruz-Thompson, Suzanne Theodora White, Ian Edward White, and Iris Wu. 


Juror’s Statement

It was a pleasure to jury this exhibition of student artworks for the Colorado Photographic Arts Center. I reviewed 225 submitted photographic artworks, ultimately selecting 36 artworks from 25 individual artists for inclusion. 

I sat with all of the images for some time, reviewing in multiple rounds over the course of a week, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to dramatically shift our daily realities. I contemplated which images had staying power, which ones resonated in the middle of this global pandemic, in this national uprising for justice, and in this moment in which we are collectively re-imagining identity and representation. I wanted the selected images to be in conversation both with each other and with the world outside the exhibition space.  In this moment in history when we are drowning in images, I chose photographic artworks that made me stop and listen, and most importantly, think, about the nature of our collective lives.  

Several artists especially stood out and consequently were selected as award winners:

The best in show award, Justin A. Carney’s series “Those Left Behind,” is a sensitive and emotional document of a family in the midst of an upheaval, mourning the loss of the family matriarch. The photographs express a powerful desire to preserve the present, while simultaneously recognizing that the lives of families inevitably evolve. The photographs are both specific and universal: the family grief resonates against the greater sense of loss within many of our lives in 2020. 

The honorable mention, Iris Wu’s series “In the Calm of Your Arms,” explores the complicated nature of LGBTQ+ relationships within cultural differences between the artist’s life in Virginia and conservative family members in mainland China. The series deftly navigates between concealing and revealing layers of public and private identities, illuminating the artist’s own pathway to self-discovery, and mourning the artist’s inability to share the fullness of their life and relationship with their family. 

In addition to the award winners, I also want to take a moment to acknowledge and highlight the thoughtful bodies of work from Mercedes Fernández and Zachary Kaufman. Both series are important documents of communities in these challenging times and speak to the ever-evolving state of our national union. 

I hope that this exhibition and these images will linger with you, in the way that they endured with me. Thank you to the included artists for sharing their powerful and moving images with us for this exhibition. Thank you to all the artists who submitted work for consideration – what you do is important, we see and appreciate you. Please keep making art, dreaming new ideas, and imagining new ways of existing in the world. Thank you to CPAC for building this community forum to explore and learn through photographic ideas and for lifting up the next generation of photographic artists with this exhibition.

–Nate Larson

About Nate Larson

Nate Larson is a contemporary artist and Chair of Photography at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore. His projects have been widely shown across the US and internationally, as well as featured in numerous publications and media outlets, including Wired, The Guardian, The Picture Show from NPR, Slate, CNN, Hyperallergic, Gizmodo, Buzzfeed News, Vice Magazine, the New York Times, Utne Reader, the BBC News Viewfinder, the British Journal of Photography, The Washington Post, and many others. His artwork is included in the permanent collections of the George Eastman Museum, the High Museum Atlanta, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the Orlando Museum of Art, Portland Art Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and the Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago.