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The 43rd Annual Photo Regional Youth Spotlight

March 30-April 24, 2021

photo by Khidr Joseph, RSC ’18.

In a departure from previous iterations of the Photo Regional, this year’s exhibition is focused exclusively on showcasing our region’s youth photographers.

“At a time that has been so hard for everyone, we wanted to provide a space to celebrate our region’s young photographers and offer them an opportunity to show their work alongside their peers. In the unprecedented times, what are they seeing? What stories are they telling? What are they capturing and creating?” says Opalka Director Judie Gilmore

The goal of the exhibition is to support emerging and underrepresented artists by providing a space for them to share their voices, sell their work, meet other young artists in the region, and connect them to resources to help them further their artistic goals. 

We invited three young photographers with ties to the region to jury an exhibition of their peers: Khidr Joseph, a Brookly-based photographer and Russell Sage College alumni (class of ‘18), Jayana LaFountaine, a local professional photographer with her own business, and Anna Schupack, a student activist and photographer currently enrolled at Bard College. Out of 63 submissions, they selected work from 32 young artists for the show. With subjects from identity and introspection to activism and representation and, sometimes, simply close observation, the photographs and two videos in this exhibition demonstrate that the state of photography in the region is in good hands. These young photographers approach their craft with good humor and professionalism.

The 43rd Annual Photo Regional: Youth Spotlight will also feature the work of its jurors. Khidr Joseph lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. He received his BFA in Photography from Sage College of Albany. Joseph creates work that focuses on reconstructing his perception of reality through a series of self-portraits. Drawing on his interest and training in photography, Joseph creates spaces that weave together black history, culture, and his own identity — focusing on the idea that our world is no longer invested in the truth. Joseph desires to create work that replicates the distorted reality we live in today.  

Jayana LaFountaine is a portrait photographer and documentarian based in Troy, NY. She has been shooting for 12 years. Her love for photography stems from tragedy. Losing her foster mother at 13 years old painfully reminded her that she didn’t have many photos with her. It has since been her mission to never miss a moment again. She quickly began to understand how important it was to preserve legacy through photo documentation. It brings her a great deal of joy to capture families and friends of all colors, shapes and sizes because those memories are forever even if we’re not. Jayana is also a Birth Doula, Babysitter Extraordinaire, & DJ. She makes it a point to do all of these jobs with love and an immense amount of intention. She thrives off of meaningful connections with people no matter how long or short they may be.

Anna Schupack is a Junior at Bard College majoring in photography and sociology. Anna is involved with the Center for Civic Engagement at Bard. At home, in Albany, she works at the South End Children’s Cafe and is on the leadership team for Community Matters, committed to providing people access to resources they may need and showing a sustained commitment to every individual. Her photography focuses on documenting social protest and on reimagining her family archive. She was recently named a Bard Campus Compact 2021 Newman Civic Fellow, which honors students who show personal and professional dedication to campus leadership and community involvement.

A virtual Opening Reception will be held on Tuesday, April 6, at 7pm at this link:


Jesse Asher Alsdorf, Clifton Park, NY; Walker Bankson, Tivoli, NY; John Bonetti, Tivoli, NY; Ally DeRusso, Clifton Park, NY; Briauna Falk, Hudson, NY; Alice Fall, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY; Josh Flagg, Malta, NY; Natalia Gillespie, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY; Mateo Guevara Lemeland, Easthampton, MA; Lily Anastasia Holcombe, Scotia, NY; Tyler Ki-Re, Troy, NY; Jahniah Kum, Albany, NY; Maggie Lang, Saratoga Springs, NY; Julia Larberg, Rhinebeck, NY;  Xiaoxuan Lisa Li, Troy, NY; Angela Marden, Albany, NY; Kester Messan, Williamstown, MA; Joseph Messer, Williamstown, MA; Sebenele Ndlangamandla, Bennington, VT; Anna Nuler, Red Hook, NY; Aayushi Pramanik, Williamstown, MA; Catherine Rafferty, Altamont, NY; Jane Sartwell, Annandale-on-Hudson; Madison Scisci, Slingerlands, NY; Kes Stefanik-Houde, New Baltimore, NY; Kaylee Sterns, Albany, NY; Rosina Torres, Albany, NY; Rainer Turim, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY; Amelia Van Donsel, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY; Gennaro Vargas, Schenectady, NY; Christian Wechgelaer, Saratoga Springs, NY; Kennadi Yates, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY.

Thank you to our sponsors!