Maplewood, NJ, United States
Emily Schiffer is a photographer and mixed media artist interested in the intersection between art, community engagement, and social change.
Awards include: an Audience Engagement Grant from the Open Society Foundation, an Emergency Fund Grant from the Magnum Foundation, the Arnold Newman Prize for New Directions in Portraiture, winner of the PDN Photo Annual Personal Project Category, first prize in the IPA Lucie Awards, the Inge Morath Award, presented by Magnum Photos and the Inge Morath Foundation, and a Fulbright Fellowship in Photography. Emily has exhibited her photographs internationally at institutions including the Fotografie Forum Frankfurt, Espacio Fundacion Telefonica, Madrid, and the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Manila. Publications include: Aperture, Smithsonian Magazine, PDN, TIME, the Washington Post, and Mother Jones. Her work is in the permanent collections of The Farnsworth Museum, US, The Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts, Japan, Foto Baryo, Philippines, The Center for Fine Art Photography, US, and numerous private collections.
In 2005, she founded the My Viewpoint Youth Photography Initiative on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota, where she continues to teach and shoot. In 2011 she co-created See Potential, a community engagement/ public art project that installs documentary images on abandoned buildings to illustrate economic development initiatives of community leaders on the South Side of Chicago. In 2014 she co-created Danube Revisited: The Inge Morath Truck Project, a photographic road trip and travelling exhibition in which a 2T truck was converted into a mobile gallery and driven along the length of the Danube River through Central and Eastern Europe.
Emily is available to work internationally.
In 2005, I founded a photography program for young people on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota. Over the course of twelve years, my students and I photograph together and are all subjects of each other’s work.
Our favorite locations are the fields and abandoned buildings on the fringes of town, forgotten places thick with the past that lend themselves to imaginary games and textured photographs.
Children have a unique ability to experience love, joy, and pain simultaneously, without compartmentalizing their experiences. I aim to convey this complexity. My images explore play as a vehicle through which youth reveal and negotiate their emotions, histories, and desires.