PDF - Silver Eye Center for Photography
Silver Eye Center for Photography
1015 East Carson Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15203
Media Contact: Juliana Zipay
412.431.1810, ext. 12, [email protected]
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Fellowship 15 International Photography Competition Winners Announced
Solo Exhibitions by Christopher Meerdo and Matthew Conboy
PITTSBURGH, Pa., November 4, 2014 –Silver Eye Center for Photography is pleased to announce that
Christopher Meerdo and Matthew Conboy are the winners of the Fellowship 15 International Photography
Competition. The award winners were selected from 252 applications from 20 countries around the world. This
year’s juror was Allison Grant, Assistant Curator, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, IL.
The portfolios of Christopher Meerdo and Matthew Conboy are scheduled to be on view at Silver Eye Center for
Photography from January 16 through March 21, 2015; with an opening reception to take place on Friday,
January 16 from 6:00 – 9:00 pm. Admission is free and open to the public.
International Award winner Christopher Meerdo (Chicago, IL) showcases work from his projects Iceland and
Cataphote, which explores notions of paranoia, entropy, and memorial through use of data processing,
photography, installation, and moving images. Meerdo’s photographs ask the viewer to challenge their own
ideas of objective awareness by altering the given landscape in dreamlike ways.
“Meerdo’s images surprised me in both their elegant, formal execution and multi-layered conceptual content,”
said juror Allison Grant. “Throughout the jurying process, I found my thoughts returning to his sophisticated
consideration of how the camera translates reality into two-dimensional representation. Ultimately, the curious
draw of the photographer’s subtle and other-worldly landscapes won me over, and is the reason I chose him for
the International Award.”
Keystone Award winner Matthew Conboy (Pittsburgh, PA) showcases Objects in mirror are closer than they
appear, which documents a surreal 88-acre skate park located in rural southeast Ohio. Skatopia functions as a
pilgrimage site for skaters from around the world, a refuge for young people looking for direction in their lives,
and an anarchist commune. Through his photographs, Conboy wished to turn his camera away from the skaters,
and instead search for the narrative threads that link the unique individuals portrayed in his images to each other
and to the physical and cultural landscapes of southeast Ohio.
“As I looked through Conboy’s portfolio, I could feel each image drawing me deeper into the romance of
underground youth culture,” said Grant. “I selected him as the Keystone Award winner because he is a fantastic
storyteller and his images each strengthen one another to form a compelling whole.”
Juror’s Commendations have been awarded to the following seven photographers for their exceptional
portfolios: Rachel Cox (Lansing, MI); April Friges (Pittsburgh, PA); Shane Lavalette (Syracuse, NY); Vesna
Pavlovic (Nashville, TN); Jiehao Su (Beijing, China); Ka-Man Tse (Brooklyn, NY); and Hyounsang Yoo
About the Fellowship 15 Winners
Christopher Meerdo (b. 1981) is the International Award winner for his projects Iceland and Cataphote.
Meerdo received his MFA in Photography from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2011 and his BFA in
Photography from Northern Michigan University in 2003. He grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and
spent time in post-soviet Lithuania as a teenager. Meerdo currently lives in Chicago where he teaches
photography at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Meerdo’s work has been exhibited and screened nationally and internationally, including Cabinet Magazine
(Brooklyn, NY); The Hills (Chicago, IL); ITP Space (Jackson, WY); Second Street Gallery (Charlottesville,
VA); SIM Gallery (Reykjavic, Iceland); Document Gallery (Chicago, IL); and Year Zero One (Toronto
Canada), amongst others. His work is part of the permanent collections at the Museum of Contemporary
Photography (Chicago, IL); the Harper College Art Collection (Palatine, IL); the South Bend Regional Museum
of Art (South Bend, IN), and other private collections. He has been the recipient of a number of residencies and
grants and his work has been published in a variety of publications. Meerdo was recently an artist in residence at
the SIM Program in Reykjavik, Iceland and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in the
summer of 2013. For more information, please visit www.christophermeerdo.com.
Matthew Conboy (b. 1977) is the Keystone Award winner for his series Objects in mirror are closer than they
appear. Conboy is currently a PhD candidate in Interdisciplinary Arts with specializations in Visual Art and
Aesthetics at Ohio University (Athens, OH). He received his MFA in Photography from Virginia
Commonwealth University (Richmond, VA) in 2004 and his BS in Architecture from The Catholic University
of America (Washington, D.C.) in 1999. He was born in Washington, D.C., raised in London, and now resides
in Pittsburgh, PA as a photography instructor at Robert Morris University and an active member on the Board of
Directors at the Mattress Factory.
Conboy’s work has been exhibited widely, including at the Center for Fine Art Photography (Fort Collins, CO);
the Kipp Gallery at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (Indiana, PA); the Westmoreland Museum of American
Art (Greensburg, PA); the Kiernan Gallery (Lexington, VA); the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts; and the
Carnegie Museum of Art (Pittsburgh, PA). Most recently, Conboy was the recipient of the 2014 Crusade for Art
Engagement Grant, as well as the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council Artist Opportunity Grant, and has received a
number of travel and work grants. His work has been included in a number of publications and he was also
offered a residency this year at Cittadellarte’s UNIDEE program in Biella, Italy. For more information, please
Opening Reception with the Artists
Friday, January 16, 2015, 6:00 - 9:00 pm
Join International Award winner Christopher Meerdo and Keystone Award winner Matthew Conboy during this
opening reception for the exhibition featuring their two winning portfolios from Fellowship, our international
About Silver Eye & the Fellowship Program
This marks the 15th consecutive year of Silver Eye’s Fellowship program, which has now awarded more than
$62,000 in unrestricted grants and solo exhibitions to 20 emerging and mid-career photographers. The program
is an integral part of Silver Eye Center for Photography’s mission to provide direct support and encouragement
to gifted and committed photographers from the region, the United States, and abroad.
Past winners include Elijah Gowin (2000); Kerry Stuart Coppin (2002); Sue Stepusin (2003); Dylan Vitone
(2004); Howard Henry Chen (2006); Caleb Charland (2007); Martin Weber (2008); Katrina M. d’Autremont
(2009); Laura Heyman and Laura Bell (2010-11); Akihiko Miyoshi and Isa Leshko (2012); Diane Meyer and
Ross Mantle (2013); and Donna J. Wan and Aaron MacLachlan (2014).
Silver Eye Center for Photography is the only non-profit organization in Pittsburgh and the surrounding region
devoted exclusively to contemporary photography and related visual media. Founded in 1985, Silver Eye
presents wide-ranging exhibitions by emerging, mid-career, and established artists and has been a catalyst and
advocate for new ideas, discourse, and trends in the field.
Silver Eye is located at 1015 East Carson Street in Pittsburgh’s historic Southside. Gallery hours are Tuesday
through Saturday, noon to 6 pm. Admission is free and open to the public.
Silver Eye Center for Photography is generously supported by our members and individual donors and by the
Allegheny Regional Asset District, the Donald and Sylvia Robinson Family Foundation, The Fine Foundation,
The Heinz Endowments, the Henry John Simonds Foundation, the Irving and Aaronel deRoy Gruber Charitable
Foundation, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the A.W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust Fund of The
Pittsburgh Foundation, The Sprout Fund and the William Talbott Hillman Foundation.
For additional information, press images, or to arrange for interviews with the juror, please contact:
Juliana Zipay, Membership & Marketing Manager, 412.431.1810, ext. 12, [email protected]
Photo Credits (left to right): Christopher Meerdo, Cataphote, 2014. Courtesy of the artist. Matthew Conboy,
Michael, 2014. Courtesy of the artist.