Photoville 2020: Perfect Vision

By Peggy Roalf   Wednesday September 16, 2020

Photoville—the brainchild of Sam BarzilayLaura Roumanos, and Dave Shelley—opens tomorrow in a new hybrid format. Celebrating its ninth year, it will still be actual, in Brooklyn Bridge Park. But it will also be virtual, with online programming to run through October 10. And this year, for the first time, it will be actual in all five boroughs Info.

If you are new to Photoville, here’s the story. The founders realized that there was something missing in the world of photography, and that was inclusiveness. They came up with the idea of making photography of every kind accessible to the widest possible public, and rented a bunch of shipping containers to serve as galleries. This happened at the moment Instagram was changing the way photography can be made, used and distributed. Was it a coincidence? I don’t think so.


The year before Photoville exploded on the scene, I was at St. Ann’s Warehouse, in Dumbo, listening to Kathy Ryan’s talk on Photography Now. She said, pretty much literally, that any photographer who wanted to be noticed simply had to be on Instagram. @kathyryan

Enough said. Very soon after, the first iteration of Photoville changed the face of public art. It not only presented  photography at the highest level, it also invited everyone to become a photographer at any level, through workshops given by top pros, covering, over the years, every aspect of image making from pushing the button to creating an archive. Public art was no longer confined to sculpture and installations in public squares.

This year’s edition, organized in the face of the worst social disaster in this nation’s history [but that is just my opinion] is reaching wider, and higher than ever. Following is just a sampling of what you will find in the way of live exhibitions [no containers this year, no worries about social distancing], and online workshops.

The opening celebration tomorrow night is virtual; you can sign up here.


EXHIBITIONS, a teaser Info

Brooklyn Bridge Park at 10: Transforming the Waterfront

Featuring: Various Artists

Location: Brooklyn Bridge Park

Días Eternos: A Portrait of the Life of Female Prisoners in Venezuela

Featuring: Ana Maria Arevalo Gosen

Presented by Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting


Featuring: Various Artists

Presented by Photoville

A Mother’s Eye

Photographs of children made by their mothers. 

Location: Brooklyn Bridge Park

Presented by Photoville

A Mother’s Eye features photographs of children made by their mothers. Artists uncover the moments that become family memories, narratives of growing up.

Asian Americans on Race and The Pandemic

Featuring: Haruka Sakaguchi, covering the stories of ten Asian Americans

Presented by TIME 


WORKSHOPS, a teaser Info

September 18: Back to Business: Workflow

September 19: Diversity in Visual Storytelling;  presented by Leica Women Foto Project

September 20: How to Visually Define Historic Moments; Brian Bowen Smith

September 26: Mobile Photography—Make Your Portraits Pop!; presented by Adobe


Weekly through October: Virtual Student and Educator Program Info

Throughout October, attend virtual programs such as Meet the Artist Exhibition Tours where students connect with Photoville artists, Youth Photography Panels where students learn from their peers, and an Educators Lab where teachers connect with Photoville artists and collaborate on lesson plans based on their work.


From the website: The PHOTOVILLE Festival, New York City’s free premier photo destination, returns for a ninth year in a different way – online community and artist programming plus photo exhibitions in public spaces throughout New York City.

This annual community gathering features public exhibitions, virtual online storytelling events, artist talks, workshops, demonstrations, educational programs, and community programming. Info

Photos courtesy of Photoville


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