Art Works Projects


625 N. Kingsbury
Chicago, IL 60654

Emerging Lens

Emerging Lens is ART WORKS Projects’ signature program that awards project support, unrestricted grants, and mentorship to emerging photographers working to document social justice and human rights issues in their own backyards and around the world.

The mission of Emerging Lens is to create a network of support for emerging photographers in hopes of creating greater accessibility to the field while making their work and the issues they highlight visible through public exhibitions in spaces nontraditional for documentary photography.

Each year, AWP selects a class of fellows who will work toward completing a project to be exhibited in partnership with community organizations, arts institutions, and/or academic centers.

Projects completed for this fellowship will center on fresh narratives and first-person storytelling regarding underrepresented communities with whom the fellows and AWP will collaborate.

Fellows will be supported by AWP staff, AWP creative collaborators including established photojournalists, photo editors, curators, etc., and the cohort of former Emerging Lens fellows.

Emerging Lens fellows will receive:

  • $5,000 unrestricted fellowship compensation for a 2 month project commitment to complete an ongoing or new body of work
  • Opportunity to apply for partial to full financial support for realization of project, including travel expenses, equipment rental, etc.
  • An exhibition of their work with programming opportunities and the possibility of exhibition travel
  • Mentorship from AWP staff, AWP partners, and the Emerging Lens community

To note: all copyrights remain with the fellow and AWP receives first right to publish the work. Afterwards, the fellow is encouraged to place the piece with a media outlet of their choosing.

Competitive applicants are new to the field of photography and would benefit personally and professionally from a mentorship with ART WORKS Projects. Their work addresses social justice and/or human rights in a manner that is thoughtful, ethical, and community-centered. The submitted project proposal is a well-developed idea or currently in-progress, and the addressed issue is relevant, timely, and applicable to AWP’s mission.

Click here to apply for the Emerging Lens Fellowship Program

2020 JURY
Megan Farmer
Emily Jan
Dalina Perdomo-Alvarez
Steven Rubin
Jennifer Samuel

2019 JURY
Olivier Laurent
Richard Sennott
Rachel Shrock
Kristin Taylor
Rachel Woolf

2018 JURY
Catherine Edelman
Natasha Egan
Isadora Kosofsky
Elizabeth Cheng Krist
Erika Schultz

2017 JURY
Juan Arredondo
Jessie DeWitt
Ron Haviv
Joshua Lott
Amanda Rivkin

2016 JURY
Leah Missbach Day
Adhemar Dellagiustina
Heriberto Quiroz
Molly Roberts
Corinne Rose
Eli Reed
Michael Zajakowski