Discipline: Visual Art – photography

Joni Sternbach

Discipline: Visual Art – photography
Region: Brooklyn, NY
MacDowell fellowships: 2018

Joni Sternbach is an artist, photographer, and educator based in Brooklyn, NY.

She uses both large format film and early photographic processes to create contemporary landscapes and environmental portraits. Her work centers on our relationship with water, contrasting some of the most desolate deserts in the American West to iconic surf beaches around the world. Her long-term projects involve the pursuit and understanding of the western landscape and the series SurfLand, which captures portraits of surfers in tintype.

Sternbach’s second monograph, Surf Site Tin Type was published by Damiani Editore in 2015. She is a 2016 Taylor Wessing Portrait prizewinner. Her work is part of several public collections including The Joslyn Museum, The National Portrait Gallery in London, Nelson-Atkins Museum and Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. She is the recipient of many grants including NYFA and the 2011 Clarence John Laughlin award and the Santo Foundation.

At MacDowell, she completed an artist book of cyantope and platinum photographs of the ocean titled, High Tide Montauk Point. It will soon to be exhibited at AIPAD and for sale through the Dust Collective. She also created a new body of work with a vintage Graflex 4x5 camera. Working in the wet darkroom at Nef, she developed and printed this new series, engaging in the December landscape, including portraits made outdoors of both residents and locals.



Joni Sternbach worked in the Nef studio.

Nef Studio, the first entirely new studio built after 1937, was donated by esteemed photographer, explorer, author, and MacDowell Fellow Evelyn Steffanson Nef in 1992. Endowed funds for the studio’s maintenance in perpetuity and an annual Fellowship for photographers were given in addition to funds for construction. Mrs. Nef said she had known about MacDowell all her…

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