PHOTO–EMPHASIS is a platform for showcasing current and diverse photography made by established and emerging artists. Through weekly features and interviews, we aim to highlight work by photography educators, students, and practitioners; providing an opportunity to feature personal projects and share information about their affiliated institution.

Their mission is to cultivate a resource that aids in promoting photographic art, education, and community, for those committed to and newly joining the medium. 

PHOTO–EMPHASIS was founded by artists Alec Kaus and Rana Young, both University of Nebraska–Lincoln alumni, in June 2017.

I was invited to jury the first PHOTO-EMPHASIS group exhibition titled HATCH

Jurying this exhibition was tough, but more importantly, exciting. The caliber of work submitted was outstanding, and everyone gave me a run for my money. As an artist and current graduate student, I know how difficult beginning new projects can be. Thank you for submitting and allowing me to see your art, it was a humbling experience. 

My choice for "Best In Show" is Gioncarlo Valentine’s Butch and Buffalo. There is something deeply engaging and inescapable about Valentine’s portraiture, and during the jurying process, I continued to come back to it and spend more time with it. The subjects are tender and vulnerable – and Valentine translates that human connection to us as viewers. He masterfully uses light, color, and gaze to raise critical questions about community and belongingness – a small act of humanity much needed in these tumultuous times.