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Brandon Thibodeaux: When Morning Comes / Keliy Anderson-Staley: [Hyphen] Americans

NOPA is pleased to present a two-person exhibition showcasing work from Brandon Thibodeaux, the 2014 Michael P. Smith Fund for Documentary Photography recipient and Keliy Anderson-Staley, the 2014 Clarence John Laughlin Award recipient.

June 6, 2015 – July 25, 2015

Brandon Thibodeaux – Maw Maw’s New Braids
Keliy Anderson-Staley – Caroline, 2014

Brandon Thibodeaux, the Michael P. Smith Fund Grant winner, will exhibit selections from his series When Morning Comes. The long-term project focuses on rural African American communities in Northern Mississippi. Michael Famighetti, Editor of Aperture magazine, who juried the grant, describes Thibodeaux’s work, “[It] relies on a strong sense of atmosphere, suggestion, and sometimes elliptical narrative. There is a quietness to the work from which it derives its strength.”

Keliy Anderson-Staley, the Clarence John Laughlin Award winner, will be exhibiting works from her project [Hyphen] Americans, a series of tintype portraits. In describing how the 19th century photo process impacts her work, Anderson-Staley states: “The portraits can be both a haunting reminder of the passing of time and a sign of our futile attempts to hold on to it. The faces, emerging from the liquid aberrations of the hand-poured chemistry on the tintype plates – each of which is unique – become ghosts, contemporary individuals inserted into the contexts of photographic history.” Del Zogg, Manager of Works on Paper & Photography Collections at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, who juried the award, said: “Her work presents people as photography intended: straight forward representations of people, all sitting for the camera while the artist selects those simple few seconds to present them as the individuals that they are.”

About the Artists:
Brandon Thibodeaux (b. 1981) was raised in Beaumont, Texas. His photo career began at a small daily newspaper in southeast Texas while studying photography at Lamar University. He now resides in Dallas, where he freelances for clients like Shell Oil,,, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal, among others. He is a member of the photography collective MJR, based in New York City. In 2009 he joined the ranks of the Getty Reportage Emerging Talent. In 2012 he participated in Review Santa Fe, was awarded second place in the PhotoNOLA Review Prize, was a US winner for the Magenta Foundation’s Flash Forward 2012 and The Oxford American listed him in the 100 Under 100, New Superstars of Southern Art. His work in the Mississippi Delta won second place in Center’s Gallerist Choice Awards, and was selected for a Critical Mass Top 50 Solo Show Award.

Keliy Anderson-Staley (b. 1977) earned a BA from Hampshire College and an MFA in photography from Hunter College in New York. She is currently an assistant professor of photography at the University of Houston. A monograph of Anderson-Staley’s tintype portraits was just published by Waltz Books in 2014. This work was also featured as a solo issue of Light Work’s Contact Sheet, published in 2011. In 2012 she received a generous fellowship from the Howard Foundation at Brown University for work on a project, titled An Archive of Inherited Fictions. Also in 2012, she completed a commission for the Portland Museum of Art in Maine, producing a series of tintypes in conjunction with the opening of the newly renovated Winslow Homer Studio to the public. She was the recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship (2008), a Puffin Grant (2009), a Light Work Residency and Fellowship (2010) and a Bronx Museum AIM residency (2007).