85: Joni Sternbach on perseverance, spontaneity + the wet plate process

By Shannon Byrne

Joni Sternbach is a native New Yorker. She holds a BFA in Photography from the School of Visual Arts and an MA from New York University/International Center of Photography. She uses both large format film and early photographic processes to explore the present-day landscape and to make 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. Joni’s work is included in many public collections with recent acquisitions from the Joslyn Art Museum, Harn Museum, MOCA, and the National Portrait Gallery in London. She is the recipient of several grants and prizes including the Clarence John Laughlin Award, NYFA and second prize winner in the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize competition 2016. Her monograph, Surf Site Tin Type was published by Damiani Editore in March 2015. In this episode, we talk about capturing emotional landscapes, the wet plate process, the importance of taking a chance and finding a community, the value of making books, what feminism in art means to her, and more. Read more in the show notes.

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