Lecture and Visiting Artist Series, Spring 2018: FotoFocus Artistic Director and Curator Kevin Moore speaking with Zoe Leonard. Photo by Jacob Drabik

Since 2010, FotoFocus has engaged art and educational institutions throughout the region to support and expand the cultural dialogue with an emphasis on intellectually and academically rigorous programs. Signature programming includes the FotoFocus Biennial, FotoFocus Symposium, and FotoFocus Lecture and Visiting Artist Series.


Launched in October 2012, the FotoFocus Biennial is a regional, month-long celebration of photography and lens-based art held throughout the Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky, Dayton and Columbus regions, featuring more than 450 artists, curators, and educators—the largest of its kind in America. FotoFocus was built around the idea of collaboration—a collective experience developed through a unique cooperation between art museums, artists, curators, and educators in the exploration of the photographic art form. The Biennial brings together the community to celebrate October as the Month of Photography.

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FotoFocus Biennials


The FotoFocus Symposium is a day-long program designed to bring together artists, curators, writers, critics, and collectors to discuss a single theme and its relationship to lens-based art and the world today. These conversations bring together a diverse group of speakers to engage in timely and in-depth conversations around art in the current social and political climate.

The first FotoFocus Symposium, Mapplethorpe + 25, marked the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Robert Mapplethorpe’s historic exhibition The Perfect Moment at Cincinnati’s own Contemporary Arts Center and is an example of the outstanding programming developed by FotoFocus through partnerships. The symposium included participants who had direct knowledge of the artist, his work, and the exhibition which became a decisive point in the U.S Culture Wars.

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FotoFocus Symposiums

Lecture and Visiting Artist Series

In 1996, FotoFocus founders launched the Lecture and Visiting Artist Series. Since its inception, more than thirty-five internationally-renowned photographers have visited Cincinnati including Doug Aitken, Gregory Crewdson, Thomas Demand, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Laurie Simmons, and William Wegman. Every lecture is free and open to the public with a special emphasis on student engagement.

Continuing Initiatives

In addition to the Biennials and Lecture and Visiting Artist Series, FotoFocus continues to support visual and educational projects within the photographic realm that align with its mission. FotoFocus has provided support to the Cincinnati Film Society project presented at the Cincinnati Art Museum; the Fractured Atlas lens-based project in Havana, Cuba; screenings at Paris Photo LA; the screening of the film Punctured by artist, William E. Jones, at the Arles Photography Festival in southern France; the follow up discussion to the Mapplethorpe + 25 symposium at the New Museum in New York; and the presentation of William Kentridge’s More Sweetly Play the Dance at the Cincinnati Art Museum among many others. Recently, FotoFocus provided support for the presentation of the World War I photography exhibition at the Cincinnati Museum Center, the multi-media performance of BERLIN’s Zvizdal [Chernobyl – so far so close] at Lightborne Studios, and was a season sponsor of The Mini Microcinema. Partnerships with significant organizations such as these—venues that specialize in remarkable lens-based projects, are a vital part of what makes FotoFocus such an impactful contributor to the community.