Executive Director Katherine Ryckman Siegwarth. Courtesy of FotoFocus.

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The Future is Bright for FotoFocus

Posted on January 11, 2023

Letter from the Executive Director

Thank you to everyone who supported FotoFocus in 2022. Last year was a stellar undertaking by the organization: we hosted the Telephotography Symposium in April (postponed from its original October schedule) along with the 2022 FotoFocus Biennial: World Record. These two signature programs brought a record number of artists, curators, and enthusiasts together for thoughtful conversations, exhibitions, and programs throughout the year. These events addressed topics as far ranging as early experimentations of photographing electricity, the use of timelapse photography in recording glacial melting and coral reef bleaching, artists collecting or photographing underrepresented and marginalized communities, and a deep look into the meaning of place and home here in Cincinnati. The Biennial boasted over 100 projects at 90 venues, our largest collaboration to date. Many of these projects continue through early 2023 and we plan to announce attendance and other metrics soon.

The New Year begins a new chapter for FotoFocus. Since its founding in 2010, this non-profit arts organization championing photography and lens-based art was led by Mary Ellen Goeke, who retired in December. Along with a group of photography supporters, Goeke created a foundation for collaborative opportunities, poignant programming, and a grant support system for regional organizations. As FotoFocus returns to the office after a brief winter respite, I am thrilled to now serve as the Executive Director.

It is an incredible honor and privilege for me to serve as the second Executive Director of FotoFocus. I have long held this organization in the highest regards, amazed by its ability to meld ambition, thought-provoking concepts, and community together, with an incredible level of generosity woven into all aspects of it. Members of FotoFocus were some of the first people I met when I moved to Ohio in 2014, and it became clear that this small, dedicated team had built something special. It has been a pleasure to work with FotoFocus in some capacity since 2015: serving as a Participating Venue curator and grant recipient for three Biennials prior to joining the team in 2021 as the Biennial Director. The transition to the other side of the curtain has been a great joy, not only to work with this impressive group of individuals, but also through assisting organizations of diverse sizes and missions to realize inspiring projects centered around photographic arts.

These values will remain at the core of FotoFocus as we continue to develop our signature programs, as well as consider new year-long programming and outreach with the completion of the FotoFocus Center in 2025. I look forward to sharing more information about our 2023 programs in the coming weeks as well as starting to collaborate with our regional partners as we begin planning the 2024 FotoFocus Biennial. 

Happy New Year,

Katherine Ryckman Siegwarth
Executive Director