Open Call: Alice Austen’s 3rd Triennial of Photography


Alice Austen House 3rd Triennial of Staten Island Photography

The Alice Austen House is currently accepting photography and multimedia submissions for Ecologies #3. Ecology is the study of the relationships between living things and their changing environments. Looking through the lens of Staten Island residents and outsiders documenting the borough, this juried exhibition will explore contemporary themes and narratives that begin to reveal our evolving responses to the rapidly changing social and natural environment in this complex borough.

Photo by Samuel Partal, Etiolai


Now until January 1st 2023
11:59 PM

Selected Photographers

A shortlist will be honored on our social media and the selected artists will be exhibited in the final exhibition, opening in March in the contemporary galleries of the Alice Austen House museum.

How to Enter

Upload your submissions digitally here:

Submissions close January 1st 2023 at 11:59PM.

Judging Criteria

An expert panel of judges will review and select entries for inclusion in the exhibition to be curated by Paul Moakley and Victoria Munro. Entries should be taken by photographers who are from or reside in Staten Island, or if taken by photographers outside of Staten Island, should be about Staten Island. Entries must aim to explore contemporary themes and narratives in their work through traditional, digital, and innovative uses of the medium.

Call for entries open
October 1st 2022
Submission Deadline
January 1st 2023 at 11:59PM
Shortlist Announcement
January 2023
Winner Announcement
February 2023
Opening Gala for Alice Austen Triennial of Photography
March 2023

About the Alice Austen House

The Alice Austen House fosters creative expression, explores personal identity, and educates and inspires the public through the interpretation of the photographs, life and historic home of pioneering American photographer, Alice Austen (1866-1952). The Alice Austen House is a living breathing photographic resource, providing a platform for contemporary photographers to explore Austen’s legacy and make connections to the place she called home.

Gallery of Previous Winners


When do submissions close?

Submissions close on January 1st 2023 at 11:59PM.

What are the restrictions on format and sizes?

Images should be 3000px on the longest side, and saved as a JPEG at 72DPI.

What if I plan to submit a paper application or physical work?

Please contact the museum to schedule a time to drop-off these materials. If arranged before the submission deadline, there will be a grace period for accepting materials.

I have more than one body of work. How do I submit this?

Each person is limited 10 images per submission but can submit multiple applications. Please be sure to address each body of work in your artist statement.

How many images can I submit?

You can submit ten in each project. These may be single images or a series.

Do I have to be a Staten Islander to qualify? Does the work have to be taken on Staten Island?

No, we are looking for work made about Staten Island if you are not a resident. This is a pretty loose interpretation. Any themes relating to contemporary happenings on the Island will qualify.

I live or work on Staten Island — can I submit work on *anything?

Yes, you are looking at the world through the lens of a Staten Islander. This means your work qualifies. 

How many images should I submit?

You should submit what you consider to be your best work. 10 max (for each project).

What is an artist statement?

An artist statement addresses the work that you are submitting. It should address the “how,” “what,” and “why” of your work.  Use clear, concise and simple language.

What is an artist’s biography?

An artist biography tells about us you as a photographer. Please be sure to list any formal or informal training, degrees, awards, and exhibition history.

How do I contact you?

Contact the museum at or at 718-816-4506 if you have any questions about the application process.

If there are technical issues during the submission process, please notify us by phone or email in advance of the deadline. We will work with you to resolve all outstanding concerns in advance of the juror review process.

Ecologies #3: The Alice Austen Triennial of Photography is supported by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, Richmond County Savings Foundation, and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Introducing My Dear Alice

The Alice Austen House and Pamela Bannos are thrilled to announce the release of the new podcast series My Dear Alice in late September 2022.

producer Pamela Bannos

In 2020, artist, researcher and author Pamela Bannos (author of Vivian Maier: A Photographer’s Life and Afterlife) began sharing her research with Alice Austen House Executive Director Victoria Munro to launch a journey into Austen’s world. Starting with Austen’s photographic cannon, Bannos’ circle of research expanded to uncover new discoveries through leads found in the entirety of Austen’s letter collection and her wide circle of friends. Bannos created an extensive family and friend tree for Austen that crosses the US and continually investigates new leads. Bannos is in the final stages of producing the 10 episode podcast My Dear Alice which will expand our understanding of the rich world of Austen, her friends, her travels, loves and photographs.

Bannos’ podcast series My Dear Alice is based on hundreds of letters that were returned to the Alice Austen House Museum 40 years after they were found in a closet by the family that had moved in after Austen was evicted in 1945. Dating from 1883 to 1898, they chronicle Austen’s life from age 17 through 32, during the time she made the photographic works that she is best known for. The letters taper off as she meets Gertrude Tate, the woman with whom she will spend the rest of her life. Artist and author Pamela Bannos wrote and narrates the series, filling in Austen’s biography and photo practice, tying together the chronology. The project is in collaboration with the Alice Austen House Museum.

In collaboration with the Alice Austen House, Bannos has created a beautiful companion website to the podcast series. The website will provide galleries of images to accompany each episode with additional information and full podcast transcripts.

We will be sending weekly updates on the progress of the podcast release and its weekly episodes.

Learn more about Bannos and her work here.

This will be a wonderful introduction to the Alice Austen letter collection that we have been working so intensely with over the past few years.

With the support of the New York State Archive Documentary Heritage Program, our Director of Operations and Collections, Kristine Allegretti has been creating a new finding aid for the letters which we are beginning to make available online via our website.

Kristine has also been busy scanning the collection thanks to the National Parks Service Saving America’s Treasures grant and we have provided a glimpse of these beautiful images here.

The podcast will shine a new light on the Alice Austen House letter collection and provide meaningful context to its contents and the fascinating array of authors who feature Austen's lively circle of friends. Pamela's years-long research into Austen's life and work is so critical for the preservation and truthful narration of Austen's life and work.

—Victoria Munro, Executive Director of the Alice Austen House

Meet our Photoville 2022 Artists

The Alice Austen House partnership with The Photoville Festival returns with online community storytelling events and photo exhibitions in public spaces throughout New York City.

Photoville Logo including the word "photoville" and the graphic of a shipping container

The Photoville Festival provides an accessible venue for photographers and audiences from every walk of life to engage with each other, and experience thought-provoking photography from across the globe — with free access for all! For the first time in 10 years, the Photoville Festival will be celebrating visual storytelling in the summer.


This year the Alice Austen House will present six exhibitions showcasing Staten Island photographers, curated by Victoria Munro:

What's It Like

Jahtiek Long

Born and bred on Staten Island, Jahtiek Long is an interdisciplinary artist, emerging curator, photographer, musician, and community organizer. Recently, his work has been predominantly photography-focused and centered around subverting the traditional narrative of Staten Island. The island at times faces a stigma — and a picture is worth a thousand words. With that in mind, Long hopes to provide a shift in the representation of the borough and the people who call it home. Long’s work has been featured by PBS, NY1, the Staten Island Advance, and Inked Magazine.

Over the last few years, I’ve made it a priority to capture the beauty, charm, and story of a city — parts of which can be overlooked. Staten Island itself can be seen through a polarizing lens, by both Staten Islanders themselves and the rest of New York City. This body of work aims to provide another perspective, one with a more nuanced approach — showcasing the places and experiences that may at times be overlooked, but deserving of representation and the opportunity to be a part of the narrative of Staten Island, New York.

David Lê

Maiden Name

David Lê (b. 1985) was born on Staten Island, on Swan Street — where he shot the images that are displayed in this exhibition. He is an alumnus of P.S. 16 and I.S. 61. His photography practice began in earnest when he spent a year cataloging modernist architecture in Hanoi, Vietnam as a Fulbright Scholar in 2008. He went on to study the intersection of public religion and memorialization during his doctoral studies at Brown University. In 2019, he co-founded Maiden Name, a concept store operating at the intersection of art, design, and fashion based in New York City. The work presented here is from the Maiden Name Spring-Summer 2022 lookbook. Lê resides in New York City.

These images are from the Maiden Name Spring-Summer 2022 lookbook. The idea for this shoot was to collage glossy fashion imagery into the urban fabric of Staten Island. This is a New York brand, and we wanted to show a side of New York that’s rarely if ever seen.

Front Porch Project

Christine Kenworthy

Christine Kenworthy is a professional photographer based in Staten Island, New York. She believes the most important thing in life is the relationships you have with the people you love. Her photography represents families across Staten Island.

During the beginning of the pandemic, a photography project across the country was born called the Front Porch Project. In early April 2020, I launched my own Front Porch Project in Staten Island. In exchange for photographing families in front of their home from 8 feet away, I collected a donation to help those on the front lines. Each participating family received five edited digital images and donated at least $20. We were able to feed emergency room staff at both island hospitals, contributed to purchasing hospital supplies, and donated to Maker Space to help fund the making of face shields.


Samual Partal

Samuel Partal makes photographs of the post-natural landscape. He lives and works in Staten Island, New York.

“I view my practice as operating within a tradition of landscape photography — making photographs in the bits of wildness that bleed through the margins of the built environment — spaces in varying degrees of preservation and abandonment, ruin and remediation. I am interested in encountering the many transfigurations of the natural at play, in the uncanny landscapes of the anthropocene, or current geological age. In the studio, I set my film negatives on mounts and paint them with solutions of earth’s metals and mineral salts, sometimes letting them steep in the brine for days or weeks. These materials were central to the earliest photographic processes. They are also substances entangled in the diverse metabolisms of soil and sea, as well as agriculture and heavy industry. The commingling of these chemistries, the accretions and erosions that form their own miniature landscapes on and under the surface of the image, speak to the material and ecological history of photographs, and of the worlds they inhabit.” – Partal, 2022

Thomas Giarraffa

Dynamic Relationships

Thomas Giarraffa tells stories with his photography, creating surreal environments to comment on his past and the world he inhabits.

“My work is focused on isolation and how that affects a being — both the good and the bad. Mental, physical, and emotional abuse are elements within many people’s lives that we don’t seem to talk about enough. Even when the people behind such pain come from a good place, or hold good intentions, it can still result in pain nonetheless.” – Giarraffa, 2022

Island Lens

Lauren Fread, Mai’yah Kau, Elvia Gezlev, Jessica L. Gianna, John Kilcullen, Laura Pannone, Len Rachlin, Gillian Ricci

This group exhibition provides a snapshot of the diverse photographic practices on Staten Island. Ranging from photographic Instagram feeds to traditional B&W photography.


The Staten Island Photoville sites are located on the South Beach boardwalk and the Alice Austen Park. More information and exact locations will be provided closer to the date.

North Shore by Gareth Smit

from North Shore by Gareth Smit (2019 exhibitor)

irma bohorquez-geisler

from Migrant Stories by Irma Bohorquez-Geisler (2021 exhibitor) 

Gale Wisdom

Nature of Light by Gale Wisdom (2021 Exhibitor)

Photoville Festival 2022 kicks off with an Opening Day Community Celebration in glorious Brooklyn Bridge Park on Saturday June 4, 2022 and will feature public art exhibitions in all 5 boroughs for the month of June, in collaboration with local cultural institutions and NYC Parks. Photoville will once again host artist-led walking tours, workshops, and opportunities for educators and students to connect with the Festival’s featured visual storytellers.

Learn more about Photoville 2022 here.


Paul Mpagi Sepuya

SUMMER 2022 Exhibition

The Alice Austen House presents the work of Paul Mpagi Sepuya in our Summer 2022 exhibition.

144 Powers

Paul Mpagi Sepuya

Above:  “Study for friendship, D.C.S and F.C. (2106),” 2015, 34 x 48 inches

“The subjects appearing in my work are a cast of friends and intimates, muses, lovers, mentors, and peers. I am inspired to work with these “shared subjects,” as I call these friends, for their mobility and visibility at the particularly charged intersection of creative, social, and sexual in the queer community. I am keyed into the recognition that happens weeks after a turn in the darkroom – like the photographer’s dark room, the queer dark room allows for the memory of a kind of vision you can’t explain to one who hasn’t entered. The relationships that exist across subjects and myself serves as the basis for the organization and editing of my work…” 

– Paul Mpagi Sepuya, 2017

Paul Mpagi Sepuya (b. 1982, San Bernardino, CA) is a Los Angeles-based artist working in photography, and Associate Professor in Media Arts at the University of California San Diego. 

His work is in the collections of the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Getty and Guggenheim Museums, the Hammer Museum, LACMA, MoCA Los Angeles, MoMA, SFMoMA, the Studio Museum in Harlem, and the Whitney Museum, among others. His work has been covered in the New Yorker, the New York Times, Art in America, The Nation, and The Guardian, and was featured on the cover of ARTFORUM’s March 2019 issue.

Recent museum exhibitions include those at the Barbican Centre, LACMA, the Guggenheim Museum, the Getty Museum, and a project for the 2019 Whitney Biennial. A survey of work from 2006-2018 was presented at CAM St. Louis and Blaffer Art Museum, accompanied by a monograph published by CAM St. Louis and Aperture Foundation. 

Most recently, Paul was an artist-in-residency at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center, and was featured in the PHOTO 2022 International Festival of Photography in Melbourne and a group exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C. A solo exhibition at Bortolami in New York is open through late June.

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Pug Day- Postponed

Due to the threat of inclement weather, 

Pug Day will be rescheduled. Please visit this site for updates. 

This fun event pays homage to Alice Austen’s pug, Punch, and is in partnership with the
Pug Dog Club of Greater New York. 

Come and enjoy the beautiful Alice Austen Park with your furry friends. 

There will be plenty of pugs…and their enthusiastic owners stage a pug costume contest! 

Everyone is invited to bring along their favorite pug pals to run around
the grounds and enjoy the day.




Photoville 2022 Submissions are now open!


Unremarkable Handiwork: Translations and Collections

During 2021 and early 2022 Michelle Grabner collaborated with the Alice Austen House to create a new series of paintings and photographs inspired by the home, studio and collections of trailblazing photographer Alice Austen. Drawing on her own studio-focused practice and Austen’s photographic documentation of her home’s interior decoration and fabric collections, Grabner’s work re-examines fabric patterns and materiality in doily making, expanding on repetitive design and layering. 


Unremarkable Handiwork: Translations and Collections


Michelle Grabner


During 2021 and early 2022 Michelle Grabner collaborated with the Alice Austen House to create a new series of paintings and photographs inspired by the home, studio and collections of trailblazing photographer Alice Austen. Drawing on her own studio-focused practice and Austen’s photographic documentation of her home’s interior decoration and fabric collections, Grabner’s work re-examines fabric patterns and materiality in doily making, expanding on repetitive design and layering. 

As an inventor, translator, copier and re-articulator of patterns, I predictably embrace Gombrich’s general observation that ‘the arrangement of elements according to similarity and difference and the enjoyment of repetition and symmetry extend from the string of beads to the layout of the page in front of the reader, and, of course, beyond to the rhythms of movement, speech and music, not to mention the structures of society and the systems of thought.’

When researching Alice Austen and her collections I was most taken with her negligible lace collection, a small box of snippets likely a practical assembly of remnants collected for mending Victorian collars and cuffs. Lace, like doilies and other domestic ornamental handiwork has varied craft and materials qualities but pattern invention is undemonstrative and mostly undeviating. Gombrich notes that decoration ‘changes slowly.’

Domestic ornamental work is practiced, produced and influenced by habit. Moreover domestic ornamental artifacts occupy habitual spaces, punctuating daily routine.

‘Radical invention is nonexistent, considerable invention the exception, and the gradual evolution of decorative motifs, some of which can be traced back for millenia, the rule.’

It is not for the lack of invention that compelled me to rearticulate and rearrange the excessively ornate patterns of lace and doilies but to challenge my aesthetic aversion to the white delicate complexity of lacework while at the same time pressing on painting’s suspicion of unoriginal abstractions. The works made for this exhibition seek to upend the Gombrichian pronouncement that ‘painting, like speaking, implicitly demands attention whether or not it receives it. Decoration cannot make this demand. It normally depends for its effect on the fluctuating attention we can spare while we scan our surroundings.’

– Michelle Grabner


We’re hiring!

We're hiring!

The Alice Austen House is looking to expand our team with exciting openings in the following positions:

Available Positions

Director of Operations (Full-time)


Director of Education (Full-time)



9/11 Commemoration 20 Years

Current Exhibition

At the beginning of 2021, cultural and preservation leaders met at the 9/11 Memorial Museum to discuss cultural institutions’ response to the 9/11 20th anniversary and plan arts programming to provide our communities with spaces to gather and reflect on the power of the arts in NYC to heal. The Alice Austen House presents 1977 Landmarks Commission photographs of historic Staten Island firehouses and a contemplative slideshow of all 5 boroughs to commemorate the heroic contributions of firefighters and their loved ones in response to the devastating tragedy on 9/11/2001.

All photos by:

Jerry Spearman

Photo by Jerry Spearman

9/11 Commemoration 20 Years

all photos by

Jerry Spearman

At the beginning of 2021, cultural and preservation leaders met at the 9/11 Memorial Museum to discuss cultural institutions’ response to the 9/11 20th anniversary and plan arts programming to provide our communities with spaces to gather and reflect on the power of the arts in NYC to heal. The Alice Austen House presents 1977 Landmarks Commission photographs of historic Staten Island firehouses and a contemplative slideshow of all 5 boroughs to commemorate the heroic contributions of firefighters and their loved ones in response to the devastating tragedy on 9/11/2001.

All photos by
Jerry Spearman

Exhibition Programming

View the
Exhibition Slideshow:

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The Photographer in the Garden

Current Exhibition

Since the invention of the medium, photographers have been drawn by the allure of flowers. This group exhibition excerpted from Aperture’s book The Photographer in the Garden celebrates the rich history of artists working in the garden as a site of inspiration and reinvention.

presenting artists:

Sam Abell, Alice Austen, Mack Cohen, Stephen Gill, Lonnie Graham, Justine Kurland, Lori Nix, Bill Owens, Sheron Rupp, Collier Schorr, Mike Slack

Lonnie Graham
Harry Noisette at The Garden of Enlightenment, Wilmot Frazier Elementary School, Spoleto, Charleston, SC 2002

Lori Nix
Wasps, 2002

The Photographer in the Garden


presenting artists

Sam Abell

Alice Austen

Mack Cohen

Stephen Gill

Lonnie Graham

Justine Kurland

Lori Nix

Bill Owens

Sheron Rupp

Collier Schorr

Mike Slack

Above: Collier Schorr, Arrangement #12 (Blumen) 2008

When photography was introduced to the public in 1939, it immediately began to displace the record-making function of other art forms, such as drawing and painting. At the time, photographs seemed to be a direct transcription of reality, precisely recording what was put in front of the camera or in contact with photographic materials. In creating these early transcriptions, it is not surprising that most photographers turned to gardens for inspiration. The earliest processes worked best when the photosensitive surface was fresh or still wet. They also required long exposures to an intense source of light. Thus, photographers engaged with subject matter found in their own backyards since those spaces were close to darkrooms, provided abundant light for their compositions and often contained botanical specimens that could be used to test the light sensitivity of the chemistry.

Contemporary photographers continue to call into question the human-nature relationship that these public and private spaces have inspired and create images that take the viewer on a journey. Careful looking reveals that the garden is not natural at all, human-made and that “paradise” requires caretakes to shape nature. When considered together, the photographs here illustrate the changing relationship between humans and nature from the nineteenth century to today. From private flowerbeds to sweeping public spaces, photographers have documented our ever-changing attitude toward the natural world.

Their history takes us from an agricultural society through industrialization and suburbanization to today’s global community engaged in discussions about past and present land use. A study of the garden could tell us as much about the gardener as it does about the beauty of blossoms and reveals as much about landscaping as it does about an individual’s relationship to nature. The difference is one of degree rather than kind.



The Aperture Foundation


Northfield Bank Foundation, the National Endowment of the Arts, and the Department of Cultural Affairs.

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