Chroma: Reframing Pluralism in Photographic Publications

Chroma is an exhibition and publications project of The Arts at CIIS that fosters pluralism within the field of photography and lens-based media by supporting the work of emerging and mid-career artists of African, Latino, Native American, Middle Eastern, North African, Asian, and Pacific Island heritage. We believe that culture is global, regional, and interpersonal; that we are all participants with a collective stake in the technological, creative, and communal forces that shape it.

THE CHROMA SERIES, an ambitious new publications project, is committed to narratives and viewpoints too often invisible within contemporary photobooks. Editor Carla Williams’ body of work as artist, historian and editor, shows great understanding for pluralism with purpose. This series promises to mine the book form’s potential for complexity and diversity.

Director, Visual Studies Workshop; Rochester, New York

OSCAR PALACIO: American Places


Includes an essay by Liz Wells, Professor in Photographic Culture, University of Plymouth
34 full-color plates $60.00

Mount Rushmore. Gettysburg. Manzanar. Plymouth Rock. In Palacio’s American Places these sites, so closely linked to the collective and complex legacy we inherit as Americans, are paired with monumental images of what seems familiar and even invisible. Yet the unremarkable ordinariness of the field of tall grass is transformed when you become aware that these are the grasses now covering a site, once a home, in New Orleans’ Ninth Ward, severely impacted by Hurricane Katrina. Originally from Colombia, Palacio brings an outsider’s perspective to his keenly observed America, and we discover a landscape both expansive and contained, delimited and unbounded.

Oscar Palacio is a Columbian-born, Rochester, New York-based photographer. He has exhibited across the United States. His work is included in the permanent collections of the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University, and the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona, among other collections.


Whether focusing on places ordinary or iconic, Oscar Palacio reveals the visual and cultural incongruities hiding in plain sight. Exposing what familiarity has rendered invisible, his images remind us that there is always more that meets the eye of even the camera lens.

-ALLISON KEMMERER, Mead Curator of Photography and Curator of Contemporary Art, Addison Gallery of American Art

It is said that civilization started with the first man building a fence around his property and others accepting his claim. In American Places we see fences, physical and symbolic, behind which America seems to hide its history, so we need the brilliant eye of an outsider like Oscar Palacio to reveal those histories to us.


Forthcoming in 2014


Includes and essay by Leigh Raiford, associate professor in African American Studies; University of California, Berkeley
40 full-color plates

In Manifest, Wendel White makes historical objects intimate and singular. These objects—an oxidized spoon, an open diary, a slave bill of sale, and perhaps above all, a lock of Frederick Douglass’s hair—are all embodied, had once touched flesh, been manipulated by human hands, had lived in the world before they were packed up into the archive.

–Leigh Raiford


Includes an essay by Tina Takemoto, associate professor in Visual Studies, California College of the Arts
30 full-color plates

June Yong Lee creates photographic images intimately and arrestingly corporeal. Hair (present or absent); stretch marks; scars, sometimes quiet or recognizably medical, at other times scrawled across the chest; piercings; tattoos, textual or symbolic, discreet or sprawling like the A of anarchy on a young female body. These are traces of histories to which we aren’t privy, at which we can only guess, inserting our own experiences and queries to interpret the markings.

DEBORAH JACK: evidence

Includes and essay by Charmaine Bynoe, Collections Care & Preservation of the Arts
28 full-color plates

Evidence deals with the re/construction of spaces from memory, a fragile and flawed tool when dealing with something as tangible as the landscape. The Caribbean story carries with it constantly evolving opposites that coexist on a daily basis. The stunning red flowers of the flamboyant tree hold a past that includes rebellion, revolt, and emancipation. Beauty and tragedy live together in an uneasy harmony, but together nonetheless.