The Rust Belt Biennial is looking for new photography made in the region.
The United States’ Rust Belt holds an often overlooked place in American history. Once known as a bastion for steel production, industry in the collection of Northeast cities has been in decline since the 1980s. Once thriving cities have been impacted by economic downturn from technological shifts and companies moving business and production overseas. As one might expect, it’s been a pivotal area during election periods when candidates attempt to reach its disenfranchised, yet voting-heavy population.
Seeing its unique position in American history, curators Niko J. Kallianiotis, Dana Stirling and Yoav Friedlander came up with the idea of hosting a biennial for photography made in the region. The exhibition opens in August at Wilkes University’s Sordoni Art Gallery in two parts: one part artists who have been invited to participate, and an open call juried by photographer Andrew Moore, with a deadline coming up on June 28th.
I emailed with Stirling, Kallianiotis and Friedlander to learn more. We’ve included some of the pre-selected images of the region to give folks a sense of what to expect (and maybe take a hint toward what the curators are looking for!)
Jon Feinstein in conversation with Niko J. Kallianiotis, Dana Stirling, and Yoav Friedlander