CPW is a vital hub for dialogue and discovery in photography and related media, bringing together a diverse array of artists and a vibrant community with a strong artistic tradition. Through its programs, CPW fosters opportunities to create and explore photography, and celebrate its role in contemporary culture. (approved by the Board of Directors, October 2017)
A non-profit organization located in the heart of Woodstock, NY, CPW has provided direct support to artists for over 40 years. Programs include exhibitions, residencies, workshops, digital and darkroom workspace, and more.
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In April 1977, a group of photographers led by Howard Greenberg and Michael Feinberg, encouraged by an artist community not interested in exhibiting or supporting the work of photographers, formed the Center for Photography at Woodstock (then called the Catskill Center for Photography). Nestled within the rural environs of Woodstock, home to one of the nation’s longest-running artist colonies and occupying a space that once housed Bob Dylan in the late 60s, they began with an exhibition of works by Walker Evans and Russell Lee and a series of workshops. Forty years later that vision has grown into one of the most active and vibrant not-for-profit artist-centered spaces in the country.
Today, CPW serves as a bridge connecting artists working in photography and related media to offerings in which creation, discovery, and education are made possible. With a small staff and a constantly rotating army of interns, CPW is continuously striving to meet the needs of emerging voices, always building upon its roster of offerings to identify new methods of support by providing access to professional resources including traditional and digital workspace, a library of over 1,400 monographs, exhibition catalogs, and publications, public lectures, community, and more.
Through the Woodstock Photography Workshop and Lecture series, CPW and its amazing roster of instructors who have included the likes of Sam Abell, Ruth Bernhard, Elinor Carucci, Keith Carter, Robert Glenn Ketchum, Sally Mann, Mary Ellen Mark, Richard Misrach, Arnold Newman, Platon, and so many more, covers topics ranging the entire span of photographic practice from antiquarian to cutting-edge digital practices.
With an emphasis on championing the voices of emerging artists and bringing forward new concepts through curated exhibitions, CPW’s year-round exhibition program brings forth work that challenges expectations, broadens our understanding of the world around us and connects audiences to the future of the photographic field.
PQ, CPW’s independently produced quarterly journal was established in 1979 as a 14×17” foldout mailer. Most PQ’s appeared as 60 page full color publications which brought the imagery of emerging photographers and the writings of contemporary writers far beyond our rural location. It was published through 2009.
Since it was formed in 1981, CPW’s Photographers’ Fellowship Fund has granted over $81,000 to 89 upstate New York including Andrea Modica, Kenro Izu, Lucinda Devlin and most recently Elsa Mora.
WOODSTOCK AIR, an artist workspace residency program, was established in 1999 to provide artists of color working in the photographic arts with the time, space, and support to break new ground, complete ongoing projects, and advance their artistic vision within an environment that has inspired artists for over a century. Provided with housing, stipend, and 24/7 access, eight artists are selected annually to spend periods of 3-6 weeks to do nothing but focus on the making of their own work. Over 100 artists have participated as part of the AIR program.
CPW collects contemporary prints, video works, audiotapes and slides in keeping with the organization’s mission. Primarily housed at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY New Paltz, the collection now includes around 1,800 works of art.
With this diverse range of programs and more, CPW is continuously identifying, supporting, and championing the voices of tomorrow’s visionaries in the field of photography.