Image Text Ithaca Press Honored

By Dan Verderosa, November 14, 2018
Ithaca College’s independent press made an exceptional showing at the 2018 Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards.
One large and one small teal book

“Wood River Blue Pool” was shortlisted in the First PhotoBook category at the Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards.

(Photo by Image Text Ithaca Press)

In just three years Ithaca College’s Image Text Ithaca Press — a project of the Image Text MFA program — has made a name for itself on the world stage. Two books published by the press were shortlisted for awards at the Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards, and MFA faculty member Stanley Wolukau-Wanambwa won in the Best First PhotoBook category.

“We were thrilled that the two books we published this year were both shortlisted for the most prestigious awards in our field,” said Catherine Taylor, an associate professor in the Department of Writing and co-director of Image Text Ithaca Press. “It is extremely rare to receive such a nomination and for one press to have two books on the list is almost unheard of. As a new press, in our third year, this is a special accomplishment.”

My Birth” by Carmen Winant was shortlisted in the PhotoBook of the Year category. Combining image and text, “My Birth” interweaves photographs of Winant’s mother giving birth to her three children with found images of other, anonymous, women undergoing the same experience. The book was co-published by Image Text Ithaca Press and the London-based Self Publish, Be Happy Editions, a publisher directed by core faculty member Bruno Ceschal. The work from “My Birth” was featured in the Museum of Modern Art’s “Being: New Photography 2018” exhibition and was favorably reviewed by The New Yorker.

“Wood River Blue Pool” and “Blue Pool Cecilia” by Jo Ann Walters and Emma Kemp was shortlisted in the First PhotoBook category. “Wood River Blue Pool,” which was featured in The New Yorker in October, presents decades of Walters’ photographic work, from 1984-2016, mostly portraits of women and children living either along the Mississippi River near Walter's hometown, or in Connecticut, her adult home. Its accompanying book, “Blue Pool Cecilia,” is a combination of art criticism and murder mystery written by Kemp during a road trip with Walters.

“We were thrilled that the two books we published this year were both shortlisted for the most prestigious awards in our field. It is extremely rare to receive such a nomination and for one press to have two books on the list is almost unheard of. As a new press, in our third year, this is a special accomplishment.”

Catherine Taylor, co-director of Image Text Ithaca Press

“Wood River Blue Pool” and “Blue Pool Cecilia” are packaged together in a unique design created by Image Text Ithaca Press designer and MFA faculty member Elana Schlenker, which allows Kemp’s book to nest inside the cover of Walters’ book.

Winant was a visiting artist at the MFA program in summer 2018, and both Walters and Kemp have been Image Text Ithaca Fellows and visiting artists, teaching workshops and participating in collaborative projects with MFA students.

In addition to the two books published by the press, MFA faculty member Stanley Wolukau-Wanambwa won in the Best First PhotoBook category for his photobook, “One Wall a Web.” Gathering work from two photographic series, the book explores the historical and contemporary realities of anti-black and gendered violence.

Another Image Text Ithaca Press photobook, “Dark Archives” by Andre Bradley, was shortlisted for the Aperture-Paris Photo First Book Award in 2017. It was also shortlisted for the Rencontres d’Arles Image-Texte Book Award.

The college’s Image Text MFA Program welcomed its first class of students in summer 2016. MFA students work with the press and get the experience of curating and editing, as well as working with designers and editors.