The Studio Museum In Harlem Announces The Youth Photo Show Catching The Echo: Expanding The Walls 2022

July 15, 2022

The Studio Museum in Harlem today announced the online photography exhibition Capturing the Echo: Expanding the Walls 2022.

Featuring work by the sixteen artists in the 2022 cohort of the Museum’s annual program, Expanding the Walls: Making Connections Between Photography, History, and CommunityThis year’s online edition of the exhibition marks the program’s twenty-second anniversary. 

The exhibition will be accessible at beginning August 1, 2022.

Founded in 2001, Expanding the Walls unites a cohort of New York City-based teenage artists to develop their own language as visual storytellers.

Over the course of eight months, participants engage with photographs in the Museum’s collection, including Gordon Parks, Jamel Shabazz, Ming Smith, and Carrie Mae Weems, among others. Participants are additionally guided through an in-depth exploration of the work of Harlem photographer James Van Der Zee, whose extensive archive has been a constant touchstone for intergenerational dialogue and formal exploration in Expanding the Walls.

Through workshops, gallery visits, and discussions led by contemporary artists and museum educators, the participants reflect on the past and, equipped with a newly-developed skillset, cultivate new possibilities for themselves and their work.

Thelma Golden, Director and Chief Curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem, said, “Expanding the Walls has developed over the years into one of the Studio Museum’s signature programs: a fusion of academic exploration and artistic practice that consistently opens new avenues for its participants and yields exhibitions that are eagerly awaited by a growing public. The sixteen young artists in this year’s cohort, working as New York City emerges from the pandemic, have engaged at the same time with their personal experiences and a rapidly changing world. We are proud to share the remarkable work they have done.”

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Shanta Lawson, Director of Education, said, “The photographs in Capturing the Echo: Expanding the Walls 2022 reflect participants’ thoughtful, creative exploration of how the changes that have occurred over the course of the pandemic resonate in their everyday experiences and inform their vision of the future. The young artists have embraced the space of this program to build community, process their realities, and learn how to use the camera as a tool for creative expression—creating work that oscillates between quiet, melancholic black-and-white imagery and the burgeoning colors of spring. With this show, the Expanding the Walls artists have offered a captivating view of the world as they see it.” 

For over two decades, Expanding the Walls has encouraged participants to explore and define their artistic practices while building community through workshops, gallery visits, intensive darkroom training, and discussions led by contemporary artists.

The program continues to be a source and site for critical and creative skill-building through photography and the artistic process.

Capturing the Echo: Expanding the Walls 2022 is organized by Starasea Camara, Curatorial Fellow, Permanent Collection; Zainab Floyd, Rauschenberg Curatorial Fellow; and Simon Ghebreyesus, Curatorial Fellow, Exhibitions; with Gi (Ginny) Huo, former Youth Programs Manager; and the 2022 Expanding the Walls participants. 

Support for Expanding the Walls

Expanding the Walls and youth programs are made possible with support from The Keith Haring Foundation Education Fund; Joy of Giving Something; Conscious Kids; New York State Council on the Arts; Colgate-Palmolive; Hearst Endowment Fund; and by the Jacob and Gwendolyn Lawrence Trust. The Studio Museum’s education programs are supported by the Thompson Foundation Education Fund; Llewellyn Family Foundation; Van Cleef & Arpels; William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust; Gray Foundation; Con Edison; May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation; Sony Music Group; and Joseph and Joan Cullman Foundation for the Arts.

Support for digital programming has been provided by the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation’s Frankenthaler Digital Initiative. Additional support is generously provided by The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

The Studio Museum in Harlem is deeply grateful for Donna Van Der Zee’s continued support of Expanding the Walls.

The Studio Museum in Harlem

Founded in 1968 by a diverse group of artists, community activists, and philanthropists, The Studio Museum in Harlem is internationally known for its catalytic role in promoting the work of artists of African descent.

The Studio Museum is preparing to construct a new home, designed by Adjaye Associates in collaboration with Cooper Robertson, at its longtime location on Manhattan’s West 125th Street. The building—the first created expressly for the institution’s program—will enable the Studio Museum to better serve a growing and diverse audience, provide additional educational opportunities for people of all ages, expand its program of world-renowned exhibitions, effectively display its singular collection, and strengthen its trailblazing Artist-in-Residence program.

While currently closed for construction, the Studio Museum is working to deepen its roots in its neighborhood through inHarlem, a dynamic set of collaborative initiatives.

The Museum’s groundbreaking exhibitions, thought-provoking conversations, and engaging art-making workshops continue at a variety of partner and satellite locations in Harlem and online at

Find us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube: @studiomuseum

Photo credit: Omar Lashin, Through and Through, 2022.

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