Showcased Visual Storytelling, Created Community, and Brought Photoville to LA Where They Sponsored Our Exhibition
Written by Nancy Kaye
Philanthropist Wallis Annenberg who founded Annenberg Space for Photography, which was always free to the public, explained in a release, “…It’s been a joy and a privilege to share my favorite art form with the Los Angeles community for these ten wonderful years. Because a great photograph does so much more than capture what’s in front of us. It captures what’s deep inside us—the trials and the triumphs the naked eye rarely sees. That’s why the Photo Space has been so meaningful to me.”
It also meant a lot to over a million people who attended the Annenberg’s thought-provoking photo exhibitions, films, lectures by the exhibiting photographers, educational programs, and public concerts. The loss of such a vital and wonderful hub of photography sent shock waves throughout the photo community.
ASMP-LA in particular feels the loss as we gratefully recall the significant role the Annenberg had in mounting the photo festival Annenberg Space for Photography Presents Photoville LA in spring 2019 — an event also free to the public. Our group exhibition With Water/Without Water, which included the work of 22 ASMP members, was among 55 photo exhibitions displayed outdoors in photo cubes, banners, and repurposed shipping containers. Photoville—after nearly eight years in New York City—made its debut in Los Angeles, in great part with the generous support of the Annenberg Space for Photography.
The LA photo community will feel the loss of the Annenberg’s closing, but we’re grateful to it for recognizing the importance of visual storytelling, bringing the world to us through photography, and giving people the opportunity to more fully appreciate the way photography enriches our understanding of ourselves. We give our heartfelt thanks for what it gave over the past decade.
Going forward, the Annenberg Foundation plans to focus its philanthropy on aid to those affected by COVID-19 and to combating social injustice.
Past exhibits, archives of interviews, and audio tours of the Annenberg are still accessible through social media and at annenbergphotospace.org