Janna Ireland (she/her)
Janna Ireland (b. 1985, Philadelphia, PA) was born in Philadelphia and currently resides in Los Angeles. She received an M.F.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles and a B.F.A. from New York University. Ireland photographs a wide range of subject matter from portraits and still lifes to the urban landscape, and her photographs have been exhibited internationally. Janna often uses herself and her loved ones in personal and editorial work that explores family life. In recent years, Ireland’s practice expanded to include architectural photography.
Since 2016, she has photographed the buildings designed by African-American architect, Paul R. Williams
, who was the first black architect admitted to the American Institute of Architecture (AIA). Unlike conventional architectural photographs that were intended to document every detail, Ireland’s shadowy photographs conjure a moody richness, inviting viewers to focus on unique architectural elements and how they may have been experienced. In 2020, she published a book featuring 200 of these photographs, which were collected in a volume titled, Regarding Paul R. Williams: A Photographer’s View.
Ireland continued her work on Paul R. Williams as a Peter E. Pool Research Fellow at the Nevada Museum of Art. In 2022, an exhibition of her photographs of Williams' Nevada buildings opened at the Nevada Museum of Art.
Her work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions across the United States and internationally, and her work is in the permanent collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the California African American Museum, and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. Her photographs have been published in Aperture, The New Yorker, Harper’s, the Los Angeles Times, Architectural Digest, the Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times Magazine.
She is an assistant professor in the Department of Art and Art History at Occidental College
Texas Isaiah (he/they)
Texas Isaiah (he/they) has two first names and is an award-winning first-generation visual narrator born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, who currently resides in Los Angeles, CA. He is an autodidact and has a giant appetite for traveling, so his process and work aren't tethered to one geographical location.
Texas Isaiah focuses on developing an ethos that considers how a sitter should be cared for and protected as they find themselves within a visual archive. He acknowledges the connectivity between the sitter, a visual narrator, the environment, and other external elements required to create a caring image. A commitment to building systems of care is an extension of love. Texas Isaiah believes it's a beautiful way to be reminded of the possibility of what's attainable within ourselves. Despite the medium's historical violence inflicted on Black communities and communities of color, Texas Isaiah believes photography can be a healing mechanism while allowing others to self-actualize their pleasures. Though he has worked in studios and various indoor settings, his interest in imaging individuals outdoors comes from a personal curiosity about nature and the quotidian.
In 2020, Texas Isaiah became one of the first trans photographers to photograph a Vogue edition cover (Janet Mock, Patrisse Cullors, Jesse Williams, and Janaya Future Khan) and a TIME cover (Dwayne Wade and Gabrielle Union-Wade).
He is one of the 2018 grant recipients of Art Matters, a 2019 recipient of the Getty Images: Where We Stand Creative Bursary grant, a 2020-21 artist in residence at The Studio Museum in Harlem, a 2020 Clio Awards Silver winner for visual curation on Being Seen Podcast, and a finalist for the 2022 Artadia Los Angeles Award. Texas Isaiah’s work has been exhibited at Fotografiska (NYC), Aperture Foundation Gallery (NYC), Charlie James Gallery (LA), Studio Museum in Harlem (NYC), Residency (LA), Hammer Museum (LA), and The Kitchen (NYC). His work is currently part of two touring exhibitions: The New Black Vanguard: Photography Between Art and Fashion and As We Rise: Photography from the Black Atlantic.
Selected publications and clients:
Apple, Google, Converse, Dior, Aesop, Urban Outfitters, Abercrombie and Fitch, Calvin Klein, VSCO, Vanity Fair, W Mag, British Vogue
, Harpers Bazaar
, The New York Times
, LA Times
, and Cultured Magazine
Chris O’Leary (he/him)
Christopher O’Leary is an artist who works at the intersection of science, futurism and fantasy to create technologically experimental works of animation, photography and installation. His work borrows from an array of sources such as science fiction, comic books, popular film, and the hard sciences. Recent projects include a generative animation visualizing black holes, a series of hacked digital images of performances, and an apocalyptic animation made of thousands of photographs contemplating our fragile resources. He is currently a visiting researcher at the UCLA ArtSci Research Center working on his current project titled Cloud Chambers. He is a founding member of the artist collective called Speculative which has exhibited and programmed events around Los Angeles. These include a series of events at Machine Project bringing artists and scientists together to discuss Dark Matter, and an exhibition at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions about speculative fiction and art. Christopher has shown his work in Seattle, Los Angeles, Belgrade, Istanbul, Rome, and Torun, Poland. Christopher received his MFA from UCLA and his BFA and BA from the University of Washington. He lives in Los Angeles, CA.
Ericson Foundation Judge
William G. Ericson Foundation, President
Nancy Lem, born and raised in Los Angeles, California, has had a career as publication art director since 1975. Nancy worked for William “Bill” Ericson for 14 years as art director and associate publisher for the South Pasadena Review and The Quarterly Magazine. It was during this time she learned about Bill’s wish to form a Foundation to promote photographic arts education. Bill spoke often about holding photography competitions for students at local public high schools and Pasadena City College with scholarship awards for the winning entries. As president of the William G. Ericson Foundation, Nancy works with her fellow Foundation board members to fulfill Bill’s legacy. Nancy designed and published Bill Ericson’s book, William Ericson Photography – A Retrospective. Publishing the book was also an important part of Bill’s wish.
Prior to working for Bill at South Pasadena Publishing Company, Nancy was art director for Black Beltmagazine and Karate Illustrated magazine at Rainbow Publications in Burbank, California. She moved on to become art director for Motorcyclist magazine and Dirt Rider magazine at Petersen Publishing Company in Los Angeles, California. More recently, Nancy worked as art director and associate publisher for the San Marino Tribune, South Pasadena Review and The Quarterly Magazine at Gavilan Media in San Marino, California.
Photo art direction has always been a key responsibility as art director at the publications Nancy worked on. As a graphic designer she lets the photographs dictate the design.