Nereida Garcia-Ferraz

is a painter, photographer and video maker who graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has received the following grants: Ryerson Traveling Fellowship National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in 1985 and in 1998, The Ford Foundation grant in 1994. Illinois Arts Council Visual Arts Fellowship in 1985, 1986, 1989 Mac Arthur Foundation Media Grant in 1994 as well as The Richard Diebenkorn Teaching Fellowship from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2000 – 2001.
She has taught at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, The San Francisco Art Institute, and The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has also been a resident/visiting artist in many Art Schools and Museums. She currently works at MOCA’s Women on the Rise Program and Miami Art Museum’s Brick X Brick Education Program, working with youth on issues of Urban Design and Architecture, also at the Idea Lab at BASS Art Museum in Miami. Garcia founded The Photography Program at MACLA, San Jose California in 1998. Her works have been exhibited in numerous Museums and Galleries around the US and abroad. Among them: Chicago Art 1945-1995 at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Paisajes de Ida y Vuelta, Museo del Chopo, Mexico City, FOCI Illinois State Museum, Museo de Arte Moderno Mexico City, Islip Museum among others.
She co-produced and directed the award winner video-documentary ANA MENDIETA: FUEGO DE TIERRA.The film is in the collection of MOMA, Guggenheim Museum, Yale University, San Francisco Art Institute and many other Museums and Universities around the world.

Luc Chessex

Photographer, Lausanne, 1936


At 25, after study­ing at the School of Pho­tog­ra­phy in Vevey, Luc Ches­sex trav­eled to Cuba. He planned to stay for a year to sup­port the rev­o­lu­tion with his pho­tographs, but stayed 14 years. Committed to his work, but also free and critical, Chessex produced a number of reportages during that defining time in Cuban history. Later, as acor­re­spon­dent for the news agency Prensa Latina, Ches­sex trav­eled through­out the South Amer­i­can con­ti­nent for over four years and as­sem­bled a tremen­dous col­lec­tion of im­ages from which he cre­ated the ex­hi­bi­tion "When there is no more El­do­rado" (1977), the first part of a tril­ogy also com­posed of a film and a book. Chessex long stay in Havana ended by being deported for reasons that are still unclear, thought it was no doubt linked to the Soviet influence over Cuba at the time.
Back in Lau­sanne in 1975, he worked as free­lance pho­tog­ra­pher and de­cided to turn his cam­era to Switzer­land. This pro­ject re­sulted in the ex­hi­bi­tion and book "Swiss Life" (1987). Ches­sex ac­tively worked for hu­man­i­tar­ian causes, on the­atre of wars, and on de­vel­op­ment pro­jects for the In­ter­na­tional Com­mit­tee of the Red Cross or the Swiss Agency for De­vel­op­ment and Co­op­er­a­tion. Ten years of travel in Africa, Asia, Aus­tralia, Latin Amer­ica and the US lead to the mon­u­men­tal "Around the World" ex­hi­bi­tion and book (1999). From 1981 to 1989 Ches­sex taught in var­i­ous pho­tog­ra­phy schools. He began a thor­ough in­ves­ti­ga­tion of mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism in the Lau­sanne area that re­sulted in the ex­hi­bi­tion and book "Of all the col­ors" (2012).
Among the artist published photo- essays stands Cherchez La Femme, by Daniel Girardin, now in the collection of the Musée de l’Elysée, where the photographer made a free and critical reportage of women in Cuba that tells another side of the history different from the official one. Chessex was awarded the 2015 Swiss Grand Award for Design- a prix by the Switzerland Federal Office of Culture to honor established designers that have contributed to the advancement of Swiss design- since Luc is a top figure in the world of the photographic book in Lausanne.

 

José [Pepe] Forte was born in Havana, Cuba, on September 5th, 1957. Graphic designer, photographer, journalist, he is a 1978 San Alejandro Fine Arts Academy graduate. He has been director and editor-in-chief for several magazines and newspapers in the South Florida area.  He is an expert in rock music and a Beatles connoisseur.
Automotive journalist since 1995 and a Southern Automotive Media Association (SAMA) founder member, Forte has published his car’s articles and reviews in the internet and in almost every local and nationwide printed media based in South Florida. For around three years he was one of the hosts of his brainchild SOBRE RUEDAS RADIO, a weekly 2-hour coast-to-coast radio show about cars on ESPN SPORTS RADIO EN ESPAÑOL. Currently, Forte is the host and director of AUTOMANIA, a talk show about the same subject, aired every Sunday from 12:00pm to 1:00 pm ET on Univision Radio WQBA AM 1140, from Miami, Florida. In addition now he is hosting a variety talk show called "El Atico de Pepe" M-F at 5:00pm on WAQI AM 710. Also, he has been a broadcasting producer. He is frequently invited by local TV and radio stations in the South Florida area.
Pepe Forte pioneered to capture in images the unique phenomenon of the vintage American cars from the 40’s and 50’s in Havana. His private collection of black & white and color shots named “Tales from the Palimpsest-City”, counts thousands of photographs taken from 1978 to 1992. This series depicts a very emotional, personal and vivid perspective of a sui generis symbiosis between vehicles and buildings, framed by time and circumstance.

The 2015 Juried Grand Prize  winner will be chosen by a panel of three jurors that includes Switzerland-based photographer Luc Chessex, Miami-based visual artist Nereida Garcia Ferraz; and Miami-based radio host Pepe Forte, also a graphic designer, and photographer.

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