The Ritz Herald
Untitled, (talc mine benches), Cameron, Montana, 2008. © Victoria Sambunaris

The JSI Presents Victoria Sambunaris With the 2020 Julius Shulman Institute Excellence in Photography Award

From 2009 to 2011, Sambunaris covered the 2,000-mile extent of the border between the United States and Mexico

Published on December 21, 2020

The Julius Shulman Institute (JSI) at Woodbury University is pleased to announce Victoria Sambunaris as the recipient of this year’s Julius Shulman Institute Excellence in Photography Award. Sambunaris, born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and based in New York City, will have her work hosted online by WUHO Gallery. The publicly available link to the viewing room & conversation is here.

Past JSI Excellence in Photography Award honorees include Catherine Opie, James Welling, Benny Chan, Livia Corona Benjamin, and Iwan Baan.

The online viewing room presents work that investigates the crossroads of the petrochemical and industrial cargo trade, alluding to the expansion of global markets, transportation networks, and the intensification of our consumerism. Sambunaris’ photographs communicate a deeply layered sense of place and reveal the seemingly infinite networks that facilitate the trading, movement, and allocation of our finite resources. It also includes an in-depth conversation between Sambunaris and JSI Executive Director Barbara Bestor.

Victoria Sambunaris is known for her in-depth examination of the geological and human forces that have shaped the vast American landscape. Sambunaris’ work is defined by her large-scale photographs and her extended, project-based journeys across the country each year. Fully embedded in the landscape, Sambunaris combines in-depth planning and research with classical, analog methods using a five-by-seven wooden field camera to advance American landscape photography tradition. By subtly revealing how humans inhabit the landscape, Sambunaris highlights the need to consider the long-term impact of the land’s continual cultivation and development.

From 2009 to 2011, Sambunaris covered the 2,000-mile extent of the border between the United States and Mexico, traveling from Brownsville, Texas to San Diego, California, and photographing the expansive landscapes to comprehend the essence of the border culture and the divided landscape. A retrospective of her work, Far Out: The West Re-Seen, Photography of Victoria Sambunaris, is now open at the BYU Museum of Art.

Senior Writer