The World Around Us Photography Exhibition Showcases Student Talent Opening May 11 

LONG ISLAND CITY, NY (May 10, 2023) — Works by LaGuardia’s Commercial Photography students will be featured in the 2nd annual Arnold and Augusta Newman Foundation Exhibition, opening Thursday, May 11 in the LaGuardia Community College Gallery of the Photographic Arts, located on the third floor of the B-Building. A reception will be held in the Gallery at 6 p.m. on opening night.

Organizers of the exhibit awarded LaGuardia student Sead Cena first place for his work in the exhibit. Cena’s images focus on people in everyday settings and quiet situations.

Sead, who is from Albania, has been a photographer for 15 years. He said photography has been a communication tool for him, and this was the first time he has participated in a competition.

“I was very exciting thinking that someone would review your work and believe that there is something in it,” Sead said in an Instagram interview. “That (photo) project was shot during a period of three years in my country of Albania. It was meant to be a project by itself because I didn’t just want to talk about that part of my country. I wanted to go deeper into that place and that time. I wanted to…show the people as people.” Sead said his series of photographs capture individuals engaging in simple, unconfrontational acts, which most people might not pay attention to in everyday life.“I think when you look at them (photos), you can sense the quiet tension,” Sead said. “It’s kind of a cinematic feeling. I didn’t want to play with the extreme emotion. I wanted to stay somehow in the middle. Almost everything happens in the middle.”

Overall, Sead said he was pleased with how his photo series turned out.“I wasn’t there only for the subject, and the subject wasn’t only there for me,” Sead said. “I just happened to be at that time and that place. So, it’s kind of a coincidence, and that emotion I was trying to perceive and show in my work…I think it came somehow. I hope that it came (out) as I wanted it to be.”

The five runners-up were: Giulia Armentano, Lenny Estrella, Qiao Jiang, Karina Martinez, John Puga, and Justin Parra. The winner and runners-up will receive scholarships that are made possible by a generous donation of the Arnold and Augusta Newman Foundation Scholarship. The exhibit will also feature student-artists Isaac Carvajal, Victoria Fernandez, and Jeannine Subtyl.

LaGuardia is the only two-year institution in the City University of New York (CUNY) to offer an Associate in Applied Sciences (AAS) degree in Photography. The Commercial Photography program, administered by the Humanities Department, gives you access to such professional photographic equipment and facilities as our state of the art black & white and color darkroom, shooting studios and digital imaging facility. With 13 courses dedicated to photography, taught by faculty members who are currently working in the field and are exhibiting artists, you will gain experience from all over the photographic and arts spectrum in this quickly changing industry.

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LaGuardia Community College (LAGCC), a Hispanic-Serving Institution, located in Long Island City, Queens offers more than 50 degrees and certificates, and more than 65 continuing education programs to educate New Yorkers seeking new skills and careers. As an institution of the City University of New York (CUNY), the College reflects the legacy of our namesake, Fiorello H. LaGuardia, the former NYC mayor beloved for his advocacy of underserved populations. Since 1971, LaGuardia’s academic programs and support services have advanced the socioeconomic mobility of students while providing them with access to a high quality, affordable college education.


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