Samantha Box worked at HMI as a Digital Photography Instructor from 2012 to 2017. While at HMI, she coordinated the Photography Internship, an intensive, thrice-yearly 15-week class that introduces 10 LGTBQIA+ young people to the techniques and concepts of photography as a visual arts practice, with a particular focus on the importance of community- and self-generated storytelling and documentary method.

Samantha has documented New York City’s community of LGBTQIA+ youth of color, the social issues affecting these young adults, and the structures of family, intimacy and validation that bind and protect them. The resulting body of work, INVISIBLE, is a continuing multi-chapter exploration into the lives of this young community. INVISIBLE has been widely recognized, including by EN FOCO’s New Works program in 2009, and with a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in 2010. It was also shown, most prominently, as part of the ICP Museum’s Perpetual Revolution (2017) exhibition.

It has been repeatedly exhibited, most notably in 2010 at The Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy, NY; in 2011 as part of the Open Society Foundation’s “Moving Walls #18” exhibition; and in 2013 as part of The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art’s “Queers In Exile” exhibition. Images from INVISIBLE are part of the permanent collections of the Open Society Foundation, EN FOCO, the Museum of Fine Art Houston, Light Work and The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art.

A Jamaican-born, Bronx-based photographer, Samantha pivoted from documentary work, focusing on the creation of a studio-based photography practice. In this evolving body of work, she uses photographs, sound, and installation to articulate her own diasporic experience, creating a syncretic space within her home, one where the Caribbean/colonial past and the urban present, the diasporic and the rooted, and multiple iterations of self — as a subject, rather than as a colonized object — can exist simultaneously, and so, be questioned, broken down, and reclaimed. Thus, in this chaos of these slippery intersections, there is a chance to weigh, and to understand, her own complicated and messy personal, ancestral and historical narratives.

This work has been exhibited at the Houston Center of Photography (2019), and the Andrew Freedman House (2020), and was the focus of her residency at the Center of Photography at Woodstock in August 2021.

Samantha received an MFA in Advanced Photographic Studies from the International Center of Photography/Bard College (2019) and a certificate in Photojournalism and Documentary Studies from the International Center of Photography (2006). In 2021, she completed the Bronx Museum of the Arts’ AIM Fellowship program, and became a member of Tiger Strikes Asteroid New York.

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