Matt Black Awarded W. Eugene Smith Grant In Humanistic Photography

Photographer Matt Black © Matt Black
Photographer Matt Black © Matt Black

NEW YORK, NY (October 14, 2015) – Documentary photojournalist Matt Black tonight was named the recipient of the 2015 W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography during a ceremony at The School of Visual Arts in Manhattan.

Also announced tonight, the $5,000 W. Eugene Smith Fund Fellowship will be shared between two photojournalists, British photographer Marcus Bleasdale and American photojournalist Mary F. Calvert. And filmmaker Tom Garber was awarded the $5,000 Howard Chapnick Grant for his film, "Pixel Nation."

Black, based in his homeland of California's central valley, has spent the past 20 years documenting stories relating to the issues of migration, farming, poverty, and the environment. A Magnum Photos nominee, he's also produces multimedia and films and has taught numerous photographic workshops.

The W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography is presented yearly to a photographer whose past work and a proposed project, as judged by a panel of experts, follows the tradition of Smith’s concerned photography and dedicated compassion as exhibited during his 45-year career as a photographic essayist. The grant was established in 1978 following Smith's death.

Black's extended project "The Geography Of Poverty," which was later published by MSNBC, can be seen online here. Started and developed in California's central valley over a period of many years, inside the photographer's home territory, Black then expanded it with a road trip across America that was published as four additional chapters. 

Black was also Time magazine's 2014 Instagram Photographer of the Year. Follow him on Instagram at @mattblack_blackmatt.