OCC Photography Professor Lida Suchy has been named a Guggenheim Fellow. It’s the second prestigious award for Suchy who was named a Fulbright Scholar in 2011. Guggenheim Fellowships are intended for men and women who have demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts.
Suchy is a first-generation American who was born into a refugee family. She chronicles communities through portraiture. Much of her work is done in Eastern and Central Europe and in immigrant enclaves in the United States. Her ongoing work is titled, “Portrait of a Village: the People of Kryvorivnya.” “For more than 20 years I have portrayed many of the village’s 2,000 inhabitants with the idea of creating a composite portrait of this community through individual portraits of its members,” she said. The series has evolved into a multi-layered community portrait that now includes the notion of cultural persistence and change through the passage of time. You can view her portraits here and see how people have changed as time has passed.
Suchy first traveled to Kryvorivnya in the early 90s, shortly after Ukraine gained its independence from the Soviet Union. Even though she’d never been there before, she felt a sense of familiarity. “In my childhood growing up in the United States the environment had been described to me in detail by my parents. I grew up in a refugee family that was forced to leave Ukraine when it fell under Soviet rule. Through my photographs I want to confront the image built up from the recollections of my parents with one of my own.”
Congratulations to Lida Suchy on her Guggenheim Fellowship and her continuing journey!