Announcing Baxter St’s 2024 Mid-Career Artists

Baxter St is proud to announce Alice Proujansky, Bill Abdale, and Thomas Holton as the recipients of our 2024 Mid-Career Artists Initiative. Baxter St’s open call for mid-career, lens-based artists supports those artists who fall in between the categories of emerging and established artists. This exhibition series will further Baxter St’s goal to foster belonging in the cultural sector by offering mid-career lens-based artists a solo exhibition opportunity. Support for the Mid-career Lens-based Artist Initiative is provided by the Mellon Foundation and the William Talbott Hillman Foundation.

Alice Proujansky is a documentary photographer looking at family labor: birth, work, motherhood and identity. “Hard Times are Fighting Times” (Gnomic Book, 2023), her photobook looking at the legacy of radical activism in her family, was long listed for the 2024 Kraszna-Krausz Photography Book Award. She is now working on a photobook about culturally-responsive birth work and a photography and quilting project about psychological formation and motherhood. Her work has been published widely, and has been supported by the Magnum Foundation, International Women’s Media Fund, New York State Council on the Arts and Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Alice has taught photography since 2002, most recently for Aperture. A member of Women Photograph, Alice grew up in Greenfield, MA. She graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and lives in Brooklyn, NY with her family.

About Alice’s work:
Most families don’t have their parents’ FBI files in dusty boxes. Alice Proujansky’s does.

Hard Times are Fighting Times describes the legacy of Proujansky’s parents’ participation in radical leftist groups like Weatherman, the Native American Solidarity Committee and Prairie Fire Organizing Committee that sought to overthrow imperialism and capitalism through organizing and revolution. Radicals like her parents believed that another world was possible, that together they could forge a more just future for humanity. Their utopian dreams of Marxist-Leninism, feminist rigor and fairness are deeply compelling – but also intensely rigid. Mainstream histories of the movement focus on curdled utopianism, charismatic individuals, flower children gone druggy and dark. But “‘”Hard Times are Fighting Times” offers a fuller understanding. Violent dogma plays a part, but so does a beautiful dream of shared labor, equity and justice. Personal items show rigid expectations, but also familial love, loyalty and humor. The book describes a family unit with its own political movement, nation-state, culture and system of belief, as Proujansky considers if she can live up to these expectations: which parts of these perspectives to keep, and what to discard?

Bill Abdale is an artist based in New York. He has participated in numerous workshops and residencies, including The Lower East Side Printshop (New York), SOMA (Mexico City), and Beta-Local (San Juan, Puerto Rico). In the early 2010s he was a partner and co-curator at the artist-run Heliopolis Project Space in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. He received an MFA from Hunter College, CUNY and a BFA from Purchase College, SUNY.

About Bill’s work: 
Bill Abdale’s work blends printmaking, photography and installation to engage with urban space in disorienting and unexpected ways. His undisclosed locations echo the anonymity and alienation inherent in the changing city. Rather than document places that are significant, historic or beautiful in their own right, his imagery focuses on drab, impersonal spaces that trend towards sameness. The deliberate glitches, discoloration, gaps and cropping present in the work encourage a slowed-down, decentralized reading, reclaiming the in-the-moment experience of a place.

Thomas Holton is a photographer and educator based in New York City. He received a BA from Kenyon College and a MFA in photography from the School of Visual Arts. His ongoing project, The Lams of Ludlow Street, has documented the life of a single Chinese-American family living in Manhattan’s Chinatown over the last 20 years. The project was published as a book in 2016 by Kehrer Verlag and has been shown in the United States and abroad at venues including The National Portrait Gallery Smithsonian, The Museum of the City of New York, the New York Public Library, and the China-Lishui International Photography Festival. The work has also been featured by the New York Times, Aperture, The Guardian and many others periodicals. He has taught at the International Center of Photography and was co-founder of the VisuaLife photography program, working with at-risk teenagers in collaboration with the Children’s Aid Society in New York City. He is currently a photography teacher in New York City where he lives with his family.

About Thomas’ work:
Despite being a lifelong New York City resident and having relatives living in its Chinatown, I never lived in the neighborhood and always felt a distance between my Chinese family and me. In 2003, I was lucky enough to meet the Lams, a Chinese family who welcomed me into their lives. My life has not been the same since. I have photographed the Lams regularly and have grown as an artist and person in ways unimaginable when I began life as a photographer. My father was also a photographer so I have been surrounded by the medium since I was a child and see my work as a lifelong journey into a more empathetic understanding of the meaning of love and family. “The Lams of Ludlow Street” has moved beyond a project and is now a part of my life that makes me complete. As we all age, our lives take unexpected twists and turns. The Lams of Ludlow Street is an exploration in how one family’s life continues to unfold in a 350 square foot apartment in New York City’s Chinatown.