YoungArts Residency

The YoungArts Baxter St Residency partnership is a unique opportunity for past YoungArts award recipients working in the field of lens-based work to gain experience, visibility and build a community for their first New York City solo exhibition at Baxter St. This residency offers support, one on one critiques, and access to members of Baxter St’s advisory committee and YoungArts leadership and a solo exhibition.

We are thrilled to announce  Zayira Ray, the 2024 YoungArts Baxter St Residency recipient. Ray’s work encompasses the realms of contemporary portraiture, classical representation, and mythology, with a keen interest in stories from the South Asian diaspora. Through the intersections of gazes—particularly between herself as a brown woman and with those of her subjects—she documents stories of love, heritage, and sacred bonds, exploring the ebbs and flows of human connection: relationships both familial and familiar, potent and gentle. By constructing tangible “safe spaces” that serve as refuge from the outside world, her photographs highlight our interior spaces: sensibilities and aesthetics, fantasies and desires, moments of both solitude and solace, and the preservation of self.

About Zayira Ray

Zayira Ray (b. 2000, New York City) is an Indian-American portrait photographer and a recent graduate of NYU Tisch School of the Arts in Photography & Imaging. Rooted in themes of love, community, and belonging, Zayira’s portraits span culture, religion, and socioeconomic strata, highlighting diverse and soulful visual stories from all walks of life. Her commitment to exploring the un-represented, the under-represented, and the mis-represented has led to the creation of arresting and ethereal portraits, devoid of convention and rich with a vivid wonder.
Zayira’s photographs have been published in Vogue India, Vogue Magazine, The New York Times, ELLE, and Architectural Digest, and exhibited at PHILLIPS Auction House, MoMa PS1, and Photoville, among others. She has received recognition and awards from YoungArts, the Dedalus Foundation, Nasdaq, and PDN, and commissioned by a range of clients including Conde Nast India, Samsung Mobile, Spotify, Lomography and Universal Music Group.

About YoungArts

YoungArts was established in 1981 by Lin and Ted Arison to identify exceptional young artists, amplify their potential, and invest in their lifelong creative freedom. YoungArts provides space, funding, mentorship, professional development and community throughout artists’ careers. Entrance into this prestigious organization starts with a highly competitive application for talented artists ages 15–18, or grades 10–12, in the United States that is judged by esteemed discipline-specific panels of artists through a rigorous blind adjudication process. For more information, visit

About Baxter St

Baxter St at the Camera Club of New York operates as a 501(c)3 organization. Its programming and exhibitions are made possible through the generosity of the 7G Foundation; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature; Arison Arts Foundation; The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; Jerome Foundation; Ruth Foundation for the Arts; Steven Amedee Fine Custom Framing; Fujifilm of North America; Yarden Winery; and Awagami Factory. Baxter St at CCNY is also supported in part by an American Rescue Plan Act grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to support general operating expenses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.