"Connecting Staten Island's Waterfront"

In 2016 we awarded the eighth Photo Urbanism Fellowship to photojournalist Gareth Smit to document Staten Island’s North Shore in a time of transformation. Gareth’s photography complements the parallel Design Trust project, Future Culture—an experiment in ways for artists and developers to engage in planning their community together, by creating long-term strategies for neighborhood revitalization, sustainability, and equitable economic development. His resulting photos were featured in a culminating exhibition at Staten Island Arts’ Culture Lounge, and a solo exhibition at the Alice Austen House in 2017.

Program support provided by Founder’s Circle and NYC Department of Cultural Affairs.

The "Connecting Staten Island's Waterfront" exhibition was on display September 16 - December 23, 2017 at the historic Alice Austen House

Gareth Smit

2016: Connecting Staten Island's Waterfront

Gareth Smit is an independent visual storyteller currently based in New York. He is a photojournalist, videographer, and documentary film editor. He has shot, produced and edited documentary films about various social justice issues and has collaborated with NGOs as a videographer and photographer. An accomplished musician and composer, he performs and records original music for visual multimedia projects.

Born in 1990 in Heidelberg, South Africa, Gareth began his career as a freelance photographer and writer at Independent Newspapers in Cape Town. His images and writing have been published in various South African publications including The Cape Times, The Weekend Argus, The Star and The Cape Argus. Internationally, his photography and videography has appeared in the Associated Press Images wire, Internazionale Magazine, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, and The New York Times.

Gareth completed his undergraduate studies in History, Philosophy and Spanish at the University of Cape Town, and attended the International Center of Photography in New York. He also completed Reporting Safely in Crisis Zones training at Columbia University’ s Journalism School.

Exhibition Gallery

Connecting Staten Island’s Waterfront

Gareth Smit

Artist Statement

Strongly rooted in the documentary and reportage tradition, my practice of photography is heavily reliant on story.

I’m deeply curious, interested and photographically attached to the north shore of Staten Island, and would relish in the opportunity to develop my work there further to explore the cultural community and changing urban landscape of this fascinating part of New York City.

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