Emerging photographer Susannah Ray studied photography as an undergraduate at Princeton University and completed her MFA in 1997 at the School of Visual Arts MFA Program in Photography and Related Media. She currently lives in Rockaway, Beach, Queens.
Ray began photographing the landscape as an undergraduate at Princeton University. In 2012, she completed an eight-year series of photographs, Right Coast, which detailed the minutia and grandeur of surfing along New York City’s stretch of Atlantic Ocean. In addition to landscapes that reveal the rigor and drama of winter surfing, the series includes portraits and still lifes that reveal the intimacy and intensity of the life carved out on the coast. The familiar icons of surfing–heroic men posed against their surfboards, barrel-shaped waves, and bikini-clad women–play against the gray skies, snow covered beaches, and graffitied environs.
Her 2013 project, What Are the Wild Waves Saying, a collaboration with audio producer Jen Poyant, documents the lingering aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and the individuals that comprise the complex community of the Rockaways. The Rockaways are at a turning point, one faced by ocean-front communities in the age of climate change. Questions of rebuilding and future development loom, while lives are sustained by memories of golden summers and the boardwalk that once bound the Rockaways together.
Ray has shown in numerous group exhibitions, notably at Benrubi Gallery, the Alice Austen House, The Princeton University Museum of Art, the NYC Parks Department Arsenal Gallery, the Queens Museum, and the Bronx Museum. Her work is in major collections including the Museum of the City of New York, the Princeton Museum, and the Bronx Museum.
Selected Solo Exhibitions
Bonni Benrubi Gallery, NY, NY, “What are the Wild Waves Saying” with audio by Jen Poyant
Kathleen Cullen Fine Arts, NY, NY, “We Are Talking Now of Summer Evenings…”(2 person)
Koussevitzky Gallery, Pittsfield, MA, " the whole great world”
The Front Room, Brooklyn, NY, "The Banner Project: the Daniel”
Women's Studies Gallery, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, "Passages"
Selected Group Exhibitions
The Museum of the City of New York, NY, NY, “Rising Waters”
ICP and MCNY at Governor’s Island, NY, “Rising Waters: Photographs of Hurricane Sandy”
Alice Austen House, Staten Island, NY, "The New Street Types of New York"
Modified Arts, Phoenix, AZ, “The End of the Wild”
Bonni Benrubi Gallery, NY, NY, “Group”
Bonni Benrubi Gallery, NY, NY, “Summer Place”
The Print Center, Philadephia PA, “84th Annual International Competition: Photography!”
Kenise Barnes Fine Art, Larchmont, NY, “Sweet Spot”
The Princeton University Museum of Art, “Emmet Gowin: A Collective Portrait”
Fuel TV at Bathhouse Studios, NY, NY, “Focus on Art”
Rockland Center for the Arts, Nyack, NY, “Upon Further Review”
Kathleen Cullen Fine Arts, NY, NY, “Change at Babylon”
The Arsenal Gallery, NYC Parks Department Public Art Program, NY, NY, “The Players”
The Queens Museum of Art, “The Queens International”
Kathleen Cullen Fine Arts, NY, NY, “Safe”
Kathleen Cullen Fine Arts, NY, NY, “Citations”
The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx, NY “Collection Re-Mixed”
The Front Room, “WMD” (also curated)
The Front Room, "Amanda Alic, Sean Hemmerle, Stuart Hawkins, Susannah Ray"
The Front Room, "79.9MW"
Fosdick-Nelson Gallery, Alfred University, Alfred, NY, "Precedence: Emmet Gowin and His Students"
White Columns Gallery, NY, NY, "Blue Lagoon"
The Museum of the City of New York
The Princeton University Museum of Art
The Bronx Museum of the Arts
The Capital Group
The State Department of California
Lectures, Panels, and Artist’s Talks
Museum of the City of New York, Artist talk, Young Member’s Night
Museum of the City of New York, Artist talk with ICP/The Point
Photoville Panel, “Superstorm Sandy: Photographers Perspectives,” Moderated by Sean Corcoran, MCNY
The International Center for Photography, NY, NY, “Slidefest”
Koussevitzky Gallery, Pittsfield, MA, Artist’s Talk
2011 Nominee, Center Santa Fe Photography Prize
2010 Finalist, Duke Center for Documentary Studies/Honickman First Book Prize
2008 Finalist, Duke Center for Documentary Studies/Honickman First Book Prize
1997 The Paula Rhodes Memorial Award
Kristen Dahlgren, NBC Nightly News, “Photo exhibit marks one year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy,” October 24, 2013
Jordan Teicher, “Astounding Personal Shots of Hurricane Sandy,” Slate.com, August 29, 2013
“Goings on About Town: Susannah Ray” in The New Yorker, August 26, 2013
William Meyers, “Two Perceptions of American Spirit: Photo Exhibitions of Walker Evans and Susannah Ray,” The Wall Street Journal, August 23, 2013
Carolyn Weaver, Voice of America, “Documenting the Rockaways in Photographs, Before and After Sandy,” August 16, 2013
David Gonzalez, “Alice Austen’s Type of Town,” NYTimes.com, July 18, 2013
David Schonauer, “Exhibition: Susannah Ray's "Wild Waves," After Sandy,” prophotodaily.com, July 16, 2013
David Gonzalez, “Recalling the Right Coast before the Storm,” NYTimes.com, Nov.15, 2012
Bob Shamis, New York In Color, Abrams Books, New York
“Portraits: Artists-in-Residence”, Artist in the Marketplace Program Catalogue, The Bronx Museum of the Arts
“Portraits: Artists-in-Residence”, Artist in the Marketplace Program Catalogue, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Spring 2010
Joel Smith, “Emmet Gowin: A Collective Portrait,” Exhibition Catalogue, Princeton University Art Museum
“Portraits: Artists-in-Residence”, Artist in the Marketplace Program Catalogue, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Spring 2009
Darya Zhuk, “Cold Wave,” Snob Magazine, Moscow, Russia, Winter 2009
Sam Haddad, "Editor’s Pick: Right Coast," Cooler Magazine, Issue 17, February/March 2009
Alex Wilson, "Reviews: Right Coast," Surfer Magazine, February 2009
Martha Schwendener, “Art in Review: The Players,” The New York Times, June 15, 2007
Stefan Marti, “Surfing the A Train,” in Transworld Surf Magazine, July 2006
Rob Cummings, “On the Right Coast: Surfing Rockaway,” in coastalsurvey.com, August/September 2005
“Bronx Portraits” in Grand Concourse, magazine of the Bronx Museum of the Arts, Winter 2005
William Powhida, “Artseen: WMD” in The Brooklyn Rail, July/August 2004
Shelley Rice, Madeline Djerejian, Susannah Ray, and Ilana Rein, "On a History of Women Photographers," The Photo Review, Spring 1997
Sharon Katz, "Photographic Expression: Susannah's Domain" in The Creative Arts at Princeton: Vignettes by Students, ed. John McPhee
1995-1997 School of Visual Arts, NY, NY. MFA in Photography and the Related Media
1990-1994 Princeton University, BA–Visual Arts/Art History major, Environmental Studies minor