Profile

Soho Photo Gallery has come a long way and about eight city blocks since its establishment in 1971 by a dedicated group of New York Times photographers that included Jill Freedman, Harvey Stein, David Chalk and Lee Romero. They believed there was a real need in the photographic community for a cooperative where serious photographers could exhibit their personal work and exchange ideas, learn and grow as artists. 

The Early Years 

The group rented a loft space at Prince St. and West Broadway, located in the heart of Soho, New York’s soon-to-be trendy artists’ district. A newspaper advertisement that announced the opening of the Soho Photo Gallery drew a core group of some 40 photographers of varied interests and talents; Soho Photo was in business and now there was an alternative to uptown commercial galleries. The gallery wasn’t fancy, but it had four walls and lots of warmth. And month-long shows by members and guest exhibitors would ensure there was always something new at Soho Photo. 

After just one year, with membership growing and pressed for more space, the Gallery moved to W. 13th St. in Greenwich Village. André Kertesz, who was among the Gallery’s regular visitors, said, “What Soho is doing is more important than Stieglitz’s work to promote photography in his day and in his gallery.” 

Gallery Expands, Moves to TriBeCa

In 1979, Soho Photo relocated to Tribeca and its current location, 15 White St., a former egg warehouse that would soon provide greatly expanded exhibition space. 

After months of clean-up and construction work by Gallery members, Soho Photo now had a mezzanine gallery space as well as a downstairs gallery – enough room to display seven solo exhibitions simultaneously. With a current and still growing membership of more than 100 photographers, the Gallery’s added space has proved to be a necessity. 

In 2019, in response to demands to maximize exhibition opportunities for members, the Gallery modified its exhibition calendar to a three-week cycle and changed the Wednesday – Sunday schedule so that the Gallery is now open daily.  Previously closed in August, air conditioning was installed last year (finally!) and the Gallery is now open year-round. 

A Photographer’s Place 

Over the years, thousands of serious amateur and professional photographers have exhibited at Soho Photo Gallery. Guest shows have featured the imagery of  Minor White, John Albok, Eva Rubinstein, Max Waldman, Wynn Bullock, Eugene Richards, Rebecca Lepkoff, Dan Burkholder, Eric Renner and Nancy Spencer, among others. The work of members and guests is, of course, as varied as the photographers themselves – everything from pictorial and documentary to abstract and conceptual. Large digital color prints may be seen hanging next to delicate 19th-century type platinum or palladium prints; hand-colored works coexist with manipulated Polaroid images. 

Soho Photo usually presents five solo exhibitions by members on the main floor, with each exhibit bay having enough wall space to display up to 15 pieces. The two galleries on the mezzanine are typically used for smaller shows or member group shows. 

Learning Opportunities for Interns

Each academic semester, the Gallery offers internships to local college students enrolled in photography programs. They get hands-on experience learning how a photography gallery operates by performing tasks that can range from helping to hang exhibitions and greeting visitors at openings to doing research and producing exhibition catalogs. The program’s success has helped the Gallery enhance its status within the photographic community. 

In 2020, the Gallery launched a workshop program that gives photographers easy and affordable access to a broad variety of subjects. Initial offerings include instruction in image transfer, producing hand-made books, street photography and improving digital workflow. 

Now Four National Competitions 

Soho Photo, a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts organization, sponsors annual programs such as the juried National Competition, open to all photographic techniques. The popular juried International Krappy Kamera® Competition is devoted to photographs taken with plastic, toy or homemade and pinhole cameras. The National Alternative Processes Competition does not allow traditional silver, C-prints and digital prints to be shown. Instead, prints must be produced by alternative processes, which include Cyanotype, Van Dyke, platinum, palladium, Polaroid© transfer and others. The Galley also sponsors its annual juried Portfolio Competition; each of the two winners gets the opportunity to exhibit a cohesive body of work in a New York City gallery. It’s an opportunity that attracts a diverse group of artists from around the world. 

Becoming a Member 

Membership in the Gallery is a selective process. On the first Saturday of each month, the Portfolio Review Committee reviews portfolios of potential members. If the photographer’s work meets Gallery standards, he or she is welcomed as a new member, and that brings certain rights and responsibilities. 

The Soho Photo Gallery has survived since 1971 because it has fulfilled the goals of its founders – to be a photographer’s place. And the Gallery continues to serve the needs of its members, acting as a community and a forum where old and new ideas meet. Photographers choose to become Gallery members because, like most artists, they have realized they cannot and should not exist in a vacuum. They want to learn. And they want others to see their work. 

Soho Photo is the place. 

 

Bill Travis - Photo transfer on board with mother of pearl, Group Show October 2017
Bill Travis - Photo transfer on board with mother of pearl, Group Show October 2017
Janat Horn - Cyanotype on paper, Group Show October 2017
Janat Horn - Cyanotype on paper, Group Show October 2017
John Mancia -Platinum/palladium print, Group Show October 2017
John Mancia -Platinum/palladium print, Group Show October 2017
Leslie Bellsey - Faux transfer on water color paper, Group Show October 2017
Leslie Bellsey - Faux transfer on water color paper, Group Show October 2017
Wendy Phillips - Collodion chloride print, Group Show October 2017
Wendy Phillips - Collodion chloride print, Group Show October 2017
Irene Greenberg - Field of Grass/Photographs, November 2017
Irene Greenberg - Field of Grass/Photographs, November 2017
Allan Markman - From the Ground Up, September 2017
Allan Markman - From the Ground Up, September 2017
Pierre-Yves Linot - Immigrant Song, November 2017
Pierre-Yves Linot - Immigrant Song, November 2017
Allison Rufrano - Visibly Invisible, February 2017
Allison Rufrano - Visibly Invisible, February 2017
Anthony Almeida - On the Street: Serendipitous Encounters of the New York Kind, June 2017
Anthony Almeida - On the Street: Serendipitous Encounters of the New York Kind, June 2017
Armando Espinoza - Beautiful Imperfect, June 2016
Armando Espinoza - Beautiful Imperfect, June 2016
Arnold Kastenbaum - Staircases and Handrails, September 2017
Arnold Kastenbaum - Staircases and Handrails, September 2017
Alexander Krohmer - Encounters, November 2017
Alexander Krohmer - Encounters, November 2017
Lee Backer - Tree Studies, November 2017
Lee Backer - Tree Studies, November 2017
B.T. Kim - Roam Free, April 2017
B.T. Kim - Roam Free, April 2017
Barry Guthertz - Floraphilia — Revisited, May 2017
Barry Guthertz - Floraphilia — Revisited, May 2017
Bob Leonard - Looking Closely, April 2016
Bob Leonard - Looking Closely, April 2016
R. Wayne Parsons - Making Meaning, November 2017
R. Wayne Parsons - Making Meaning, November 2017
Bruce Wodder - Stone Walls of the Incas, May 2017
Bruce Wodder - Stone Walls of the Incas, May 2017
Carol Julien - In Limbo, September 2017
Carol Julien - In Limbo, September 2017
David Kutz - The Stranger’s Path and Future Obsolescence, April 2017
David Kutz - The Stranger’s Path and Future Obsolescence, April 2017
Edward Lakeman - Kabul, September 2017
Edward Lakeman - Kabul, September 2017
Ellen Jacob - Born Here Project, May 2016
Ellen Jacob - Born Here Project, May 2016
F. Emmanuel Bastien - Fragmented Reflections, October 2016
F. Emmanuel Bastien - Fragmented Reflections, October 2016
George Greenstein - Shadow, February 2017
George Greenstein - Shadow, February 2017
Hans Weiss - Thinking of, December 2016
Hans Weiss - Thinking of, December 2016
Irene Greenberg - Fade, May 2016
Irene Greenberg - Fade, May 2016
Jady Bates - You As Angel, December 2016
Jady Bates - You As Angel, December 2016
Jake Lambroza - Street Moments — NYC, April 2017
Jake Lambroza - Street Moments — NYC, April 2017
James Lattanzio - Varsity, September 2017
James Lattanzio - Varsity, September 2017
Jay Matusow - Water’s Edge, January 2017
Jay Matusow - Water’s Edge, January 2017
Joan Lemler - Abandoned: Inside and Out, February 2017
Joan Lemler - Abandoned: Inside and Out, February 2017
John Custodio - On the Road: Structures, May 2017
John Custodio - On the Road: Structures, May 2017
Kenneth Hoffman - Vietnam Street Photographs, June 2016
Kenneth Hoffman - Vietnam Street Photographs, June 2016
Larry Davis - New Work, January 2017
Larry Davis - New Work, January 2017
Lawrence Gottesman - Thirteen Asymmetries, September 2016
Lawrence Gottesman - Thirteen Asymmetries, September 2016
Marilyn Fish - Below Canal Group Show, July 2017
Marilyn Fish - Below Canal Group Show, July 2017
Martin Frank - Industrial Figures, April 2017
Martin Frank - Industrial Figures, April 2017
Martin Rich - Almost Alive, December 2016
Martin Rich - Almost Alive, December 2016
Millie Falcaro - Enter Knowing, February 2017
Millie Falcaro - Enter Knowing, February 2017
Myra Hafetz - Stillness, January 2017
Myra Hafetz - Stillness, January 2017
Neil O. Lawner - On the Street: Expect the Unexpected, June 2017
Neil O. Lawner - On the Street: Expect the Unexpected, June 2017
Norman Borden - Out of the Norm, June 2017
Norman Borden - Out of the Norm, June 2017
Patricia Beary - Whisper Loudly, February 2017
Patricia Beary - Whisper Loudly, February 2017
Paul S. Stetzer Jr. - Always - At The Seashore, February 2016
Paul S. Stetzer Jr. - Always - At The Seashore, February 2016
Peter Agron - Two, and a Quarter, January 2017
Peter Agron - Two, and a Quarter, January 2017
Richard Gardner - A Note for Juliet
Richard Gardner - A Note for Juliet
Robert Kalman - The Nicaraguans: A Timeless Passage, May 2017
Robert Kalman - The Nicaraguans: A Timeless Passage, May 2017
Roman Makhmutov - Euro Integration, April 2017
Roman Makhmutov - Euro Integration, April 2017
Ronaldo Aguiar - Nor’easter, January 2017
Ronaldo Aguiar - Nor’easter, January 2017
Sarah Corbin - Crin Blanc (White Mane): Horses of the Camargue, December 2016
Sarah Corbin - Crin Blanc (White Mane): Horses of the Camargue, December 2016
Seena Sussman - Crossroads, October 2016
Seena Sussman - Crossroads, October 2016
Sheila Bernard - Below Canal Group Show, July 2017
Sheila Bernard - Below Canal Group Show, July 2017
Steven Gilbert - Shelter, September 2017
Steven Gilbert - Shelter, September 2017
Stuart Zalka - July/December, June 2016
Stuart Zalka - July/December, June 2016
Susan Bowen - In Your Face, June 2017
Susan Bowen - In Your Face, June 2017
Tony Kirman - Color Interactions, February 2017
Tony Kirman - Color Interactions, February 2017