Ridgefield man awarded Guggenheim fellowship for photography

Gary Burnley’s work has been displayed in countless solo and group exhibitions since 1979. He also lent his talents to a handful of public projects, commissions and installations in the late ’80s.

Gary Burnley’s work has been displayed in countless solo and group exhibitions since 1979. He also lent his talents to a handful of public projects, commissions and installations in the late ’80s.

Screen capture / garyburnley.com

The board of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation has awarded its prestigious fellowship to a diverse group of 180 individuals across 51 fields. Among them is photographer Gary Burnley, of Ridgefield.

Chosen from a rigorous application and peer-review process — which this year included almost 2,500 applicants — the 2022 fellows were appointed on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise, according to a release. Burnley sits alongside 12 other photographers from across the nation who were selected for the award.

Created by Sen. Simon and Olga Guggenheim in memory of their son, the eponymous foundation has sought to “further the development of scholars and artists by assisting them to engage in research in any field of knowledge and creation in any of the arts under the freest possible conditions,” according to a release.

The foundation has granted nearly $400 million in fellowships to more than 18,000 individuals since its establishment in 1925.

Burnley was born in St. Louis, Missouri. He has a bachelor of fine arts degree from Washington University, and a master of fine arts degree from Yale University’s School of Art.

His work has been displayed in countless solo and group exhibitions since 1979. He also lent his talents to a handful of public projects, commissions and installations in the late ’80s.

Burnley earned his first fellowship from the Creative Artist Public Service in 1982 and has garnered more than a half dozen since.

“This year marks the foundation’s 97th annual fellowship competition,” President Edward Hirsch said in a release. “Our long experience tells us what an impact these annual grants will have to change people’s lives. The work supported by the foundation will aid in our collective effort to better understand the new world we’re in, where we’ve come from and where we’re going.”

Fifty-one scholarly disciplines and artistic fields, 81 different academic institutions, 31 states and the District of Columbia and four Canadian provinces are represented in this year’s fellowship class. Many of the fellows’ projects directly respond to issues like climate change, pandemics, Russia, feminism, identity and racism, according to a release.

For information about Burnley, visit www.garyburnley.com.