Chairman and Co-Founder
Frederick Baldwin co-founded FotoFest in 1983 and served as the organization’s President from 1984-2001. In 2001, he became Chairman of FotoFest’s Board of Directors. He was responsible for the organizational and financial development of FotoFest from 1984-1991. From 1991-2004, he shared responsibility for FotoFest’s artistic programming as well as administration and development with FotoFest Artistic Director and Co-founder Wendy Watriss. In 1988-1990, he initiated FotoFest’s student education program, Literacy Through Photography. In 1994, he started an international collaboration of 22 photography festivals, an ongoing international network, Festival of Light, www.festivaloflight.net
Fred Baldwin has had an extensive career in photography as a professional photographer and professor of photography. From 1957 to 1982, he worked as a photographer on international commissions for magazines such as LIFE, National Geographic, GEO, STERN, Time and the New York Times. His award-wining work has dealt with subjects such as the Civil Rights Movement in Georgia, rural poverty in the Georgia and the Carolinas, Arctic fishermen in the Lofoten Islands, polar bears and other wildlife in the Norwegian Arctic, wild horses in Mexico, and Peace Corps volunteers in India.
In 1971, he began a photographic documentary and oral history project in Texas with Wendy Watriss. The project resulted in numerous exhibitions, fellowships (National Endowment for the Humanities, The Rockefeller Foundation), and the book Coming To Terms, The German Hill Country of Texas (Texas A&M Press, 1991).
In 1981-82, Fred Baldwin taught documentary photography in the School of Communications at the University of Texas in Austin. From 1982-87, he directed the Photojournalism Program at the University of Houston Central Campus.
In 2008, Fred Baldwin’s photography on the Civil Rights Movement in Savannah Georgia was the subject of a book and exhibition by the Telfair Museum of Art, Freedom’s March, (University of Georgia Press, 2008). In 2009, the photography of Fred Baldwin and Wendy Watriss was the subject of a large exhibition by the Museé de la Photographie in Charleroi, Belgium and the book, Looking at the U.S., 1957-1986, (Mets & Schilt, Amsterdam, 2009).
From 1964-66, Fred Baldwin was director of the Peace Corps in Borneo. From 1950-51, he was a Marine infantryman in Korea and was wounded and decorated numerous times. He is a member of the American Leadership Forum.
Mr. Baldwin inaugurated FotoFest’s school-based education program, Literacy Through Photography, by bringing photographer-educator Wendy Ewald from New York to Houston to do writing and photography workshops for FotoFest. In 1990, FotoFest converted her workshops into a full-time school based curriculum and teaching program.
Artistic Director and Co-Founder
Wendy Watriss is a co-founder of FotoFest and has served as artistic director and principal curator since 1991. As project director and senior curator for FotoFest, she has developed over 60 international exhibits for FotoFest, including path-breaking exhibits on Photography from China 1934-2008, AMERICAN VOICES -Latino photographers in the U.S., Photography from Latin America 1865-1994, photography from Central Europe, contemporary Mexican photography, the visual history of Kurdistan with Susan Meiselas, contemporary Korean photography, early 20th century Russian photography, multi-media/new technology installations, and subjects such as Water- Celebrating Water. Looking at the Global Crisis; The Global Environment; Guantanamo; and Artists Responding to Violence; and Contemporary U.S. Photography. In 2009, she was the invited curator for international exhibitions of the Guangzhou 2009 Photo Biennial at the Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China.
In 1998, Wendy Watriss produced the award-winning book IMAGE AND MEMORY, Photography from Latin America 1866-1994 (University of Texas Press, 1998). From 1992-2009, Ms. Watriss has directed FotoFest art programs and catalogue publications. From 1992-1997 and 2002-2010, she has been responsible for administration and fundraising for FotoFest. From 1992-2009, she shared responsibility for FotoFest’s development with Frederick Baldwin. In 2002, she began supervising the programmatic and financial development of FotoFest’s Literacy Through Photography education program in schools and its integration with FotoFest’s art programs.
From 1970-1991, Wendy Watriss worked as an award-winning international photojournalist and independent documentary photographer, publishing work on subjects such as religious conflict in Sub-Saharan Africa, conflict in Salvador and Nicaragua, rebuilding of Skopje in Macedonia, Vietnam veterans and the herbicide Agent Orange, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC. Her photographic work has been exhibited around the world. In 1982, she won the World Press Photo Award for Feature Stories and the Oskar Barnack Award - Leica; Interpress Photo in 1983; and Mid America Arts/National Endowment for the Arts in1985.
In 2009, the photography of Wendy Watriss and Fred Baldwin was the subject of a large exhibition by the Museé de la Photographie in Charleroi, Belgium and the book, Looking at the U.S., 1957-1986, (Mets & Schilt, Amsterdam, 2009).
In 1971, the photography and oral history project she began in Texas with Frederick Baldwin received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, The Rockefeller Foundation, and Texas foundations. It resulted in numerous exhibitions, articles and the book Coming To Terms, The German Hill Country of Texas (Texas A&M Press, 1991).
From 1963-1966, Ms. Watriss worked as a writer and newspaper reporter on urban politics for the St. Petersburg Times in Florida. From 1966-1970, she was a reporter and producer of political documentaries for public television, the Public Broadcast Laboratory, the predecessor to PBS, in New York. From 1971-72, she worked as a stringer for Newsweek in central Europe and from 1980-1990, she worked as a freelance photographer for the New York Times in the U.S. She is a member of the American Society of Media Photographers, American Leadership Forum and recipient of the Woodstock Center for Photography VISION Award and the Women on the Move award. She has served as an invited panelist and jury member for photography awards and fellowships throughout the world including the National Endowment for the Arts, New England Foundation for the Arts, Texas Commission on the Arts and the Cultural Arts Council of Houston>Houston Arts Alliance. She is fluent in French, Spanish and English
Literacy Though Photography Program Manager
Glenn Bailey joined the FotoFest staff in 2012 after working for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. and the Center's respected educational outreach program in D.C. schools.
Having received a Masters of Arts Management from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Mr. Bailey spent five years working in non-profit arts and education organizations. In addition to his years as an education coordinator at the Kennedy Center (2009-2012), he has worked as a coordinator between arts and education organizations for the Arts Education Collaborative (2008-2009) in Pittsburgh, as a marketing consultant for the Andy Warhol Museum and (2007-2008) and as associate director for Future Tenant, a graduate run multi-disciplinary arts space in downtown Pittsburgh (2007-2008).
Following his strong interest in photography, he worked as an education outreach associate for the Light Factory, a non-collecting museum dedicated to film and photography, in Charlotte, North Carolina. He has had experience in project management, program evaluation, research and analysis and database management. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Arts and Photography from Bowling Green State University in Ohio.
Associate Exhibitions Coordinator and Curatorial Assistant
Annick Dekiouk has worked as a special exhibitions consultant with FotoFest since 2005. She began as an assistant to FotoFest Exhibitions Coordinator Jennifer Ward in working with production of exhibitions, shipping of artworks, and liaison with exhibiting artists. Since 2008, she has worked as the primary exhibitions coordinator for a number of Biennial and Inter-Biennial exhibitions, including a large series of international exhibitions curated by FotoFest for the 2009 Guangzhou Photo Biennial in China. In 2010-2012, she developed and supervised artist and curator book signings for the FotoFest 2010 and 2012 Biennials. In 2013, she has been the principal exhibitions coordinator for the International Discoveries IV exhibition and she has done the principal coordination on development of the Arab exhibitions for the FotoFest 2014 Biennial with Invited Curator Karin Adrian von Roques and co-curator Wendy Watriss.
Ms. Dekiouk studied photography at the University of Houston and received a B.F.A in photography and digital media. She has shown her own photography at the Blaffer Gallery, Art Museum of University of Houston; Negative Space Gallery, Houston; Juried Membership Exhibition, Houston Center for Photography; Hungry's Café, Houston; Pingyao International Festival, China, and the Donggang Museum of Photography, Yeongwol, Korea. She interned for FotoFest in 2004 and joined FotoFest as an exhibitions consultant in 2005. At FotoFest, she has also worked with the development of FotoFest’s intern and volunteer program and assisted with research for book publications. Ms Dekiouk is fluent in French and English.
2014 Arab Projects Coordinator
Zoe Goldman joined FotoFest in 2013 in preparation for the FotoFest 2014 Biennial, working on Arab press and community outreach. As an undergraduate at Princeton University, she combined her major in Near Eastern Studies with a minor in visual arts, and is excited to be working with both for the 2014 Biennial. Zoe has lived in Cairo, Morocco, and most recently Singapore, where she worked as a writing teacher for 11th grade students at a Singaporean public school.
Literacy Though Photography Program Coordinator
Joel Hernandez is an artist and educator who has been a part of FotoFest, as the Program Coordinator for the Literacy Through Photography (LTP) program, since fall 2011. Mr. Hernandez assists the LTP Program Manager in the administration of the program; coordinates public and teacher communications; designs and sends LTP email newsletters and alerts; organizes and leads school tours of FotoFest Exhibitions; coordinates volunteers for LTP events; designs crafts and decorations for the annual FotoFun fundraiser; coordinates the annual FotoFence student exhibition in May; and, most recently, he has begun teaching LTP as part of after-school programs in Houston-area schools.
Mr. Hernandez received his B.F.A. in Photography from Indiana University. Since moving to Houston, he has continued to pursue his career as a working artist, alongside his work with LTP. His art work has been featured in group exhibitions, in Texas, at the Houston Center for Photography and the Lawndale Art Center. His work has been published internationally. Mr. Hernandez sells his work at art markets across Houston through his artist shop, SANTERIA.
Press and Website Coordinator
Vinod Hopson is a writer and artist, who has worked with FotoFest since 2001 – currently as Press and Website Coordinator and formerly as Exhibitions Coordinator. As Press and Website Coordinator, he works with FotoFest’s outside press consultants in developing and executing press and publicity strategies for all FotoFest art and education programs. Mr. Hopson, a former commercial web developer, oversees and maintains the FotoFest websites, and is the principal website designer (with outside contractors). As the organization’s primary marketing coordinator, he helps develop public programs related to FotoFest’s exhibitions and maintains the organizations email outreach list and social media presence.
As Exhibition Coordinator, Mr. Hopson oversaw a number of FotoFest’s Inter-Biennial exhibitions including the Houston presentation of the acclaimed 9-11 exhibition Here is New York, as part of the city’s official commemoration in 2002.
Mr. Hopson has written freelance art reviews for international print magazines and online art blogs. In 2013, a series of his essays will be published in the online non-fiction journal Covered in Fur. In 2006, he co-curated, with Jennifer Ward, the exhibition, Native Sons, the second exhibition in FotoFest’s Talent in Texas series. As an artist, his performance work has been featured at art venues in Houston. His performance, The Rise, was highlighted as among the Best of 2006 by the online art journal Glasstire. He was born in New Jersey and has lived in Houston since 1996.
Marta Sánchez Philippe
Meeting Place Portfolio Review and International Projects Coordinator
Marta S ánchez Philippe has coordinated one of FotoFest's most important Biennial programs, the international Meeting Place Portfolio Review, since 2005. She works with FotoFest's founders and Art Board in selecting and inviting 180 U.S. (Including Houston) and international reviewers, the registration process of 520+ photographers, and overall organization of the event. As coordinator of FotoFest's portfolio reviews, she has given commissioned presentations and workshops about the program and how to prepare an artist portfolio for presentation in Mexico, the Dominican Republic and in Houston for other arts organizations. In 2006, she provided logistical support for FotoFest's portfolio review program in Beijing, China. From 2010 to 2012, she has been co-coordinator of three Lens Culture FotoFest Paris portfolio reviews in Paris, France. In August 2012, she co-coordinated the Portfolio Review Russia in Moscow.
Among the international projects she has organized with FotoFest’s co-founders are a series of annual trips for FotoFest’s Board of Directors, supporters and collectors since 2006. She has coordinated these trips in Paris, Prague, Buenos Aires, Mexico City and New York City. Since 1998, she has co-edited the FotoFest's Biennial Fine Print Auction Catalogue. Since 1994, she has worked with the organization of several FotoFest exhibitions. As a special projects coordinator for FotoFest, she was responsible for the Spanish section and translation of the FotoFest 1994 Biennial catalogue. She compiled the bibliography and collaborated in the publication of the book Image and Memory: Photography from Latin America (Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 1998). She is currently helping to coordinate the AMERICAN VOICES, U.S. Latino Photographers book planned for publication by the University of Texas Press in 2014.
Ms. Sánchez Philippe began working as a program consultant for FotoFest in 1993. She participated in the FotoFest 1992 Biennial as a volunteer and multi-lingual translator. She grew up in Mexico City, where she studied English Literature. Prior to FotoFest, she worked as a freelance editor and literary translator. She is fluent in French, English and Spanish.
Office Manager and Volunteer Coordinator
Dina Shekhter joined FotoFest in 2013. Prior to moving to U.S., Ms. Shekhter lived in Russia, Lithuania, Austria and Italy, which led her to develop a strong interest in the visual arts, history and various unique aspects of diverse cultures. While in Houston, Ms. Shekhter pursued this interest by earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Houston, where she combined a major in Art History with a minor in Cultural Anthropology. She continued to follow her interest in the arts by earning a Master of Arts degree in Art History from Richmond University in London, England. Upon returning to the United States, Ms. Shekhter began a career in arts administration, which so far has featured arts/cultural program management, curatorial experience, grants management and fundraising, marketing, research, office management and executive support. Ms. Shekhter is fluent in Russian and English.
Special Projects Coordinator
Alonso Tapia-Benitez joined FotoFest in 2013. Currently, he is working on special projects with Wendy Watriss, focusing on American Voices, a book about Latino photographers in the United States. He received a B.F.A. in photography and digital media from the University of Houston in 2013. Mr. Tapia-Benitez is also a practicing multimedia artist, focusing on photography, video art, and performance. His work has been shown in Houston at Caroline Collective, Alabama Song, and the Aurora Picture Show.
Associate Curator and Exhibitions Coordinator
As FotoFest Associate Curator and Exhibitions Coordinator, Jennifer Ward has coordinated exhibitions for both the FotoFest Biennial and Inter-Biennial programs since 2003 when she came to FotoFest. In 2004, Ms. Ward co-curated and co-conceived, with Wendy Watriss, the first exhibition of FotoFest’s ongoing Talent in Texas exhibition series, Home & Garden. In 2006, she was lead curator for the series’ second exhibition, Native Sons.
Since 2009, Ms. Ward has curated and conceived three exhibitions for FotoFest’s Inter-Biennial seasons: POKE! Artists and Online Social Media (2009); B-Sides: A Dialogue with Contemporary U.S. Photography (2010); and most recently, Crónicas: Seven Mexican Artists Confront the Drug War (2013). In her role as Exhibitions Coordinator, Ms. Ward organizes educational outreach and student tours for all FotoFest exhibitions and coordinates collaborative programs with organizations in Houston and abroad. She supervises the Participating Spaces program for the FotoFest Biennial and the Participating Spaces volume of the FotoFest Biennial Catalogue. She is also Senior Editor for the FotoFest Biennial Map and Calendar. Ms. Ward has been an invited reviewer for artists’ portfolios at Atlanta Celebrates Photography, Atlanta, Georgia; Houston Center for Photography, Houston, Texas; Photolucida, Portland, Oregon; Critical Mass, Portland, Oregon; Mois de la Photo, Montreal; and Mesiac Fotografie, Bratislava, Slovakia. In addition to her work in the arts, Ms. Ward also has a fondness for gardening and chickens, which she has raised in her backyard since 2012.
Liz Wickersham is the auction coordinator for the International Fine Print Auction, FotoFest's principal fundraiser, which takes place every two years as part of the FotoFest’s Biennial. She also assists with programming for special projects including First Look, FotoFest’s collectors group, and in association with the International Fine Print Auction, the VIP Collectors Group.
Ms. Wickersham earned a B.A. in art history and studio art from Hartwick College .She worked for thirteen years in New York painting galleries including: Otto Naumann Ltd. and Lawrence Steingrad Fine Arts, as well as Christie’s Auction House. During her tenure at the galleries she often attended The European Fine Art Fair in Maastricht, The Netherlands. Ms. Wickersham developed an appreciation for contemporary photography while working as the auction coordinator during the FotoFest 2012 Biennial.