Photo: Gareth Smit

Presented in partnership with Design Trust for Public Space, Staten Island Arts and the Alice Austen House Museum, and curated by Paul Moakley, North Shore documents the northern coastline of Staten Island. "It is a part of New York City that is seldom seen, but the North Shore of Staten Island is a microcosm of contemporary life in the United States," Gareth Smit explained. "In this age of isolationism, it is also a borderland – a place where the culture wars of our decade play out in the everyday lives of residents."

The North Shore is being transformed by $1.6 billion in public and private-sector investment. Smit chronicled stories from the community in transition, as part of the Future Culture project.

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Photoville is free and open to the public through Sunday, September 23.


Design Trust's Photo Urbanism program offers fellowships to emerging and established photographers to explore the potential of undiscovered and underused public spaces in New York City.

Design Trust for Public Space has awarded nine Photo Urbanism Fellows since 2002, each selected by an independent jury. Previous jury members include renowned photographers, curators, and designers: Iwan Baan, Chris Boot, Paul Moakley, Linda Pollak, Mark Robbins, Susanna Sirefman, Erica Stoller, and Paul Warchol.

Fellows have brought their independent artistic vision and new perspectives to illuminate topical issues from city’s transportation infrastructure to urban agriculture, and specific locations such as Jamaica Bay and Staten Island’s North Shore. The resulting photographs have been exhibited at prominet NYC insititutions and galleries, including Alice Austen House, BRIC, Drawing Center, Museum of the City of New York, and Robert Mann Gallery.

Your contribution makes the Photo Urbanism Fellowship Program possible. Click here to donate.

My interest in the North Shore began four years ago after Eric Garner was killed in an apparent chokehold during his arrest near the corner of Victory Boulevard in Tompkinsville. In the year after his death, I photographed the family and friends of Eric Garner here as they continued to march for justice and mourn his death.

Gareth Smit, Future Culture Photo Urbanism Fellow