Congratulations to the 2021 Giard Grant Winners

The Robert Giard Foundation, in partnership with Queer|Art, is proud to announce the winners of the Robert Giard Grant for Emerging LGBTQ+ Photographers, Courtney Webster and Meg Turner ($10,000), and runners-up Bianca Sturchio and riel Sturchio ($5,000). We also recognize the excellent work of eight finalists: Michael DeCristo, Lee Laa Ray Guillory, a. r. havel, Ian Lewandowski, Schaël Marcéus, Sarah Panzer, Coyote Park, and Zhidong Zhang.

This year’s award cycle was exceptional in many ways. A record number of nearly 275 compelling applications were submitted. And for the first time, this year’s winner and runner-up are each a collaborative duo whose projects focus on community outreach and empowerment. After a particularly challenging and isolating year, the Robert Giard Foundation is excited celebrate the spirit of collaboration and community in 2021–2022.

Courtney Webster and Meg Turner’s project PATRICIDE interrogates cultural tropes of the ideal body by centering a queer person of color (Webster) as an heroic or swoon-worthy protagonist. The artists make visible an alternate lexicon wherein the erased and invisible become seen, empowered, and celebrated.

PATRICIDE has always been about questioning dominant narratives in the media and understanding them as the mechanism that deliberately manufacture who is legitimate and entitled to dignity and power. These narratives impact the ways we live, develop our identities, and ultimately figure out how to exist in communities. This photographic collaboration has always been something that we saw evolving as the conversations around white supremacy, patriarchy, and gender grow more and more urgent and harder for even mainstream institutions to ignore.

 –Meg Turner and Courtney Webster

Bianca Sturchio and riel Sturchio are twin siblings whose collaborative photo-documentary project CHASING LIGHT promotes self-expression and visibility of individuals at the intersection of LGBTQ+, non-binary, and chronically ill or disabled identity.

“CHASING LIGHT has allowed Bianca and I to self-direct our visibility, investigate the representation of queer identity and non-normative bodies, and explore the shifting role of image-maker and subject. Our relationship with the work stems directly from our individual and shared experiences with disability, chronic illness, and non-normative queer identity. Now, we wish to turn this lens outward and offer experiences for non-artists and creative individuals who identify at the intersection of LGBTQ+, non-binary, and chronically ill or disabled identity to see themselves through self-directed documentary photographs and the support of guided workshops. We aim to advance social justice through this work by giving others the opportunity to self-direct their narratives.”

riel Sturchio

The Robert Giard Foundation is honored to support an ever-growing number of emerging LGBTQ+ photographers who are pushing the conversation forward, into the future.

Congratulations Meg, Courtney, Bianca, and riel!