Palm Beach Photographic Center Showcases Renowned Documentary Photographer’s Work
+February 20, 2021
A Florida photography center is exhibiting the work of renowned photojournalist Maggie Steber through the end of April. The show, entitled From the Heart, is taking place at the Palm Beach Photographic Center, and a free virtual reception was scheduled for February 18 at 6:30 p.m. EST.
The exhibition is part of FOTOfusion, a four-day festival featuring virtual presentations by 40 photographers. The event is scheduled to run through February 20, and this is the 26th year that the nonprofit organization has held FOTOfusion.
Steber has been awarded the Palm Beach Photographic Centre’s prestigious FOTOmentor Award for this year’s event.
The “From the Heart” show will feature a wide range of Steber’s work from nearly 70 different countries, as well as more recent projects like her photographic documentation of her mother’s memory loss and her imaginative dream sequence, The Secret Garden of Lily LaPalma.
Steber described Lily Palma as her alter-ego and the secret garden as her “safe place” during a talk with the photo agency VII, where she is an emeritus member.
“Without meaning to make them so, these photographs reveal my fears and private memories, all the things that are wrapped up, not always so neatly, in someone’s life,” Steber wrote of the project.
The Secret Garden of Lily LaPalma has been called a complete reinvention of Steber and a large departure from the type of work she focused on during her long career in documentary photography.
Steber is best known for her photo essays in publications like National Geographic magazine and her book “Dancing on Fire: Photographs from Haiti,” published in 1991. She has worked in Haiti for several decades, and first traveled to the country to photograph the wedding of Jean- Claude (Baby Doc) Duvalier in 1980, according to the New York Times. Steber returned to Haiti numerous times to cover social and political upheaval as well as everyday moments of beauty, and created a website dedicated to “relationship with Haiti,” entitled The Audacity of Beauty.
“There are moments of beauty that are exquisite. They are profound. But you have to be in tune with things when you see them. Those are the moments where pride lives, where life is lived,” she told the Times in an interview in 2012.
Steber’s journalism career has included work as a picture editor for the Associated Press, as a contract photographer for Newsweek and as the director of photography for the Miami Herald.
Her photography over the years has been recognized by a number of institutions and has been included in the permanent collection of the Library of Congress. Steber, who is based in Miami, is a Guggenheim Fellow and Pulitzer Prize finalist, and was named as one of National Geographic’s “11 Women of Vision.”
She also received the Lucie Award for Photojournalism, the Overseas Press Club President’s Award, Joseph A. Sprague Memorial Award for commitment to the craft of visual journalism that advances the profession, the Leica Medal of Excellence, World Press Photo Foundation and Pictures of the Year Awards and a Knight Foundation Grant.
The From the Heart exhibition is scheduled to run through April 30, and those interested in attending FOTOfusion should register online.