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Continuing the Spring 2022 Photography Lecture Series, the MassArt Graduate Programs and the department of Photography are pleased to present this year's Alumni Panel, featuring: Alejandra Carles-Tolra, Guarionex Rodriguez, Jr., J. Shia, Vanessa Leroy, and Carolina Herrera.


Please join us via Zoom at 2pm EST on Tuesday, March 29.


Alejandra Carles-Tolra

Alejandra Carles-Tolra is a Spanish photographer and educator based in London. Questions regarding what defines our identities and the role the group plays in our search for belonging drives her work. Her work is part of the Arts Council Collection and the Col·lecció Nacional de Fotografía of Catalunya, and has been published and exhibited internationally, including Photo Miyota Japan, FotoFever Paris, Somerset House London, Finnish Museum of Photography, Wuhan Art Museum and the Jerwood/ Photoworks Awards. She holds an MFA in Photography from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and a BA in Sociology from the University of Barcelona.


As an educator she has worked for institutions such as Photoworks, Autograph Gallery, University College of London, The Photographer’s Gallery, University of New Hampshire, Portsmouth University, and London College of Communication designing resources and delivering courses and participatory photography workshops. She has a strong commitment to using photography as a voice and tool of empowerment and collaborates regularly with vulnerable communities from diverse backgrounds, ranging in age, ethnicity, and needs.


Guarionex Rodriguez, Jr.

Guarionex Rodriguez Jr. is an artist living in Brooklyn NY. He graduated from MassArt in 2011, and his practice connects with family and community.


J. Shia

J. Shia is the owner & founder of Madhouse Motors in Boston, Massachusetts, and has become an internationally recognized, award-winning motorcycle builder. Madhouse Motors specializes in antique and rare restorations, custom builds, specialty fabrication, and also general maintenance.


As a graduate of the Massachusetts College of Art & Design, J. uses her background in art to design and build motorcycles that often break stereotypical motorcycle molds. Her builds challenge viewers to consider these machines not just as vehicles with an enhanced road performance, but as works of art. Throughout the past twelve years, J. and her company have made multiple international headlines and have gained a substantial amount of recognition.


Vanessa Leroy

Vanessa Leroy (b. 1996) is a photographer based in Boston, Massachusetts. She holds a BFA in Photography from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She remains on the hunt for new ways of seeing, remembering, and altering the world through photography. She is drawn to image-making because of the power it holds to create nuanced representation for marginalized people and uplift their stories. She sees photography as a tool for social justice, and with it, she hopes to create worlds that people feel as though they can enter and draw from, as well as provide a look into an experience that they may not personally recognize. Her work has been featured in The Washington Post, NPR, Bloomberg, STAT News, and exhibited at Gallery Kayafas in Boston, MA — where she is represented.


Carolina Lizet

Carolina Lizet is a Colombian-American photographer who focuses on representing the Latinx community in modern society. With a BFA in photography from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Carolina uses photography as a tool to dismantle stereotypes placed on the Latinx community by highlighting the beauty and strength of its people. In 2019, she received the Gertrude Kasebier traveling grant giving her the opportunity to travel to Puerto Rico with the goal of capturing the resilience of Boricuas via the martial arts community in Juncos and Ponce.


*All Photography lectures are free and open to the public. Please note that all lectures will be held virtually on Zoom for the Spring 2022 semester.

Image: Vanessa Leroy, Untitled, 2021. Taken in St. Petersburg, Florida

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  • Rebecca Morrison
  • Marietta Esquerdo Perez
  • Amy Carpenter

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