The RITphoto Honor Show 2017

Professors Josh Thorson and Willie Osterman look at a few of the books that were entered into the 2017 honors show


The RIT campus was originally located in downtown Rochester. Pictured above is the Clark building where the then called School of Photography was located. The building was used for all things photographic including studio lighting, film processing, sensitometry labs and printing darkrooms. It lacked a designated space that could be used for the display of photographs. As such, hallways were used to display student work. Frequently, the exhibits were dedicated to showing work produced  in classes or a first year student exhibit for example.

The RIT Honor Show was begun once the campus moved from downtown to its current location in 1968. The idea to bring the School and campus together to celebrate student achievement has lasted almost fifty years. Shown below is an early snapshot of then named SPAS gallery that was used additionally for MFA critiques.



In 1981, the Wallace Memorial Library started a purchase prize to create a legacy collection of student work as part of a teaching collection. Since that time, the gallery has been renovated and it now called the William Harris Gallery and the number of purchase prizes has also grown.

The honors show is a juried exhibition of student work. Faculty judge student submissions and the votes are tallied. Students from all programs including graduate students and  all years are eligible to submit up to three images for consideration. Typically approximately 100 photographs are included in the exhibition that now includes, books, prints and video/multimedia entries. Shared below are some of the pieces that were selected for 2017 purchase prizes.

The Doug Manchee and Denis Defibaugh Purchase Prize

Alexandra Pasquale

The Career Services and Cooperative Education Purchase Prize

Svea Elisha – Pastels in the Round

Development and Alumni Relations Purchase Prize

Teresa Zgoda – Lower Antelope Canyon

The College of Imaging Arts and Sciences Dean’s Office Purchase Prize

Laura Gordon – Pyronexite

Elaina Trapani – Subway Webs

The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships Purchase Prize

Svea Elisha – Pastels in the Round

The Ken White Purchase Prize

Tammy Wells – Katchi with rabbit

Ashley Crichton – One with the Water

The Wallace Library Purchase Prizes

Christopher Coe

Asher Stabler, Jar, video

Teresa Zgoda – Wild (triptych)

Becks Ashley – After Hours

Hassan Abdikadir, 5, pushes his sister, Khadijo, 2, across the living room floor in a cardboard box, as she holds a paper crown from their first ever visit to a Burger King earlier in the day, on Dec. 9, 2016, in the family’s newly settled apartment in Rochester, N.Y. The Abdikadir family moved to Rochester in November of 2016 from a refugee camp in Kenya, after leaving their native home of Somalia nearly ten years prior.

Erin Gallagher – A New Home

Abigail Semler -Lumbar Sutures

 The Thomas Iten Award


Elkin Jaramillo – Amalgamate

The Enrollment Management and Career Services Purchase Prize

Santiago Zurbia Flores Otero – Xibalbá

Three divers enter Hermano Pequeño cenote at Chauc Mool, on Jan. 11, 2017, in Quintana Roo, MX. Cenotes are sinkholes made from collapsed limestone and filled with water, which contain caverns and well as caves.

Kaitlyn Dolan – Chauc Mool

The Undergraduate Admissions Purchase Prize

Katherine Broderick – Milky Way

Abigail Miller – A Betta’s Glow

The Lisa Vasaturo Purchase Prize

Elaina Trapani – Subway Webs

Junior Ad Faculty Grant

Samuel Kettell – Self-Portrait

Shared below Katie DiFrancesco celebrates her photograph being in the 2017 Exhibition