Jeremiah Ariaz a Finalist for MPS Fund for Documentary Photography

lsu school of art faculty jeremiah ariazBesides heading to Review Santa Fe this June 11–14, 2015, Jeremiah Ariaz, associate professor of photography at the LSU School of Art, has been selected as a finalist for a grant and his work is featured in two current exhibitions.

Ariaz was selected as a finalist for the New Orleans Photo Alliance’s Michael P. Smith Fund for Documentary Photography for his latest series on Louisiana Trail Riding Clubs. While riding his motorcycle in southern Louisiana last year, Ariaz encountered a large group of horseback riders.


“They commanded the road, and I pulled over for them to pass,” recalled Ariaz. I retrieved my camera from the saddlebag of my bike and took a few photographs as they rode by. A gentleman near the end of the procession waved encouraging me to join them. So began my ride with the Trail Riding Clubs.”

More photographs from the Louisiana Trail Riding Club series can be viewed at

The MPS Fund was created to honor the life and work of Michael P. Smith, one of New Orleans’ most legendary and beloved documentary photographers. The fund awards one $5,000 grant to a Gulf Coast photographer whose work combines artistic excellence and a sustained commitment to a long-term cultural documentary project.

More exciting news: LSU alumna Cate Sampson, who received her BFA from the LSU School of Art in 2012, was selected as the 2015 grant recipient for the MPS Fund for her photography series, All the Place You’ve Got.

lsu photography alumni work

Cate Colvin Sampson, All the Place You’ve Got

“Sampson’s All the Place You’ve Got grants us access to a haunting liminal space where we experience cultural persistence as well as a pervasive anxiety about an uncertain future,” stated Emma Raynes in a juror’s essay at “The photographic process Sampson has chosen to use for this story, a relatively fragile historical process, ensures that the viewer feels this tension between the solidity of the moment depicted in the image and the instability of the ecology and society she documents.”

Ariaz’s work is featured in two exhibitions this summer.

He has work in the show, Coming Into Focus: Emerging Southeastern Photographers, at Blue Spiral Gallery in Asheville, North Carolina, May 1–June 26, 2015.

According to the Mountain Xpress, Ariaz’s photographs explore “deteriorating and boarded-up architectural surfaces, namely in the post-2008 financial collapse . . . intensified by its lifelessness [Ariaz’s photography] . . . brings out he physicality of the facades.” [Read the entire review at]

A selection of Ariaz’s images are included in the exhibition, Westward Unbound: An Inclusive Exhibition of Western American Art, at the Center for the Arts Evergreen in Colorado, June 12–July 24, 2015. “This inclusive approach to an exhibition allows for a reframing of the historical Western Art boundaries. In this journey we are headed west, but this time, unbound, and truly free to explore.” Read more at