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Bio and CV


Syl Arena (born Phoenix, Arizona) is a California-based artist known for his explorations of non-representational photography. He freely admits that he is addicted to color and shadow. In his current series, Constructed Voids, Arena deconstructs white light into vibrant hues and mixes them onto monochromatic constructs. Through the intersection of light, construct, and lens, Arena finds transformative relationships that he describes as “inner landscapes.”

Arena is also greatly interested in commenting on the loss of the image-object in our screen-based world. Increasingly he positions his photographs as objects rather than merely as images. To this end, the Constructed Voids are hung as bare sheets of chromogenic paper in a manner that bends the prints outward from the wall and allows them to undulate gently.

Arena earned an MFA from Lesley University (Cambridge, Massachusetts) and a BFA in Studio Art from the University of Arizona (Tucson, Arizona). He has taught workshops for Maine Media Workshops, Santa Fe Photographic Workshops, the Rocky Mountain School of Photography, and at events in Brazil, Canada, Cuba, and Dubai.



2017–2018       Penumbra Workspace Program, Penumbra Foundation, New York, NY



2017       Todd Walker Research Fellowship, Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ



2017       New Visions 2017, San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, San Luis Obispo, CA

Color Photography Now, Blackbox Gallery, Portland, OR

Left Coast Annual, Sanchez Art Center, Pacifica, CA

Light Sensitive 2017, Art Intersection, Gilbert, AZ

MWCP Juried Exhibition, Midwest Center for Photography, Wichita, KS

Good Bokeh, DAB Art / H Gallery, Ventura, CA

Visions of Cuba, Fototeca de Cuba, Havana, Cuba

LA Artcore 1st Annual Photographic Exhibition, LA Artcore, Los Angeles, CA

Photowork 2017, Barrett Art Center, Poughkeepsie, NY

EAFA Juried Abstract Show, Evergreen Association of Fine Arts, Bellevue, WA

Order and Chaos Chautauqua National Juried Exhibition, Giles Gallery, Richmond, KY

2016       Aperture Summer Open: Photography Is Magic, Aperture Foundation, New York, NY



MFA      Visual Arts—Photography, Lesley University, Cambridge, MA

BFA       Studio Art—Photography, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ


C.V. >  Syl Arena – Curriculum Vitae rev 171207