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Spencer Presentation

The Photographic Works of Steven Liss

Steven Liss from American Landscapes, Boston Skyline at night 
Friday, October 10 - Tuesday, January 13, 2015
Public Artist Talk and Reception on Wednesday, December 3, 2014
Artist Talk:  4:00 p.m.
Reception:  5:00 p.m.
Exhibition, Artist Talk, and Reception are free and open to the public.
Beverly, MA –  The Walter J. Manninen Center for the Arts is pleased to announce the solo exhibition. The Photographic Works of Steven Liss, in the Spencer Presentation Gallery.  Please join us on Wednesday, December 3 at 4:00 p.m. for a gallery talk with the artist and a reception to follow at 5:00 p.m.  The exhibition and programming are free and open to the public. 

Steve Liss is a photographer and photojournalist concerned with issues affecting the poor and underserved in the United States. At Time magazine he focused on stories of the famous as well as social significance involving ordinary people. Forty-three of his photographs have appeared on the cover of Time and among other accolades he has covered six presidential campaigns. In 2004, he was the recipient of a Soros Justice Media Fellowship for his work on juvenile justice and in 2005; he received an Alicia Patterson Fellowship for work on domestic poverty. Mr. Liss’ most recent book, No Place for Children: Voices from Juvenile Detention, won the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award. Liss is also the recipient of the World Understanding Award from Pictures of the Year International. He is the Director of – a project of the nonprofit In Our Own Backyard, which uses visual media to raise awareness about poverty in the United States, dispel inaccurate and destructive stereotypes about poor people and encourage action to alleviate poverty. In addition to photographing, Steve Liss teaches at Endicott College and has held previous academic appointments at Columbia College and Northwestern University.

The Photographic Works of Steven Liss highlights a selection of images from many of the photo documentary series  that Steven Liss has worked on from the 1980s to current.   The series are:  American Scene, American Poverty, No Place for Children, Politics and Famous Portraits, Ranchers, and Runaways. Also included in this exhibition is a photo montage of Time Magazine covers that were taken by Mr. Liss when he worked for the renown publication;  and the exhibition rounded out with a few images from the artist’s own personal archives.  As described by him, the series are:

  • American Scene: you will find the theme of unity and disunity – are we coming together or falling apart?
  • American Poverty:  you are forced to view the plight of the poorest Americans largely ignored by political leaders and by the mainstream media.
  • No Place for Children:  is the world of young felons, of kids gone astray, of children as young as 10 who cry for their mothers from behind bars.  Steve has also produced a book by the same name which can be purchased on
  • Ranchers: depicts the everyday life of a hardworking and cultural group who experiences life as they have for a hundred years.  These hardworking people endure because they love their life.
  • Runaways: focuses on the young refugees from a million private wars being waged in families all across America. These images show some of what they endure to survive day to day.
  • Politics and Famous Portraits: covers the political side of photography and includes Mother Teresa, and ex-presidents and their spouses.

Steven Liss from American Scene Series, Oklahoma City Vigil, evening vigil, young boy holding candle

The importance of Steve Liss’ work is immeasurable.  Visitors to the gallery will find many of these images uncomfortable to view as some prefer to ignore or pretend this doesn’t happen in the United States.  Subject matter in the exhibition proves that a photographer is witness to life’s harsh realities as well as beautiful and amazing events and landscapes.  Kathleen Moore, Coordinator for Visual Arts and co-curator for this exhibition states, “For the students here at the School of Visual and Performing Arts, we know this exhibition is multi-faceted and will bring about great discussion.  

Steve’s exhibit encompasses many aspects of human life, striving for survival, cultural awareness, and ignorance. We hope this exhibition will encourage many to take up a worthy cause like he has and use their art as the tool to create change and alleviate injustices in their lifetime.” 

For further information regarding The Photographic Works of Steven Liss or for information regarding the programming that is associated with it, please contact Mark Towner at 978-232-2166 or

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