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Judy Gelles - Fourth Grade Project

  • Cherry Street Pier 121 N. Columbus Boulevard, 19106 (map)

JULY 19 - SEPTEMBER 1, 2019

Opening Reception: Friday, July 19, 5 - 8 PM


121 N. Columbus Blvd (Just South of Race Street)

Philadelphia, PA

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Who do you live with?  What do you wish for?  What do you worry about?  

Judy Gelles began the Fourth Grade Project from a prototype born during her volunteer work at an under-served Philadelphia school not far from where she lived. Over the past decade she has interviewed and photographed over 300 fourth grade students from the USA, China, Dubai, England, India, Israel, Italy, Nicaragua, St. Lucia, South Africa, and South Korea. By asking these students the exact same 3 questions, she allows their answers to become part of her art along with her intriguing photographs. Without seeing the face of these children, who are photographed from behind, we can hear their voices through their answers to these questions that frame their body in the image along with economies of gesture that speak as loudly as their words. Told in their own words, their stories touch on common human experiences and urgent social issues.


Judy Gelles received her MFA in Photography from Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI. Gelles has exhibited her work most notably at the National Portrait Gallery, London, UK; Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens, Sunderland, UK; Santa Fe University of Art and Design, Santa Fe, NM; Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA; Philadelphia Foundation, Philadelphia, PA; Granary Arts Center, Ephraim, UT; Berlin Foto Biennale, Berlin, Germany; Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, Miami, FL; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, DE; Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland; Photo Center NW, Seattle, WA; Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles, CA; and more. She has been awarded the CENTER Award, Second Prize “Curator’s Choice” (2016); CFEVA Alumni Travel Grant (2016); First Prize, Prix de la Photographie Paris (2013); Lomax Family Foundation Grant (2012); among others. Her work is in the collection of The Museum of Modern Art in New York and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA; Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY; Danforth Museum of Art, Framingham, MA; Harvard University Fine Arts Library, Cambridge, MA; Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; among many others. This exhibition was originally presented at the Annenberg Space for Photography presents Photoville LA in April & May 2019. Designed & produced by United Photo Industries. Judy Gelles is represented by Pentimenti Gallery in Philadelphia, PA. 

For more information regarding the purchase of Judy Gelles’ fine art photography, please contact Pentimenti Gallery at or 215.625.9990.


Sunday - Thursday: 11 AM - 10 PM  |  Friday & Saturday: 11 AM - 11 PM

Earlier Event: July 18
Screening: Reza Abdoh - The Blind Owl
Later Event: July 19
Meeting Full Circle