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Counter Narrative/ CENTER Panel Discussion

Oct 11 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm


Location: TCVA Lecture Hall

Cost: FREE

Including Artists: Peter Merts, Maximilian Thuemler and Jane Whitmore


Circular Solutions: CENTER Award + Grand Recipients 2021 & 2022 – Exhibition in Gallery A and Petti/Peiser Galleries, June 2 – November 4, 2023

First Friday Art Crawls on the First Friday of each month, 5 – 8 pm

About the Artists

Luis Corzo- Pasaco, 1996

Luis Corzo, winner of Center’s 2022 Social Award, was born in Guatemala City, Guatemala; he currently resides in Brooklyn. He is a multidisciplinary artist who received his BFA in Photography and Contemporary Creation at IDEP, Barcelona in 2012. He primarily works using the different disciplines of photography, but also works with video to explore the obscurities of human activity and the space in which we inhabit. His work has been exhibited in New York, Buenos Aires, Barcelona, Bilbao, Hiroshima, Sydney, and Guatemala City among others.

Luis Corzo: Pasaco, 1996    

On the 18th of April, 1996, my father and I were abducted from our home and held captive for thirty-three days by an organized crime group known as “Los Pasaco.” In the early 90s, “Los Pasaco” were the most feared and notorious group of criminals in the country. During this captivity, my father was physically tortured and eventually had his left ring finger amputated and sent to my grandfather to pressure him into sending more money for ransom. Eventually, my father was released on the 30th day and told to gather more ransom money in order to have me released. Three days later, I was released in the small town of Chiquimulilla, Santa Rosa.

PASACO, 1996 is an investigative photography project that revisits this act. The project contains recuperated documents, media of the time, as well as new documentation of locations, people, and objects that took part in the act. The main objective of this project is to initiate conversations surrounding the story; those of violence, corruption, capital punishment, and criminal rehabilitation.


Peter Mertz- Incarcerated Artists

Peter Merts, winner of CENTER’s 2021 Social Award, was born and raised in the swamp country of southern Georgia. He graduated from Duke University, then spent time in the English Lakes District and Steamboat Springs, Colorado – and eventually settled in the San Francisco area. Merts worked with black and white film for many years, primarily medium format, and spent many, many hours in a darkroom. Currently his process is entirely digital.  He specializes in documentary, portrait, and fine art forms. 

His work has been published in the New York Times, the Washington Post, The Economist, Newsweek Online, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Conde Nast Traveler Magazine, and others. Some of his prison arts photography was funded by the California Arts Council, which administers the state’s Arts in Corrections program. In 2015, Peter Merts and Dr. Larry Brewster published Paths of Discovery—Art Practice and Its Impact in California State Prisons (second edition). In 2022, Merts published a monograph of his photographs as Ex Crucible: The Passion of Incarcerated Artists, with Daylight Books.

Incarcerated Artists shows incarcerated men and women creating and performing artworks in California prisons; beyond that, it portrays the passion, creativity, and humanity of those artists.


Maximilian Thuemler: Born from the Limb

Maximilian Thuemler, winner of CENTER’s 2022 Project Development Grant, was born in Berlin, Germany and received a BFA in Illustration from Parsons School of Design in New York. His work has appeared in Fraction Magazine, Tabula Rasa Magazine, Office Magazine, Ain’t Bad Magazine, and Accessible Objects among others. It is also part of the Yuko Nii Foundation Collection in Brooklyn, NY. Thuemler is a recipient of the 2021 Creator Labs Photo Fund and the 2020 Lucie Foundation Emerging Artist Scholarship. He is also among the 2021 Critical Mass Top 50. Recent group exhibitions include Corona Culture at Alte Muenze in Berlin, Salon #1 at New Collectors in New York, Tabula Rasa Magazine Volume IV: Performance at Usagi NY, and Thank You, Have a Nice Day at Galerienhaus Berlin. He is currently based in Brooklyn, NY.

Maximilian Thuemler utilizes photography and its boundless archive to engage the medium’s uniquely complex and fraught relationship to historical narratives of power, race, and recognition. The collecting and recontextualizing of archival materials forms project specific conglomerates of evidence, which interrogate historical modes of representation, while simultaneously anchoring Thuemler’s photographic image production and performative practice.



Jane Whitmore: The Bikini Project 

Jane Whitmore, winner of CENTER’s 2021 Project Launch Grant, is a licensed clinical psychologist. In addition to her doctorate in psychology, she has a master’s degree in anthropology and formerly worked as an archeologist in New Mexico and Arizona. She has traveled extensively around the world. Originally from New York, Whitmore has lived in New Mexico for 47 years. Whitmore’s father was a photographer; she jokingly says that she grew up in a darkroom.  She received her first camera from her father when she was seven, and he enthusiastically supported her photographic efforts. 

In 2018, Whitmore closed her clinical psychology practice. Now she is able to devote her time and energy to her photography and writing projects which are an outgrowth of her professional work and her father’s influence. Through these projects, she strives to promote human rights, and respect for cultural diversity; to evoke compassion for the human condition; and to enhance cultural pride. Whitmore uses photography and writing to advocate for these issues by documenting the experiences of prehistoric, historic, and contemporary cultures.



Oct 11
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
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