Matt Eich, a graduate student at Hartford Art School, is the winner of the Bob East Scholarship, which may be awarded to either a graduate or undergraduate student.
Among Eich’s academic and professional accomplishments are:
  • During undergraduate studies (2004-2008) I completed internships at The Orange County-Register, The Oregonian and National Geographic Magazine. In 2007, at the age of 20 I found out I was going to be a father. The beginning of my young family was thoroughly documented and became a video piece produced by MediaStorm, called “Love in the First Person.” In college I started working as a freelance photographer. These days my clients include AARP, Al Jazeera America, BusinessWeek, FADER, Modern Farmer, National Geographic, The New Yorker, The New York Times, Republic Records, Smithsonian, The Wall Street Journal, and many others. Photographs drawn from my long-form essays have appeared in international publications like GEO, Harper’s, Newsweek Japan and more.
  • I have been named College Photographer of the Year (2006) one of PDN’s 30 Emerging Photographers to Watch (2010), participated in the World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass, and received the Magenta Foundation’s Bright Spark Award and POYi’s Community Awareness Award among other distinctions. My projects have been exhibited in festivals, group and solo shows in the United States and abroad. My books and prints are in the permanent collections of The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, The Portland Art Museum, and The New York Public Library.
  • Recent assignments have taken me to a salt farm in West Virginia, to Greensboro, North Carolina to spend time with a Syrian refugee family and to Ferguson, Missouri. For the last ten years I have worked as an independent photographer and managed to survive, though it is never easy, especially with a family to support.
  • Outside of assignment work since 2006 I have consistently worked on a series of long-form essays about communities that speak to the American condition. These projects span Ohio, Mississippi, Virginia and the nation at large, and have received grant support from National Geographic Magazine, the Getty Images Grant for Editorial Photography and the Aaron Siskind Fellowship.

Eich writes about his career, “Following graduation I hope to continue to accept freelance commissions from a variety of editorial and commercial clients. My goal post-MFA is to begin to teach to provide a more steady income for my family, and more stable hours. I will continue to write grants so that I can pursue long-form essays that explore the American condition and to create intimate family work.”


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