Art. Culture. Life.

LQAF Scholarship Spotlight: Colby Tarsitano

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Visual Arts Scholarships

Photo by Colby Tarsitano

LQAF catches up with a recipient of LQAF Visual Arts Scholarship, Colby Tarsitano–a photographer studying at NYU| Tisch in Photography & Imaging.

1.       How did you become involved with Visual Arts?

Colby Tarsitano

‘Radiate’ by Colby Tarsitano



I became involved with visual arts in about 8th grade. I had an easy to use Fuji starter camera and snapped photos with it around my home.  My mom had given them to the photo teacher at La Quinta High School who entered them in the date festival where they both won first prize. After that I kept shooting and took photo classes in high school where I fell in love with the medium. And the rest is history 🙂






2.       Do you have a favorite visual artist? If so, what is it about them that makes them stand out?

Ryan McGinley

Ryan McGinley

My favorite visual artist is definitely Ryan McGinley. His work, for me, is creatively genius with stunning lighting and colors. I feel like my current body of work encompasses his in a way. He does a lot of nude shots but his nudes are not aggressive “Look at me I’m naked!!” photos. Instead, they show the human body as very natural and a minor detail in the shots which are encompassed with wild animals, colors, and landscapes as the focal points.




3.       What project(s) are you currently working on in the Visual Arts?

taxicabsCurrently, I am working on two ‘long term’ projects for my classes. One of them is about cab drivers where I am documenting cab drivers  around NYC and their background stories. The second is a cultural documentary capturing the culture of Chinatown through Kindergarten children that I tutor. My personal project, however, is based on building a body of work that is unique to me. I have found that I am really interested in soft, warm lighting and nudes. I am trying to take McGinley’s concept of nudes and encompass it in my work. I am also working on new lighting techniques, using natural light, filters, and studio lighting. Basically, I am working on building a portfolio that embodies my interest in people and culture.

For other photo information, I have just joined the staff of ISO magazine, a student run magazine in the photo department at Tisch. We are in the process of making two zines and a full magazine issue this year. The works feature art from students in the department, art students around the world, alumni, and established photographers.

iso magazine

ISO Magazine


LQAF Scholarships are available to Coachella Valley students meeting eligibility requirements. With the conclusion of LQAF’s 33rd Anniversary in 2015, we are proud to announce the achievement of over $1,190,002 dollars in scholarships awarded to date.  Encourage someone you know to apply next year! Applications will open February 1st, 2016.