Joseph P. Smith     MFA – Digital Arts (Melit)

                                  MSWPP  FBIPP FMPA  FMIPP  ARPS  AFIAP 

                                  Dip. Artistic & Cultural Management (Scuola di Communicazione - Perugia) 

 

Photo by:Tarunima Sen Chandra

(Born 17.03.1959)

 

Joseph P. Smith is a photographer and artist absorbed in an artistic quest that comprises photography and the visual arts.  Joe, as he is more popularly known, studied art and design in Malta and Florence, Italy where he was awarded scholarship in 1983.

 

He has been in photography since 1979. He is a member of the Malta Photographic Society of which he won the coveted Photographer of the Year Award in 1995 and also a Fellow of the Malta Institute of Professional Photographers. He is often called upon by both organisations to judge competitions and give lectures. In 1995 he was made Associate of the Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain and later Artist of the International Federation of Photographic Art.  In 2001 he was the first and only Maltese photographer to achieve Fellowship status of the Malta Institute of Professional Photographers.  In November of the same year he was also made Associate of the Master Photographers Association of the UK.  

 

Joe has also been responsible for the design of various logos of established companies, brochures, packaging, CD sleeves and postage stamps.

 

Joe has a strong preference for monochrome photography especially that depicting the performing arts and his name has become synonymous with evocative pictures of Jazz musicians who performed in the Malta Jazz Festival. Joe has been the official photographer since the first edition in 1991. Many of his Jazz pictures can be found on the websites of renowned musicians who played in the Festival.

 

Having been an avid darkroom worker, he has explored many ways to reproduce monochrome effects digitally with some great results.  For Joe, photography is not just a recording medium and his exhibition of abstract photographs in 1995 is ample evidence that his artistic endeavours do not bind him down to one avenue of expression.

 

In October 2002 he was awarded the prestigious Overseas Master Photographer Award of the Master Photographers Association of the UK in the Fashion/Illustrative category. In 2003 he received no less than three Awards of Excellence in the same Awards and in April 2004 he received the highest accolade in photography when he was successful in attaining Fellowship status of the MPA.  This he did with a panel of twenty monochrome pictures depicting jazz musicians who played in Malta since the inception of the Malta Jazz festival.  In the first ever British Professional Photography Awards in October 2004, Joe also carried away the Overseas Press and PR Category with one of his jazz pictures.  During 2004 he also achieved Fellowship status of the British Institute of Professional Photography. In 2005 he was once more the recipient of Overseas Pictorial and Illustrative Photographer of the Year category at the same awards and was also finalist in the Fashion category and the Press and PR category.  Later in the year Joe joined the SWPP and he was made Fellow of the Association in 2007. Joe has garnered quite a good number of awards during the annual SWPP Convention and he has since been a regular lecturer and competition judge during their annual conventions.

 

2008 was a great year for Joe as he once again put Malta’s name on the map when he won the overall first prize out of 2,500 European photographers in the photo contest organised by the European Union to commemorate the Year of Intercultural Dialogue. The theme of the contest was “Cultures on My Street”.

 

Joe has lectured, judged and exhibited extensively locally and abroad and has had work published in various publications. In 2009 he published his first book called “Survivors” which is a photo documentary on the ageing population of Birgu, a medieval walled town in Malta.  The publication has received great reviews and a sequel is in the making.

 

In November 2010 Joe took part in the Jinan Photo Biennial in China following an invitation by the Chinese Ministry of Culture through the China Cultural Institute in Malta. He was also commissioned to produce all the photography for the Bank of Valletta 2011 - 2018 Calendars.

 

In 2012 and 2013 Joe was invited to be part of the international judging panel of the inaugural prestigious photo contest HIPA, an initiative of HRH the Crown Prince of Dubai, and also to deliver lectures to Emirati photographers.

 

In 2014 and 2015 he achieved an important milestone in his career when two of his portraits were shortlisted for exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London as part of the prestigious Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize.

 

In 2015 Joe was successful in attaining his Masters of Fine Arts – Digital Arts from the University of Malta. In the same year he was once again invited by the Chinese Cultural Centre in Malta to take part in the Beijing Photo Festival and to photograph in different Chinese regions for a tourism initiative.

 

In 2017 he was invited to exhibit in Brussels and China as part of the external cultural programme for Malta’s EU Presidency.

 

Solo Exhibitions:

 

June 1981 Paintings at the National Museum of Fine Arts - Valletta

June 1983 Paintings at the National Museum of Fine Arts - Valletta

February 1985 Photographs at the National Museum of Fine Arts - Valletta

September 1991 Theatrical photography at the Russian Museum of Decorative, Applied and Folk Art - Moscow

December 1992 Theatrical and Dance photography at the National Museum of Archeology - Valletta

December 1995 Abstract photographs at the National Museum of Fine Arts - Valletta

May 1998 The Jazz Portfolio - Jazz Portraits - photographs at “The Labyrinth” - Valletta

March 2001 Digital Photographic Art at Le Meridien Phoenicia Hotel

June 2001 Digital Photographic Art at The Malta Photographic Society 

September 2001 Digital Photographic Art at the Local Council – Rabat, Malta

December 2003 ‘Youth & the Elderly’- Art Caritas Photographic exhibition at the Inquisitor’s Palace, Vittoriosa

September 2004 ‘Youth & the Elderly’ – Photographs - Vilnius, Lithuania (Grundtvig project)

July 2005 ‘Jazz Photographs’ Lascaris Wharf - Valletta

April 2006 ‘Jazz Photographs’ at the Le Meridien St Julians Hotel – Malta

October 2009 Theatrical Photography at Grand Hotel Excelsior – Malta

October 2009 “Survivors – The Ageing Population of Birgu” Exhibition and book launch,

Caraffa Stores, Vittoriosa, Malta.

January 2010 “Survivors – The Ageing Population of Birgu” – Novotel, London

July 2010 “Jazz Portraits” at The Phoenicia Hotel, Malta

May 2011 “China through the Eyes of the Maltese” – China Cultural Centre, Valletta

March 2012 “Jazz Photographs” at the Grand Hotel Excelsior – Malta

February 2017 “Texture of Memory” at EESC in Brussels as part of Malta’s Presidency of EU Council

May 2017 “Texture of Memory” in Beijing as part of Malta’s Presidency of EU Council

July 2018 “Jazz Island” Jazz photography at The Phoenicia Hotel, Malta

 

 

Collective Exhibitions:

 

October 1981 Paintings at the Cathedral Museum - Mdina

October 1982 Paintings at the Cathedral Museum - Mdina

March 1983 Paintings at National Museum of Fine Arts - Valletta

August 1983 Paintings at National Museum of Archeology - Valletta

June 1984 Young Maltese Photographers at Gallerija Fenici - Valletta

August 1984 Maltafest Exhibition at National Museum of Archeology - Valletta

August 1985 Maltafest Exhibition at National Museum of Archeology - Valletta

August 1986 Maltafest Exhibition at National Museum of Archeology - Valletta

October 1986 Paintings at the Cathedral Museum - Mdina

March 1987 “Images” photographic exhibition at the Commonwealth Institute - London

October 1987 “Images” photographic exhibition at the University of British Columbia - Vancouver

October 1987 Maltafest Exhibition at National Museum of Archeology - Valletta

April 1988 Mostra Internazionale di Pittura e Scultura at the Museo Del Risorgimento – Rome

September 1988 Independence Art Exhibition - Floriana

June 1989 ‘Three Photographers’ at the Comune di Pozzallo - Sicily

June 1992 Jazz Photographs at WANDS outlet - Valletta

From 1988 - 1996 Dunhill Photographic Exhibitions – Malta

February 1996 Public Service Art Exhibition – Manoel Theatre, Valletta – MALTA

August 1997 Collective photographic exhibition at Dingli Local Council

September 2000 Inaugural exhibition at St James Centre for Creativity-“Art in Malta Today”

October 2002 Master Photographers Association Exhibition - UK

December 2002 ‘Angels’ exhibition at St James Centre for Creativity

June 2003 Commonwealth “Youth” photographic exhibition – UK and Commonwealth

October 2003 Master Photographers Association Exhibitions – UK

September 2004 ‘Project Malta 24/7’ – St James Centre for Creativity – Malta (USA and Australia)

October 2004 British Professional Photography Exhibition – UK

March 2005 Collective MIPP at St James Centre for Creativity – Valletta

October 2005 British Professional Photography Exhibition – UK

October 2005 China 11th International Photographic Art Exhibition

May 2006 Arts Directory Exhibition – Phoenix Showrooms – Malta

January 2007 SWPP collective at the Novotel – London, UK

September 2007 Arts Directory Exhibition – Malta Society of Arts, Manufacture & Commerce

January 2008 SWPP collective at the Novotel – London, UK

September 2008 “Cultures on my Street” – EU Headquarters, Berlaymont Building, Brussels

January 2009 SWPP collective at the Novotel – London, UK

January 2010 SWPP collective at the Novotel – London, UK

March 2010 Dance Photography – MITP Theatre, Valletta - Malta

July 2010 Portraits in Jazz – Artitude Gallery, Malta

November 2010 Jinan Photo Biennial, China

January 2011 SWPP collective at the Novotel – London, UK

May 2011 Valletta Contemporary Photography Festival – Auberge D’Italie, Valletta

February 2012 Gezira International Contemporary Photography, Cairo – Egypt

September 2013 “Selfie” exhibition at Studio 101 – Valletta, Malta

November 2014 Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize exhibition – National Portrait Gallery, London

March 2015 “Jazz World Photo” - Trutnov, Czech Republic

June 2015 Graduates MFA – Digital Arts exhibition – St James Centre for Creativity, Valletta – MALTA

November 2015 Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize exhibition – National Portrait Gallery, London

March 2016 “Jazz World Photo” - Trutnov, Czech Republic

May 2016 “Fusion” with Chinese photographer Zeng Yi at Spazju Kreattiv – Valletta

October 2016 Mdina Contemporary Art Biennale

March 2017  “Jazz World Photo” - Trutnov, Czech Republic

October 2017 “Human Matter” - Collective contemporary art at Society of Arts, Valletta, Malta

October 2018 “In Between” - Galleria Biffi, Piacenza - Italy

 

Awards & Achievements

 

1995 Photographer of the Year – Malta Photographic Society

1995 Associate of the Royal Photographic Society

1995 Artist – FIAP

2000 Associate of the Malta Institute of Professional Photography

2001 Fellow of the Malta Institute of Professional Photography

2002 Associate of the Master Photographers Association of the UK

2002 Overseas Fashion and Illustrative Photographer of the year – MPA

2003 Overseas Avant Garde Portrait Photographer of the year – MPA

2003 Overseas Fashion and Glamour Photographer of the year – MPA

2003 Overseas Pictorial Photographer of the year – MPA

2004 Fellow of the Master Photographers Association of the UK

2004 Award of Recognition by the Malta Institute of Professional Photography

2004 Overseas Press/PR Photographer of the Year – British Professional Photography Awards

2005 Fellow of the British Institute of Professional Photography

2005 Fellow of the SWPP

2005 Overseas Press/PR Photographer of the Year – British Professional Photography    Awards

2005 Overseas Pictorial Photographer of the Year – British Professional Photography Awards

2005 Overseas Fashion Photographer of the Year – British Professional Photography Awards

2006 Overseas Press/PR Photographer of the Year – British Professional Photography Awards

2006 Overseas Fashion Photographer of the Year – British Professional Photography Awards

2007 First prize “Hands and Gestures” competition – Fotoamatori Abruzzesi – Pescara, Italy

2007 Overseas Contemporary Portrait Photographer of the Year – SWPP, UK

2008 Overseas Environmental Portrait Photographer of the Year – SWPP, UK

2008 Overseas Contemporary Fine Art Photographer of the Year – SWPP, UK

2008 Overall winner of EU photographic competition “Cultures on my Street”

2009 Award of Recognition for contribution to the arts by Dingli Local Council

2009 Award of Recognition for contribution to the arts by Rabat Local Council

2009 International Architecture Photographer of the Year – SWPP, UK

2009 Winner of Portrait category in the 16x20 print competition – SWPP, UK

2009 Honourable Mention in “Book” category – Prix de La Photographie Paris

2009 Honourable Mention in “Fashion” category – Prix de La Photographie Paris

2010 International Architectural Photographer of the Year – SWPP, UK

2010 International Environmental Photographer of the Year – SWPP, UK

2010 2nd Overall in Portrait Category of the 20x16 print competition – SWPP, UK

2011 Overall winner in the SWPP print competition – Natural World Category

2012 Bestowed with title of Master Photographer of the SWPP

2012 2 Nominations in the Masters Cup Colour Awards

2013 4 Nominations in the black and white Spider Awards

2013 Photographer of the Year (Events category) – SWPP, UK

2013 Top 50 in the Sony World Photography Awards

2013 3 Nominations in the Masters Cup Colour Awards

2014 Highly Commended in the CBRE Urban Photographer of the Year awards

2014 Honourable Mention and 3 Nominations in the Spider Awards

2014 Shortlisted for exhibition in the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize

2015 Top 30 in Jazz World Photo

2015 Top 50 in the Sony World Photography Awards

2015 Shortlisted for exhibition in the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize

2016 Top 30 in the Jazz World Photo competition

2016 Finalist in “Stillness and Distance” Kuala Lumpur Photo Contest

2017 Top 30 in the Jazz World Competition

2018 Winner in the International Colour Awards (Abstract Category)

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