Your Community / Western Massachusetts

Amy Thompson Avishai

Amy Thompson Avishai   What Now?  from an ongoing project,  Holding On, Letting Go

Amy Thompson Avishai What Now? from an ongoing project, Holding On, Letting Go

Amy's art will be installed on advertisement space at 96 Springfield St, Agawam, MA, beginning February 18, and will be on view for at least one month.


As I watch my two young children grow, I feel the loss of my own parents. My mother died just after my first born’s first birthday; my father, a couple of years ago.  These photographs are from my ongoing project, Holding On, Letting Go, a contemplation about family, love and loss. 

After years as a photojournalist and documentarian, it feels natural to turn a camera, in this case a smartphone, towards my two young daughters and husband.  I blend in with the other parents holding their phones.

Found within our sleep-deprived chaotic lives, the moments of quiet hit me in the heart. They raise unanswerable questions, forcing me to embrace ambiguity.


Amy Thompson Avishai is a photographer, educator, and consultant based in western Massachusetts. She was raised in Morocco, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Belgium— experiences which heightened her cultural awareness and helped bring to the fore feelings of belonging and, at the same time, of being an outsider.

Whether in a girls' dormitory in rural Morocco, a Mennonite community in southern Ohio, a temple in Cambodia, or of her own family in the United States, her photographs have a universal quality and reflect our common humanity.

Amy has taught photography at The Massachusetts College of Art and Design (Boston), The Griffin Museum of Photography (Winchester, MA), and Endicott College (Beverly, MA).

Her photographs have been published in newspapers, literary journals and magazines, including The News York Times and The Women's Review of Books (Wellesley College). Amy was also a featured photographer in National Geographic magazine. Her photos have been exhibited in group and solo shows in the US and Europe.

Amy holds an M.A. in photography from the School of Visual Communication at Ohio University, and a B.A. in Humanities (French, English, and photojournalism) from Michigan State University.

Awards include a Fulbright Fellowship, PhotoLucida’s Critical Mass - Top 50 Photographers, Julia Margaret Cameron Award, Prix de la Photographie (Paris, France), among others.

You can connect with Amy on Instagram at @amy_thompson_avishai.

Curator: Frances Jakubek

Frances Jakubek is an advocate for photography. Recent exhibitions include The Southern Contemporary Art Gallery in Charleston, SC; Camera Commons in Dover, NH; The Hess Gallery at Pine Manor College, MA; Plates to Pixels Online Gallery; and the Dorchester Art Project, MA.

Jakubek is the Head of Exhibitions at Bruce Silverstein Gallery in New York City. She is the past Associate Director and Associate Curator of the Griffin Museum of Photography in Massachusetts and works independently with artists to edit and market their photography.

She has been a guest writer for Don’t Take Pictures, Diffusion Magazine and for artist publications. Jakubek was a panelist for the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s Photography fellowships, speaker for The Photo Brigade and juror for exhibitions throughout the US including ‘The Fence’ and PDN’s ‘The Curator Awards’.

Connect with Frances on Instagram at @franciepants.