“Desks as Portraits: An Inside Look at the DC Art World” by E. Brady Robinson received the Grand Prize Award at the “American Life” exhibition, part of the 2011 Lishui Photography Festival in China.

Robinson is an associate professor at the University of Central Florida’s School of Visual Arts and Design.

Desks as Portraits” documents the desks of curators, collectors, writers, art critics, dealers, museum directors, artists and other tastemakers in Washington, D.C. The series explores the concept of desks as portraits and social experiment of navigating the D.C. art world.

“One photo shoot leads to another in which I ask for recommendations and names of possible subjects,” explained Robinson. “Further introductions are made and invitations accepted which allows me private access to photograph the workspace of people who are making significant contributions to contemporary art and photography.”

The 2011 Lishui Photography Festival is China’s largest international photography festival. “American Life” featured 20 American photographers selected by 10 American curators. The exhibition will tour throughout the next year in major galleries and museums across China.

“This was a trip of a lifetime,” said Robinson. “I am grateful for the opportunity to exhibit in the 2011 Lishui Photography Festival and visit China. It is my goal to publish a book and find a venue in D.C. for this work.”

Robinson is a graduate of the College of Art in Baltimore and the Cranbrook Art Academy in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Her photographs have been exhibited nationally at Orlando Museum of Art, Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Katzen Art Center at American University and Florida State Museum.