The Aperture Summer Open is an annual open-submission exhibition at Aperture Foundation’s gallery in New York, featuring a wide variety of work by photographers and lens-based artists from around the world. Selected by a jury of leading editors, curators, and writers, the exhibition seeks to reveal and report on key themes and trends driving contemporary photography. The exhibition opens the doors to photographers of all ages, at all points in their careers, as we seek to promote new ideas and talent.


The theme of the 2019 Aperture Summer Open is “Delirious Cities.” The city is a laboratory of new identities, a place of contested freedom, a magnet for immigration, a supermarket of desires, a landscape of ever-changing structures. How can photographs define the diversity of urban experience today? The curators of the Summer Open are looking for new bodies of work that cross a wide visual range, from community, architecture, land use, and environmental concerns to fashion, technology, and individual expression.


The 2019 Aperture Summer Open is curated by Brendan Embser, managing editor, Aperture magazine; Matthew Leifheit, artist and editor of MATTE magazine; Chiara Bardelli Nonino, photo editor, Vogue Italia and L’Uomo Vogue; Azu Nwagbogu, director of African Artists’ Foundation and LagosPhoto; and Guadalupe Rosales, artist and founder of Veteranas & Rucas and Map Pointz.


What winners receive

Selected Artists of the Summer Open will be exhibited in a group show at Aperture Gallery, opening July 11, 2019, and will receive a one-year subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan. Artists will also be exposed to Aperture’s global online audience, profiled on, and featured across Aperture’s social media channels.


About Aperture

Aperture, a not-for-profit foundation, connects the photo community and its audiences with the most inspiring work, the sharpest ideas, and with each other — in print, in person, and online. Created in 1952 by photographers and writers as “common ground for the advancement of photography”, Aperture today is a multi-platform publisher and center for the photo community. From our base in New York, we produce, publish, and present a program of photography projects, locally and internationally.


Juror information


Brendan Embser is the managing editor of Aperture magazine and editor of the Aperture books Deana Lawson: An Aperture Monograph (2018), Chloe Dewe Mathews: Caspian: The Elements (2018), and Ethan James Green: Young New York (2019), and project editor of Aperture Conversations: 1985 to the Present (2018). He has served on the jury for the Addis Foto Fest in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; the Changjiang International Photography and Video Art Biennale in Chongqing, China; Photo Is:rael, Tel Aviv; and the Sony World Photography Awards. Formerly the director of exhibitions at the Walther Collection, Embser has contributed essays and interviews to Another Africa, Contemporary Andn+1Objektiv, and Aperture’s The PhotoBook Review, and was a cocurator of the 2018 Aperture Summer Open, The Way We Live Now.


Matthew Leifheit is a Brooklyn-based photographer. He is editor in chief of MATTE magazine, an independent journal of emerging photography founded in 2010 that recently released its forty-ninth issue. He was formerly the photo editor of VICE, and has also written criticism and interviews for ApertureFoamArt F City, and Time LightBox. Leifheit holds a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA from the Yale School of Art, where he was awarded the Richard Benson Prize in 2017. Currently, Leifheit is an adjunct professor of photography at Yale and Pratt Institute. His photographs have appeared in the New York Times, the New YorkerTime magazine, VICE, and the Yale Daily News.


Chiara Bardelli Nonino is photo editor of Vogue Italia and L’Uomo Vogue, editor of the photography channel of, and curator for the Photo Vogue Festival. She has completed a degree in philosophy, with a dissertation on postmortem photography, and currently works on independent editorial and curatorial projects; she has collaborated with the British Journal of PhotographyFlash Art Italia, and the Photocaptionist, among others. Some of her recent exhibitions include All That Man Is — Fashion and Masculinity NowItalian Panorama, and Sanna Kannisto’s solo show A song system.


Azu Nwagbogu is the founder and director of African Artists’ Foundation (AAF), a non-profit organization based in Lagos, Nigeria. He was recently elected the director of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art in South Africa, and he also serves as founder and director of LagosPhoto Festival, an annual international arts festival of photography held in Lagos. Additionally, he is the creator of Art Base Africa, a virtual space to discover and learn about contemporary African art. Nwagbogu has served as a juror for the Dutch Doc Photo Award, POPCAP prize, World Press Photo, PRISMA Photo Contest, Greenpeace Photo Award, New York Times portfolio review, W. Eugene Smith Grant, and PHotoESPAÑA, and is a regular juror for organizations such as LensCulture and Magnum. For the past twenty years, he has curated private collections for various prominent individuals and corporate organizations in Africa. Nwagbogu holds a master’s degree in public health from the University of Cambridge, and lives and works alternately in Cape Town and Lagos.


Guadalupe Rosales is an artist and archivist based in Los Angeles. She is founder and operator of Veteranas & Rucas and Map Pointz, digital archives accessible through Instagram. Her work has been featured in exhibitions at the Vincent Price Art Museum, Monterey Park, California; Commonwealth and Council, Los Angeles; Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Omaha; and the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami. In 2016, Rosales took over the New Yorker‘s social media for a week and was one of the top-rated takeovers of the year. Her subsequent role as the inaugural Instagram Artist in Residence at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art was featured in the Los Angeles TimesArtsy, and Artforum. She has lectured at numerous museums and academic institutions, including the University of California, Los Angeles; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; New Museum, New York; New York University; and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, among others. She received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2016.



-1 project per submission

-8 to 12 images per project

-File type must be JPG

-At least 3000px on the long edge


Follow this link to create a free Picter account and submit your work. The application fee is $30, and free for Aperture members. For any questions, please contact [email protected]


For more information, follow this link.