IRA MERRITT - A native Bronx resident for 67 years, married with two grown children. He is recently retired from teaching photography for 33 years, the last 24 at the High School of Art & Design in Manhattan. Along with his teaching duties Ira built up the schools’ internship program to be one of the most successful high school internship programs in New York City. Before teaching he worked as a freelance photographer associate at the Dena Photography Agency in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s and also as a videographer for the Health and Nursing Program at Lehman College in the Bronx. He has been a recipient of four individual artist awards in photography from the Bronx Council on the Arts and has received grants for photography projects including documenting the residents of the Amalgamated Cooperative (the oldest housing co-op in the nation) during their 85th anniversary year. Ira also participated as one of the photographers for the borough wide Bronx Artist Documentary Project which resulted in a traveling show and book. This year he was granted the first one -person show at Metropolitan College Bronx Campus for his series “Ephemeral,” which was photographed in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. He also curated the Bronx Photographer’s Collaborative project of: “Bronx Calling,” which was also on exhibit at the Metropolitan campus in the Bronx. He has recently returned from his first artist residence at the Homestead Monuments National Park in Nebraska.