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Contact: Dr. Joseph V. Scelsa


Italian American Museum
Artiste Italiane
Women Artists of Italian Heritage

Artist: Janine Coyne
Sassi Di Matera
Original photograph under acrylic glass
45 x 30 in.

Janine Coyne - Bio/Artist Statment

Photographer and educator, Janine (Cortese) Coyne has spent her life doing what she loves, photography and teaching. Born in Brooklyn, New York to Italian American parents, Janine knew at an early age that art was her chosen field. She received both her Bachelor in Arts and Master of Fine Arts degrees from Brooklyn College of The City University of New York where she majored in photography.

Janine is a fine art photographer as well as photojournalist. Her passion is in creating photo essays where she takes the viewer on a visual journey. In 1989, Janine was one of the photographers to document the restoration of Ellis Island. She spent nearly two years photographing both the restoration and the ruins which culminated in a one person exhibition at the Museum of Immigration at The Statue of Liberty.

Her humanitarian work of battered women and their children resulted in an essay called "Angels By The Sea". In 1998 she traveled to Sicily to photograph the island of her paternal grandparents and began a lifelong essay on the people living their lives within ancient cities and ruins. She has returned many times to continue her work there, most recently in 2016.

Her love affair with Italy has brought her back to many locations, most recently to Puglia where her maternal grandparents were from Giovinazzo. Her body of work on Italy continues to grow. Her other portfolios include Anatolia and Napoli when her photo essay was exhibited at The Italian American Museum in 2014.

Janine's work is in the permanent collections of The Brooklyn Museum, The Museum of The City of New York, The National Museum of Immigration at Ellis Island, The Italian American Museum and the Museum of Friends as well as private collections. Her photography has been exhibited in one person shows both nationally and internationally. She has been featured in such publications as Photographer's Forum Magazine and has been the focus of newspaper, radio and television programs in the United States and Italy. Janine has been the recipient of many grants and has been honored for her photo essays that reflect the human condition.

She was a professor for over thirty years at Kingsborough Community College and for nineteen years at The College of Staten Island where she taught photography. More recently Janine has been curator and chair of the curatorial committee at the Italian American Museum. She continues to create and exhibit her photography.

Sassi di Matera 2016 is from my latest body of work taken this fall as I returned to Puglia to photograph and fulfilled a dream of exploring the Matera landscape.

I have continued to be inspired and intrigued by the Italian way of life amidst the layers of civilization that surround the people living there.

Janine Coyne

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