Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Photography Festivals in the South -- Fall 2016

Cooler nights and the first glimpses of autumn color in the leaves remind us that the fall photography festivals across the South are about to begin.

Leading off, of course, is the most Southern of festivals, SlowExposures, this year on from September the 15th through the 18th in Pike County, Georgia.

The full schedule is here. The list of exhibitors in the juried show is here. The list of pop-up shows is growing, signaling continued expansion of this wonderful event, full listing is here.

So much to look forward to in Pike County, Georgia, this weekend!

October, in central North Carolina, brings us CLICK! the Triangle Photography Festival, running from October 1st through 30th in Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill.

Special highlights this year include lectures by Distinguished Southern Photographer Jerry Uelsmann and celebrated South African photographer Zanele Muholi, as well as an expandee field of shows and exhibitions and an expanded portfolio review.

For a list of events that are part of CLICK!, go here.

October, in Georgia, of course brings us what my father would call the Daddy Rabbit of Southern Photography festivals -- Atlanta Celebrates Photography --which started out being about the month of October but now starts in September and continues long past the end of the month.

The full ACP Guide is here. 

So much good photography to see, so many learned speakers to hear, so many events to take part in! 

And there is more to come. Check back for news of more on festivals later in the fall. 

The life of the Southern photographer is full, and good.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Sally Mann at the Gagosian Gallery

Distinguished Southern Photographer Sally Mann is about to have a show of new work at the Gagosian Gallery in NYC, opening September 22nd and up through October 29th, 2016.

This show features images from Mann's portfolio Remembered Light,  images made in the studio of Virginia-based, distinguished American painter Cy Twombly

For samples of her work in this portfolio, see the images above and below, both of which are, of course, (c) Sally Mann and used courtesy of the Gagosian Gallery.

The Gagosian Gallery's press release for this show describes Mann's work thus:

"In her latest exhibition of photographs . . . [Mann] records in fleeting impressions the working habitat of the late Cy Twombly, her close friend and mentor . . . both natives of Virginia. 

"The landscape to which Twombly returned each year is also the memoryscape of Mann’s connection to him. 

"This was documented in her recent and celebrated memoir Hold Still, in which she recalls his elemental nature, his southern courtesy, his wry and gentle humor. 

"Recalling her time with Twombly, Mann writes, “Our part of the South, remote, beautiful, and patinaed with the past, allows us such a remove, the distance of another time.”

"Under Mann’s gaze, and the warm light of Virginia, the accumulations and ordinary objects in Twombly’s studio reveal themselves not only as evidence of a richly imaginative and cultivated life lived and marked by tactility . . .  “the leftovers, smears, and stains, and an absence turned into a presence.” 

Mann's work in Twombly's studio has been the subject of a feature story in the NY Times, go here.

Also note the image of Twombly from the NY Times, directly below. 

Hilarie Sheets, the author of the NY Times piece, makes connections between Mann's work as a elegy for Twombly and Mann's more recent grief at the death of Emmett, Mann's eldest child, who, having struggled with schizophrenia in adulthood, took his own life this past June, at the age of 36.

Sheets says of Mann that in her writing and in her photographs she stares "as squarely as she [can], contemplating the passage of time and the transience of life."

The relationship between life and art, and especially between grief and art, is complex, contradictory, defying simple description.  

The making of meaning in the visual arts is especially valuable, however, because it works through non-verbal media, suggesting that the act of creativity is the meaningful event, not the verbal explanation for it. 

Mann's capacity to turn the simplest traces of human creativity into compelling images that draw us back, over and over, is a powerful demonstration of this capacity. 

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Southern Photographers in the News -- Mid-Summer 2016

Memphis-based photographer Tommy Kha (see image above) received one of this year's En Foco Fellowships in photography, go here. 

Atlanta-based photographer Sheila Pree Bright (see image above) has work from her coverage of the Black Lives Matter Movement in the group show STUMP, opening at Richmond's Candela Gallery on September 2nd, and up through October 22nd, 2016.

Bright also has work from this portfolio on the website Project1960, go here.  

Distinguished North Carolina  (and Durham, NC-based) photographer Titus Brooks Heagins (see image above) is opening a major show of new work from his Rorschach portfolio at Raleigh's ArtSpace on September 2nd, 2016, up through October 29th, 2016.  

More to come from The Southern Photographer!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Retrospective Shows in Georgia and Mississippi

Fischer Galleries in Jackson, MS had a one-evening show to Celebrate Mississippi Photographers on August 18th, 2016. 

Mississippi photographers featured in this show included, among others, Jack Spencer, Maude Schuyler Clay, Birney Imes, Ellen Rodgers, Betty Press, James Patterson, Suzi Altman, Kay Holloway and Anne Bryant

Seems like a lot of time and energy to put into mounting a show of such high quality work  for only one evening, but fine photographs always deserve to be displayed well, and as often as possible.

Congratulations to the folks at the Fischer Galleries for celebrating the photographers of Mississippi.

Also in a retrospective mode, Atlanta's Museum of Contemporary Art (MocaGa) is hosting a show of photographs by contemporary Georgia photographers, opening September 3rd, and up through December 3rd, 2016.
The show is entitled Edge to Edge. According to Chip Simone, who curated the show, the goal is to provide the first ever statewide survey of contemporary Georgia photography.  

The show includes 80 images by 60 photographers, and includes among the shooters work by Ben Helton (see image directly above), Jack Leigh, Constance Thalken, Beate Sass, Jodi Fausett, and Teri Darnel.

The folks at MocaGa note that "Photography has taken a prominent place in the artistic culture of the contemporary South. 

"Once limited to the traditional themes of the rural and historic south; of rustic barns and rusted trucks; of simple living and country ways, the photographs in this exhibition are modern and reflect a more diverse and complicated world. 

"They mirror modern concerns and coincide with the transition from traditional wet process photography to the technical wonders of the digital age. 

"The photographs reveal a more diverse, vibrant and unsettled south which is part of a new demographic that finds most southerners living in urban and suburban centers. 

"The work in this exhibit will reflect many of the changes that are redefining the modern south.

"These pictures will challenge the viewer who is expecting southern stereotypes with mysterious narratives, poetic revelations, and complex abstractions.

"The exhibition will present a richly diverse array of the many varied ways contemporary photography is being used artistically and expressively by photographers from across our state, corner to corner and edge to edge. 

Edge to Edge is dedicated to Georgia born photographer Paul Kwilecki (1928-2009), who the folks at MocaGA describe as “the greatest documentary photographer you’ve never heard of," because of his 40-year-long project to photograph in Decatur County, Georgia, and his reticence about promoting his work

A selection of Kwilecki's work will be included in the Edge to Edge show.

So, lots of photographs taken in Georgia to look forward to at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Atlanta

And the fall festival Atlanta Celebrates Photography is just around the corner.  

Southern Photographers on Lenscratch -- Mid-Summer 2016

Lenscratch's Aline Smithson enjoyed her interview with Alexa Dilworth, Publishing and Awards Director/Editor for CDS Books at Duke's Center For Documentary Studies a few years ago that she ran it again in Lenscratch this summer, go here.

And while we are thinking about Lenscratch, its time to notice that Lenscratch has featured Southern photographers extensively in the past few months.

Texas-based photographer (and long-time president of the Texas Photographic Society) D. Clarke Evans had work from his Semper Fidelis portfolio featured on Lenscratch, here.

San Francisco-based (but Laurinburg, NC born) photographer MacNair Evans (see image above), was awarded a fellowship by the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. He also served as the organizer of the California Project on Lenscratch, go here.

Greenville, SC-based photographer Terri Bright (se image above) was featured on Lenscratch with images from her portfolio Sonnets, now a book from Flash Powder Projects. 

Florida-based photographer Melanie Metz was also featured on Lenscratch with images from her Davie portfolio, go here. 

 And, finally, for now, Michelle Mobley (see image above), a student at the Savannah College of Art and Design, was an honorable mention winner in this year's Lenscratch Student Prize Competition.
More to come from Lenscratch on The Southern Photographer.