Friday, August 22, 2014

Southern Photographers in the Galleries, Late Summer 2014

There are a number of shows in the museums and galleries that are worthy of our attention, at the end of summer. Here are a few of them.

Charlotte, NC-based photographer Micah Cash (see image above) now has a show of photographs up at the National Archives in Atlanta. 

These photographs are part of a portfolio called Dangerous Waters and are up now at the Archives through November.30, 2014. 

Cash says these images explore the contemporary social consequences of the Tennessee Valley Authority. 

They are on exhibit as part of a broader consideration by the National Archives of the legacy and impact of the Tennessee Valley Authority.

The GreenHill Center in Greensboro, NC is hosting a show of photographs by five North Carolina photographers that document their response to the experience of being in China. 

Up through Sepmtember 6th, 2014, this show features work by Jerome De Perlinghi, Joe Lipka, Bill McAllister, David M. Spear, and Barbara Tyroler, all of whom, according to the GreenHill's account, "have traveled to China and through their lenses have captured the sights, textures, nuances, shadow and light they found there."

Curated by Edie Carpenter,  the work in this show intends to "facilitate a dialogue around generally received notions and mythology surrounding China and contemporary visual representations of the globe’s most powerful emerging economy."

According to Carpenter, the work of Jerome De Perlinghi and Barbara Tryoler documents people in urban settings, while David Spear presents images from a voyage up the Yangtze River. 

Joe Lipka and Bill McAllister offer landscapes that "tell stories of a country where past and present overlap.”

Columbia, SC-based photographer Kathleen Robbins (see image above) is having a show of work from her Into the Flatland portfolio at the Halsley Institute of Contemporary Art, located at the College of Charleston.

This show opens August 23rd, with a reception from 6:30 - 8:00 pm and is up through October 4th, 2014. 

This show is in addition to her show also up at the Rebekah Jacob Gallery in Charleston, through September 8th, 2014.

Much good work here, and more to come!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Welcome to Southern Glossary!

We've learned of a new on-line e-zine called Southern Glossary, a "web-based zine about art, culture, and performance across the South."

The work of  Ryan Sparks and Brad Rhines, based in New Orleans, Southern Glossary seeks to support "talented artists, valuable art institutions, and the communities both serve" through "clear writing" for "a South unburdened by archetypes or stereotypes, full of art and enterprise."

They have been at work on this project for over a year now, and the result is worthy of our attention and support. They offer lots of photography, lots of good writing, and your subscription is free.

The e-zine comes out monthly, and they also do a weekly newsletter called Loose Leaf. 

You can sign up for the whole package here.  Definitely worth checking out!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Kathleen Robbins at Rebekah Jacob Gallery

Columbia, SC-based photographer Kathleen Robbins is having a show of work from her Into the Flatland portfolio at the Rebekah Jacob Gallery in Charleston, up now through September 8th, 2014.

This is exemplary work in the canon of Southern fine art photography, both for the methodology and for the results.

A great deal of photography today is driven by the concept, the organizing idea or linking detail behind a set of images. Often this approach to assembling a body of work produces significant, even powerful photographs.

All too often, however, the result of this approach is a set of banal images that are enlivened or given significance only when one knows the concept that motivates them.

Robbins' images are visually compelling, yet motivated by a concept that is deeply felt and profoundly personal, growing out of her recognition of the Mississippi Delta's significance for her personally and the South generally.

In 2001, having developed her skills as a photographer and an artist, Robbins immersed herself in the physical world of her childhood in the Mississippi Delta, or as she puts it, she moved back in, literally living in the spaces and among the material objects of her own, and her family's, history.

Robbins lived on  her family's farm,  "ate from my great-grandmother's china, drank from her crystal and slept in her bed."

She goes on: "At dusk I rocked on the porch and watched the blackbirds descend on the canebrake planted by my great-grandfather. Living on the farm I existed in a strange continuum. My family's history and their connection to this place were markedly present in my everyday experience.

"This is land that my family has inhabited for generations, and I am pulled to this place in a way that I am not able to fully articulate. It is not my nostalgia alone that creates this longing; it is that of my mother and my mother's mother."

Robbins' photographs emerge from her deep engagement with the landscape and the material culture of her ancestors.

Her work demonstrates the value of attending to Faulkner's claim that in the South the past isn't dead; it's not even past. As in Robbins' work, traces of the South's tangled history sit side-by-side in the landscape with all the signs of a more recent prosperity and cosmopolitanism.

This is especially true in Charleston, where visitors from around the world flock to the Spoleto arts festival, where high end restaurants like Husk and SNOB sit blocks from the building that housed for years one of the largest slave markets in the antebellum South.

So it's good to have Robbins' work up at Rebekah Jacob's Gallery, a perfect location for work that engages actively with the complex and paradoxical legacy shared by all of us who are Southern. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Gallery Shows Link Past and Present in Photography

Three shows open or opening this month in Asheville, NC, New Orleans, and Columbia, SC document the relationship between past and present in photography.

Castell Gallery, in Asheville, NC, is opening tonight -- August 8th, 2014 -- an intriguing show drawing on the collections of three important collectors of photography, two of them from North Carolina. 

In addition to work from the collection of W. M. Hunt (who is Not From Around Here), the show draws on the collections of Allen Tomas of Wilson, NC, and David Raymond, of Asheville, NC. 

The show includes work by photography masters like Henri Cartier-Bresson, Harry Callahan, Imogen Cunningham, Sally Mann, Lee Friedlander, and André Kertész, but also includes work by eight emerging or mid-career contemporary photographers. 

All this work will be up at the Castell Gallery in Asheville through the end of September, 2014. 

The Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans has up a show of photographs, One Place, by Paul Kwilecki, through September 21st, 2014. 

Paul Kwilecki photographed in Decatur County, Georgia from the 1960's into the 2000's. attending, in a very Southern way to his own "postage stamp of earth," documenting both the changes that time brought with it and the things that endured. 

The Ogden says of this work that it is "an intimate and focused portrait of a single place that resonates with a universal vision of humanity." 

Kwilceki worked in a style that reminds me of the documentary style of WPA shooters in the 1930's and 1940's. In his work, the subject matter changes more than the vision. But the power of this work is a reminder of the effectiveness of that style, a powerful style for one who wishes to function as a witness.

The McMaster Gallery, in the School of Visual Art and Design at the University of South Carolina, is opening on August 28th, 2014 a major show of work that explores contemporary uses of historical photographic methods.

The show is called Pathways, and demonstrates how contemporary use of early photographic processes helps photographers working today give a distinctive look and feel to their image making. 

Techniques in use in this work include tintype, palladium, gum bichromate, and collodion image making.

Artists whose work is featured in this show include Anne Berry, Diana Bloomfield (see image above), Carolyn DeMeritt,  Christine Eadie, Frank Hamrick, Aspen Hochhalter, Kevin Bruce Parent, Emma Powell, Laurie Schorr, and S. Gayle Stevens.  

Their work will be up at the McMaster Gallery through October 4th, 2014

Good to see these gallery shows with a sense of history, giving visual proof that in the South the past isn't dead, its not even past, even in the practice of photography.

Well worth checking out if you are in Asheville, or New Orleans, or Columbia.

Southern Photographers on the Internet, Late Summer 2014

On-line 'zines, blogs, and galleries are increasingly important places for photography exhibitions. Here are some examples of new and recent work now up on line.

Atlanta-based photographer Forrest McMullin (see image above) has a fine portfolio of portraits made at flea markets across the Southeast on lens culture.

Ariella Gibson (see image above), who studied photography at the Memphis College of Art, has a compelling body of work from her Born portfolio on Light Leaked, an on-line photography journal.

Rachel Boillot (see image above), who this year received her MFA from Duke University's Environmental and Documentary Arts graduate program, has images from her thesis portfolio Post Script, documenting the decline of rural post offices in the American South, also in Light Leaked.

Just catching up with Light Leaked, by the way, an ambitious new addition to the Southern photography scene, edited by Columbia, SC-based photographer Ashley Kaushinger (see image above) and Dallas-based photographer Sheryl Marie Anaya (see image below), both fine shooters in their own right. 

I deeply admire photographers who can be productive artists and also edit magazines or blogs, or run galleries, or arts programs. Somehow, all this work, no matter how important it is, seems to get in the way of one's own work. 

Congratulations to all who know how to find balance in their lives. 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Catching Up with Jeff Rich's Review of Southern Fine Art Photographers


Jeff Rich has now featured a Southern photographer a week for nearly two years under the heading Eyes on the South at the Oxford American website. 

He has now organized the shooters he has featured into three "Best-Of" entries, here:

Best of Eyes on the South, Volume ONE, including images by Tammy Mercure (see image above).

Best of Eyes on the South, Volume TWO, including images by Tamara Reynolds (see image above).

Best of Eyes on the South, Volume THREE, including images by Stacy Krantz (see image above)

In addition, the following photographers have been featured in Eyes on the South since we last checked:

Justin Cook, Brian Anderson, Anne Conway Jennings, Rex Miller, Parker Stewart, and Charlotte Strode.

Thanks to Rich for developing this discipline of recognition, and to the Oxford American for supporting Rich in his work.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

S[x]SE for Summer 2014

The latest issue (Volume IX, Issue 4) of South by South East (S[x]SE) Photography Magazine is now out for July/August 2014, and it has all the fine photography and engaging features we have come to expect from S[x]SE.

Editor Nancy McCrary features in this issue portfolios of work that all deal in one way or another with the subject of the food and water of the American South.

She opens, however, with a fine interview with the distinguished Southern photographer Burk Uzzle, former shooter for Magnum and Life, who now lives and works in Wilson, NC.

Uzzle continues to have a brilliant career as a photographer, but he is perhaps best known for making the image shown above, at the Woodstock Festival, only 45 years ago.

Portfolios offered here on food are by the photographers Dan Routh, Tom Meyer, Raymond Grubb (see image above), and Rob Amberg.

Portfolios of work on the theme of water are by the photographers Raymond Grubb (getting a twofer),Paul Hagedorn, Bryce Lankard (see image second below), David Foster, Susan Friedland (see image below), Tim Lewis, Lorrie Dallek, Evan Leavitt, Lisa Eveleigh, Marla Puziss, Todd Smith, Kevin Thrasher, Margaret B. Smith, Don Norris (see image above), and Tom Meyer (another twofer).

In addition to all this excellent photography, there are interviews with Brett Abbott, Amanda Smith, and Andy Cotton, as well as all the other features we have come to expect, and value, from S[x]SE.

And you can have access to all this fine -- and award-winning -- work for a very reasonable fee, a very reasonable fee indeed.

To subscribe, to do the right thing, go here.

Don't put it off any longer. We Southern photographers need to support our basic institutions,

You know you should subscribe. You know it, you really do. 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Southern Photographers in the News -- Early Summer 2014

First, the Good News of the season --

1. Savannah, GA-based photographer Kory Jean Kinsley (see image above) has been named Honorable Mention Winner in the Lenscratch 2014 Student Photography Competition.

 Kinsley is a student at the Savannah College of Art and Design and an editorial assistant for Aint-Bad Magazine.

Congratulations to Kinsley on this fine achievement, as well as on the substantial body of fine work she has assembled at such an early age. 

2. Aint-Bad Magazine, an on-line-and-in-print magazine about photography, has begun publication and is now up to its 7th print issue. It was started in Savannah. Looks really first-class, but this is the first I have heard of it.

Glad to catch up with these folks.

3. Athens, GA-based photographer Mark Steinmetz (See image above) has a show of his work up now in Brussels at the Box Gallerie, through early July.

His work has also been featured in the journal L'oeil de la Photographie.

5. Macon, GA-based photographer Adam Smith (see image above) has been featured in a story/interview in No Depression, the on-line magazine about roots musicians. 

5. The photographer featured on Jeff Rich's ongoing series Eyes on the South on the Oxford American blog since last we checked is David Barfield (see image above).

Jeff has now done 3 "Best of the Eyes of the South" listings, and we will pull together a list of those who made it to Jeff's short list, in due time and season.

Finally, the Sad News of the Season

The estimable Kat Kiernan has announced that her gallery in Lexington, VA, The Kiernan Gallery, will close its doors on August 1st, 2014.

Kiernan is moving to NYC and putting her considerable energies on the print and online magazine Don’t Take Pictures and her other photography-related activities.

This is all well and good, and a woman's gotta do what a woman's gotta do, and if you can make it in NYC you can make it anywhere, and Kat Kiernan is a Fine Person, exceptionally able, organized, creative, and imaginative, who deserves to thrive and prosper and to find her own way in the world.

But, still, one dreams of a time when a place like Lexington would support and sustain a person like Kiernan and an enterprise like the Kiernan Gallery for the long as well as the short term.

Maybe in a place like Atlanta photography galleries can come and go and the impact is not dramatic.

But in the smaller cities, when a gallery folds up, there is a tear in the cultural fabric that is hard to repair.

We had a photography gallery here in Raleigh for several years, and it nourished the local community of photographers as well as providing an outlet for our work. It closed, and has not been replaced. We are the poorer for that.

One hopes that places like Lexington, or for that matter, any of the smaller cities in the South, can be their own places, alongside NYC, as incubators for folk's energy and creativity and celebration of the arts.

That time is not yet. But we can still dream.