Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas at Graceland

In the words of Paul Simon, "I have reason to believe we all shall be received in Graceland."

Best wishes for Christmas and the holiday season to Southern photographers and photography fans everywhere!.

The Blog about Southern Fine Art Photography will be taking a short break for the Holidays.

Back soon for 2012!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Kathleen Robbins on Design Observer

Kathleen Robbins has 19 of her wonderful images of cotton farmers in the Mississippi Delta on the Design Observer website today, go here.

This is splendid work, well worth your visit.

David Strohl and Aaron Canipe in One:One Thousand

One:One Thousand is featuring two photographers for the end of 2011, Austin, TX-based photographer David Strohl (see image above) and Washington, DC-based photographer Aaron Canipe.

David is showing a portfolio of color images made in Savannah, GA, entitled To Drift Savannah. Aaron has on offer a portfolio of B&W work entitled My Aggravating Ways (see image below).

David's work is, according to David, the result of his growth as a photographer as he has sought out the unfamiliar parts of the urban space that is most familiar to him.

As he has wandered the streets of Savannah, he has become aware of "the complexities of the area" as well as his own "progression of understanding." The result is a body of work that David believes reflects his discovery of "a rich tapestry of cultural heritagethe people, the details, and the landscape itself [that] have become a deep and interwoven narrative."

David clearly has learned to develop a rapport with people he meets in the street, a necessary component of the kind of photography he offers in this portfolio. His subjects become collaborators with him in the creation of images that engage Southerners in the course of their daily lives. His images are well-seen; he honors his subjects as he presents them to us. 

Aaron's work is more immediately personal, a meditation on the realities of pain, mortality, and loss instigated by the death of his grandfather Sam, a man to Aaron a "man of staunch independence and firm determination in love and faith."

Aaron here presents images that represent his goal of understanding his grandfather's world through images that become symbols, "concrete statues became dilapidated versions of our own mortality, bags on conveyor belts became coffin-like, and I saw jobs and tasks left undone all of which seemed to point to a Higher calling."

Aaron concludes, "After investigating his world, I realized his life had always seemed to point to something greater and perhaps spiritual. [T]he sorrows of death were fading away, only to reveal and follow the line of life past the grave and into a peaceful and natural afterlife."

This is challenging work for a photographer to take on, a search for depth within surface, for light in the gathering darkness. I suspect Aaron's grandfather would feel honored and appreciated by his grandson's efforts to apprehend his full measure as a man and to deal with his loss.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Good News from Nancy McCrary -- Mike Smith, SXSE

Nancy McCrary reports exciting news for Tennessee-based photographer Mike Smith, who has been awarded the Lowe Foundation Prize for 2011, in the amount of $50,000, for his portfolio Seeing Rural Appalachia, A Photographic Journal (see image above).

Also, news which probably makes Nancy even more pleased, is that the first print edition of SXSE is out and available now.

 This issue contains work by Laura Noel, Jack Spencer, Shelby Lee Adams, Birney Imes, Michael West, and a whole slew of others familiar and unfamiliar to readers of this blog.

 You can see a preview of it here. Those who have been waiting to become subscribers now have no excuse.

This is a beautiful piece of work, a tribute to all the long hours and the love and the commitment to Southern photography that Nancy and her partners have put into this project.

Great work, y'all!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Lori Vrba's Opening at Jennifer Schwartz Gallery

For those of us who could not get to Atlanta for the opening of Lori Vrba's show at the Jennifer Schwartz Gallery, at 1000 Marietta Street, in Atlanta, on Friday, December 3rd, at the reception from 6-9 pm, this video puts us in the space at the time.

Looks like a grand occasion. Congratulations to all!

Lori Vrba, "Southern Comfort" Talk from Jennifer Schwartz on Vimeo.

Looking at these images, I now realize that I saw Lori in Atlanta, in Jennifer Schwartz' Gallery, planning this show, while I was doing my whirlwind visit to ACP in October.

While I was taking in the work then on display, I noticed a tall woman speaking with a member of Jennifer's staff.Not knowing then what I know now, I missed the opportunity to say hello.

Lori's show is up through January 28th, so there's still time to see it in person, if you are in Atlanta.

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Day of Photography in Durham, NC

Sometimes, lots of good things come together. Saturday was a day like that. Durham, NC, is a small Southern city still struggling to overcome the decline of the tobacco and textiles industries. But there are strong educational and cultural institutions in Durham, like Duke University and NC Central University, and the old warehouses are being turned into studios and condos and restaurants, and, at the moment -- at least for photography -- there are lots of great things going on.

Here's what was on offer in Durham, this past Saturday. Duke's Nasher Musuem, which has quickly established itself as a significant museum, especially in the display of modern and contemporary art, has up a major show of photography entitled Becoming: Photographs from the Wedge Collection.

The show, up through January 8th, 2012,  includes over 110 photographs by more than 60 African and African Diaspora photographers (see image by Camilo Jose Vergara, above) assembled, in the Nasher's words to "explore how new configurations of black identity have been shaped by the photographic portrait over the past century."
This work is on loan from the collection of Dr. Kenneth Montague, who organized the exhibition. Montague has built up a substantial body of work of global scope, organized around its concern for exploring expressions of black identity.

Across the lobby of the Nasher is another show, The Deconstructive Impulse: Women Artists Reconfigure the Signs of Power, 1973-1991, which is up through the end of this year.  This show is a survey of leading women artists "that examines the crucial feminist contribution to the development of deconstructivism in the 1970s and 1980s."

While not entirely about photography, still has major work by Cindy Sherman, Carrie Mae Weems (whose work is also featured in the Becoming show), and other women photographers active toward the end of the 20th century.

At the Center for Documentary Studies, just a mile or so away from the Nasher, is a show of work by winners in this year's CDS/Daylight Magazine competition for photography in the documentary tradition. On view is a major body of work by overall winner Tamas Dezsos.

These folks are from all over the place (literally, with home sites ranging from NYC to Italy to Spain to Singapore), though none are actually from the American South. The local connections, though, are several. One, that CDS is now a cultural center of sufficient renown to draw entries from all over the world to its competition.

Two, that, especially, the works of Baldomero Fernandez remind us that the rural South is now exceptionally difficult to distinguish from generic rural America. And three, that one of the winners is Shane Lavalette, who we know is spending the year roaming our region and photographing us for the High Museum in Atlanta.

Across town, at the TTL Gallery, at 503 East Chapel Street, in Downtown Durham, proprieter Roylee Duvall maintains the only gallery in central North Carolina devoted to photography. He has up a large body of work by Durham-based photographer Kevin Logge. Logge specializes in what he calls "hand-crafted photography," meditative studies of objects and faces made in the darkroom using historic and alternative photographic processes.

Just down the hill from TTL is the Bull City Arts Collaborative, at 401-B1 Foster Street, which at the moment has up an intriguing show of work by emerging Raleigh-based photographer Raymond Goodman. Goodman has set out to document the growing farm-to-table movement in North Carolina which is reviving small-scale farming all over the South, and especially in North Carolina.

This show is called BURLAP: Portraits of Piedmont Farmers, and it's up through the month both at the BCAC and next door at the Piedmont Restaurant, one of Durham's restaurants that serves food grown by local producers.

Back over near Duke's East Campus is Durham's Craven Allen Gallery, which has a strong representation of photographers among its artists,  including Caroline Vaughan, one of North Carolina's master photographers.

On view right now is a compelling body of work by Durham-based photographer MJ Sharp, called LIGHT CACHE. This show's images (which you can see here) are haunting because they show us a world we cannot see, a world available only to the camera, and only after long, long exposures. You can see one example at the top of this entry, and also HERE:

MJ's photographs are taken at night, with large format cameras, and on film, and under natural light. Frank Konhaous, the curator, along with MJ, of this show, gets this work just about right: "With the moon as her muse and mid-century large-format bellows film cameras as machine, she creates imagery not possible with modern digital equipment. She quite literally awakens the night and makes the darkness sing."

OK, so, that's how I spent my Saturday in photography, and in Durham, NC, too.

There was still more -- I did see a sign that promised to direct me to something called "The Church of Photography," but I had to leave that to another day.

I think there is a renaissance of fine art photography in the South, and I think Durham is becoming a major center of it. Stay tuned.

Charleston for Thanksgiving

We were in Charleston for Thanksgiving, and had the pleasure of looking in on a major photography show at the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, SC, called Masters in Photography, which will be up through January 8th, 2012.

The Gibbes' account of this show says that it "features twentieth-century, masters of photography selected from the Gibbes permanent collection and local private collections including works by Alfred Stieglitz, Margaret Bourke-White, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Berenice Abbott, and many more."

There are some of these big names' greatest hit images in the show, but what is even more engaging are the number of images in the show made by major photographers who did work in Charleston and the surrounding area. Works on exhibition include an image by Robert Rauschenberg (who knew he was a photographer as well as painter?) as well as images by Walker Evans and other WPA photographers who worked in the Charleston area as well as lsewhere in the South.

Also, there is a show up at the Gibbes called Breaking Down Barriers: 300 Years of Women in Art, which includes work by a number of women photographers like Margaret Bourke-White, and color photographs by Sally Mann (again, who knew?). 

We were also able to stop into the wonderful gallery run by Rebekah Jacob, at 169-B King Street, in downtown Charleston. Rebekah often (usually) has the work of Southern photographers on display, but right now she has up an elegant show of meditative landscapes by Seattle-based photographer Michael Kenna (see example above).

Rebekkah's gallery is an oasis of calm amid the hustle of busy downtown Charleston. It is one of the key places for getting to know the current renaissance of photography in the American South.

When you are in Charleston, a visit to the Rebekah Jacob Gallery is definitely in order.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

December Issue of SXSE -- on the Mississippi Delta -- is Now Available

The December 2011 issue of South x Southeast (or SXSE, as their friends call 'em) is now out, and it's an issue featuring, but not exclusively devoted to, the Mississippi Delta. There's a lot of New Orleans here, too, as well as Mr. Bennette's choice of Southern snowfall photographs.

This issue includes work by photographers familiar to readers of this blog, including Nell Dickerson, Debbie Fleming Caffery, and Magdalena Sole plus some new folks well worthy of our attention, like Will Steacy, Terri Garland, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, and Dave Anderson.

Especially affecting are the portraits of Bibles rescued from flooded churches in the Central City and Lower Ninth Ward areas of New Orleans (see above).

In short, just what one would want from an e-zine of Southeastern photography in December.

You've got to subscribe to experience it all, but its a thriving operation and one truly worthy of your support.

Interesting NY Times Piece on Institutional Depictions of the Civil War

There is a really interesting essay in today's NY Times about how museums in the South display artifacts and tell the story of the Civil War. Go HERE.

Edward Rothstein, the author, visited two museums in Richmond -- the Museum of the Confederacy and the Museum of the Virginia Historical Society -- and concludes that while in the North, memories of the Civil War are at heart institutional, in the South the War is remembered in personal terms. 

Rothstein also concludes that there remains a conflict in Southern institutional memory between lingering white Southern grief, anger, and loss on the one hand and modern ethical judgments about the "Lost Cause" for which so many Southerners died.

He poses a final question, "How are loyalties to Southern culture to be reconciled with the evils of one of its fundamental institutions?"

The points he makes are deeply relevant to anyone who seeks to imagine the South, or to make sense of our history and culture through images. (Like Kathleen Robbins, see image above)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Openings and Events for December -- Vrba, SCOPE, Art Basil Miami, PhotoNOLA, me

December 2011 is already shaping up to be a banner month for photographers in the South.

Chapel Hill-based photographer Lori Vrba, who has already been having a splendid year in her photography career, is now opening a major show at the Jennifer Schwartz Gallery, at 1000 Marietta Street, in Atlanta, this Friday, December 3rd, with a reception from 6-9 pm.

The show is called Southern Comfort, and includes images (such as the one above) and an installation, and Jennifer Schwartz promises it will be "like nothing you've ever seen before." She promises to have a video of the event to share later on this season.

That's before she and Vrba hit the road in their newly-funded bus.

Also opening or about to open across the South are a number of fairs, festivals, and the like, including SCOPE, through December 4th, in Miami, an umbrella event with lots of photography galleries involved, including the Aperture Foundation, Light Work, and others (full list here).

Also in Miami is Art Basil Miami Beach, through this weekend, with the work of over 600 artists on exhibition (go here for a full list), including Sally Mann and a slew of other major photographers.

PhotoNOLA is about to crank up in New Orleans, starting on December 8th and running through the 11th.

More on that later. But, finally, for right now, I will have a small number of pieces in a group show this month at the Exchange Gallery at Raleigh's Visual Art Exchange, opening Friday, December 3rd, Raleigh's First Friday, with a reception from 6-9 at the Visual Art Exchange in its new location at 309 West Martin Street in downtown Raleigh, near our new Contemporary Art Museum (CAM).

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Aaron Blum, or the Problem of West Virginia

The West Virginia-based photographer Aaron Blum is currently featured on Joerg Colberg's blog Conscientious with links to a fascinating portfolio of work called Born and Raised: Reflections of a World Set Aside, about the experience of living in West Virginia.

I highly recommend having a look at this work. It is strong work, and I am grateful to Joerg for bringing it to our attention.

Blum's work -- along with the way Blum talks about it -- raises questions of identity similar to questions one could raise about Florida or west Texas, in relationship to the American South.

Blum thinks of himself as living in a distinctive region of the country, in part definable as Appalachia.

There is of course lots of Appalachia in the South, and it has a distinctive cultural character that contributes to our overall identity as Southerners.

One can hardly imagine, for example, today's South without the music of Appalachia, without bluegrass or without Nashville or Memphis, where the music of Appalachia met the music of the Mississippi Delta.

There is also the issue of how a region is viewed.

Blum writes, on his website, that "Outsiders have long fictionalized the narrative surrounding Appalachia. As a resident of West Virginia I have always been aware of the views others hold of my home, and they have guided me to create my own version of life in the hills. My Appalachia is a granulated depiction based on the false impressions of others, my idealizations and personal experiences."

Blum also thinks of West Virginia as a land where "Light plays an important role," a place where a "warm southern sun creates a glow that pours over the mountains, rivers and forests creating long shadows, dark recesses and gray mists that blanket the landscape."

A warm southern sun -- Blum's sense of identity as a West Virginia photographer looks eastward to Virginia and southward, toward Kentucky and Tennessee and North Carolina. He is thinking of himself as a Southern photographer, or at least a photographer of the South.

Part of the purpose of an Artist's Statement is to direct the viewer's attention, to take a shot at establishing the terms of the conversation that will commence about one's work.

For Blum, the light of a southern sun has a "unique quality" that "is inherent to the hills and provides a catalyst to the imagination- a backdrop that becomes both magnificent and eerie. It is its own character within my story of Appalachia."

This brings us to the question of identity, especially of a Southern identity. Is it the light? Or the history?

When I set up this blog, I gambled on history, by deliberately including the states of the old Confederacy, even though I knew that subsequent events had given to places like Florida and west Texas an identity and a culture significantly different from the southeastern states.

West Virginia was created to have a history different from the history of Virginia at the defining moment of Southern history, so I've not regarded it as a Southern state.

I wonder what our friends over at SXSE think about this question.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Catching Up with the Blogs -- Forer, Simonton, Mead, Garner

Former Chapel Hill-based photographer Taj Forer has a photo featured on FlakPhoto, here.

Raleigh-based photographer David Simonton is interviewed on the blog Two-Way Lens, go here.

Also, two young Charleston, SC- based photographers have been listed as among this year's best emerging artists in Charleston by Charleston Magazine

They are Melinda Mead (see image above) and Nina Garner, both of whose work is definitely worth checking out.

Friday, November 18, 2011

PhotoNOLA on the Horizon

Attention on the Southern Photography Festival Circuit now turns to New Orleans and its annual December photography festival, PhotoNOLA, opening December 8th and running through the 11th, 2011.

PhotoNOLA was started by the New Orleans Photo Alliance (NOPA), as one response to Hurricane Katrina, to celebrate photography and promote economic recovery in New Orleans.

This is the 6th PhotoNOLA, and you can learn all about it HERE, check the Calendar of Events HERE, learn about the Portfolio Review HERE, and see the full list of exhibitions HERE, and the Educational Events HERE.

One of the highly anticipated features of PhotoNOLA is the decision about the PhotoNOLA Review Prize. Each year, the reviewers at the Portfolio Review choose three portfolios to receive this award.

Last year's winners were Dallas, Texas-based photographer Jungeun Lee, Chapel Hill-based photographer Lori Vrba (see image above), and Fort Worth, Texas-based photographer Loli Kantor.

We will have a full report on this year's winners when they are announced, as well as news from the Festival as it rolls in.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

McNair Evans in One One Thousand

One One Thousand, the online portfolio of Southern photography, features in this issue the work of North Carolina native photographer McNair Evans, in a body of work named, appropriately, A Journal of Southern History.

The Journal of Southern History is, by the way, the official publication of the Southern Historical Association.

In Evans' portfolio of Southern images, the history is more personal and immediate than the JSH usually deals with. His concerns are with perennial Southern issues -- family, history, economic and personal loss, the relationships between the generations-- as they affected his family in Laurinburg, North Carolina.

Evans says of this work, "A Journal of Southern History combines emotive expression, persistence of family and a landscape of loss to reveal inherent dichotomies in my rural North Carolina home."

When Evans' father died, his family discovered to their surprise that he was a failure in business. The emotional after effects of this discovery were years in the unfolding. Evans realized in 2010, nine years after his father's death, that he was still dealing with the consequences.

Evans told friends in California that he was going home to North Carolina to find his father. The result is this body of work, an effort, says Evans, "to retrace his [father's] life using photography as a vehicle of resolution."

Evans goes on:

"I photographed his family, friends, schools and businesses while researching his character and actions. Within my immediate family, I witnessed intense affliction and perseverance. My subject became emotional states and the photographs narrate my journey between isolation and acceptance. Finally understanding that some questions can never be answered, this series evokes critical moods without definitive explanations."

Southerners know that Evans in this work is dealing with basic issues for all of us from "around here." So much of the Southern experience for natives is caught up in dealing with the past, and with the decisions our forebears made, and their afterlife. This is the Bible Belt, and for us one of the most haunting verses from that book is the one about how the sins of the fathers are visited on their children and their children's children.

Evans now lives and works in San Francisco, where this body of work has earned him the Curator's Choice Award in a competition sponsored by Santa Fe's CENTER for Photography. The juror, Erin O'Toole of San Francisco's MOMA, said of this work, "McNair Evans garnered first prize for his lyrical use of light. All of the photographs he submitted are suffused with a warm, moody glow. They are emotional pictures whose languid dreaminess is tinged with melancholy and a palpable sense of loss."

Southerners will recognize the "warm, moody glow" in Evans' photographs as one of the the distinctive characteristics of Southern light.  I grew up about 30 miles from where Evans did, and many of his images hauntingly remind me of the landscapes I revisit when I go home.

This is rich, haunting work, enthusiastically recommended.

You can see more of his work here, at the Black Harbor website.

Do You Have This Photograph in Your Portfolio?

Do you have a color photograph of a Civil War rifle mounted on the wall over a fireplace? Preferrably a 19th century fireplace?

An editor in NYC who is working with a new paperback edition of the novels of William Faulkner is looking for one, perhaps for use on the cover of Faulkner's novel Flags in the Dust.

Please email Mary McClean at if you do, and attach a jpeg for her consideration.

One would think lots of people would have this shot, but I've checked with several people already, to no avail.

Can anyone help Mary out?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Great Interview with Susan Worsham!

There is a great interview with Richmond-based photographer Susan Worsham, interviewed by Jonathan Blaustein, go HERE.

Well worth checking out!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Florida Issue of SxSE Magazine

The November issue of South by Southeast Magazine is now out, and available for a modest contribution, here.

It's mainly about Florida. Now, I went swimming outdoors in the evening once in Florida (and northern Florida at that) and I was perfectly comfortable until it hit me that I was swimming outdoors, in the evening, and it was the middle of November.

I know its supposed to be hot in the South, but in Florida I was swimming outdoors, in the evening,  in the middle of November.

So I've never been sure that Florida is in the South. I think it's Someplace Else. I think it's its own place.

I'm not sure where it is, exactly, but I do know that Miami or Tampa do not feel like Southern cities, the way Atlanta or Charlotte or Birmingham or Columbia or Memphis or Savannah or Richmond do. 

But it IS there, wherever it is, and Nancy and all the crew at SXSE have made an exceptionally strong accounting of it.

Here, among many other interesting things, you've got Vivian Maier’s Florida mid-century vacation photos, Jonathan Smith’s Florida coast photos from his series East/West, Florida highway scenery from Christian Harkness, Lisa Elmaleh’s black-and-whites of the Florida Everglades (see example above), Warren Thompsons’ south Florida postcards and souvenirs, Panoramic black-and-white images of south Florida from Mario Algaze, and Florida interiors by Joelle Jensen.

Wherever or whatever Florida is, these folks make some strong visual records of it, and I feel much more like I have my head around the place. 

And then there are all the regular features. Well worth your attention!

Friday, November 4, 2011

FOTOWeek DC is Upon US

The attention of photography festival aficionados in the South now shifts from Atlanta to Washington, DC, where the smaller-scale but no less significant FOTOWeek DC is upon us.

FOTOWeek DC Opens tomorrow, November 5th, 2011, with a run through November 12th. The Official Launch Party is tonight, November 4th, tickets here. 

FOTOWeek DC also runs competitions, the winners are listed here, and include Dallas, TX based photographer Nick Minton (image above) and Raleigh, NC based photographer Jimmy Williams, who won one of these awards last year and received an Honorable Mention this year. 

The Official Program of Exhibitions is here. Among the major shows up this year for FOTOWeek DC is the show of Harry Callahan's work at the National Gallery, the Gordon Parks and the Prix Pictet Shows at the Corcoran Gallery, the Beyond Witness exhibit of photojournalism at the Pulitzer Center, and the major group shows at Zone 2.8 and Civilian Arts Projects Galleries. 

The Prix Pictet show at the Corcoran seems especially significant, since Prix Pictet is a prestigious prize awarded to photographers whose work addresses social and environmental change and this is the first presentation of Prix Pictet in the United States.

This year the theme of the competition was Growth. The twelve artists featured in this show were shortlisted for this competition are Christian Als (Denmark), Edward Burtynsky (Canada), Stephanie Courturier  (France), Mitch Epstein (United States), Chris Jordan (United States), Yeondoo Jung (Korea), Vera Lutter (Germany), Nyaba Leon Ouedraogo (Burkina Faso), Taryn Simon (United States), Thomas Struth (Germany), Guy Tillim (South Africa), and Michael Wolf (Germany).

The American photographer Mitch Epstein was awarded the Prix Pictet this year for his series American Power.

There is of course a Portfolio Review, and workshops, and panels, and photography projected on DC buildings after dark -- a jam-packed week of photography.

I was there last year, but won't make it this year. But I will truly miss it. 

Jennifer Schwartz' Crusade in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Jennifer Schwartz' plans to tour the country developing new markets for fine art photography and selling images from the back of a Volkswagen bus is featured in today's Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Go here.

I'm now signed up through Kickstarter in this campaign to get Jennifer on the road out of Atlanta. This seems a crusade worth taking part in.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

This and That -- Matt Eich, Critical Mass, Jerry Atnip, Lori Waselchuk

Norfolk, VA based photographer Matt Eich is interviewed at length on Joerg Colberg's Conscientious blog, here.

Richmond, VA based photographer Susan Worsham (see image above), Austin, TX based photographer Sarah Wilson,  Washington, DC based photographer Susana Raab, Atlanta, GA baased photographer Sarah Hobbs, Tacoma Park, MD, based photographer, Michelle Frankfurter, and Houston, TX based photographer Scott Dalton are among the Nifty Fifty in this year's Critical Mass competition.

Not bad representation from folks from around here. Way to go, folks.

Also, Nashville, TN based photographer Jerry Atnip is featured in a fine article, with lots of Jerry's photographs,  in the current issue of Nashville Arts Magazine, here.

Finally, Philadelphia, PA based photographer Lori Waselchuk's portfolio Grace Before Dying  of images made in Angola Prison in Louisiana is up at the Umbrage Gallery in Brooklyn, NY, through January 12th, 2012.

Burk Uzzle and J. Lucian Scott at Flanders Gallery

Flanders Gallery, here in Raleigh, is known for its exceptionally strong photography shows. Another one is now up and will have its opening reception this Friday, November 4th, 2011, with a reception from 6-9 in the evening.

This show features Burk Uzzle, one of North Carolina’s major photographers. Burk was born in Raleigh and after apprenticing with the Raleigh News & Observer, went to work for LIFE Magazine in 1962, at the age of 25, then had a long career with Magnum.  

Burk is best known for his iconic images of the Civil Rights Movement and the Woodstock Music Festival. He now lives and photographs in Wilson, NC.

This show groups a small body of Burk’s work around  issues of serial composition, images in which, for example, a line-up of young children  clasping hands addresses issues of societal norms and personal pride in appearance.  In other images, the natural environment and the manufactured world clash in the meet-up of a pony and rocking horse, or a Prada store sits isolated in the midst of the desert.

The other photographer featured in this show is J. Lucian Scott, born on a  tobacco farm in North Carolina, who now moves between his family farm and his home in Los Angeles.  

This show features work from his Welcome to the Beautiful South portfolio, images that he bases on his experience of a bucolic childhood growing up in the South and as an identical twin, both of which have greatly influenced his work.  

Flanders Gallery says of this work that these “photographs merge figurative elements and classicism with the realities of his life experience, and range from portraiture to landscape and still life.”

I was not aware of Scott’s work, so I am recommending getting to this show and I am putting Scott on my list of Southern Photographers We are Getting to Know.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Call for Entries -- The Contemporary South Show, Visual Art Exchange, Raleigh, NC

Readers of this blog may want to know that there is now a Call for Entries into a juried show called Contemporary South, to be up from January 6-26, 2012 at the Visual Art Exchange in Raleigh, NC.

The VAE is Raleigh's community-supported non-profit creativity incubator and gallery that supports and educates emerging, professional and student artists.

This show is a multimedia show, and very much open to photography.  I would love to see photographers from parts of the South outside of central North Carolina get involved with this show.

There will be awards given, with first place receiving $500, second place receiving $250, and third place receiving $100.

All entries will be judged on the basis of jpeg submissions, which may be made either online or by CD.

Artists who are members of the VAE may submit up to two images for $10 entry fee per entry. Non-members of the VAE may also submit up to two images for $15 an entry.

The deadline for all entries to arrive at the VAE is December 1st, 2011.

For full information and online submissions, go HERE on the VAE website.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Jennifer Schwartz Goes on a Crusade

Jennifer Schwartz at the Jennifer Schwartz Gallery in Atlanta is really interested in encouraging people to become art collectors, and especially collectors of photography.

To that end, she has established a program called THE TEN, with its own website. The deal is, Jennifer chooses a photographer who creates a portfolio of ten images and Jennifer offers them for $250 each.

Or, as she puts it, "The Ten is a highly curated monthly online exhibit of ten photographic images.

"The artwork you see is only available on The Ten and will never be for sale in any other location.One size, one price, one opportunity to purchase. Ever.

"Collectors are guaranteed premium, signed photographs that have true value. A new Ten collection is unveiled on the tenth of each month. The editions are relatively small (25), the price is relatively low ($250), and the collectibility is incredibly high."

Artists featured so far through THE TEN program include Lori Vrba, Mikael Kennedy, Elizabeth Fleming, Laura Griffin, and Rachel Barrett. Vrba and Griffin are Southerners, so worthy of our special attention.

OK, so that's the Story on THE TEN. But now Jennifer has decided to take the show on the road.

She is going on a crusade. She plans to get a van, paint it white, and in the spring of 2013, she will go on a ten week, ten city tour of the USA, selling her art from the back of the van and talking to people about buying original art.

To fund this, she's got a KickStarter campaign going on, and a video, also blog entries describing how the whole thing is going.

And she has talked Lori Vrba into going with her part of the way, and to donating five 8x8 signed silver gelatin prints of her image "Rebecca's Palm" to the cause as premiums for the campaign.

This is all a hoot, as we say down here, and worthy of your attention and support, if you are able.

I plan to make a pledge as I am able, and be on the lookout for a white van with Jennifer and Lori if in their travels they make it up this way. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Museum Shows of Interest to Southern Photographers

Three items of interest:

1. The National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC has opened (as of October 2nd) a major show of work by Harry Callahan called Harry Callahan at 100. The show is up through March 4th, 2012.

The show celebrates the 100th anniversary of Callahan's birth and includes over 100 photographs that document Callahan's long career, "from its genesis in Detroit in the early 1940s and its flowering in Chicago in the late 1940s and 1950s to its maturation in Providence and Atlanta from the 1960s through the 1990s."

"Throughout his long career," the National Gallery writes, Callahan "repeatedly found new ways of looking at and presenting the world in photographs that are elegant, visually daring, and highly experimental."

Harry Callahan is a Southern photographer by adoption, having spent a number of years toward the end of his life living and photographing in Atlanta, making a large body of work there, including the image "Ansley Park, Atlanta, (1992)" above.

More on the show here, from Artfixdaily.

2. The Turchin Center for the Visual Arts at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC, is having a show of work by John Scarlata called Living in the Light.

Scarlata was a nationally and internationally exhibited and collected photographer who was also a distinguished educator.From 1979 until 1999, he taught at Virginia Intermont College in Bristol, Virginia. From 1999 until his death in 2010, he served as the chair of the photography program at Appalachian State University.

Scarlata's work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including recent shows in Cuba and China.

This is a retrospective of Scarlata's work that was up last year at the Wellington Gray Gallery at East Carolina University in Greenville and is now up at the other end of North Carolina through January 21st, 2012.

There will be a panel discussion of  Scarlata's work on November 3rd, 2011 at 7:30 in the Turchin Center featuring Jay Phyfer (Professor of photography and digital imaging, Virginia Intermont College), Gil Leebrick (Professor Emeritus and former Director of the Wellington B. Gray Gallery, East Carolina University), Pac McLaurin (PhotographyDepartment, Appalachian State University) Joe Champagne (Professor of Photography & Digital Imaging Virginia Intermont College), Jackie Leebrick, Ben Garfinkle (Oakland California) and Tom Braswell (Photographer and InterimGallery Director from Wellington B. Gray Gallery, East Carolina University).

More on the panel here. 

3. The Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, SC will open a show on October 28th, 2011 called Masters in Photography, which will be up through January 8th, 2012.

The Gibbes says this show "features twentieth-century, masters of photography selected from the Gibbes permanent collection and local private collections including works by Alfred Stieglitz, Margaret Bourke-White, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Berenice Abbott, and many more."

Friday, October 21, 2011

Some Brief Notes -- Page and Dudik

Two short notes on important items of interest:

1. Susan Harbage Page's powerful work on the Texas/Mexican Border is now up at the Flanders Gallery here in Raleigh, through November 1st, 2011.

We got to the opening a couple of weeks ago and met Susan and had a great talk about her work. 

Here is a thoughtful review of the show, from the NCARTBlog, written by Matt Zigler.

2. Eliot Dudik's portfolio Road Ends in Water is featured on the website The Great Leap Sideways, along with an interview with Eliot.

The Great Leap Sideways started as a tumblr blog, here. But its now an online photography gallery, with lots of interesting images, including Eliot's. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Panel on Alan Cohen at the Gregg Museum

A distinguished panel of photographers will discuss the work of Alan Cohen at the Gregg Museum of Art and Design, on the NC State campus, on Thursday, October 27th, 2011, at 6:00 pm.

Cohen has over 150 images up in the Gregg, in a major career retrospective for this distinguished photographer who was born in North Carolina and studied at NC State University. The show is up through December 17th, 2011.

The show is called Earth with Meaning, for Cohen in these images meditates on the contemporary world with all its scars, especially attending to places marked by history or the processes of natural events, pointing his camera downward to record the exact spots that permeate memory.

In abstracted close-ups, Cohen challenges viewers to consider the battlegrounds of World War I, the death camps of Germany, the silenced dissidents of Oaxaca, and the subtle yet significant changes reflected in the streets of Berlin before and after the Wall came down. Each of these stories is told with great simplicity and gravity through the powerful language of black and white photography.

The topic of the discussion on the 27th is Image and Meaning: Challenging History & Photography.

Panelists include a range of major figures in the world of photography.

Among them are

Brooks Jensen is co-founder, publisher and editor of the journal LensWork one of today’s most respected and important periodicals in fine art photography, and is author of the best-selling Letting Go of the Camera: Essays on Photography, and Creative Life and Single Exposures: Random Observations on Art, Photography and Creativity.

Under Jensen's leadership, LensWork Publishing has become a leader in multimedia and digital media publishing with LensWork Extended, a PDF-based, media-rich expanded version of the magazine. Jensen lives and works in Anacortes, Washington.

Mary Shannon Johnstone is Associate Professor of Art at Meredith College in Raleigh. She received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and MFA in photography from Rochester Institute of Technology. She is the recipient of numerous awards for her photography, including Pause, To Begin, the Critical Mass Top 50 award in both 2009 and 2010 and Honorable Mention in Lens Culture’s 2010 International Exposure Awards.

Frank Konhaus
is founder and principal of KONTEK Systems, Inc. He and his wife Ellen Cassilly direct an artist residency and exhibition program at Cassilhaus, their home in Orange County. In 2006 he brought French photographer and installation artist Georges Rousse to North Carolina and became executive producer of the resulting film, Bending Space: Georges Rousse and the Durham Project. Konhaus has served on various boards and committees for the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke, is active in the Friends of Photography at the NCMA, and is a passionate collector of contemporary photography.

Tom Rankin is Director of the Center for Documentary Studies and Professor of the Practice of Art and Documentary Studies at Duke University. A native of Kentucky, his books include Sacred Space:  Photographs from the Mississippi Delta (1993 Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award for Photography); Deaf Maggie Lee Sayre:  Photographs of a River Life; Faulkner's World:  The Photographs of Martin J. Dain; and Local Heroes Changing America: Indivisible.   

Allen Thomas, Jr. is the Business Manager of Thomas & Farris, PA, and a major collector of contemporary photography. He is the current Chair of CAM Raleigh’s Foundation Board, and a member of North Carolina Museum of Art Board of Trustees. The NCMA’s 2005 exhibition In Focus, based on photographic works Thomas had gathered, was the first show in the museum’s history created from a single collection. The 2009 inaugural exhibition at the new Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke, VA, was Rethinking Landscape, also a solo collection show.

Burk Uzzle
was born in Raleigh and just 17 when he became a staff photographer for the News & Observer. At 23 he became the youngest photographer ever hired by LIFE Magazine, and then went on to a 15 year membership in Magnum Photos, the international photographers co-operative, where he served for two years as its president before leaving in 1983. His solo museum exhibitions include the Art Institute of Chicago, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the International Center of Photography in New York. Books of his work include Landscapes, All American, Progress Report on Civilization, and A Family Named Spot.

Yours truly John N Wall, is the chair of this panel, and the usual things I say about myself are that I am a Professor of English Literature at NC State and a documentary and fine art photographer who has exhibited his work in solo and group shows across North Carolina and from Vermont to Florida and from Texas to California. I teach photography at the Raleigh Institute of Contemporary Art and write about Southern photography at

Come join us on the 27th!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Susan Worsham in One One Thousand

Richmond, VA-based photographer Susan Worsham is the latest photographer to be featured in OneOneThousand, the e-zine of Southern photography.

Susan offers us a portfolio named By the Grace of God, made up of images Susan says were made because they were supposed to be.

This work, she says, shows us "places, and characters, that I believe, I have found through a sort of divine intervention. They are strangers, that invite me into their homes, to sit awhile and hear their stories." 

So this work deals with "the hospitality of strangers, and hits on a feeling that I have sometimes when taking portraits. The feeling that I was supposed to meet a particular person, or turn down a certain road."

The title of this portfolio comes, of course, from the old saying, that I'm "American By Birth, Southern By The Grace Of God."  And one feels that in these images. 

One feels that the photographer is comfortable with herself and with her history as a Southerner, and with the present moment that our history has bequeathed to us and with the people we have been given as companions in this identity. 

Susan presents herself in these images as one who can write that "Kudzu is now making it's way over my childhood home, covering the past like a blanket, and putting it to rest."  So she looks "for the intimacy of 'home' in other places." 

"Following a southern road with the slow pace of a funeral march," she writes, "this series takes me beyond the backyards and trails of my youth. It deals with the hospitality of strangers" who recognize another Southerner when they see one.    

Susan looks at the South and at Southerners with clarity and integrity and clear-eyed courage.

Her work holds a sense of inevitability, that her subjects found her as much as she found them, and that the journey, and the meeting, was supposed to happen.

This is a benign form of traditional Southern fatalism, and if you are going to have that (often dubious) gift of one's Southern heritage, this is the best, and clearly the most productive, form to have it in.   

Susan's vision of the South has a gravity that imparts dignity to her subjects and her locations. This is important work, very much worth your attention.

This work also demonstrates why Susan is having a fine start to her career. In 2009, she won First Place in the Texas Photographic Society's annual International Photography Competition. In 2010, she was awarded the first TMC / Kodak Film Grant, and was also an artist in residence at Light Work in Syracuse, New York. In 2011, she was named one of PDN's 30 Emerging Photographers to Watch. 

Susan now has work in the Nine Visions show now up at the Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History in Danville, VA. 

If you can get to Danville, make sure you have a look.

ACP -- Overwhelming!

How does one take the measure of a photography festival that includes well over a hundred and fifty shows, lectures, receptions, artist's talks, and more, and more, and more?

I stumbled onto the Atlanta Celebrates Photography Festival several years ago when a professional commitment took me to Atlanta in October and I suddenly realized I was surrounded by photography. I've had work in several ACP venues over the years, but have never had the time simply to wander about and taking in the full scope of events.

So when family business took me to Atlanta last week, I jumped at the chance to take Saturday afternoon and see what I could see. But what do you do if you only have half a day to get the flavor of so vast and diverse an event?

One answer is to plan well, using the ACP Guide's listings of events by areas of Atlanta, then crank up the GPS and head out.

I specifically wanted to visit galleries where Southern photographers had work up that I had previously seen only on line. So a show called A Celebration of Photography: Six Southern Viewpoints, took me to the Art House Gallery, at 3193 Paces Ferry Place. Donna Rosser's work is there (see above), along with work by Richie Arpino, Ilia Varcev, Lila Campbell, and Diane Kirkland.

It was definitely good to see this work. I also enjoyed a long conversation with the proprietor, especially about William Eggleston, whom she knows.

My special interest in Southern photography also took me to the Emily Amy Gallery, where Stephanie Dowda has curated a show called Echoes of the Sublime, especially to see the works of Jeff Rich, who has been having an exceptionally fine year as a photographer.

Jeff's printed images -- it turns out -- are not exactly better than the same images on line, but they do have a special depth, a remarkable amount of fine detail, and a strong tactile quality when seen on the wall as a print that they don't have when seen on-screen.

Jeff shares wall space in the Emily Amy Gallery with a number of other fine photographers, including Allyson Ross of New York, John Paul Floyd of Atlanta, Klea McKenna of San Francisco, Wes Cummings of Atlanta, Justin Weaver of Atlanta, Ashley Kauschinger of Atlanta, and Megan Gorham of San Francisco.

There is a review of this show, here, from ArtsCriticATL, Atlanta's online arts journal.

The Emily Amy Gallery is in Suite 208 at 1000 Marietta Street, a funky assembly of industrial buildings that have been turned into galleries and other commercial operations, including Toscano and Sons, a first-class Italian market that has on offer delicious panini, perfect for lunch on a long day of gallery hopping.

Also at 1000 Marietta Street is the Jennifer Schwartz Gallery, which has up a couple of fine group shows, one of polaroids, featuring work by Chloe Aftel, Sol Allen, David Walter Banks, Kendrick Brinson, Amber Fouts, Grant Hamilton, Mikael Kennedy, John Reuter, and Magnus Stark. There was also a Polaroid shooter there, on Saturday, on the premises, ready to demonstrate this distinctive medium of image-making. 

The other at Jennifer Schwartz Gallery is a show of Alternative Process work, including images by Keliy Anderson-Staley, David Prifti, Joni Sternbach, S. Gayle Stevens, and Curtis Wehfritz.

Of even more interest to me was the section of the gallery with small bodies of work by Southern photographers Lori Vrba, Jennifer Shaw,  Lisette de Boisblanc, and Kathleen Robbins.

The Jennifer Schwartz Gallery shares space with an estimable publishing venture called Fall Line Press, which is pioneering new ways to get photography on paper and into people's hands.

Mentioning Fall Line Press, which features work by Laura Noel, reminds me that Laura has a show in this year's ACP up at the Spruill Gallery, at 4681 Ashford Dunwoody Road, in Atlanta, called Subject Matters.

Last year at ACP, Laura had flash shows up in various parts of Atlanta, part of what she called her Guerilla Photography Project. This year,  Laura has taken over three rooms at the Spruill Gallery. One room contains well-seem and well-thought-out images from random, or not so random, moments in life.

The next room is papered over with what must be thousands of left-over to-do lists, over the walls and the fireplace and every available surface. I immediately felt terribly behind, wondering where I was on my current list.

On the other hand, Laura has a blog for this, her "To Do Installation Project," but there are no entries in it, so I guess its OK to be behind in one's work. Unless the empty blog is itself a part of the installation. There is, by the way, a review of this show, here, on the BurnAway site.

In any case, I then happily moved into the next room, where I found a wide range of images and objects more conceptually organized and thought out.

The art works here range from boxes of matches (I almost took one, but restrained myself, thanks to the stern warning posted near the bowls of match boxes) to photographs of buttons and pieces of candy with images on them to works like this one, in which Laura has photographed books discarded from libraries.

Laura says of this work,  "These books . . . represent time and yet are inevitably destroyed by its passing. The librarian's 'Withdrawn' stamp is like a silent slap across the face. A once loved volume is ostracized from the family home."

I also made it to Jackson Fine Art for the exhibition of Sally Mann's recent work Proud Flesh, a body of work in which the subject is Mann's own husband, who is living with late-onset muscular dystrophy. This is powerful photography in which Mann uses the processes of image making to engage us with aging and illness and courage and loss and longing. 

Mann's images emerge from the process of their creation marked in engaging ways. There is the subject, which is the wasting body of her husband, and the composition, which shows us this body unflinchingly, and the light, which makes these images a play of light and shadow, and the chemical process, which marks this body with its own random traces of time and change. 

This is strong work, in the great tradition of religious art, in which the body is the site of meaning-making, of our efforts to come to terms with both the gift and the challenge of embodied existence.

There is a review of this show, from ArtsCriticATL, here.

I first encountered Mann's work at an earlier exhibit at Jackson Fine Art, of her Deep South portfolio. In a number of ways, her work has called me to make the American South a subject of my own work, and of this blog.  I'm grateful to Mann for that, too. 

And that pretty much covers my time at ACP. I missed a show I really wanted to see, with work of my friend Titus Heagins, as well as work by Allen Coonley, Builder Levy, and Marlene Lilian, at the Arnika Dawkins Gallery, but they were closed when I got there. If you go to the Anika Dawkins Gallery website, you can see images of the work I missed.

And there was still so much one could see and do. Folks in Atlanta -- and throughout the South -- are fortunate to have this annual extravaganza of photography. Next year, I'll plan a longer visit.

Friday, October 14, 2011

South x Southeast Photomagazine Volume II.1

The latest issue of SouthxSoutheast Photomagazine (or SXSE, as their friends call 'em), is now out, and its a milestone issue, Volume II, a sign of survival, for October, and its here.

This issue includes kudzu and small towns and pick-up trucks, and photographs by David Simonton (see above), Rob Hann, Langdon Clay, Mike Smith, and many, many more. Just what one would want from an e-zine of Southeastern photography.

You've got to subscribe to experience it all, but its a thriving operation and one truly worthy of your support.

Southern Photography at the Ogden Museum in New Orleans

The Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans has a show up now and another show opening at the end of October that are definitely of interest to Southern photographers.

The show currently up is of work by Mississippi-based photographer Briney Imes in a portfolio called Whispering Pines, a collection of black and white and color photographs taken over two decades in and around a café and bar in the Mississippi prairie.

This establishment -- and its owner and clientele -- apparently were all colorful and crusty and engaging, just the way you would want a bar to be in rural Mississippi. In this body of work, Imes documents the place and its colorful proprietor and patrons from the mid-1970s until the café closed in the early 1990s.

The show upcoming at the Ogden -- and opening October 31st -- is called Photographs from the Permanent Collection of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art.

Photographs in this show, we are told, "provide a visual narrative of the ever-changing American South – the nineteenth century, the Great Depression, the civil rights movement and the emergence of the New South" Photographers whose work is in the show include E. J. Bellocq, Walker Evans, Elliot Erwitt, William Christenberry, and, as they say, "many more." 

This show is up through January 3rd, 2012, at the Ogden Museum,at 925 Camp Street, in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Jessica Ingram in One One Thousand

The latest Southern photographer to be featured in One One Thousand is Nashville (and Oakland, California) based photographer Jessica Ingram. Not quite sure how Ingram conducts a bi coastal career, but the work is good, so let that pass.

Ingram's portfolio is called Waiting for a Sign, and its about one of those great Southern topics of perennial interest, the family, or, better, one's own family. They are also about the experience of leaving home, putting distance between oneself and one's past, and then seeing if Thomas Wolfe was right about going home.

Ingram, perhaps from the perspective of California, or from the perspective of the journey that has taken her from the South to California, goes home to Grandma, and to signs, and to the rituals of Southern white working class life in gardens and funerals and churches and pathways and trailer parks.

Ingram says of her images that they are about "the division and closeness that exists simultaneously between family members," and are part of an effort "to reconnect with family members I felt distanced from," but they turned out to be about separation as well, about "complex family relationships and attempts to understand the point at which individuals who are related and connected in so many ways eventually separate."

The title of the portfolio comes from a sign about signs, like Magritte's painting of a pipe that carries the reminder that this sign is not a pipe, except the image here is of a sign that says that, unlike Magritte's pipe it is what it is and, "If you are looking for a sign, here it is."

Here the overtone is of course religious, an echo of evangelical Christianity's word play with Jesus and signs. Although I've often wondered, if Jesus is the answer, what is the question. The folks who made the sign in Ingram's image were confident they knew what the question was, and what this sign is a sign of, but it's clear Ingram isn't quite so sure.

Images here treat people but also roads and signs, or as Ingram puts it, "I am interested in the spaces in between; roads I travel connecting me to members of the family, but also the space and relation of family members to one another. These spaces are so intimate and so familiar, yet often so hard to fit into."

So these images turn out to be about making images that help one "understand the history of my family," here  the themes extend farther than the personal narrative. There is a greater narrative about the powerful nature of religious belief, and the rifts that can result, but also the strong pull to one another that can exist in families. There is a great expectation when a family is started, or expanded, and then eventually, there is a desire, even desperation, to hold onto what is being lost."

Images of course hold on, but distance. Granma (image at the top) here looks not at the camera but to where only she is going, quickly, across the frame, a little ahead of the photographer's attention.

Ingram here draws our attention to the making of this work as well as to the subjects she chooses to frame. There is a strongly personal flavor to this work, yet I suspect it will have strong resonance for those of us who grew up in similar Christ-haunted landscapes.

One One Thousand has edited Ingram's portfolio down to 15 images from the 25 that are on her website under the fuller name If You Are Waiting For a Sign, Here It Is. There may be a conversation here between the two versions of her portfolio. In any case, this is work worthy of our attention.

Center for Documentary Studies Announces 2011 Daylight/CDS Photo Awards

Duke University's Center for Documentary Studies and Daylight Magazine partner each year to make awards for photography grounded in the documentary tradition.

This year's winners have been announced, and you can see their work up at CDS in Durham through December 22nd, at the Center for Documentary Studies,1317 W. Pettigrew Street, in Durham (directions here) and in an online story here.

There is even more of their work here.

The winner for best project is Tamas Dezsos, with Jury Picks in this category also going to Kris Vervaeke, Sebastian Liste, and John Cyr.

The winner for best Work-in-Process is David Pace, with Jury Picks in this category going to Baldomero Fernandez, James Dodd, Lydia Goldblatt, Lorenzo Martelli, and Shane Lavalette.

These folks are from all over the place (literally, with home sites ranging from NYC to Italy to Spain to Singapore), though none are actually from the American South.

The local connections, though, are several. One, that CDS is now a cultural center of sufficient renown to draw entries from all over the world to its competition.

Two, that, especially, the works of Baldomero Fernandez remind us that the rural South is now exceptionally difficult to distinguish from generic rural America.

And three, that one of the winners is Shane Lavalette, who we know is spending the year roaming our region and photographing us for the High Museum in Atlanta.

Congratulations to CDS for identifying a fine array of photographers and bringing their work to Durham.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

ACP in Full Swing

The annual Atlanta Celebrates Photography Festival is now in full swing, with shows up all over Atlanta and in neighboring towns in museums and galleries and restaurants, with talks and receptions, and lectures, and the portfolio review, and more, and more, and more.

To find out what's happening, there is the on-line version of the Guide, here.

There is also a preview from BurnAway Magazine, here.

There is also ACP's own FaceBook page here, and blog, here.

There are mainly lots of splendid and challenging and engaging and disturbing photographs to see. People I know either in person or through this blog have work up, like my friend Titus Heagins (image above) who has work in a show at the Arnika Dawkins Gallery called Black & White and Color, opening October 14th with a reception from 6-8 pm.

Titus also has a new website, here, so check that out, too. 

I will be down for a look atACP in a couple of weeks, but in the meantime I will try to experience ACP vicariously through blogs and online versions of shows and first-person accounts that filter this way.

Keep 'em coming, folks.

Anderson Documents New Orleans in One One Thousand

One One Thousand is continuing its series featuring photographers coming to terms with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, this time with a portfolio of images called One Block by Little Rock, Arkansas photographer Dave Anderson.

Anderson's portfolio is the result of his photographing in a single block of the Holy Cross section of New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward repeatedly over a period of two and a half years.

Anderson says his goal with this series was to learn, post-Katrina,"to follow both the obvious physical rebuilding of the homes as well as the evolving psychological state of the residents."

His central question in his work was posed in response to a comment by a resident of the city, who said, "You just wanna be home." Anderson wondered, "Doesn't everyone? Would they ever be? Would that thing, whatever it was, that was so uniquely New Orleans return, dissipate or transform into something completely different?

"And what about the thousands of small communities that existed within the city — would they survive, or even flourish? What was lost was clear, but what could be recovered was not at all clear."

What is clear is that Anderson offers us in this portfolio a set of strong, haunting, even haunted images. The people in them seem themselves to be haunted, by what they have been through, by what has been lost, perhaps by the struggle already required to regain a small semblance of order, of balance, of a future to look forward to.

These folks have earned our honor and respect, and Anderson's work deserves our thoughtful attention.