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!

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