Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Jeff Rich is Another Photographer Who is Off to a Big Start in 2012

Not content to rest on his laurels after reeling in the book publication prize in 2010's Critical Mass competition, Savannah-based photographer Jeff Rich has just closed a group show of landscape photography at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Jacksonville, Florida, and has a host of events ongoing and upcoming.

His work -- featured earlier on this blog -- about Erwin, Tennessee resident Steve Harris and the Nuclear Contamination of his property is featured in Jennifer Schwartz' The Ten Project.

His Photolucida book, Watershed: The French Broad River, will be published in February 2012.

AND, Jeff will have a solo show of the Watershed portfolio at Jennifer Schwartz Gallery, opening on February 3rd, with a reception from 6-9. The show will be up at the Jennifer Schwartz Gallery through March 17th.

Jeff's images are part of a post-Ansel Adams movement in American, and Southern, landscape photography that is about the relationship between the human and the landscape. His photographs look wonderful on the web, but they have a luminosity in person that simply does not come through online.

My point -- his work is very much worth your getting to Atlanta, and to Jennifer Schwartz's gallery, to have a look at. My guess is, this is only the beginning of a really special year for Jeff.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Southern Images In the Galleries -- January 2012

Some museum and gallery news of photographers young and photographers old, including 4 items of interest.

1. Kathleen Robbins and Eliot Dudik, faculty members in photography at the University of South Carolina at Columbia, along with some of their students are opening a show of photographs this weekend at Tapp's Arts Center, 1644 Main Street, in Columbia.

This show will be up through February, and you can learn more about it on Tapp's Art Center's Facebook page.

2. Duke's Center for Documentary Studies is opening a major show of color photographs taken by a variety of photographers during the Depression, up in the Juanita Krepps Gallery at CDS now through July 23rd, 2012 in their home at  1317 W. Pettigrew Street, in Durham. 

This show is called Full Color Depression, and some of the images on view were made in the South (like the one above by Jack Delano), and you can learn more about the show here and preview some of the images here.

They were shot on Kodachrome, which Kodak  took away, contrary to Paul Simon's wishes, just before Kodak itself went belly up.

3. The International Center for Photography in New York City now has up a major exhibition of work by the South African photographer Grey Villet now up through May 6th, 2012.  

The show is called The Loving Story: Photographs by Grey Villet and includes images made by Villet while he was working for Life Magazine in 1958 on assignment in Virginia documented the lives of the Lovings, an interracial couple who were married in 1958 in Washington, DC.

They settled in Virginia, but were soon arrested by Virginia authorities for violating the state's laws against interracial marriages.The Lovings eventually were vindicated by the US Supreme Court, which in 1967 declared such laws unconstitutional.

Villet shot 73 rolls of film in this assignment, but Life Magazine published only 9 of his images.The ICP now has a major show of this work on view, mostly for the first time anywhere.

4. Finally, the New York Times reports William Eggleston has decided to make digital enlargements of some of his iconic images to benefit his Foundation.

He is blowing up 36 photographs he made in the Mississippi Delta in the '70's and '80's from their original 16-by-20-inch prints and printing them in a new, oversize format at 44x60 inches. He plans to sell the entire collection at Christie's on March 12 to benefit the Eggleston Artistic Trust.

I've seen wall-sized prints made digitally from some of Walker Evans' WPA photographs and they are stunning. Eggleston's work should be equally commanding in a larger format.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

South Light Photographers -- Salon and Group Show in Nashville

South Light is a group of photographers in Nashville, and it consists of Chuck ArlundJerry Atnip, Nick Dantona, David Robert Farmerie, Robert McCurley, Mark Mosrie, Jerry Park, and Pierre Vreyen.

These guys -- experienced photographers all -- have found each other in Nashville, and have formed a Salon, and are now having a group show called Southern Light: The South through Eight Lenses, up at The Arts Company, at 215 5th Avenue of the Arts, in  Nashville through February 18th, 2012.

You can sample the work on offer in the show by going here, to the website of The Arts Company.

They have taken the opportunity of the group show to expand the event into a photography festival, with a talk by Sylvia Plachy, a portfolio review coming up on February 4th, and a host of other presentations, exhibits, and receptions. You can find the entire schedule here.

I'm hoping this festival will be the precursor of things to come. The guys have what they need to build on -- a sense of purpose, a mission statement, and high aspirations for what they have begun. They are establishing themselves as "an expert resource for the photographic and art community through lectures, workshops and exhibitions."

They say, "The genesis of the name is an indication that photographic art is alive and well below the Mason-Dixon Line."

Which is good to know.

Their "common Artistic Statement" commits them to "participate in a model of art, which is holistic; a meeting of the conscious and unconscious, thought and emotion, spiritual and material, private and public," to "endeavor to make art that is the visible manifestation, evidence and facilitator of the soul’s journey," and to "make photographs as a quest for authenticity and a plea for the rediscovery of connection."

There is much fine work here, much to celebrate in this year's Festival, and much to hope for as they make plans for future events. Keep us posted, guys.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Marilyn Suriani Makes the Atlantic Cities Blog Two Weeks in a Row

Marilyn Suriani has been photographing in places far removed from her home in Atlanta.

Her shot of Tokyo is featured on the Atlantic Cities blog this week, a happy follow-up to the appearance of her photograph from Key West last week. Who knows what might show up next week.

Sometimes, good things happen repeatedly. And congratulations to Marilyn!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Upcoming Show -- Puppy Love in Zebulon, Georgia

What do the folks behind the Slow Exposures Southern Photography Festival and SXSE do in their spare time? Run a photography competition, of course.

The annual Puppy Love Show at A Novel Experience Bookstore in Zebulon, GA will be up from January 30th through February 25th, 2012, with a closing reception on the 25th, featuring hot dogs, of course.

Puppy Love is a juried photo exhibition held each February, featuring images of dogs being dogs. All profits go to local animal shelters and to guide and assistance dogs for returning soldiers injured in combat.

This year's jurors were Jerry Atnip and Paul Conlan, and the Winner of Best in Show (see image above) is Shannon Johnstone, my friend who is Associate Professor of Studio Art at Meredith College, here in Raleigh.

Other winners in this year's Puppy Love Competition include Kathryn Kolb, Anne Berry, Donna Black, Valerie Hayes, Donna Rosser, Gary Gruby, and Beau Gentry, and you can see all their work on on the new Puppy Love Facebook page 

Oen more word about Shannon Johnstone -- she is passionate about dogs, and she is also passionate about animal rights and the issues around animal overpopulation. Look at her portfolio Breeding Ignorance only if you are ready for some heartbreak.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Marilyn Suriani on the Atlantic Cities Blog

Atlanta-based photographer Marilyn Suriani is the latest photographer to be featured for her image of Southern urban life on the atlanticcities blog.

Suriani's image is of a laundromat in Key West, Florida, a booming metropolis of 25, 000 with its own distinctive culture.

Its been great to have all these images of Southern town- and cityscapes on the atlanticcities blog this week, and there are so many other places to hear from and photographers to feature.

I can only hope Amanda keeps up this focus for a while longer.

Pamela Pecchio and Brooke White on One, One Thousand in January

Photographers featured this month on One, One Thousand are Charlottesville, VA-based Pamela Pecchio and Oxford, MS-based Brooke White.

Pecchio's portfolio, On Longing, Distance and Heavy Metal, has, she says, grown out a time when she felt physically divided between her professional and her personal spaces, and had to drive regularly for long distances to move from one place to the other. She made these transitions through the landscapes of North Carolina and Virginia to the sound of heavy metal music. 

Pecchio began to stop on her journeys to make images out of her passion for heavy metal music and for these Southern landscapes which for her have the same quality of enveloping, of temporarily holding the viewer "inside a tangled web," inside a place that has a solid foundation, and layers, and is "complicated, often unbalanced, dense, and shares a story."

You can see more of this portfolio, here, on Pecchio's website.  She does a remarkable job of finding strong compositions among the tangled and twisted linbs of trees and bushes, and perhaps among the tangled feelings of divided loyalties and the tangled sounds of heavy metal music.

Brooke White's portfolio is called Delta Constant and its images document similarities in delta landscapes even though the actual places are separated by thousands of miles, from the Mississippi Delta to the deltas of the Tana River in Kenya and the Mekong River in Viet Nam.

White's work usually is about "the ways in which tourism, agriculture, politics and technology affect our connection to the landscape."

Here, she is more engaged in questions of geographical similarity, of visual congruity, in the contemplation of the confluence of land and water, of lines that lead away into the distance, of the ways in which an inland tract of land like the Mississippi Delta has visual similarities with deltas that are formed when big rivers meet the ocean.

The folks at One, One Thousand have an uncanny ability to find -- month by month -- wonderful Southern photographers who are making art out of their experience of their region. Keep it up, folks!

Christian Harkness is the Latest Southern Photographer on the Atlantic Cities Blog

Florida-based photographer Christian Harkness is the latest Southern photographer to have work featured by Amanda Erickson on the Atlantic Monthly's atlanticcities blog.

Christian lives and photographs in Cedar Key, FL, a booming metropolis of 800 on the Gulf Coast of Florida.

Christian also had work in the November online issue of SXSE Magazine. 

Good work here. Good to see it -- and the life Christan documents -- getting well-deserved recognition.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Even More Good News for Kathleen Robbins

Columbia, SC-based photographer Kathleen Robbins continues to be celebrated for her work. Since our last report, she's been featured on NPR on the subject of cotton's role in Southern culture and the economy. She will also be a participant in a show at the Light Factory in Charlotte, NC, beginning  January 30th, 2012, and up through May 6th, 2012.

The Light Factory is Charlotte's museum of photography and film, and is at 345 North College Street in downtown Charlotte (except they call it uptown, for reasons unknown to anyone who doesn't live there).

This show, called The Calm Before the Storm, will be in the Light Factory's Knight Gallery, and will also include work by Eric Tomberlin, Camille Seaman, and Pipo Nguyen-duy.

Eric Tomberlin has some Southern connections (go here), but Camille and Pipo, though clearly fine photographers, are, as they say, Not From Around Here.

The Light Factory says this show is intended to continue an examination of our "relationship with the environment, a photographic theme that began with the influential 1975 exhibition New Topographics: Photographs of a Man-Altered Landscape," originally held at the George Eastman House in Rochester, New York, but since recreated (in 2010) at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA).

"New Topographics," the Light Factory goes on, "rejected the 19th century romanticized view of the environment and focused on the intervention of industry—land transformed by human presence, directly and/or indirectly. Today, we are asking if this precarious relationship has gotten better, is currently at a standstill, or has gotten much worse?

"The Calm before The Storm includes . . . photographers who are exploring the external landscape and who understand the paradoxes inherent in the juxtapositions of man and the natural environment."

Congratulations to Kathleen and to all these photographers. I'm looking forward to the show in Charlotte.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Jerry Siegel at the Mobile Museum of Art

Birmingham, Alabama-based photographer Jerry Siegel -- whose work is featured today on theatlanticcities blog -- has also opened a show of his work at the Mobile Museum of Art, now up through  April 1, 2012.

The show, entitled Facing South: Portraits of Southern Artists, includes 100 portraits Jerry has made over the last several years of Southern painters, writers, photographers, and sculptors (like the one of North Carolina's John Menapace, above).

You can see a portfolio of selected images from ths show by going here

The show was organized by the  Jule Collins Smith Museum, in Auburn Alabama, in conjunction with the publication of this body of work last year by the University of Alabama Press in a book of the same name as the show.

Siegel's goal in this project has been "to create portraits of Southern artists which convey the creativity and character of this remarkable selection of people, and tell us something about the nature of the region itself."

UPDATE: There is a fine review of Siegel's show now in ArtsCriticATL, here.

Good to see these images, and good to see Jerry's work getting the recognition it deserves.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Daniel Echevarria is Today's Featured Shooter on the Atlantic Cities Blog

Atlanta-based photographer Daniel Echevarria is the shooter for today's Postcard from Southern Cities on the Atlantic Monthly's atlanticcities blog.

The photograph (see above) was made on Atlanta's Moreland Street. Daniel says of it that it is part of a larger effort to "photograph areas of the city during a time of changing social and community dynamics."
Echevarria is well-known to readers of thsi blog because he is co-founder and co-editor of One, One Thousand | A Publication of Southern Photography, which features contemporary photography created in the Southeastern United States.  
Presumably there will be another Postcard tomorrow from a Southern city on the blog. I'm hoping the shooter will again be a familiar figure to us. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Opportunity -- Southern Cities on The Atlantic's Cities Blog

Amanda Erickson contacted me last week about using one of my images (see above) on the Atlantic Monthly's theatlanticcities blog, go here.

Amanda is interested in running each day this week more images from Southern cities.

She has opened this call for images up, so if you have work you would like to submit, send her a jpeg -- along with a blurb about the work you do and a link to your website-- to Amanda here:


or here:


And pass the word along to your friends.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Kathleen Robbins is Off to a Great Start in 2012

Columbia, SC-based photographer Kathleen Robbins is off to a great start in 2012.

First of all, her portfolio In Cotton was named winner of the PhotoNOLA Portfolio Review Prize for 2011.

Now, Jennifer Schwartz has people voting for which of two of Kathleen's images Jennifer should buy. 

Nothing like having people lining up to spend someone else's money for  one's work.  

Me, I voted for the image above. Your mileage may vary.  Hope Jennifer has deep pockets because at the moment the choice "Buy Both!" is well ahead in the voting.

Congratulations to Kathleen -- keep us posted as to what the rest of 2012 will bring.

SXSE for January 2012

The new year brings the new online issue of South by Southeast (SXSE), the magazine of photography in the Southeast.

This issue is Volume 3, #1 -- a tribute to Nancy McCrary and all the folks at SXSE who have worked so hard to develop and sustain this remarkable enterprise through two complete volumes and now into their third volume and into the future. They also have their first real on-paper issue, go here

The new on-line issue is called The Travel Issue, and it shows Southern photographers getting out in the world to have a look around and to bring back image fo what they've seen.

I'm especially pleased that so many of the photographers featured in this issue are several from North Carolina, including Hillsborough's Elizabeth Matheson (who brings us images of Italy), Durham's Christopher Sims (who brings us image of Guantanamo Bay), Raleigh's Diana Bloomfield (who takes us to Coney Island), and Durham's Titus Brooks Heagens, (who takes us to Japan, see image above).

Other shooters with work in this issue inclue Thomas Neff (images of Europe and Asia), Andy Levin (images of Jacmel, in Haiti, and Lucinda Bunnen (images of Burkina Faso).

And you can have access to it all, for a truly modest sum.

That's What I Like about the South, Part One -- The News from Laurens, SC

Check out today's news from Laurens, SC, in today's New York Times, go here.

If you haven't heard already, a judge in Greenwood, S.C. has decided that the building housing the Redneck Shop, a shrine to the Ku Klux Klan, is now owned by Pastor David Kennedy (see image above by John Adkisson) and his tiny New Beginning Missionary Baptist Church.

Kennedy's congregation inherited it from a disgruntled follower of John Howard, the Klan leader who founded the shop.

As the New York Times puts it, "in a quirk of fate laced with lawsuits, religious conversions and a small-town Southern narrative Harper Lee might deliver, a black pastor will eventually control what just might be the most famous white supremacist shop in America."

The irony -- now that's what I like about the South.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Laura Noel's Law and Order on Best of 2011 List

Atlanta-based photographer Laura Noel has had her book Law and Order Gets Me Through the Night included on a list of the best indie and self-published books of 2011.

This list was composed by Laurissa Leclair who runs the Indie Photobook Library at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, DC, and can be found here.

Laura's book is a photographic meditation on the TV show Law and Order. She says it is about her "addiction to the show coupled with raging insomnia. Since I can't sleep, and I'm watching the show, I thought I might as well shoot it off my laptop."

Leclair says it "pushes the boundaries of what a photobook can be" by being a set of fifty 3×2 inch individual cards showing scenes from the show captured during times of Laura's insomnia, a storage box and a miniature stand.

The viewer can arrange and rearrange the images, creating one's own rotating exhibition of these images, and showing them on the viewing stand.

Ordering information for Laura's book is available here.

Shelby Lee Adams in PDN Online

Kentucky-based photographer Shelby Lee Adams has an essay on PDN Online, here, about his work with the people of Appalachia.

The essay is an excerpt from his most recent book, Salt & Truth, and deals with how Appalachian culture has shaped Adams' work, and how he regards his  obligations to his subjects.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Catching Up with Jennifer Schwartz in January 2012 -- Jeff Rich, Lori Vrba, the Bus

Some early January notes about events at Jennifer Schwartz Gallery in Atlanta --

1. The latest photographer to be featured in Schwartz's The Ten Project is Atlanta-based photographer Jeff Rich, who has on offer ten of his images from his new body of work made near Erwin, TN.

This work, made on the farm of Steve Harris, documents the effects of Steve's living so near the nuclear fuel processing plant of Nuclear Fuel Services (NFS) that he has received an enormous amount of radiation.

These matters are now in litigation, but Jeff's images bring us face to face with the consequences of unrestrained technological development in the rural South.

2. Jeff will also have a show of his work from his Watershed portfolio opening at the Jennifer Schwartz Gallery on February 3rd, 2012 and up through March 17th.

3. Lori Vrba's recent show at the Jennifer Schwartz Gallery was reviewed thoughtfully and affirmingly on the Atlanta-based website Burnaway, here. 

And, finally, 

4. Schwartz' Kickstarter project to buy a van and tour the country selling photographs was fully funded. So we can be on the watch for her photography-laden bus roaming the country in the near future.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Real SXSE at Christmas

The Post brought several gifts at Christmas, including evidence of the extremely hard work by Nancy McCrary and all the folks at SXSE photomagazine: their first paper issue, volume I: Issue 1, 2011, which is a lot of ones, but worthy of a fine publication.

This project is, to echo the editor of SXSE on another subject, "the very best magazine on Southern photography we could wish for."

The paper issue features photographers who have been in the online version and others who haven't, and they are all fine shooters and include Annie Hogan, Kendall Messick, Jack Spencer, Anderson Scott, Shelby Lee Adams. Michael West, Joanna Knox, Birmey Imes, and Laura Noel.  

There are also notes on books and on blogs and on gallery shows and on museums.

I've subscribed to the online version from the beginning, but I'm signing up for the paper version as well.