Monday, January 6, 2014

Southern Photography -- News from January 2014

The New Year brings news of openings, honors, opportunities, and recognitions. Here are a few items.

Nashville-based photographer Tammy Mercure had work selected for the ONWARD Compé for 2013 (see image above) and is now featured in an interview on the ONWARD blog, here.

Honorary Southern Photographer Jan Banning was featured in a story by Felicia Feaster in the November/December issue of photograph, see page 62, for his show Down and Out in the South, at the Hagedorn Foundation Gallery,  in Atlanta (see image above).

This show of Banning's work was reviewed in the Atlanta Journal Constitution and ArtsATL.

Dallas-based photographer Brandon Thibodeaux (see image above) is featured in a podcast interview on The LPV Show, go here.

Editor Nancy McCrary has announced that South by Southeast (SxSE) has expanded its activities to include sponsorship of a series of photography workshops, with the first one coming up in March on Cumberland Island with Peter Essick and Sylvia Plachy.

On the silly side of the news, we note that in an effort to be provocative, two guys, Brian Formhals and Blake Andrews, who really ought to know better, have named Southern Master Photographer William Eggleston (see image above) as one of ten photographers "Aspiring Photographers Should Ignore."

Eggleston's companions on this hit list include, among others, Ansel Adams , Henri Cartier Bresson, Robert Frank, Stephen Shore, Nan Goldin, Garry Winogrand, and Diane Arbus.

Formhals' and Andrews' point seems to be that aspiring photographers tend to imitate strong models, hence strong models should be avoided because if one imitates strong models one's work will turn out to be derivative and imitative, rather than in one's own unique and original style.

But artists always learn to be artists through imitation, as a stepping stone to originality, so a better course might be to pick strong models and then wrestle with them until one's own style emerges. Or one learns to be original within the conventions of a specific style.

Either way, avoiding the masters means one learns by imitating second-rate shooters, not a wise path, in my view.

Finally, for now, the following photographers have appeared -- since we last checked -- in Jeff Rich's ongoing Eyes on the South series in The Oxford American.

Caitlin Peterson
Don Norris (see image above)

With such a strong beginning, 2014 promises to be a full, and fulfilling, year for Southern Fine Art Photography. 

We will try to keep you informed about what's happening, so, as they say in another medium, stay tuned. 


  1. Thank you, John. The world of Southern Fine Art Photography has grown to a point that it's sometimes difficult to keep up with everything that is going on. I appreciate you consolidating all that is important. You are doing an excellent job of keeping us informed.

  2. Thank you, Jerry. While no one can keep up with everything, I plan to keep on reporting -- and sometimes commenting -- on people and events that seem worthy of bringing to our wider attention. I'm grateful to you, and to other, for their support.