Sunday, July 6, 2014

Southern Photographers in the News -- Early Summer 2014

First, the Good News of the season --

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

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

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

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

Glad to catch up with these folks.

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

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

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

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

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

Finally, the Sad News of the Season

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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