Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Jeff Rich -- Eyes on the South


We all owe Jeff Rich a deep debt of gratitude for his ongoing Eyes on the South (EOTS) series of portfolios on the Oxford American website

Rich has a fine eye, an inquiring mind, and an adventurous spirit. He also has the commitment to keep bringing us new entries in his ongoing survey of the varieties and wonders of Southern photography.

Eyes on the South is a weekly post. 

How Rich keeps up his own work (see image above) AND fulfills his teaching duties at the University of Iowa AND also keeps meeting his commitment to having up a new EOTS entry every week is beyond me. 

I for one am deeply grateful.

You can keep up with this feature of the Oxford American by going here:

Rich says he finds most of the artists for EOTS by looking regularly at a bunch of different sources like Instagram and tumblr. 

But he's always open to looking at new work. Photographers who would like to submit work for Rich to consider for EOTS are invited to contact him at this email address:

Just to keep up, photographers featured on Eyes on the South since we last checked include the following:

Texas-based photographer Rachel Cox (see image above) and Hattiesburg, MS-based photographer Thomas Pearson (see image below).

Congratulations to these folks, and especially to Jeff Rich, who has brought their work, and the work of so many other fine Southern photographers to our attention.

More News of Southern Photographers -- Late Spring 2014

1. Chapel Hill, NC - based photographer Lori Vrba (see image above) is the subject of a feature interview by Aline Smithson in the online photography magazine Lenscratch, here.  

The interview comes on the occasion of the publication of Vrba's first monograph, The Moth Wing Diaries, from Hillsborough, NC's  Daylight Books.

2. The work of New Hampshire-based photographer Margo Cooper (see image above) documenting the world of blues people in the Mississippi Delta has been featured in the New York Times LENS blog, here.

3. Louisiana-based photographer Debbie Fleming Caffrey (see image above) will have a major show of her work opening at the Octavia Gallery in New Orleans on April 11th and up through May 23rd, 2015. 

For more on this show, go here. For an interview with Caffrey in photo-eye, go here. 

4. Richmond, VA-based photographer Susan Worsham (see image above) has work in the inaugural issue of the magazine The Ones We Love, here.

5.  Greenville, NC-based photographer Daniel Kariko (see image above) has been featured by Aline Smithson in the on-line magazine Lenscratch, here. 

6. Biloxi Bay, MS-based photographer Susan Guice (see image above) has also been featured by Aline Smithson in Lenscratch, here.

7. Charlotte, NC's Light Factory has been reborn as a center for photography.  Their Annuale photography competition has just concluded, with an exhibition opening on April 24th, 2015. 

Among this year's winners are Raleigh, NC-based photographer Diana Bloomfield (see image above),  Charlotte, NC-based photographer Micah Cash, Atlanta, GA-based photographer Beth Lilly (see image below), and Houston, TX-based photographer Jeremy Underwood. 

8. Houston-based photographer Maxine Helfman (see image below) has photographs featured in the current issue of Kat Kiernan's magazine Don't Take Pictures, here.

9. South Texas-based photographer Armando Alvarez (See image below) has a story A Beautiful Dark about his work on the Oxford American website, here.

10. Honorary Southern Photographer Magdalena Sole (see image below) has work featured on the Ain't Bad Magazine's website, here.

Enough for now, but back soon, with more news.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Rebekah Jacob and the Southern Camera Project

Rebekah Jacob, who owns and runs the splendid Rebekah Jacob Gallery in Charleston, SC, has announced a new initiative to bring "cutting-edge and collectible" photographs by "both seasoned and emerging artists in the Southern region" to the attention of collectors. 

 Jacob is calling this initiative the Southern Camera Project, or SCP, for short.

To get it started, she has created, on her Gallery's website, an online set of galleries for photographers who work, in Jacob's words, "East of the Mississippi River and South of the Mason Dixon Line."  

Display and sales of work will all be handled online. Jacob has organized a process of submission and review for photographers' work. 

She has also committed her time and entrepreneurial talents to promoting the work both through the SCP site and through social media.   

Work from a number of photographers is already on view on the SCP site, and the portal is open for additional submissions. Jacob says that the site will eventually display the work of up to 50 photographers. 

This sounds like an exciting opportunity for photographers not from the Charleston area to gain access to this area's culturally vibrant art scene, as well as to all the folks who have come to appreciate Jacob's discerning eye and the overall quality of her gallery.

Many, many thanks to Rebekah Jacob for this exciting new initiative!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Southern Photographers in the News -- Early Spring 2015

Items of Interest since we last checked in:

1. Atlanta-based photographer Fernando Decillis has powerful photographs in this week's Bitter Southerner of last weekend's observance of the 50th anniversary of the March to Selma. 

I am in awe of the splendid work the folks at the Bitter Southerner are doing. The consistently high quality of the stories, and the photographs, is truly breathtaking. 

2. Laurinburg, NC native (but San Francisco-based) photographer McNair Evans (see image above) is one of Photo District News' 30 New and Emerging Photographers to Watch for 2015.  

3.  Florida-born (but Chicago-based) photographer Clarissa Bonet (see image above) is also one of Photo District News' 30 New and Emerging Photographers to Watch for 2015.  

4. Memphis, TN-born (but Quincy, MA-based) photographer Molly Lamb is also one of Photo District News' 30 New and Emerging Photographers to Watch for 2015. 

5. Cedar Key, FL photographer Christian Harkness has images from his Water Women portfolio in the current issue of the ezine Liner Magazine, here.

6. New Orleans-based photographer Deborah Luster has been named the Robert Gardner Fellow in Photography at Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. 

7. Little Elm, Texas-based photographer Rachael Banks has images from her portfolio Between Home and Here featured in Issue 72 of Fraction Magazine, here.

8. Pittsburg-based photographer Aaron Blum has work from his portfolio A Guide to Folk Taxonomy featured in Issue 71 of Fraction Magazine, here.

Blum is Not From Around Here, and he works in West Virginia, the state created specifically so folks could avoid the central event of Southern history.

But his attention in West Virginia is on Appalachia, a lot of which is in the South, and Roger May has convinced me that West Virginia is Southern enough, hence my inclusion of Blum's work.

9. The splendid Aline Smithson describes her experiences at the 2014 edition of PhotoNOLA in Lenscratch, here.

10. Smithson has also profiled some Southern photographers whose work she saw and liked at PhotoNOLA 2014, including Jeff RichScott Dalton, Corey George, and Maxine Helfman (see image above).

11. And speaking of Jeff Rich, his latest addition to the canon of photographers who have their Eyes on the South is Cole Cashwell (see image above), who offers tintypes from his Peripheral Subsistence portfolio, here.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

South by Southeast -- S[x]SE -- for Early Spring 2015

The latest issue (Volume X, Issue 2) of South by South East (S[x]SE) Photography Magazine is now out for early spring 2015, and it has all the fine photography and engaging features we have come to expect from S[x]SE.

Editor Nancy McCrary says March means spring, so this issue is devoted to images we need to make the transition from a long, hard winter to the wonders of springtime Down South. 

McCrary brings us photography by Donna Rosser, Eric Whitaker,  Marilyn Suriani,  Peter Leafman,  Melissa Levesque, (see image below),  Diane Kirkland (see image above),
Blake Pierson, and Frank Fuerst.

There is also an extended essay by Hillsborough, NC -based photographers Margo Taussig Pinkerton and Arnie Zann, of Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures, about releasing your inner creativity. 

The issue also includes interviews by Jerry Atnip with portrait photographer Tina Barney and by  Dennis Graves with Mario Algaze.

And you can have access to all this fine -- and award-winning -- work for a very reasonable fee, a very reasonable fee indeed.

To subscribe, to do the right thing, go here.

Don't put it off any longer. We Southern photographers need to support our basic institutions.

You know you should subscribe. You know it, you really do.

Eudora Welty on the Segregated South

The distinguished Southern writer Eudora Welty (1909 - 2001) also produced a significant body of work as a photographer for the Works Progress Administration in the 1930's. 


The Hunter Museum in Chattanooga, TN is opening a show of this work on March 20th, entitled Eudora Welty and the Segregated South, up through July 12th, 2015. 

Welty made this work, chiefly in Mississippi, in the early 1930's. She would say, later in life, that her work as a WPA photographer shaped the style of narration as well as the subject matter of her fiction. 

To my eye, Welty's images give us a richer and more nuanced view of the Depression-era South than than we get from the work of better-known WPA photographers like Walker Evans, Margaret Post Wolcott, and Dorothea Lange. 

That is to say, Welty shows us, unflinchingly, the realities of poverty, rural isolation, and racism in the segregated South, as do they. But, sometimes, one gets the sense that Evans and the others were so shocked by this dimension of Southern life that they had trouble seeing beyond it.

Welty, on the other hand, more familiar with the realities of life in the American South, recognized and documented in her work events that to some extent at least enriched the lives of those whose days were spent laboring in the fields.

All of this makes Welty's work essential to the history of Southern photography and makes this show at the Hunter Museum well worth a trip to Chattanooga.