Monday, April 17, 2017

Eyes on Main Street -- Photography Festival in Wilson, NC

The town of Wilson, NC already had the right to claim itself to be a center for photography in the American South, simply because Distinguished Southern Photographer Burk Uzzle has his studio there.

But now Wilson has made a serious step into the Photography Big Time with its third annual edition of Eyes on Main Street, the Wilson Outdoor Photo Festival. 

Eyes on Main Street consists of a main show of 100 large prints of work by 50 men and 50 women photographers, including both established and emerging photographers, from more than 30 countries around the world, all up now through July 16th, 2017, in downtown Wilson.

From April 8-July 16, these 100 photographs will be displayed in 100 storefront windows spanning six city blocks. Taking visitors across the railroad tracks that bisect the city, the exhibition links east and west Wilson into one shared community. 

In addition, this year's Festival includes five additional exhibits which include shows of historic photographs as well as striking contemporary work for a wide range of international photographers.

A feature of these supporting shows is an exhibition of work by more than 125 young people from Wilson who were supervised by senior photography students from the School of Fine and Performing Arts at Columbia College in Chicago, Illinois

This show is up at  203 East Nash Street, in Wilson.

All this is the work of Artistic Director, chief curator and organizer Jerome De Perlinghi and his assistant curators Catherine Lloyd and Regina Monfort, who have organized the shows around the general theme Main Street, a Crossroads of Cultures.  

In addition to the show of student work from Eastern North Carolina, the other sattelite shows include:

1. Eyes on Taiwan, featuring work by Yi-Yun Chang, Charles Chen, Kouhei Hirose, Chun-Chi Lin, Pi-Lin Liu, Liang-Pin Tsao, Eli Wang, Anny Wu, Ko-Ming Wu and Sun Yang, in the 3rd Floor Gallery at Imagination Station, 224 East Nash Street, in Wilson. 

2. Before Facebook, a show of mid-nineteenth century daguerrotypes, tintypes, Cartes de Visite, portraits, and street scenes from the middle to the late 1800's.

3. A show of work by Chicago photographer Hareth Yousef (see image above) of images from his Tomorrow's Entry is not Guaranteed portfolio, a body of work documenting the everyday lives of Palestinians, sponsored by the Columbia College Chicago Student Gallery, up at 115 Goldsboro Street, in Wilson.

4. Showings of Frames of Life (1996), a movie by Mary Engel documenting the life and work of photographer Ruth Orkin. This film was premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 1996, and was s
elected by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as one of the “Outstanding Documentaries” of that year.

In addition to these exhibits, there are also a whole slew of lectures, workshops, concerts, and other events too numerous to go into here.

But you can find out all about them on the Eyes on Main Street website here, and you can keep up with the Festival as it unfolds, on Facebook, here.

If you are unfamiliar with Wilson, it is an hour's drive east of Raleigh, via highway US-264 East, then I-587 east, to Wilson. 

While you are there, also check out famed outsider artist Vollis Simpson's whirligigs in the Whirligig Park and Museum.

You are in the heart of eastern North Carolina, with much to do in the vicinity, and only 40 minutes from the Skylight Inn, serving what many claim is the best BBQ available anywhere, or 50 minutes from Kinston, NC, home of the by-now world-renowned restaurant Chef and the Farmer.

 Artistic Director De Perlinghi and the City of Wilson deserve tons of credit for supporting this very ambitious photography festival. 

May it succeed beyond your wildest dreams, and may you bring us many, many more years of outstanding photography to eastern North Carolina.

Slow Exposures 2017 -- The Call for Entries

The good folks in Pike County, Georgia who are responsible for the SlowExposures juried show and photography festival have announced their plans for the Fall 2017 show.

This year is the 15th annual show, and will be up September 14th - 17th, 2017, in "the intimate, relaxed setting [of] the rural countryside" of Pike County, in west central Georgia. 

This year's event is being called "Unplugged," always a good idea. The organizers "invite photographers to submit work that underscores the diversity, contradictions, and complexity of the rural American South."

The Call for Entries for this show is here.  Deadline for submission of work is midnight, Sunday, June 18th, 2017. 

Also planned for SlowExposures will be over a dozen satellites shows, to be on view in locations that are also on the National Register of Historic Places as documenting Pike County's historic past as a leading cotton producer in southern Georgia.

Applicants for 2017 Main Exhibition are also entitled to enter the PopUp Show juried by John Bennette and the 2018 SlowAIR Artist in Residence opportunity at no additional cost.

I am honored to join with Atlanta's Arnika Dawkins, owner of Atlanta's Arnika Dawkins Gallery, as jurors for this year's Main Exhibition.

The work we choose for the Main Exhibition will also be on view at the Cochran Gallery in LaGrange, Georgia for a month after the SlowEx weekend.  

I know I speak for Arnika in joining with the folks in Pike County to invite you to enter work, and plan to "join photographers and photography lovers from across the U.S. to 'unplug' in September in Pike County.

This is a wonderful opportunity, not only to share the experience of SlowExposures, but also to "learn, network, and have fun during this extraordinary weekend." 

We plan to see you there!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Catching Up with Eyes on the South

Photographers featured since mid-December on Jeff Rich's ongoing feature Eyes on the South for the Oxford American, include the following: 

New York-based photographer John Sanderson (see image above), with images from Florida's Gulf Coast,  from his National Character portfolio.

Richmond, VA-based photographer Susan Worsham (see image above), with work from her Bittersweet on Bostwick Lane portfolio.

New York-based (but Florida-born) photographer Dylan Johnston (see image above), with images from his On the Hunt portfolio.

New York-based (but well-traveled in the South) photographer Daniel Terna (see image above), with images from his I’ll See You On The Beach portfolio.

Portland, OR-based (but Gulfport, Mississippi-born) photographer Missy Prince (see image above), with images from her Natural Causes portfolio. 

Florida-based photographer Kathryn Harrison (see image above), with images from her Side of the South portfolio. 

Savannah-based photographer William Price Glaser (see image above),  with images from his Soul Food portfolio. 

San Antonio-based photographer Zachary McCauley (see image above), with images from his Sometimes This Can Be Difficult portfolio.

Lexington, KY-based photographer  Sarah Hoskins (see image above), with images from her A Visit to Lynch portfolio. 

New Orleans-based photographer Charles Muir Lovell | (see image above), with images from his New Orleans Second Lines Culture portfolio.  

Rich does an amazing (at least to me) job gathering exceptional photography of the American South week by week. 

Congratulations to Rich, and to all the fine photographers he brings to our attention.  

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Courtney Garvin In AINT - BAD

New York City-based photographer Courtney Garvin  (see images above and below) has work from her In These Clasped Hands portfolio featured on AINT-BAD Magazine, here.

Garvin grew up in New York but she was born in South Carolina. 

That, and her work in this portfolio, make clear that she is at heart a Southern photographer.  

Garvin says of this work that "In These Clasped Hands looks at generational experiences, race, and community in a multifaceted Black life." 

It started out, she says, as a "series of portraits of [her] family members in South Carolina." 

But, as often happens in the American South, history caught up with her.

As Garvin puts it, "after the Mother Emanuel Church shooting, the burning of several Black churches throughout the South, the continuous killings of unarmed Black women, men, and children, and being chased down a secluded dirt road by men on ATVs, the focus of the project changed."

Garvin's work explores fundamental aspects of Southern history and culture -- that is, in "family histories, memory, storytelling," and, I might add, religion and race and the lived experiences of Southern culture.  

Congratulations to Garvin for finding ways to make meaning of yet another dark time in Southern history.

Garvin is definitely a Southern photographer we will watch out for.  

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Some Photography Shows in Virginia -- Spring 2017

Williamsburg-based photographer Eliot Dudik (see image above) has a solo show up at the Gordon Art Galleries at Old Dominion University, in Norfolk, VA
This show includes images from Dudik's Broken Land and Still Lives portfolios, and is up through April 16th, 2017. 

Later this year, Dudik and nine outer Southern photographers will have work in a group show up at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, in Virginia Beach, VA, opening May 12th and up through August 13th, 2017.   

This show will be called Southern Routes. The curators at Virginia MOCA say of this show that "The south stands as an abundant source of myth and stereotypes. 
"But, its rich and varied history, traditions and cultural output paint a much more complex picture. The south’s fascinating stories are waiting to be shared. 

"In this exhibition, contemporary photographers offer a peek of what is waiting when you travel down its roads.  

"The photographers featured present their own take on the people, history, land and culture that have in many ways shaped the story of our nation.  

"Every artist and every viewpoint tells a completely new story." 

Joining Dudik in this show are Southern photographers Kelly Berry, Grant Ellis, Kate Medley (see image above), Tammy Mercure, Brian Palmer, Tamara Reynolds, Kathleen Robbins, Jerry Siegel, and Aaron Turner.

 Much to look forward this year in Southern photography, in the state of Virginia. 

Jerry Siegel is already having a great 2017, and it's only March

Alabama-based photographer Jerry Siegel (see images above and below) has work now up or forthcoming in a number of shows and other venues.

Siegel currently has work in a group show entitled
CONTEMPORARY ALABAMA PHOTOGRAPHY, installed to complement the major retrospective show of work by William Christenberry, now up through August 27, 2017 at the Mobile Museum of Art in Mobile, Alabama.

Siegel will open on March 25th, 2017 a major solo show of work from his Black Belt portfolio at the Morris Museum of Art in Augusta, GA, up through June 18th, 2017. 

This show is entitled THE BLACK BELT OF ALABAMA: A RESPONSE TO HOME, and will contain 31 images from Siegel's Black Belt series. 

Siegel  will also have work in a group show at Virginia Beach's Museum of Contemporary Art, entitled Southern Routes, opening on May 11th and up through August 13th, 2017

Moving south, Siegel will have work in a group show entitled Watershed: Contemporary Landscape Photography, opening June 10th at the Vero Beach Museum of Art

and up through September 17th, 2017. 

Most important of all, Siegel's book of photographs BLACK BELT COLOR is in press and forthcoming from the Georgia Museum of Art, in Athens, GA. 

We will have more on that when we have details on how to order a copy. 

Congratulations to Siegel on all these good things happening in his career. 

And its only March. Who knows what the rest of the year will bring? 

Friday, March 17, 2017

Through Darkness to Light in the True South -- Shows up at PDNB, Dallas

Dallas' Photographs Do Not Bend Gallery has up now a truly significant show of work by Dallas-based photographer Jeanine Michna-Bales (see images above and directly below).

Michna-Bales' images, made along one of the routes of the Underground Railroad, this one stretching  from Louisiana to Canada, are haunting evocations of landscape in the half-light of dawns and twilights, and of the deep darkness of Southern landscapes when the South was a world lit only by fire. 

The folks at the PDNB Gallery say of Michna-Bales' work that it "takes you on a dark lit passage through demanding terrains and ominous river crossings in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, and finally Ontario, Canada. The threatening rivers crossed included the Mississippi, Tennessee and the Ohio River (The River Jordan).

"Michna-Bales decade long project uncovered roughly 1,400 miles, revealing actual sites, cities and places that freedom-seekers passed through. Homes of Abolitionists William Beard, Joshua Eliason Jr., and Reverend Guy Beckley gave refuge, and are included in her photographic essay.

"The photographs offer an eerie, visceral journey that immerses you in the night's grasp. The images illustrate the daunting task of traveling roughly 20 miles each night."

 Michna-Bales' work will be up in Dallas through April 15th, 2017. The full press release for this show is here.
If you miss it in Dallas, you can find it at the Jefferson School African American History Center, in Charlottesville, VA, opening on March 22nd, and up through June 15th, 2017. 

For more about Michna-Bales and her work, go here for Lensculture's take, and here for Lenscratch, and here for FeatureShoot.

As a companion show for Through Darkness to Light, the folks at PDNB Gallery have for us a group show, entitled True South, also up now at the Gallery through April 15th, 2017. 

Photographers with work in this show include Keith Carter, William Greiner (see image two images below), Ferne Koch, Earlie Hudnall, Jr., Clarence John Laughlin, Danny Lyons (see image directly below), Birney Imes, Brandon Thibodeaux, Jack Delano, Shelby Lee Adams, Paul Greenberg, Peter Brown, Jack Ridley, and William Christenberry (see image directly above).

True South includes images of people and places in the South made by Southern photographers chiefly in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. 

The folks at PDNB Gallery describe this show as including "portraits of people from Appalachia, prisoners in Huntsville prison, surreal Southern manors of Louisiana, Juke Joints in Mississippi, and 3rd Ward neighbors in Houston, Texas." 

Another fine show, well worth your visit.  

For more on these shows at PDNB Gallery, go here for a feature story and review from the Dallas News


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Some Current Shows featuring Southern (and no-so-Southern) Photographers -- Vrba, Adams, Leigh

Chapel Hill's Lori Vrba has been out and about in the world these past few months, with shows in places like the SE Center for Photography in Greenville, SC and, together with Atlanta's Anne Jarrell Berry, the  Dishman Art Museum of Lamar University, Beaumont, TX.

Now back home, Vrba has a really engaging show up at the Community Church in Chapel Hill, until April 30th, 2017. 

This show -- a site specific installation of images from her My Grace is Sufficient portfolio -- is up in the Sanctuary of the Community Church. 

The Community Church in Chapel Hill is a bit hard to find, over on Purefoy Rd, but this body of work, in its setting, is definitely worth your seeking out. 

And while you are looking for photography in the Research Triangle, head over to the NC Museum of Art, which currently has up a trifecta of photography shows. 

The featured exhibit is a collection of some 50 master prints of images by Ansel Adams, up now through May 7th, 2017. 

Also on view is a set of images by photography students from North Carolina's Pitt Community College which have been, as the museum folks put it, "Inspired by the work of Ansel Adams." 

More important for us, however, is the fact that they "present traditional and digital black-and-white photographs of the changing industrial and agricultural landscape of Eastern North Carolina." 

This work is up through May 14th, 2017. 

Opening at the NC Museum of Art on April 8th, and up through September 3rd, 2017 is a show of photographs entitled You and Me.

The Museum's curators say the work in this show reveals "the complexities of relationships, particularly those between two people: mother and daughter, a married couple, two friends, colleagues, multiple generations, and neighbors."

Photographers represented in this group show include Ralph Burns, Sue de Beer, Harry Callahan, Carolyn DeMeritt, Sarah Anne Johnson, Deborah Luster, Danny Lyon, Barbara Morgan, Caroline Vaughan (see image above), Alec Soth, and Luis Rey Velasco.

Finally, for now, and heading out on I-40 and I-85 from the Research Triangle of Chapel Hill, Raleigh, and Durham, all the way to the High Museum in Atlanta, there is a show up now of work by Savannah's Jack Leigh (see image above).

Entitled The Spirit of the Place: Photographs by Jack Leigh, this show is up at the High through June 11th, 2017 and features work that, in the words of the High, documents "the unique character of [Leigh's] home city as well as the marshlands, fishing villages, and roadside towns of the coastal Lowcountry. 

"Working exclusively in black and white, he was drawn not only to the region’s landscape and aging architecture but particularly to its people, those who possessed a deep connection to the land and sea. 

"Many of Leigh’s subjects—the oystermen, shrimp boat crews, and residents of riverside hamlets—led a vanishing way of life as urbanization and industrialization became more prevalent across the South. 

"Through his discerning photographs, Leigh sought to capture the spirit of these places and the people who embodied them. This exhibition is drawn from the High’s permanent collection and from a promised gift to the Museum."

Good to have work by Leigh featured at the High Museum of Art.  For more on Jack Leigh, go here and here, from Lenscratch, and here, from Garden and Gun.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Tamara Reynolds is already having a great 2017, and It's only March

Nashville-based photographer Tamara Reynolds (see images above and below) is off to a great chapter in her career development this year.

Work from Reynolds' Southern Route portfolio is featured in Kat Kiernan's Don't Take Pictures magazine, Issue # 8, now out. You can get a taste of Reynold's work here.

Writing for the magazine,  Sarah Coleman says that "For Reynolds, the intimacy of the work is an all-important step to healing the South’s divisions. 

"Before even beginning Southern Route, [Reynolds] started reading about the history of the region, coming to terms with her responsibility as a white, middle class woman. ”

Reynolds also has images in the most recent issue of the Oxford American, as part of a story about a very Southern subject -- murder and the military. 

Go here for Reynolds' photographs of Oak Grove, Kentucky and for Nick Tabor's account of "what an unsolved double murder in Kentucky reveals about America’s military-industrial complex."

All this, and it's only March -- who knows what the rest of the year will bring? 

Whatever happens, we will report it to you on The Southern Photographer

Burk Uzzle at the Greenville Museum of Art

Distinguished Southern (and American) photographer Burk Uzzle (see images above and below) is having a major solo show of his latest work, from a portfolio called Perceptions and Recognitions: African Americans of Eastern North Carolina, now up at the Greenville Museum of Art in Greenville, NC.

This show includes 20 portraits of residents of eastern North Carolina, and, in the words of the museum's curators, "is designed to offer individuals, families, and organizations a way to experience their neighbors, whether familiar or unknown."

The curators go on, "The title reflects the fact that too frequently we hold perceptions about others that are disconnected from their truths and therefore inaccurate. 

"Art has always afforded us the opportunity to share seminal emotions with strangers, to realize a connection, to know that our human experience may not be unique although our circumstances may be unrecognizable."

There is more about Uzzle and this show, on Uzzle's website, hereAlso on the site is news about a forthcoming documentary on Uzzle and his work, called f/11 and Be There, here.

For a feature story on Uzzle and this show, from the Raleigh News and Observer, go here

Also, an interview with Uzzle, first heard on Public Radio East, here.  

This show is up at the Greenville Museum of Art through April 30th, 2017. 

This is powerful work, well worth a trip to Greenville.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Christenberry and Colleagues at the Mobile Museum of Art

Legendary Southern photographer William Christenberry (see image directly above) is the subject of a major career retrospective exhibition, opening this weekend and up through June 4th, 2017, at the Mobile Museum of Art, in Mobile, Alabama. 

Entitled CHRISTENBERRY: In Alabama, this show, in the words of the curators, "honors the artist William Christenberry’s exploration of themes related to his native state: Alabama’s landscape, structures, traditions, and people.

They go on: "This exhibition’s premise is threefold:  honoring the artist’s intimate, lifelong exploration of his native state; recognizing the wealth of Christenberry work collected in Alabama’s art museums; and presenting the Christenberry family’s creative lineage and legacy over four generations."

The exhibition includes over 90 Christenberry works including paintings, drawings, sculptures and photographs, drawn from university collections at Auburn and Tuscaloosa and in Alabama’s major city museums in Birmingham, Huntsville, and Montgomery.  

Also on display at the MMofA is a companion show called Contemporary Alabama Photography which brings together work by eleven Alabama photographers whose work, in the words of the MMofA curators, shows "an instinctive rapport" with Christenberry's own photography. 

Taken together, both shows explore "how our understanding of Alabama identity, culture, and history have been interpreted and formed through the photographic arts today."

This show is up at the MMofA until August 27th, 2017. 

Both shows are definitely worth a look when you are in Mobile.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Welcome SCALAWAG Magazine!

There is a new magazine covering Southern culture -- SCALAWAG -- with both print, on-line, and newsletter versions.

The editors say their mission is for SCALAWAG to spark "critical conversations about the many Souths where we live, love, and struggle. 

"We amplify voices of activists, artists, and writers to reckon with Southern realities as they are, rather than as they seem to be.

"Scalawag spurs examination of Southern politics and cultures. 

"We've covered environmental justice, public school resegregation, and how families face mental illness. 

"With stories from Mississippi to Virginia, Atlanta to rural West Virginia, Scalawag has amplified the voices of Southerners reckoning with our region.

"The stories we tell matter. In print, online, and in person, Scalawag reimagines the roots and futures of the place we call home. We are on our way."

The good folks at SCALAWAG have now produced 5 issues, on a once-every-3-months schedule. 

You can catch up with SCALAWAG here, for the current issue as well as the first 4 issues. 

You can subscribe here, and contribute here

SCALAWAG is also looking for submissions from writers, artists, and poets, go here. 
Sounds like a plan to me.  Lots of good photography here as well.

Learn more on their website, where you can see their (very inspiring) KickStarter video. 

The good folks at SCALAWAG are definitely worth our attention and support!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

As others see us -- Damon Winter and Laura Caulk in the American South

Documentary photographers from major newspapers have been at work recently in the American South.Their work is now available on line.

Pulitzer-Prize winning NY Times photographer Damian Winter (see 3 images, directly above, directly below, and two images below)  covered Mardi Gras in Mobile, Alabama for the Times.

Winter's work, along with a story about the history of Carnival in Mobile and the larger Gulf Coast, is now available here on the NY Times website. 

London Guardian photographer Lauren Caulk (see images directly below and two images below)  covered the recent Daytona 500 for the Guardian's story about NASCAR and American culture.

Caulk's attention in this body of work is on the fans of NASCAR, and on the culture of the Infield, where die-hard NASCAR fans come to the races in RVs and camp out for days before the Big Race.

You can find Caulk's portfolio about life in the Infield at Daytona on the Guardian website, here.