Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Christmas at Graceland -- December 2017

In the words of Paul Simon, "I have reason to believe we all shall be received in Graceland."*

Best wishes for a joyous Holiday season to Southern photographers and Southern photography fans everywhere. 

Thank you for your interest in The Southern Photographer, and especially for your kind words of support for this blog during the past year.

I know I'm a bit behind right now in chronicling the world of fine art photography in the American South. 

Nevertheless, the Southern Photographer must now take a short break, while yr humble blogger attends to other professional and personal responsibilities.

We look forward to resuming our chronicle after the 1st of January 2018

In the meanwhile, remember that Christmas is a season, not just a day, and the season of Christmas is 12 days long.  

So its Christmas from the eve of December 25th of 2017 all the way through until Twelfth Night, January 5th, 2018. 

*Graceland, the home of Elvis, who became famous by appropriating the music of Arthur Crudup and Big Mama Thornton. They wrote the music, and he made the money.  

But what he spent it on was this tacky McMansion in Memphis. 

That's one of the things I believe about the South -- it can set you free and break your heart, all at the same time. 

Happy holidays, everyone!

Friday, December 8, 2017

SOUTHBOUND -- Upcoming at Charleston's Halsey Institute

Mark your calendars now for October 19th, 2018, to attend the opening of SOUTHBOUND: Photographs of and about the New South, at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art and the City Gallery at Waterfront Park, in downtown Charleston.

This will be an exceptional -- and exceptionally important -- group show, featuring the work of 56 photographers who are either Southerners or who have had, in the words of the show's organizers, "a sustained engagement with the South."  

Each of the photographers will be represented by four photographs, for a total of 220 photographs in the joint show. 

The goal of this show, according to co-curators Mark Sloan and Mark Long, is "to engage with and unsettle assumed narratives about this contested region by providing fresh perspectives for understanding the complex admixture of history, geography, and culture that constitutes today’s New South."

Sloan, the Director of the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, and Long, a professor of political science at the College of Charleston, envision this show as embracing "the conundrum of its name."  

They go on: "To be southbound is to journey to a place in flux, radically transformed over recent decades, yet also to the place where the past resonates most insistently in the United States. To be southbound is also to confront the weight of preconceived notions about this place, thick with stereotypes, encoded in the artistic, literary, and media records." 

They suggest the scope of their plans and the range of their ambition, thus:

"The history of the American South is among the most storied of any region in the world. As a result of the vitality of its culture and the diversity of its inhabitants—to say nothing about the salience of photography in the U.S.—the region has also come to be among the most photographed. 

"Through the exhibition, video, remappings, website, and catalogue—separately and in tandem—the Southbound project charts new courses to expanded imaginings for the twenty-first century South."

There are so many aspects to this show -- and it is so important -- that I'll need several blog posts to cover all the details. 

For now, however, please note that you can find out more about the show here. A list of all the photographers is here. Plans for the show's catalogue is here.

If you go here and scroll down until you see the heading Exhibition Prospectus, you can find more details about the show, including your opportunities for supporting the show, and the overall project. 

These opportunities include the chance to receive a print of an image by four of the show's photographers, or to schedule a personal portrait shoot with Atlanta's master portraitist Jerry Siegel.

This show will travel after its run in Charleston concludes in March of 2019. If you have influence with a gallery or museum or other exhibition space, go here as well to learn about how to book it.

I'm happy to say that the first sites for the show after Charleston include NC State University's own Gregg Museum of Art and Design, here in Raleigh, and Duke University's Power Plant Gallery, in Durham, sites that will share the show from September 5th - December 29th, 2019.

Corey Lowenstein -- RIP

Corey Lowenstein, a long-time photojournalist and documentary photographer for Raleigh's News and Observer, has died of cancer at the age of 49. 

Lowenstein never exhibited her work in galleries or other venues we seek out as fine art photographers. 

In my view, however, she was a brilliant documentary photographer and an award-winning journalist who brought to our attention the lives of Southerners we otherwise would never have known. 

Go here for the newspaper's tribute to Lowenstein, as well as for links to some examples of her work.

I knew her only briefly, some years ago, when she spoke or juried shows for our local Camera Club, but I always appreciated the way in which she regarded us as colleagues rather than the novice photographers most of us really were.  
She took our work seriously, and that helped make us better.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Southern Photographers in the News, Part One -- Late Fall 2017

Yr humble servant, the Southern Photographer, has had a very crowded fall, but is now back on the hunt for news of Southern fine art photography. Will take me some time to catch up on news from the usual sources, so please be patient.

Her are a few items with which to begin:

Chapel Hill-based photographer William Ferris (see image above) has published his latest book, The South in Color, from the UNC Press, and has been interviewed on Lenscratch by Aline Smithson, go here. 

Mississippi-based photographer Betty Press (see image above) has work up now in two group shows, CURRENTS 2017 (the New Orleans Photo Alliance Showcase), up at the Ogden Museum in New Orleans through February 4th, 2018, and the Small Works show at the Center for Fine Art Photogrpahy in Fort Collins, CO, up now through December 16th, 2017. 

Press has also had solo shows of work from her Finding Mississippi portfolio at the Eula Bass Lewis Gallery in Ellisville, MS and the Jefferson Davis Fine Arts Gallery in Gulfport, MS. 

Iowa-based photographer Jeff Rich (see image above) has work from his Watershed portfolio now up at the Middlebury College Museum of Art, as part of their group show Land and Lens: Photographers Envision the Environment, until December 10th, 2017.

Rich also had work in the exhibition Landscapes and Interventions at the Hathaway Gallery in Atlanta, Georgia, earlier this fall.

Dallas-based photographer Brandon Thibodeaux (see image above) continues to have a wonderful year, publishing his book In that Land of Perfect Day, with Red Hook Press.

This book was the subject of a feature story in Photo District News, go here,  and was subsequently named one of Photo District News' Notable Photography Books of 2017, go here.

Thibodeaux's work was also featured in the November issue of Garden and Gun Magazine, go here

Other titles of interest to us on PDN's List of Notable Books include the following:

Charlottesville, VA-based photographer Matt Eich's book Carry Me Ohio, a portrait of life in western Ohio where residents struggle to recover from the end of mining in the area.

Lexington, KY photographer Ralph Eugene Meatyard is at the center of Brian Sholis' Kentucky Renaissance: The Lexington Camera Club and Its Community, 1954–1974.

Photographer Grey Villet's book; The Lovings: An Intimate Portrait, about the Virginia couple whose relationship led to the landmark ruling ending bans on interracial marriage. 

Photographer Shane Lavalette's book of photographs made in the South, One Sun, One Shadow.

Congratulations to all these folks for their notable achievements! We look forward to keeping track as their careers develop. 

More news to come, from The Southern Photographer. 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Dale Niles is Having a Wonderful 2017, and It's Still Only December!

Fayette County, GA-based photographer Dale Niles (see image above) is having a wonderful 2017. 

Niles' photograph Pardon? (see image above) received the People's Choice award, as well as Third Prize overall at this year's Slow Exposures show in Concord, GA.   

She also received honorable mention in the International Photography Awards competition, in the fine art collage category.

Niles' work was also selected for recognition through the Rfotofolio Call for Entry process, and has been the subject of a feature story and interview on the website Rfotofolio, go here.

Her work has also appeared in the most recent SHOTS magazine, go here.

She also had her work included in the Lensculture Emerging Talent Competition Gallery; in Rfotofolio's Depth of Field exhibition at the Center for Photographic Art in Carmel, CA; and in the Southeast Center for Photography exhibition Other Worlds.

Among Niles' other awards this year include First Prize for work in the Summer Vacation show at the Santa Fe Photographers Gallery; a Gold Award from the Moscow International Foto Awards; second place in the L.A. Curator International-Textures show; and Honorable Mentions in shows at the A Smith Gallery in Johnson City, Texas and in the International Photography Awards competition, in the Nature category. 

Niles also had work in a Duo show with Donna Rosser at the Lamar Arts Center in Barnesville, GA and in a solo show at the Rankin Gallery in Columbus, GA. 

She also had work in the Summer Show at the SXSE Gallery, in Molena, GA; in the Atlanta Photography Group shows in Atlanta;and in Puppy Love, a show at the Hathaway Gallery in Atlanta held to benefit charities that support rescued dogs.

Now, I'm confident this is a partial list of Niles' achievements this year, but even on this evidence, its been an exceptional year for her. 

And, who knows, we have 4 weeks of December still to go. 

Congratulations to Dale Niles for all this fine recognition -- The Southern Photographer looks forward to hearing of even more good news in the months and years ahead.

William Eggleston in the Guardian, Fall 2017

Distinguished Southern Photographer William Eggleston (see image above by Steve Pyke) continues to garner attention because of the new CD of piano music he's released this fall. 

Eggleston has recently been the subject of a feature story in the Guardian newspaper from the UK, go here.

Writing for the Guardian, provides us with an overview of Eggleston's career both as a photographer and a musician, based on extensive interviews with Eggleston. 

Well worth having a look!