Tuesday, March 21, 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.
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
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).
This show features work from Michna-Bales' portfolio Through Darkness to Light: Photographs along the Underground Railroad, soon to be featured in the book of that title, from the Princeton Architectural Press.
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."
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
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.
Thursday, March 9, 2017
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.
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."
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
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.
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."
Photographers featured in the Contemporary Alabama Photography show include April Dobbins, Jenny Fine, Zachary McCauley, Jerry Siegel, Chuck Hemard, Patrick Owens, Michael Meads, Marion “Pinky” Bass, Devin Lunsford, Celestia Morgan, and Jared Ragland.
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
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
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.
Aline Smithson and her colleagues at the exceptionally fine Lenscratch blog have continued their exploration of these various (not-so-united, perhaps) United States in the States Project.
This project seems invariably to identify a single state, then identify an overall curator who assembles 6 or so photographers to share portfolios of their work.
The goal of the States Project, according to Lenscratch, is to provide a way of organizing a survey of contemporary photography that seeks to document the "countless stories [yet] to be told, new and innovative ways of working to explore, and photographic voices yet to be heard."
What binds these portfolios together seems more to be who knows whom, so Lenscratch seeks photographers who then choose work by other photographers "who are in close proximity."
Ostensibly what is being documented here is similarity of zip code, rather than commonality of vision or similarity of subject or interpretation.
So don't necessarily look at the work of photographers from the South whose work is featured in the States Project to give us a definition of what is or is not Southern photography.
Still, the South is the South, and that's our specialty. So, Southern states profiled under the States Project umbrella, since we last checked in, include Louisiana, Tennessee, Texas, and the District of Columbia.
The Louisiana entries in the States Project were curated by Vanessa Brown (see top photograph on this post), who also has a portfolio of her work as part of the Louisiana Collection.
Brown has also included work by Anne George (see second photograph on this blog entry), whose portfolio of work from Louisiana is here.
Also included is work by Kevin Kline (see third photograph from the top of this blog entry), whose portfolio of work from Louisiana is here.
Also included is work by Lee Deigaard (see image directly above), whose portfolio of work from Louisiana is here.
Also included is work by Richard McCabe (see image directly above), whose portfolio of work from Louisiana is here.
Also included is work by Sean Yseult (see image directly above), whose portfolio of work from Louisiana is here.
Also included is work by Zack Smith (see image directly above), whose portfolio of work from Louisiana is here.
The Tennessee entries in the States Project were curated by Jerry Atnip (see image directly above), who also has a portfolio of his work as part of the Tennessee Collection.
Atnip has also included work by Jack Spencer (see image second from the top of this blog entry), whose portfolio of work from Tennessee is here.
Also included is work by Rachel Boillot (see image directly above), whose portfolio of work from Tennessee is here.
Also included is work by Polly Chandler (see image directly above), whose portfolio of work from Tennessee is here.
Also included is work by Mike Smith (see image third from the top of this blog entry), whose portfolio of work from Louisiana is here.
Also included is work by Aaron Hardin (see image third from the top of this blog entry), whose portfolio of work from Tennessee is here.
The Texas entries in the States Project were curated by Adam Neese (see image directly above), who also has a portfolio of his work as part of the Texas Collection.
Neese has also included work by Letitia Huckaby (see image directly above), whose portfolio of work from Texas is here.
Also included is work by Robert Collier Beam (see image directly above), whose portfolio of work from Texas is here
Also included is work by Kasumi Chow and Desiree Espada (see image directly above), whose portfolio of work from Texas is here.
Also included is work by Diane Durant (see image directly above), whose portfolio of work from Texas is here.
Also included is work by Krista Steinke (see image third from the top of this blog entry), whose portfolio of work from Texas is here.
Also included is work by Leigh Merrill (see image third from the top of this blog entry), whose portfolio of work from Texas is here.
District of Columbia
I've gotten some blowback about including the District of Columbia on this blog.
But my theory is, if you are outdoors in Washington, DC, in July or August, you have no question about what part of the USA you are in.
In addition, the District of Columbia was carved out of two slave states (Maryland and Virginia), its key government buildings were built by slaves, slaves staffed the White House during the early years of the country, and DC went through the same descent into Jim Crow that the rest of the South did after Reconstruction was prematurely ended.
So, until some of those facts change, I'm continuing to believe that DC is a part of the South. West Virginia, now that's a more complicated story.
Anyway, the District of Columbia entries in the States Project were curated by Susanah Rabb (see image directly above), who also has a portfolio of her work as part of the District of Columbia Collection.
Rabb has also included work by Jared Soares (see image directly above), whose portfolio of work from the District opf Columbia is here.
Also included is work by Tatiana Gulenkina (see image directly above), whose portfolio of work from the District is here.
Also included is work by Eman Mohammed (see image directly above), whose portfolio of work from the District is here.
Also included is work by Louie Palu (see image directly above), whose portfolio of work from the District is here.
Also included is work by Stephen Crowley (see image directly above), whose portfolio of work from the District is here.
Still more Southern states to go, for Lenscratch's States Project. We will look out for them, on the Southern Photographer.