Thursday, July 25, 2013

UPDATED -- Chris Hondros Documentary on Kickstarter

Raleigh, NC-based  photographer Chris Hondros is to be the subject of a documentary film about his life.

Hondros, who was killed in 2011 while photographing in Libya, had a long career as a photojournalist in some of the most dangerous places in the world.

His work appeared on the covers of magazines such as Newsweek and The Economist, and on the front pages of most major American newspapers, including The New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times.

Hondros received dozens of awards for his work, including multiple honors from World Press Photo in Amsterdam, the International Pictures of the Year Competition, the Visa Pour L'Image in France, and the John Faber award from the Overseas Press Club.

In 2006 Hondros won the Robert Capa Gold Medal, war photography's highest honor, for his work in Iraq. He was also named a 2007 "Hero of Photography" by American Photo magazine.

Hondros' work has also been the subject of retrospective shows in a number of museums and galleries, including the Gregg Museum at NC State University, Hondros' alma mater.

Now, Hondros' long-time friend and fellow journalist Greg Campbell, together with Academy Award winning documentary filmmaker Daniel Junge, are making a documentary film about Hondros, to be called Hondros: A Life in Frames.

You can learn more about this project on its website, here, and you can support it, if you wish, through Kickstarter, here. 

Campbell has just raised the goal for his Kickstarter campaign from $50, 000 to $100, 000. 

I've signed up as a supporter, and strongly urge you to do so as well.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Jeremy Underwood Wins Lens Culture's Student Photography Award

Jeremy Underwood, a student at the University of Houston's School of Art, has won Lens Culture's Student Photography Award for 2013, with work from his Human Debris portfolio.

Underwood builds sculptures out of debris he collects in the waterways of Houston, then photographs them with the waterways as a backdrop.

Lens Culture says that "Jeremy Underwood's work embodies our complicated relationship with nature and the contemporary landscape. His photographs focus on the tension between nature and culture, shaping these physical spaces."

Underwood describes his work as "a commentary on what humans leave in the natural landscape.

"The project spotlights the environmental condition of Houston’s waterways through the building of site-specific sculptures assembled out of harvested debris collected from the beach.

"Each found material lends itself to a new creation, encompassing the former life of the debris into each sculpture. These objects are simply artifacts to support the work, photographed in interaction with the landscape, then left to be discovered. 

"This work challenges viewers to reflect upon our consumer culture, the relationship we have with our environment, and the pervasiveness of pollution."

Underwood's images -- and the process he follows to create them -- redeem, at least to a degree, the conditions and behaviors he documents.

Good to see he is getting this kind of affirmation for his work.

Friday, July 19, 2013

The State of American Photography Today at CAM Raleigh

Raleigh's Contemporary Art Museum (CAM), at 409 West Martin Street, in Raleigh's Warehouse District, is quickly becoming a major cultural resource for the Southeast.

This is especially true for contemporary fine art photography, as two shows now up at CAM clearly demonstrate. 

Only one of the ten photographers whose work is on exhibit in these shows is a Southerner, but the quality of the work on offer is extremely high and the approaches to photography they take are very diverse.

If one wanted an introduction to the state of fine art photographic practice in America at the moment, this is an exceptionally good place to find it.

In the main gallery at CAM is a retrospective of recent work by Melanie Schiff, from her The Stars Are Not Wanted Now portfolio (see images above).

Schiff's work has been included in major shows, including the Whitney Biennial (2008), as well as shows at MoMA PS1, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, and, as they say, all the major museums and galleries across Europe and the United States.

Gallery 2 at CAM offers us Currents -- a diverse gathering of work by nine emerging photographers, including Michele Abeles, Matthew Baum, Matthew Brandt, Debbie Grossman, Carolyn Janssen, Maciek Jasik, Sarah Anne Johnson, Chris McCaw, and Arne Svenson.

The work here ranges widely across subject matter, from Baum's triptychs of Civil War battlefields (see image above) to Svenson's photographs of people he observed through the windows of their apartment building across the street from his in New York City (see image below).

The subject of Grossman's photography is photography itself, specifically photographs made by Farm Security Administration photographer Russell Lee in the New Mexico town of Pie Town, in the 1930's. She takes his images and in her words "reimagines" them in Photoshop, so in My Pie Town, Grossman's Pie Town, all the inhabitants are women (see image below).

There is also a wide range of photographic techniques on offer, from straight photography to Janssen's large composite images (see image below) to Johnson's hybrids of photography and painting.  Janssen, with her MFA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is, by the way, the only photographer here with Southern connections.

Chris McCaw's and Matthew Brandt's work engages the physical world directly. Brandt photographs bodies of water and then soaks his images in water from the lake, river, or ocean he has photographed. McCaw lets the sun literally burn holes or gashes in his film, then prints these direct traces of light's power (see image below).

All of the images in Currents are on loan from the collection of Allen Thomas, a North Carolina photography collector who himself has become a cultural treasure. The vast depth and range of his collection of photographs is matched only by his generosity in loaning it to museums and galleries.

Like CAM, where this work will be up through October 7th, 2013. It is well worth your making the trip to downtown Raleigh, to take it all in.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Photography in North Carolina -- Midsummer 2013

Several North Carolina-based photographers have shows coming up in major venues in the coming weeks and months.

Raleigh-based photographer Ian Dunn will have a show of his portraits (see image above) of men remembering their deceased fathers (a perennial Southern concern) opening at the Flanders Gallery in Raleigh on August 2nd and up at the Flanders through August 30th. 

Chapel Hill-based photographer Susan Harbage Page will have a show of her work from her USA-Mexico Border Project (see image above)  at Duke University's Nasher Museum of Art, opening July 20th and up through December 1st, 2013. 

Page will give a talk about her work at the Nasher on Thursday, August 1st, at 5:30 pm.

Raleigh-based photographer Larry Earley will have a show of his black-and-white images (see image above)  of North Carolina grasslands in the Nature Art Gallery at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh, opening Friday, August 2nd.

Earley's new book of black and white photographs, The Workboats of Core Sound: Stories and Photographs of a Changing World,  will be published by the University of North Carolina Press in October of 2013.

 Charlottesville, Virginia based photographer (but transplanted Tar Heel) Pamela Pecchio has a show of her photographs (see imagea above) at the North Carolina Museum of Art, now up through July 28th, 2013.

Opening in November,  Winston-Salem based photographer Heather Evans Smith will have a show of work from her portfolioThe Heart and the Heavy (see image above), opening for a flash exhibition somewhere in Atlanta on November 1st and then moving to the Jennifer Schwartz Gallery, where it will be up through December

Oh, last but certainly not least, while we are catching up with North Carolinians, Chapel Hill-based photographer Lori Vrba (see self-portrait above) has been interviewed for the online photography magazine 121 Clicks, and you can read her interview here.

Richard McCabe in SPOT

Richard McCabe is the Curator of Photography for the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans.

As such, he's been responsible for some outstanding photography shows at the Ogden Museum in the past few years, including their current show Into the Light: Photographs from the Permanent Collection of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, now up through January 5th, 2014.

Now McCabe is interviewed by Susie Kalil in the latest issue of SPOT (see cover image above),  the magazine of the Houston Center for Photography.

The interview is entitled New Southern Photography, and its on pages 18-26 of SPOT.

McCabe is really talking about photography at the Ogden Musem, but he has lots of thoughtful and insightful things to say about Southern photography in general. 

For instance, McCabe finds that Southern photography has central themes, including "sense of place, identity, a reverence for history, family, the burden of history and relationship to the land."  He values the perspective of non-Southerners who work in the South and who, as he says, "let you see the place with fresh eyes."

McCabe discusses the history of photography in the South, including subjects, styles, techniques, the place of Eggleston, Christenberry, and Mann, and the folks whom he believes are doing good work today. 

This is an exceptionally helpful interview, not to be missed. And I am deeply grateful to the fine Southern photographer Don Norris for bringing it to my attention.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

UPDATED -- Donna Rosser is Having a Great 2013, and Its Only July

Fayette County, Georgia-based photographer Donna Rosser is having a great 2013, and its only July.

So far this year she has had work in two shows at Photoplace in Vermont -- Birds: Real and Imagined, The Magic of Light, and Lines Crossed, Walked, and Otherwise.

She has also had work in The Family show at the Detroit Center for Contemporary Photography, the Emergence show at Lightbox in Oregon, two international photograph competitions (TPS21 and TPS22) sponsored by the Texas Photographic Society, and the Center Collection Show, Summer 2013 at The Center for Fine Art Photography in Colorado.

Rosser's image East Beach, St Simon's Island (see image above) was featured in  le journal de la photographie for 7.24.2013.

She has been published in SHOTS magazine (Issue 119). Her image Serendipity (see image at the top of this blog entry) took third place in the Santa Fe Workshops competition "Animals."

This image has also been juried into the international competition the Photo Democracy awards, and will be on exhibit in the Photo Democracy Summer Show this August at Chris Beetles Fine Photographs Gallery in London this August.

Serendipity has also been selected as one of the images for Open to Interpretation's volume on Love and Lust, to be published in 2014. 

Rosser also has shows upcoming. She will have a show (with Anne Berry) at the Cochran Gallery, at  4 East Lafayette Square, in LaGrange, Georgia, around the corner from the LaGrange Art Museum,  featuring work from her Barbie Beach portfolio (see image above). This show opens with a reception on August 23rd, and will be up through the end of September.

In October, she will have a show up at the Dogwood Gallery in Tyrone,Georgia (with Dale Niles), as part of Atlanta Celebrates Photography 2013.

With all this success with her work, and with her growing reputation as a fine art photographer both regionally, nationally, and internationally, Donna Rosser is definitely a Southern Photographer We Watch Out For.

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Brooks Museum in Memphis is Having a Photography Competition

The Brooks Museum in Memphis, Tennessee is having a photography competition.

Photographers must submit work that defines, "What is your South?"

Work must be submitted by midnight tonight, July 14th, however, and it must be submitted via Twitter.

So I'm not sure how seriously to take this. If you are interested, however, check out full details here.

This contest is in connection with a show of paintings by Carroll Cloar at the Brooks entitled The Crossroads of Memory: Carroll Cloar and the American South.

I am not familiar with Cloar's work, but then I live in North Carolina and don't get out much. 

Updated -- Walker Evans at the Museum of Modern Art

The Museum of Modern Art in NYC is opening a show of photographs by Walker Evans on July 19th, up through January 26th, 2014.

This show, Walker Evans American Photographs, celebrates the 75th anniversary of the show Walker Evans American Photographs held at MoMA in 1938, which was the first one-person photography exhibition at MoMA.

There is a fine review of this show in the New York Times for July 18, 2013 by  Ken Johnson.

This show was a landmark event in the recognition of photography as a medium for the creation of fine art. Since so much of Evans' work in this show was made in the American South, this show had a great deal to do with creating an image of the South in American culture.

That event in 1938 was accompanied by the publication of a catalogue for the show called Walker Evans American Photographs. The publication of this book was itself a landmark event in the development of the book as a medium for displaying a portfolio of photographs as a coherent work of art.

MoMA says, "Together and separately, through these projects Walker Evans created a collective portrait of the Eastern United States during a decade of profound transformation—one that coincided with the flood of everyday images, both still and moving, from an expanding mass culture and the construction of a Modernist history of photography."

The program for this year's show, called Walker Evans: American Photographs. Seventy-Fifth Anniversary Edition, is a new edition of the original program which "re-creates the original as closely as possible with the aid of new digital printing technology, making the landmark publication available for a new generation."

This show is definitely worth seeing, if you are in NYC this fall. The catalogue is available through the MoMA Store, here.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Kiernan Gallery, also Shameless Self-Promotion

 Kat Kiernan at the Kiernan Gallery in Lexington, Virginia has asked me to jury a show for her this summer of street photography.

I'm looking forward to having lots of strong work to review. The closing date for submissions in July 25th, 2013, so you still have time to get your work in.

Here is where you go to submit your work.

One of the rewards of agreeing to jury a show for Kat at the Kiernan Gallery is that I got to be interviewed by Kat about this blog, and about Southern photography, and about photography in general.

Some of you, my faithful readers, may be interested in what I had to say to Kat, and so you can read a transcript of our conversation on Kat's blog for the Kiernan Gallery, here.

Keep those entries to the street photography show coming, folks. The mix of old and new that constitutes today's urban -- and small-town -- South remains seriously under-documented.

Garland and Reynolds on One One Thousand -- July 2013

Santa Cruz, California-based photographer Terri Garland and Nashville, Tennessee-based photographer Tamara Reynolds offer compelling portfolios of their work in the July issue of One: One Thousand, the online magazine of Southern photography.

Both photographers use the resources of the photographer's craft to engage head-on the enigmas and contradictions central to Southern history and social and cultural identity. In the process, they make work that is both intensely personal and powerfully insightful.

One of the intriguing things about both these portfolios is their deeply personal character.

Garland (see images above and below), although she lives and teaches in California, defines her artistic career as specializing in "photographing the social and cultural fabric of the American South." That's a remarkable level of focus and commitment.

Reynolds pursues a career as a commercial photographer, but she clearly devotes a great deal of time and energy to her fine art work, describing it in terms of deeply personal engagement, as "about resolving conflicted feelings," about "compassion," "acceptance," and "courage."

I'm going to quote these photographers' statements at length in this piece and show some of their images. I admire what they are doing, and feel the need to get out of the way so they can speak for themselves.

Garland says she is concerned with exploring myth, exploring the signs and symbols in which we as Southerners express understandings that both . Her triptychs juxtapose images of the land, of religion, of the people in ways that set up haunting conversations.

Here is what she says:

"Most regions have either embraced or been assigned their own distinct mythologies. Comprised of historical fact, folklore, and assumptions that are frequently romanticized, these elements combine to shape and color our perceptions of a particular area. The South bares its contradictions perhaps better than most regions. For many years, I have been drawn to investigate and pursue with curiosity the social landscape of the southern states with an emphasis on photographing the signs and symbols of ethnocentricity as manifested in white supremacist ideology. While many of these pictures were solidly situated within the documentary tradition, my greater interest lay in revealing the fragile, often invisible, thread of humanity that connects us all, despite the fear of difference.

"In early 2010, I began to assemble triptychs from photographs made in the Delta from 2007 to the present time. With a genesis born from various writing projects, I have been drawn to make narrative sequences that embrace my interests in the dualities of life and death, desire and constraint, and the secular and the sacred. I include the look of place, the color of skin and the nagging issues of cultural separation that sometimes scream and sometimes relax and dissolve.

"The pictures were always made as singular images; my decision to combine some into triptychs occurred later, back at home where I would work to visually recreate a particular memory of my experience. Some of the groupings, especially those comprised of three horizontals, remind me of the vast flatness of the Delta that one sees through the windshield of one's car while driving — less like panoramas (although they are long) — but more so a combination of things seen and contemplated, the droning sound of the inescapable heat and the fears and delights that can be encountered on lonely country roads."

Reynolds (see image above and images below) talks about her work as a photographer specifically in terms of addressing personal issues about her identity as a Southerner.

"This project is about resolving my conflicted feelings I've experienced as a Southerner. I love the South, but I have sometimes been embarrassed to claim it as my home. I chose to explore the South on back roads, across railroad tracks, into hollows. In so doing, I found I could appreciate my home despite its failings.

"Born in the South in 1960, I was undoubtedly affected by one of the momentous and impassioned periods of the country's Southern history. Contradictions were everywhere. There were too many unanswered questions, confusing arguments and mixed messages for a young child to comprehend and reason. There were deep chasms that divided black from white, rich from poor, neighbor from neighbor. We were a region riven with extremes and the bearers of a cultural isolation that sometimes pronounced itself with self-righteous pride and a willful rebelliousness.

"The South alone carries the burden of having fought for and been completely defeated before relinquishing a way of life so rich but yet so ugly it nearly divided the country. On one hand, I have admiration for Southern courage and perseverance while it courageously fought against a tremendous social and financial transformation while paying an enormous price; on the other, I feel ashamed by its cowardly and stubborn justification of a social system based on abuse and inequality. 

"I cringe at how the country has stereotyped the South as hillbilly, religious fanatic, and racist. Although there is evidence of it, I have also learned that there is a restrained dignity, a generous affection, an infectious humor, a trusting nature, and a loyalty to family that Southerners possess intrinsically. We are a singular place, rich in culture, strong through adversity. We are a people that have persevered under the judgment of the rest of the world. Ridiculed, we trudge carrying the sins of the country seemingly alone.

 "There is more to be revealed under the surface of things. Like kudzu, things may appear different from above than what lies beneath. While questioning my appreciation of the South, I found the beauty that is within. And through compassion I have come to accept." 

Garland and Reynolds address here the most basic concerns about making meaning out of the contradictions and challenges of life in the contemporary South.

My thanks to them for their work, and to the folks at One: One Thousand for bringing it to us.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Emerging Southern Photographers at Rebekah Jacob Gallery

Rebekah Jacob is getting very positive responses to her current show Somewhere in the South | A Celebration of Southern Photographers, up at her gallery in Charleston, SC through July 31st, 2013. 

You can read some of this affirming response here, from the Charleston City Paper.

As part of this show, Jacob invited emerging Southern photographers to submit work for an online exhibition, Somewhere in the South: Emerging Photographers, which is now up here, also through July 31st.

Photographers selected for this show include Aaron Canipe (see image above) and the following:  

 Jen Ervin 

Amanda Greene 

David Hicks

Mark Stetler

Many thanks to Jacob for bringing these fine shooters to our attention.

Grace Elizabeth Hale on William Eggleston

Grace Elizabeth Hale, Professor of History and Director of the Program in American Studies at the University of Virginia, has published a very fine, thoughtful, extended discussion of William Eggleston's show At War with the Obvious, now up at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, through July 28th, 2013..

You can find her essay on the website of Southern Spaces, the journal of Southern culture published at Emory University, here.

Hale discusses at length photography of the South, juxtaposing the work of Walker Evans with that of Eggleston, and, of course, black and white versus color image-making. But she is more interested in Eggleston's interpretation of the South, his perspective on his subjects, the ethical implications of his work, and his place in American culture..

She concludes, "Eggleston's South is not the folksy land beloved by music fans and folklorists for its "authentic" way of life and rustic charm, its old buildings and old sounds and old signs. It is not the civil rights South, full of earnest and moral activism.

"Here, threat lurks not under a Klan hood but inside a red room where a drug-addicted dentist lives his last days. A tricycle is monumental but also ominous, and a Confederate flag can work as a compositional device.

"Eggleston's South is a place where the horrors of history suggest no solution, no forward motion in anything as orderly as progress. The current Eggleston revival suggests that this South makes sense to contemporary art lovers (at least) in our own historical moment."

This is exceptionally thoughtful and insightful writing, well worthy of our attention.

While you are at the Southern Spaces website, also check out some of their other  discussions of photography and the South, including Hale's  "Wounds, Vines, Scratches, and Names: Signs of Return in Southern Photography" (2011).

Also check out Scott Matthews, "Flatlands in the Outlands: Photographs from the Delta and Bayou," also from 2011, and William Christenberry's "Place, Time, and Memory," from 2007.

Christenberry, William. "Place, Time, and Memory." Southern Spaces, September 28, 2007.
Hale, Grace Elizabeth. "Wounds, Vines, Scratches, and Names: Signs of Return in Southern Photography." Southern Spaces, February 23, 2011.
Matthews, Scott L. "Flatlands in the Outlands: Photographs from the Delta and Bayou." Southern Spaces, December 12, 2011.
- See more at:
Christenberry, William. "Place, Time, and Memory." Southern Spaces, September 28, 2007.
Hale, Grace Elizabeth. "Wounds, Vines, Scratches, and Names: Signs of Return in Southern Photography." Southern Spaces, February 23, 2011.
Matthews, Scott L. "Flatlands in the Outlands: Photographs from the Delta and Bayou." Southern Spaces, December 12, 2011.
- See more at:
Eggleston's South is not the folksy land beloved by music fans and folklorists for its "authentic" way of life and rustic charm, its old buildings and old sounds and old signs. It is not the civil rights South, full of earnest and moral activism. Here, threat lurks not under a Klan hood but inside a red room where a drug-addicted dentist lives his last days. A tricycle is monumental but also ominous, and a Confederate flag can work as a compositional device. Eggleston's South is a place where the horrors of history suggest no solution, no forward motion in anything as orderly as progress. The current Eggleston revival suggests that this South makes sense to contemporary art lovers (at least) in our own historical moment. - See more at:
Eggleston's South is not the folksy land beloved by music fans and folklorists for its "authentic" way of life and rustic charm, its old buildings and old sounds and old signs. It is not the civil rights South, full of earnest and moral activism. Here, threat lurks not under a Klan hood but inside a red room where a drug-addicted dentist lives his last days. A tricycle is monumental but also ominous, and a Confederate flag can work as a compositional device. Eggleston's South is a place where the horrors of history suggest no solution, no forward motion in anything as orderly as progress. The current Eggleston revival suggests that this South makes sense to contemporary art lovers (at least) in our own historical moment. - See more at:

Shannon Johnstone at Design Box

Sometimes art is about technique, or style, or composition. Sometimes its about beauty or information.

And sometimes its about saving lives and changing attitudes.

Raleigh, NC-based photographer Shannon Johnstone's current show Landfill Dogs at Raleigh's Designbox features beautifully composed and rendered images -- of dogs. The show is up at Designbox, at 307 West Martin Street, in Raleigh's warehouse district, through July 26th, 2013.

What gives all these images a special energy is that when these images were made these dogs were abandoned dogs, living in Wake County's animal shelter and facing euthanasia if they did not soon find a home.

Johnstone is active in the movement for the humane treatment of animals, especially in regard to the problems that arise from animal overpopulation. Dogs and cats are cute and cuddly, except when people tire of them. At that point, they become, as Johnstone puts it, "just another waste stream."

These images are part of a project Johnstone has taken on to bring awareness to the problem of animal overpopulation and to give a few of the dogs who have been abandoned by their owners one final chance at a home and a life of love and care.

She has been photographing dogs from Wake County's animal shelter since late 2012 -- one a week -- and posting her photographs to a Facebook page, here. Her images bring attention to the plight of these animals.

She makes these images at the site of one of Wake County's landfills, this one a site closed and made into parkland. She chose this site, she says, for two reasons.

First, because animals that are abandoned and wind up in the animal shelter will eventually be put to death, their bodies ending up buried in a landfill.  In Wake County the animal shelter falls under the same management as the landfill. This government structure reflects our carelessness with pets; we in effect throw them away when they cease to please us.

The second reason is that the landfill where Johnstone photographs these animals is no longer an active landfill, but one that has been turned into parkland. This repository for trash has become a pleasant place to be.

To Johnstone, the site of her work "offers a metaphor of hope," since "a place of trash . . . has been transformed into a place of beauty." Johnstone hopes people who see her images will see "the beauty in these homeless, unloved creatures."

For at least some of these dogs,  Johnstone's work has made a difference.  most of the ones she has photographed have found homes.

 Johnstone's work is ongoing.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

SxSE for Summer 2013

The latest issue (Volume VIII, Issue 4) of South by South East (SxSE) Photography Magazine is now out for midsummer of 2013, and it has all the fine photography and engaging features we have come to expect from SxSE.

Editor Nancy McCrary, for this issue, has called upon Jerry Atnip as Guest Editor, and he brings us an issue devoted to travel photography, showing the work of Southern photographers working outside the south and 3 non-Southern photographers working in the South.

The Southerners traveling the world include Chip Cooper, Diana H. Bloomfield (see image above), Joseph Hoyt, Marilyn Suriani, Mark Cáceres, Mary Anne Mitchell, Owen Murphy, Rob Amberg, Robert Stevens, Vicki Hunt, Billy Weeks, Paul Hagedorn, and Willard Pate.

The photographers with their eyes on the South include Simon Lokwang, Tommaso Spinelli, and Jennifer Glass Andersen. 

Well, actually, Andersen is a bit of a ringer here, given that she was born in Florida. Although she now lives in Denmark. You can learn more about Anderson and her work in an interview she did for EMAHO, here.

But let that pass.

In addition to all this fine photography there are all the interviews, reviews, discussions, and conversations we have come to expect, and value, from SxSE.

And you can have access to all this fine -- and award-winning -- work for a very reasonable fee, a fee made even more reasonable at the moment because they are having an anniversary sale on on-line subscriptions.

To take advantage of this special offer, go here.

Don't put it off any longer.

You know you should subscribe.

You know it, you really do.

Jack Spencer at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts

Nashville's Frist Center for the Visual Arts, at 919 Broadway, in downtown Nashville, is having a major show of the work of Nashville-based photographer Jack Spencer, opening this Friday, July 12th, and up through October 13th, 2013.

The show is entitled Jack Spencer: Beyond the Surface, and features a generous selection of Spencer's neo-romantic images. Spencer's subjects are often spare, although they are elegantly situated in the frame.

What makes Spencer's work arresting is the way in which he intercedes, between the surface of the image and the subject of the image, with light and texture and tone, to reinterpret the subject for us.

Here is how the Frist Center describes Spencer's work:

"For more than twenty years, Nashville, Tennessee, photographer Jack Spencer has created a world of shadow and light, theme and variation, beauty and intrigue.

"His use of rich, subtle tones, evocative lighting, and otherworldly colors takes us beyond photography as a subjective mirror or window, in which meaning derives from the interplay between the artist’s viewpoint and the tangible surface of the subject.

"In his approach to photography, Spencer emphasizes invention over documentation. The medium’s ambiguous relationship between fact and fiction is well suited for the exploration of his own unconscious terrain.

"Many photographers seek to unveil their subjects, to suggest truth behind the visual fact.

"Spencer’s approach is to veil the observed surface of reality with beauty, mystery, and a keen awareness of photography’s capacity to confound our sense of time.

There is strong work here. If you cannot make it to Nashville for the show, the Vanderbilt University Press is publishing a catalog, on which more here.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Updates on Submissions, Shows, Crusades, Talks -- Early Summer 2013

Some updates on what's happening with photographers in the American South early into this summer season

1. The Kiernan Gallery in Lexington, VA is having a show later this summer of  street photography, and Kat Kiernan at the Gallery has asked me to jury this show. I'm looking forward to having lots of strong work to review.

The closing date for submissions in July 25th, 2013, so you still have time to get your work in.

Here is where you go to submit your work.

 2. Still on the subject of galleries, Atlanta gallery owner Jennifer Schwartz continues her reports from Critical Mass on her blog, here. 

3. Schwartz and her faithful VW Bus have made it across the country conducting a Crusade for Art, especially photography. Her Crusade, funded in part by a Kickstarter Grant, brought fine art photography to cities across the country.

You can catch up on the Crusade on  Schwartz' Crusade blog, here. 

4. Chapel Hill-based photographer Lori Vrba is giving a talk in Charlotte. NC, at the UNC-Charlotte Center City Building, 320 E. Ninth St., in Uptown Charlotte. That's in Downtown Charlotte, to everyone who isn't from Charlotte.

Vrba's talk is sponsored by Charlotte's Light Factory, and is on Thursday, July 18th, 2013, at 7:00 pm.

5. Jeff Rich continues to identify photographers for the Oxford American'sEyes on the South feature on the Oxford American website include the following:

Kate Wimmer

Delaney Nolan

Trish Gibson

Bruce Jackson

Daniel George

6. And finally, for now, the Look3 Festival of the Photograph is officially over for this year, I learned last week that some of the shows are still up in Charlottesville, and you can see videos of all the talks and much, much more on the Look3 website, here.