Monday, June 29, 2015

InSight Photography Show Announced -- Images Due in July

Abbie Culbertson, Caroline Coulton, and all the other good folks at the Pastoral Counseling Centers of Tennessee are inviting submissions of digital images for their 3rd annual InSight Photography Show & Auction Photo Contest. 

This project is the major fundraiser for the PCCT, a worthy group of folks if there ever was one. 

You can learn more about the PCCT, and about this competition, if you go here:

The theme of this year's show is Southern Exposure. 

The contest is open to all photographers who reside in one of the following US states: Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Kentucky, or Virginia.

Work may be submitted starting July 1st, 2015 through August 2nd, 2015. 

The Panel of Judges -- which this year will include Jerry Atnip, an old friend of The Southern Photographer -- will select 24 finalists to exhibit their work at Nashville's Cumberland Gallery on September 12th, 2015 at the event “InSight Photography Show & Auction.” 
All selected works will be placed in the event’s silent auction, and photographers will receive 20% of the final winning bids. 
Award prizes, to be announced the evening of the event, include $300 for first place, $200 for second place, and $150 for third place winners.

Proceeds from the InSight show will go to the Pastoral Counseling Centers of Tennessee (PCCT) to support families, individuals, and couples in Middle Tennessee who are in need of affordable mental health counseling services.

You can find the Official Rules at  But the bottom line is, no entry fee for up to three (3) images. Send submissions to

What a concept! A Juried Show with No Entry Fee, with sales opportunities, and prizes. 

I'm definitely going to enter work, and I strongly encourage you to do so as well.  


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

LaToya Ruby Frazier Named Infinity Publication Award Recipient

Distinguished American -- and Honorary Southern -- Photographer LaToya Ruby Frazier (see image above) has been named by the International Center of Photography (ICP) the recipient of the 2015 Infinity Publication Award for her Aperture publication The Notion of Family.

Frazier's award citation reads, in part, "In The Notion of Family, her first book, LaToya Ruby Frazier offers an incisive exploration of the legacy of racism and economic decline in America's small towns, as embodied by her hometown of Braddock, Pennsylvania. 

"The work also considers the impact of that decline on the community and on her family, creating a statement both personal and truly political—an intervention in the histories and narratives of the region. 

"Frazier has compellingly set her story of three generations—her Grandma Ruby, her mother, and herself—against larger questions of civic belonging and responsibility. 

"The work documents her own struggles and interactions with family and the expectations of community. 

"With The Notion of Family, Frazier enlists the participation of her family—and her mother in particular. 

"In the creation of these collaborative works, Frazier reinforces the idea of art and image-making as a transformative act, a means of resetting traditional power dynamics and narratives, both those of her family and those of the community at large."

Recipients of all the Infinity Awards by for 2015 were honored on Thursday, April 30th, 2015, at a gala at Pier Sixty, Chelsea Piers, in New York City. 

The Infinity Awards are widely regarded as among the highest honors for excellence in photography.

In addition to the Infinity Award, Frazier was also named a TED Fellow for 2015.the idea of art and image-making as a transformative act, a means of resetting traditional power dynamics and narratives, both those of her family and those of the community at large."You can see her TED Talk here.  

In 2014, Frazier was also named the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship based on her "prior achievement and exceptional promise" as a photographer.  

You can see more of her work here, from the LENS blog of the NY Times. You can find reviews of Frazier's work here.

Frazier does fine work, addressing issues central to the American South as well as to the rest of the nation. 

This is a time in the American South of deep grief, of horror at the awful deeds we have witnessed, and of at least some signs of refusal to continue with the casual tolerance of bigotry we have been willing to indulge in ourselves. 

It is, I hope, a good time to reaffirm that a photographer can use "art and image-making as a transformative act, a means of resetting traditional power dynamics and narratives, both those of her family and those of the community at large."


Monday, June 22, 2015

Asheville's Castell Gallery -- the Final Word

"When a gallery pulls in artists, collectors and enthusiast from all over the country, as Castell Photography Gallery so often did, it creates a richer experience for everyone involved. 

"It raises the caliber of works being shown and created here in Asheville, boosts our credibility as an arts city and it makes the art community stronger."

Well said. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

UPDATED -- Southern Photographers in the News -- Early Summer 2015

Several items of interest, liable to be updated at any time --

1. Wilson, NC-based photographer Burk Uzzle (see image above) has been featured in the New York Times LENS blog, go here.

The subject of the story is Uzzle's current show Burk Uzzle's American Puzzlesat the Steven Kasher Gallery, at 515 West 26th Street, in Manhattan, up through July 31st 2015.  

Uzzle's show has also been featured or reviewed here:

2. Charleston-based photographer Vincent Musi (see image above)  is is interviewed in the New York Times LENS blog, here, for his work for National Geographic and his role in the development of the Look3 Festival of Photography.

For more background on Musi's work in the American South, go here for a story in the Charleston Post and Courier.

3. Chapel Hill-based photographer Lori Vrba continues to have an incredibly successful 2015 (and it's just June!).

Her new book Moth Wing Diaries, from Daylight Books, has been chosen by the folks at American Photo magazine as one of the Top 10 Photo Books for Summer 2015, go here.

Her current show of her Moth Wing Diaries portfolio at the Catherine Couturier Gallery in Houston, TX has received an ecstatically positive review in the Houston Press, go here.

4. Jeff Rich has recently featured, in his Eyes on the South series for the Oxford American, Susan Berger's documentary exploration of streets named for Martin Luther King, Jr (see image above) and Greg Ruffing's photographs of yard sales. most of which were made in the American South (see image below).  

5. Last, but surely not least, for now, is the news that the Texas Photographic Society has upgraded its website, here, making it even more useful for photographers.

The TPS website is my go-to source for information about photography, fine art and otherwise, Southern and otherwise, so its great to see the good folks at TPS not only keeping up their good work but taking it to new levels of usefulness. 

That's the news for now, but there's more to come. There's always more to come, from Southern photographers.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Southern Photographers at Look3

The 2015 edition of the Look3 Festival of the Photograph was held last weekend in Charlottesville, VA.

Look3 involves a transformation of Charlottesville into a temple of photography through outdoor projections of photographs, gallery and museum shows, artists' talks and panel discussions, and multitudinous workshops. 

One has the feeling of total immersion into the practice of photography, or, as they like to put it, 3 Days of Peace, Love, and Photography.

There's a definite Southern vibe, too. Note the photograph above, from Look3's website, and consider how it captures the world of Southern university towns. 

Artists featured this year included Larry Fink, Zanele Muholi, Walter Iooss, Alec Soth, Vincent J. Musi, David Alan Harvey, Monica Haller, Sally Mann, Piotr Naskrecki, and Andrea Douglas.

If, like me, you weren't able to make this year's Festival, you can get at least  the flavor of the event by checking out the Festival's blog, here, as well as Look3's website, here, and these photographs from Photowings, here.

Look3 is definitely a Southern photography event.

This year, however, the irrepressible Lori Vrba (see image above), along with her equally irrepressible colleagues Eliot Dudik (see image below),and Mike Smith (see image second below), conspired to make the event even more deeply Southern.

They did this by working with DOMA Fine Art of Charlotte, NC to create a pop-up show of their work, called Southern Vernacular.

Vrba is the Queen of Pop-Up, having made significant waves with her pop-up shows in New Orleans and rural Georgia.
 Now, in Charlottesville, she has continued that tradition.  
Southern Vernacular brought together Vrba's visionary neo-romanticism with Smith's realism and Dudik's meditations on today's Southern landscape and its tangled history. 

DOMA Fine Art describes the Southern Vernacular Pop-Up this way: 

"By bringing together these well known photographers from Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee, the exhibition creates a dialogue between these artists who share a deep connection to the South, a unique relationship with their subjects and a precocious ability to explore and articulate southern identity."

So, there you have it, at least some of the news from Look3, in Charlottesville.


Friday, June 12, 2015

The Twilight of William Christenberry


Distinguished Southern Photographer William Christenberry is having a retrospective show of his work at the Hemphill Fine Arts Gallery in Washington, DC, up now through August 1st, 2015.

This show has special significance, and poignancy, for Christenberry, since it brings with it acknowledgement by Christenbery and his family that this Distinguished Southern Photographer has Alzheimer's Disease. 

This show, and one of his drawings upcoming in August at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Art in Montgopmery, AL, are among the last shows of his work that Christenberry will actively participate in selecting and installing.

Washington writer Neely Tucker has a fine tribute to Christenberry in this Sunday's Washington Post Magazine, go here. 

Tucker entitles the piece "After a lifetime of capturing what was, Christenberry faces what is," and gets the last work for this blog entry:

"When you’ve been looking at [Christenberry's] photographs and taking them into account, you realize they are all part of the same thing: a love letter. To home, to times gone by, to people who cannot last.

"Poem, evocation, prayer.  The work, the life, the hymn of William Andrew Christenberry."

Amen to that.