Sunday, September 27, 2015

Betty Press is Having a Splendid 2015 -- and its only September

Hattiesburg, MS photographer Betty Press (see image above) is having a fine 2015, and its only September.

Already this year, Press has had work from her portfolio Mississippi: The Place Where I Live included in the fall 2015  issue of SxSE Magazine and on the blog feature shoot (see image above).

In early summer, she was recognized with an Award of Excellence for her work in the Mississippi Collegiate Art Faculty Juried Exhibition at the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, in Laurel, MS.

Press also had work in the 2015 edition of the SlowExposures photography show, which opened this weekend in Pike County, Georgia, and was named one of the Award Winners for her image Cake Walk (see above). 

Press also had work in Ain't Bad Magazine's retrospective issue From Here On, published in May of 2015, and has had work accepted for exhibition in Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, in a show that opened September 25th and will be up until November 18th, 2015. 

Press will join Katie Archibald-Woodward, Mark Caceres, Bhargava Chiluveru, Frank Fuerst,  Debra Jansen, Ning Ma, Jamie Maciuszek, Cooper Joel Penn, Sandra-Lee Phipps, Lais Pontes, Jessica Rech, Jerry Siegel, Todd Suttles, and Michael ten Pas in this show, sponsored by the Atlanta Photography Group.   

Also in Atlanta, Press will have work in the Mary Stanley Selects exhibition, opening

Press's work in Mississippi will also be featured in F-Stop Magazine in October -- watch for that! 

This work in Mississippi has also been featured in RfotoFolio, which included an engaging interview exploring Press's long career as a photographer.

Here we learn that Press comes to her current work from a unique perspective, having been a photographer in Africa for years before coming to the heart of the African diaspora in Mississippi.

While in Africa, we learn, Press worked as a free-lance photographer, where she made some of the iconic images (see above) of our time.

Press also did personal work in Africa (see image above), work which this year earned her a place on the list of finalists for the Critical Mass Competition in 2015.

We are fortunate to have Press at work in Mississippi. 

Her exceptional eye, fine skills as a photographer, and unique perspective on the South she now calls home all suggest she has much more to show us as she continues to make meaning of our land.  

Monday, September 7, 2015

Mary Virginia Swanson to be Executive Director of Look3 Photography Festival

LOOK3, the Festival of Photography held each year in June in Charlottesville, VA, is getting a new Executive Director, who turns out to be none other than Mary Virginia Swanson, the well-known educator, career development advisor, and entrepreneur in the field of photography.

Here is the official announcement from the LOOK3 BoardHere is a story on the appointment in PDN Online. 

Swanson's books on the business of photography, not to mention her talks at festivals and workshops and her mentoring of those developing careers in photography, have made her a well-known name in the fine art photography field. 

Now, she has accepted the position of Executive Director of LOOK3, a festival she describes in her official announcement as "a beloved festival . . .  that celebrates the vision of exceptional photographers, ignites conversations about critical issues and fosters the next generation of artists."

Swanson will begin her duties on the 15th of September, when she will "begin planning programming for our 10th anniversary year (L3X)."  

Swanson invites us "to visit the LOOK3 website to learn more about the artistic history of the Festival, sign up for our mailing list and plan to join us the week of June 13th, 2016, in Charlottesville."

She encourages those who have "attended, as well as those who have yet to experience LOOK3 to share your thoughts with her at"

She wants to know, "Whose work inspires you?  What topics engage you? What do you wish to learn about photography today?"

This should be a major step forward for LOOK3, which has been a significant contribution to the richness of photography in Virginia and throughout the South. 

Indeed, LOOK3 has been so successful since the mid-2000's that the tasks of organizing, scheduling, and running the Festival have seemed sometimes to challenge the resources of the original founders. 

Its great to see LOOK3 flourishing, and to have a distinguished fine art photography educator now at the helm, to guide it to even greater success. 

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Clarence John Laughlin Award Finalists for 2015

The folks at the New Orleans Photo Alliance have recently announced the finalists for the 2015 Clarence John Laughlin Award

The Clarence John Laughlin Award was developed by the New Orleans Photo Alliance in 2010 to support the work of photographers who use the medium as a means of creative expression. 

This award honors the life and work of Clarence John Laughlin (1905-1985), a New Orleans photographer best known for his surrealist images of the American South.

Among ten finalists chosen by juror Carol McCusker are three Southern photographers and seven other folks who are fine photographers but are Not From Around Here. 

The Southern photographers on McCusker's list are (1)Mississippi-based photographer Jamie Johnson (see image above)

(2) Mississippi-based photographer Don Norris (see image above) 

and (3) Atlanta-based photographer Dorothy O'Conner (see image above).

The recipient of the Clarence John Laughlin Award for 2015 will be announced on October 15th. 

Stay Tuned! 

Southern Photographers in fraction Magazine -- Summer 2015

The folks at [f]raction Magazine feature Southern photographers from time to time. 

Some of the folks to appear in recent issues include the following:

Daytona Beach-based photographer Justin Noland (see image above).

Richmond, VA-based photographer Andrew Fedynak (see image above). 

Louisville, KY-based photographer Neal Johnson (see image above). 

Last, but surely not least in this listing, the work of Omaha, Nebraska based photographer Rob Walters, who offers us in [f]raction 76 a deeply Southern meditation through photographs of Pinetta, Florida and surrounding locations (including some in Georgia, see image above)

Walters made these images in an effort to connect with his father, born in Pinetta, FL, who died in a plane crash before Rob was 2 years old. 

As Walters puts it, he made this work as "a way for me to build a narrative of my father's history for myself and to explore a part of the country that easily could have been where I "grew up."

Frankly, I cannot think of a more Southern kind of photography project than that one. 

Much more good work to come, from Southern photographers in [f]raction Magazine. 

Southern Photographers in AIN'T BAD -- Late Summer 2015

AIN'T BAD Magazine was started in the South, a creation of some enterprising folks who met at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD).

AIN'T BAD covers the world of photography, but the editors remember their Southern roots not only in the name of the publication but also by featuring Southern photographers in significant numbers in their coverage. 

They also suggest their Southern heritage in the way questions of home, family, and cultural identity seem to be ongoing interests in the interviews with photographers that enrich their galleries of images. 

Recent examples include the very insightful interview just up with Virginia-based photographer Matt Eich (see image above), which you can find here.  

Other Southern photographers who have recently displayed their work in AIN'T BAD include the following:

Charleston-based photographer Abby Murphy (see image above).

Savannah-based photographer Parker Stuart (see image above).

Florida-based photographer William Douglas (see image above). 

Durham, NC - based photographer Sarah Elizabeth Borst (see image above). 

Savannah-based photographer Carson Sanders (see image above). 

Durham, NC-based photographer Aaron Canipe (see image above).

Vermont-based (but educated at SCAD) photographer Kory Kingsley (see image above). 

More Southern photographers to come, I am sure, from the folks at AIN'T BAD, which is of course a hell of a lot better than that.

Catching Up with Eyes on the South -- Late Summer 2015

Here is work by photographers of the South included -- since we last checked -- in Jeff Rich's ongoing Eyes on the South series,  from the Oxford American.

New Orleans-based photographer Lee Deigaard (see image above), with her infrared photographs of animals in the wild.
New Orleans-based photographer David Spielman, (see image above) with his black and white images of New Orleans post-Katrina.

Florida-born but Philadelphia-based photographer Daniel Kraus (see image above) with his images documenting the lives of evangelical clergy in rural Florida, from his portfolio Do Not Grow Weary.

More images of Florida, this time from New Orleans-based photographer Brian McSwain (see image above), from his Florida Heartland portfolio.

Atlanta-based photographer Matt Bower (see image above) with images of Southern towns that time forgot in the South, from his On the Way Home portfolio.

Decatur, GA-based photographer Cait Kovac (see image above) with images of Southern town that time is overtaking, from her Slow Process portfolio. 

Jackson, TN-based photographer Aaron Hardin (see image above) with images from his Jackson portfolio depicting life in Tennessee.

Philadelphia-based photographer Keith Yahrling (see image above), with images from his For the Revolution portfolio showing how Revolutionary War battle sites as they look today. 
 Side View Mirror, 2008 | all photos by Phil Jung

Finally, Massachusetts-based photographer Phil Jung (see image above), with images from his Windscreens portfolio exploring the interiors of automobiles (chiefly) in the South. 
That's the group for now -- but we'll be back to see what Jeff Rich has for us in the days and weeks ahead.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Photography Festivals in the South -- Fall 2015

Cooler nights and the first glimpses of autumn color in the leaves remind us that the fall photography festival across the South is about to begin.

Leading off, of course, is the most Southern of festivals, SlowExposures, this year on from September the 17th through the 20th in Pike County, Georgia.

The full schedule is here. The list of exhibitors is here. The list of pop-up shows is here.

New this year is an exhibition of images by Meg Griffiths and Tamora Reynolds, first recipients of SlowExposures new Artist in Residence awards. 

October, in central North Carolina, brings us CLICK! the Triangle Photography Festival, running from October 1st through 30th in Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill.

For a list of events that are part of CLICK!, go here.  

October, in Georgia, of course brings us what my father would call the Daddy Rabbit of Southern Photography festivals -- Atlanta Celebrates Photography --which started out as being about the month of October but now starts in September and continues long past the end of the month.

The full ACP Guide is here. 

So much good photography to see, so many learned speakers to hear, so many events to take part in! 

And there is more to come. Check back for news of more on festivals later in the fall. 

 The life of the Southern photographer is full, and good.

News of Southern Photographers Part II -- Late Summer 2015

Your humble servant has gotten behind in his work over the summer, and is still trying to catch up. So expect this blog entry to grow as the days progress from summer into fall.

Several items of interest:

1. Mississippi-based photographer Maude Schuyler Clay (see image above) will have a new book of her work out this fall, entitled My Mississippi History, available for pre-order here. 

2. Charlottesville, VA-based photographer Matt Eich has received his second grant from the Getty Foundation through their 2015 Getty Images Grants for Editorial Photography competition. 

This grant is to support publication of the book Carry Me Ohio, his project on poverty, heroin, and the oil and gas industries in southeastern Ohio.

Eich also received a Getty grant in 2013 for “Sin & Salvation in Baptist Town,” his project on race in Greenwood, Miss.

3. New Orleans-based photographer Frank Relle, who specializes in photographing Louisiana in the dark, has been featured on the NY Times lens blog, here, with images from his Until the Water portfolio.  

4. Distinguished Southern photographer William Eggleston will publish a major, and massive, collection of his photographs from the 1980's in November 2015. 

This ten volume set of books will contain more than 1,000 photographs drawn from a body of over 12,000 pictures made by Eggleston in the 1980s. 

Steidl, Eggleston's publisher, describes this collection as containing "an opening volume of work in Louisiana, [while] the ensuing volumes cover Eggleston's travels from his familiar ground in Memphis and Tennessee out to Dallas, Pittsburgh, Miami and Boston, the pastures of Kentucky and as far as the Berlin Wall. 

"The final volume leads the viewer back to the South of small towns, cotton fields, the Civil War battlefield of Shiloh and the home of Andrew Jackson in Tennessee."

This collection sells for $600, and you can preorder it at a discount here.  

All for now. More to come!

Kat Kiernan Recognized as a Rising Star by the Griffin Museum of Photography

NYC-based photographer and publisher Kat Kiernan will be recognized in November by the Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester, MA, as recipient for 2015 of the "Rising Star" award as part of the Griffin Museum's Focus Awards program.

The Griffin Museum's citation for this award reads as follows:

"Kat Kiernan -- Rising Star Award 

"Kat Kiernan is the Editor-in-Chief of Don’t Take Pictures, a print and online photography publication. 

"As the former Owner and Director of The Kiernan Gallery, she has designed and managed numerous thematic exhibitions, curating both solo and pop-up shows.

"She has reviewed portfolios for Photolucida’s Critical Mass, FotoWeek DC, and PhotoNOLA, and lectured on photography at various institutions. 

"Her photographs have been exhibited across the United States, featured in many publications, and in 2012 Photoboite Agency named her one of 30 women photographers under the age of 30 to watch.

"Kat currently resides in Brooklyn, New York where she works as an art critic and is the Assistant Director of Louis K. Meisel Gallery.

"In addition to Don’t Take Pictures, she has written for Art New England, Big, Red and Shiny, Lenscratch, Feature Shoot, and Richmond Arts Review.

"She holds a BFA in photography from Lesley University College of Art and Design."

Kiernan is
formerly a gallery owner in Lexington, VA, and once a Southern photographer, always a Southern photographer, I say. 

I had the privilege of serving as the juror for one of the shows Kiernan mounted while in Lexington, which turned out to be an honor and a delight.

Congratulations on this award, and come on back down South to see us, ya heah?

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

SxSE Transformed!

Nancy McCrary has taken a great leap of faith and transformed her wonderful magazine of Southern Photography into Something Completely Different. 

With the September/October issue for 2015, South by Southeast Photomagazine is all on the web, and on the new website, and entirely free. 

This issue is big, and new, and crammed with fine photographs, interviews, book reviews, and all the other essential features we've come to expect from Nancy and her staff.  

Included in this issue are:

Interviews with Elizabeth Avedon, Sally Mann,  Spencer Throckmorton, William Boling, Andrew Feiler, and David Diodate.

A report on
A Smith Gallery in Johnson City, Texas, and the Shootapalooza festival and a tribute to Harold Feinstein, whose work was recently on exhibit at the Lumiere Gallery in Atlanta.

Reviews of books, including Birth of a Warrior by Raymond Jones, Without Regard to Sex, Race or Color: The Past, Present and Future of One Historically Black College by Andrew Feiler, and Living Diversity: The Columbia Pike Documentary Project by Lloyd Wolf

Maude Schuyler Clay's account of destroying a photograph by Sally Mann.

And, best of all, photographs by Diana Bloomfield (see image below), Karl Baden, Lorrie Dallek, Diane Kirkland, Matthew Rond, Kim Lane, Adela Holmes, Jeffrey Stoner, Adam Bellefeuil, Beate Sass, Karl Baden, Eric Pickersgill, Mike Nalley, Matthew Rond, the team of Desiree Espada and Kasumi Chow, Betty Press (see image above), and Marla Puziss.

Not to mention a whole slew of calls for submission for various types of work to grace future additions to the SxSE website.

This is not to be missed. Check it out today. 

What a gift to us all, this SxSE publication!

Southern Photographers on LENSCRATCH

LENSCRATCH bills itself as "The Fine Art Photography Daily" and really lives up to its name. 

As they say, "LENSCRATCH is considered one of the 10 Photography-Related blogs you should be reading by Source Review,, Rangefinder and InStyle Magazine."

Aline Smithson and her colleagues at LENSCRATCH work extremely hard to provide an enormous range of information about fine art photography and its practitioners.

Lately, it seems, their attention has been drawn to the work of a large number of Southern photographers, always a good thing.  

Here are some of the Southern photographers to appear in recent issues of LENSCRATCH:

Southern photographers often show up in LENSCRATCH's series of online exhibitions, HERE, including Georgia's Dale Niles and Donna Rosser in the recent Bathing Suits and Sunburns exhibition.

Individual Southern photographers or our festivals also attract attention from LENSCRATCH

Columbia, SC-based photographer Elle Olivia Andersen (see image above) was featured in the August 24th 2015 edition of LENSCRATCH. 

Louisiana-based photographers Ted Jackson and Jane Fulton Alt (see image above) were also featured recently as part of reflection on the anniversary of Katrina's devastation of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast.

Florida-based photographer Benjamin Dimmitt was featured the issue of August 6th, 2015.

Chapel Hill's Lori Vrba was interviewed in the March 24th, 2015 issue.  

PhotoNOLA was the subject of a feature story back in January.  Alexa Dilworth, of Duke's Center for Documentary Studies, was the focus of an extended profile last year.   

Most recently, a series of features that intends to move state-by-state across the country has stopped in Virginia, Georgia, and Florida. 

In the Virginia series, curated by Eliot Dudik, featured photographers included Dudik, Pamela Pecchio, Susan Worsham, Brittany Nelson, Shane Rocheleau, Justin James Reed, and Matt Eich.

The Georgia series, curated by Carson Sanders, the photographers included were Sanders, Parker Stewart, Maury Gortewmiller, Ashley Jones, Stephen Milner, and Rebecca Nolan.

The Florida series, curated by Jeremy Chandler, included work by Chandler, Selina Roman, Annie Donovan, Kristen Roles, Katty Hover, Chris Otten, and Roy Albert Berry.

The folks at LENSCRATCH bring us so much good work, and so frequently, that I'm sure I've missed folks, and for that I'm sorry. 

But I've given enough links for you to get some sense of the great work LENSCRATCH does for us as supporters and practitioners of Southern photography. 

Some of these names are familiar to readers of this blog, and some are new, but all are worthy of our attention, and of our gratitude to the good folks at LENSCRATCH for bringing them to us in this venue.

Heather Evans Smith is having a Great 2015, and Its Only September

Winston-Salem, NC-based photographer Heather Evans Smith (see image above) is having an exceptionally good 2015. 

Recently she was named winner in the Portrait category in PDN's Curator Competition and featured in a show of winning work at the Foley Gallery, on Orchard Street, up from July 29th to August 7th, 2015, in NYC. 

Smith has also had work in the Soho Photo National Photography Exhibition, up from July 8th through 25th at the SoHoPhoto Gallery in NYC. 

Others of her images are touring as part of the Critical Mass Top 50 Exhibition, to be on view next in Antigua, Guatemala at the GuatePhoto International Photography Festival, up from November 12th to 30th, 2015.

Last, but far from least, Smith's work has been singled out for celebration on the South Africa-based style blog Miss Moss, here.

Smith's success has been based on recognition of the strength of images images from her Seen Not Heard Portfolio (see images above). 

The PDN Jurors' statement about her work describes it as challenging "the Old English adage that children should "be seen and not heard," photographing herself and her young daughter as her subjects. 

They go on: Smith's "images create a voluble visual narrative on the relationship between parent and child, exploring the cycles that are passed down through generations and the tension between following the familiar and forging a newer—and perhaps stronger—path. 

'As strong as the mother-daughter bond may be, there also exists a distance inherent between two different individuals."

Smith's work is strong, indeed, well worthy of all this recognition in so many national and international venues. She's now included in my list of Southern Photographers We are Getting to Know.