Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Southern Photographers in the News -- Mid-Summer 2016

Memphis-based photographer Tommy Kha (see image above) received one of this year's En Foco Fellowships in photography, go here. 

Atlanta-based photographer Sheila Pree Bright (see image above) has work from her coverage of the Black Lives Matter Movement in the group show STUMP, opening at Richmond's Candela Gallery on September 2nd, and up through October 22nd, 2016.

Bright also has work from this portfolio on the website Project1960, go here.  

Distinguished North Carolina  (and Durham, NC-based) photographer Titus Brooks Heagins (see image above) is opening a major show of new work from his Rorschach portfolio at Raleigh's ArtSpace on September 2nd, 2016, up through October 29th, 2016.  

More to come from The Southern Photographer!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Retrospective Shows in Georgia and Mississippi

Fischer Galleries in Jackson, MS had a one-evening show to Celebrate Mississippi Photographers on August 18th, 2016. 

Mississippi photographers featured in this show included, among others, Jack Spencer, Maude Schuyler Clay, Birney Imes, Ellen Rodgers, Betty Press, James Patterson, Suzi Altman, Kay Holloway and Anne Bryant

Seems like a lot of time and energy to put into mounting a show of such high quality work  for only one evening, but fine photographs always deserve to be displayed well, and as often as possible.

Congratulations to the folks at the Fischer Galleries for celebrating the photographers of Mississippi.

Also in a retrospective mode, Atlanta's Museum of Contemporary Art (MocaGa) is hosting a show of photographs by contemporary Georgia photographers, opening September 3rd, and up through December 3rd, 2016.
The show is entitled Edge to Edge. According to Chip Simone, who curated the show, the goal is to provide the first ever statewide survey of contemporary Georgia photography.  

The show includes 80 images by 60 photographers, and includes among the shooters work by Ben Helton (see image directly above), Jack Leigh, Constance Thalken, Beate Sass, Jodi Fausett, and Teri Darnel.

The folks at MocaGa note that "Photography has taken a prominent place in the artistic culture of the contemporary South. 

"Once limited to the traditional themes of the rural and historic south; of rustic barns and rusted trucks; of simple living and country ways, the photographs in this exhibition are modern and reflect a more diverse and complicated world. 

"They mirror modern concerns and coincide with the transition from traditional wet process photography to the technical wonders of the digital age. 

"The photographs reveal a more diverse, vibrant and unsettled south which is part of a new demographic that finds most southerners living in urban and suburban centers. 

"The work in this exhibit will reflect many of the changes that are redefining the modern south.

"These pictures will challenge the viewer who is expecting southern stereotypes with mysterious narratives, poetic revelations, and complex abstractions.

"The exhibition will present a richly diverse array of the many varied ways contemporary photography is being used artistically and expressively by photographers from across our state, corner to corner and edge to edge. 

Edge to Edge is dedicated to Georgia born photographer Paul Kwilecki (1928-2009), who the folks at MocaGA describe as “the greatest documentary photographer you’ve never heard of," because of his 40-year-long project to photograph in Decatur County, Georgia, and his reticence about promoting his work

A selection of Kwilecki's work will be included in the Edge to Edge show.

So, lots of photographs taken in Georgia to look forward to at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Atlanta

And the fall festival Atlanta Celebrates Photography is just around the corner.  

Southern Photographers on Lenscratch -- Mid-Summer 2016

Lenscratch's Aline Smithson enjoyed her interview with Alexa Dilworth, Publishing and Awards Director/Editor for CDS Books at Duke's Center For Documentary Studies a few years ago that she ran it again in Lenscratch this summer, go here.

And while we are thinking about Lenscratch, its time to notice that Lenscratch has featured Southern photographers extensively in the past few months.

Texas-based photographer (and long-time president of the Texas Photographic Society) D. Clarke Evans had work from his Semper Fidelis portfolio featured on Lenscratch, here.

San Francisco-based (but Laurinburg, NC born) photographer MacNair Evans (see image above), was awarded a fellowship by the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. He also served as the organizer of the California Project on Lenscratch, go here.

Greenville, SC-based photographer Terri Bright (se image above) was featured on Lenscratch with images from her portfolio Sonnets, now a book from Flash Powder Projects. 

Florida-based photographer Melanie Metz was also featured on Lenscratch with images from her Davie portfolio, go here. 

 And, finally, for now, Michelle Mobley (see image above), a student at the Savannah College of Art and Design, was an honorable mention winner in this year's Lenscratch Student Prize Competition.
More to come from Lenscratch on The Southern Photographer.

Southern Accent Show at Duke's Nasher Museum of Art

Duke's Nasher Museum of Art is about to open a major exhibition of work entitled Southern Accent: Seeking the American South in Contemporary Art.

Southern Accent will feature work by 60 artists working in a variety of media, but including among them a significant number of photographers.

Folks at the Nasher describe the show as one that "questions and explores the complex and contested space of the American South. 

"One needs to look no further than literature, cuisine and music to see evidence of the South’s profound influence on American culture, and consequently much of the world. 

"This unprecedented exhibition addresses and complicates the many realities, fantasies and myths that have long captured the public’s imagination about the American South. 

"Presenting a wide range of perspectives, from both within and outside of the region, the exhibition creates a composite portrait of southern identity through the work of 60 artists. 

"The art reflects upon and pulls apart the dynamic nature of the South’s social, political and cultural landscape."

Included among the photographers with work in this show are such familiar names as William Christenberry, William Eggleston (see image three images below), Deborah Luster (see image at the top of this post), Sally Mann (see image directly above), Richard Misrach, Gordon Parks, Tom Rankin (see image directly below), Burk Uzzle (see image two images below), Carrie Mae Weems (see image four images below), and Jeff Whetstone.

This show promises to be a major event in the exploration of the Southern in contemporary art, as well as an opportunity to discuss the relationship between photography and other visual art forms in the depiction, documentation, and meaning-making of the American South.

This exhibition is co-organized by Trevor Schoonmaker, Chief Curator and Patsy R. and Raymond D. Nasher Curator of Contemporary Art at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, and Miranda Lash, Curator of Contemporary Art at the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky.

The curators note that "The exhibition has been four years in the making, but the timing of Southern Accent is especially meaningful now in the wake of Charleston, Orlando, Baton Rouge and countless other tragedies, and given the tense social and racial climate during this presidential election year.

"We’re an art museum, so exhibitions are our platform for starting conversations. 

"We hope Southern Accent can create a space to reimagine the South in new ways and reframe the way we think about the South in contemporary art. At its best, art can help give shape to cultural and social change, promote needed discourse and even help build community.”

The Nasher is planning a number of events to celebrate this show, including a party on August 31st, from 7 to 10 pm, featuring a performance by artist Sonya Clark, a Second-line
parade with the John Brown Band, live musical performances by Justin Robinson and shirlette ammons and a DJ dance party. There is a full calendar of events here.

Even if you cannot get to Durham (or later, to Louisville) for the show, the Nasher is making much of the event available to everyone through a variety of media. 

You can see images of all the work in this show if you go here.  There are recordings of Southern music and podcasts about the show hereThere is a reading list of novels and books about the South, here. 

I'm especially happy to see that Jill McCorkle, my colleague in the English Department hre at NC State, is one of the featured writers in this series. 

Finally the show's catalogue Southern Accent: Seeking the American South in Contemporary Art is being published, and is for sale from the Nasher's Museum Shop, here. 

The catalogue promises to be a chunkster at 276 pages. The folks at the Nasher promise it "offers a robust expansion of investigations raised by works in the exhibition, with texts from myriad perspectives, ranging from groundbreaking scholarship to poetry, song lyrics and personal reflections."  

My congratulations to the folks at the Nasher for putting together what promises to be a major exhibition, and a tribute to the talents and vision of Southern artists, photographers included

This is a must-see show for the fall. Southern Accent will be up at the Nasher through January 8th, 2017. 

It will then travel to Kentucky, where it will be on display at Louisville's Speed Art Museum, where it will be on view April 29 – August 20, 2017. 

Catching Up with Eyes on the South -- Late Summer, 2016

Photographers featured -- since our last listing --  in Jeff Rich's ongoing Eyes on the South for the Oxford American include the following:

1. New Orleans-based photographer Virginia Hanusik (see image above), with images from her portfolio Backwater.

2.  Florida-born but Brooklyn-based photographer Michael Adno (see image above), with images from his portfolio Cracker Politics, The Limit of Colonial Knowledge.

3. Conway, SC-based photographer Tracy Fish (see image above), with images from her portfolio When the Road Seeks

4. Atlanta-based photographer Kelly Kristen Jones (see image above), with images from her portfolio Gray Space

Jones has also been interviewed on Burnaway, go here.  

5. Durham, NC-based photographer Lisa McCarty (see image above), with images from her Lumen portfolio, go here.

6. Durham, NC-based photographer Kate Medley (see image above), with images from her Somewhere Else portfolio, go here. 

7. New Orleans photographer Harold F. Baquet  (see image above), with images from his Eyes of Desire portfolio, go here. 

Baquet's work has also been featured in the Washington Post, go here

8. Greenville, SC-based photographer Polly Gaillard (see image above), with images from her December and Everything After portfolio, go here.

9. Washington, DC-based photographer John Jons (see image above), with images from his The Going Places: Southern Routes portfolio, go here.

10. Fredericksburg, Virginia-based photographer Eric Marth (see image above), with images from his A Virginia Roadside Companion portfolio, go here. 

Still more to come, from The Southern Photographer. 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Southern Photographers in the News, Part 1 -- Summer 2016

Folks, its been a long, hot summer, even for the South. July was supposed to be the hottest month on record, ever. 

But lots of good things have been happening in Southern photography, more than I can cover in one post. So, let's get started.

Mississippi-based photographer Betty Press (see image above) continues the phenomenally successful career trajectory she was on in 2015.  

Press has received the Julia Margaret Cameron Award for photography for 2016 in the category of Capacities and Street Photography. 

She has also had work in a recent group show celebrating Mississippi photographers at the Fischer Gallery in Jackson, MS. 

More on that show in a later post.

Chapel Hill-based photographer Lori Vrba's new book The Moth Wing Diaries (see image above) has been reviewed by One Twelve Publishing, go here.

Vrba is having a special sale of prints of this, the cover image for her book, at the moment, go here. 

Williamsburg, VA-based photographer Eliot Dudik (see image above) has had work from his Still Lives portfolio on display in a group show at the Pictura Gallery in Bloomington, Indiana as well as in a solo show in the Atelier Gallery of the Griffin Museum of Photography in Boston. 

Dudik's work, and his career, have also been the subject of a conversation on HOT SHOE, here

Tamara Reynolds (see image above), Zach Wolfe (see image directly below), and Micah Cash (see image two images below) have recently had photo essays on view at The Bitter Southerner. 

Reynolds' work is a personal exploration of her relationship to the American South, while Wolfe's work documents the Southern hip hop scene, and Cash's work explores the visual impact of the TVA on the Southern landscape.

More to come from the Southern Photographer, so keep an eye on this space!