Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Christmas at Graceland -- December 2017

In the words of Paul Simon, "I have reason to believe we all shall be received in Graceland."*

Best wishes for a joyous Holiday season to Southern photographers and Southern photography fans everywhere. 

Thank you for your interest in The Southern Photographer, and especially for your kind words of support for this blog during the past year.

I know I'm a bit behind right now in chronicling the world of fine art photography in the American South. 

Nevertheless, the Southern Photographer must now take a short break, while yr humble blogger attends to other professional and personal responsibilities.

We look forward to resuming our chronicle after the 1st of January 2018

In the meanwhile, remember that Christmas is a season, not just a day, and the season of Christmas is 12 days long.  

So its Christmas from the eve of December 25th of 2017 all the way through until Twelfth Night, January 5th, 2018. 

*Graceland, the home of Elvis, who became famous by appropriating the music of Arthur Crudup and Big Mama Thornton. They wrote the music, and he made the money.  

But what he spent it on was this tacky McMansion in Memphis. 

That's one of the things I believe about the South -- it can set you free and break your heart, all at the same time. 

Happy holidays, everyone!

Friday, December 8, 2017

SOUTHBOUND -- Upcoming at Charleston's Halsey Institute

Mark your calendars now for October 19th, 2018, to attend the opening of SOUTHBOUND: Photographs of and about the New South, at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art and the City Gallery at Waterfront Park, in downtown Charleston.

This will be an exceptional -- and exceptionally important -- group show, featuring the work of 56 photographers who are either Southerners or who have had, in the words of the show's organizers, "a sustained engagement with the South."  

Each of the photographers will be represented by four photographs, for a total of 220 photographs in the joint show. 

The goal of this show, according to co-curators Mark Sloan and Mark Long, is "to engage with and unsettle assumed narratives about this contested region by providing fresh perspectives for understanding the complex admixture of history, geography, and culture that constitutes today’s New South."

Sloan, the Director of the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, and Long, a professor of political science at the College of Charleston, envision this show as embracing "the conundrum of its name."  

They go on: "To be southbound is to journey to a place in flux, radically transformed over recent decades, yet also to the place where the past resonates most insistently in the United States. To be southbound is also to confront the weight of preconceived notions about this place, thick with stereotypes, encoded in the artistic, literary, and media records." 

They suggest the scope of their plans and the range of their ambition, thus:

"The history of the American South is among the most storied of any region in the world. As a result of the vitality of its culture and the diversity of its inhabitants—to say nothing about the salience of photography in the U.S.—the region has also come to be among the most photographed. 

"Through the exhibition, video, remappings, website, and catalogue—separately and in tandem—the Southbound project charts new courses to expanded imaginings for the twenty-first century South."

There are so many aspects to this show -- and it is so important -- that I'll need several blog posts to cover all the details. 

For now, however, please note that you can find out more about the show here. A list of all the photographers is here. Plans for the show's catalogue is here.

If you go here and scroll down until you see the heading Exhibition Prospectus, you can find more details about the show, including your opportunities for supporting the show, and the overall project. 

These opportunities include the chance to receive a print of an image by four of the show's photographers, or to schedule a personal portrait shoot with Atlanta's master portraitist Jerry Siegel.

This show will travel after its run in Charleston concludes in March of 2019. If you have influence with a gallery or museum or other exhibition space, go here as well to learn about how to book it.

I'm happy to say that the first sites for the show after Charleston include NC State University's own Gregg Museum of Art and Design, here in Raleigh, and Duke University's Power Plant Gallery, in Durham, sites that will share the show from September 5th - December 29th, 2019.

Corey Lowenstein -- RIP

Corey Lowenstein, a long-time photojournalist and documentary photographer for Raleigh's News and Observer, has died of cancer at the age of 49. 

Lowenstein never exhibited her work in galleries or other venues we seek out as fine art photographers. 

In my view, however, she was a brilliant documentary photographer and an award-winning journalist who brought to our attention the lives of Southerners we otherwise would never have known. 

Go here for the newspaper's tribute to Lowenstein, as well as for links to some examples of her work.

I knew her only briefly, some years ago, when she spoke or juried shows for our local Camera Club, but I always appreciated the way in which she regarded us as colleagues rather than the novice photographers most of us really were.  
She took our work seriously, and that helped make us better.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Southern Photographers in the News, Part One -- Late Fall 2017

Yr humble servant, the Southern Photographer, has had a very crowded fall, but is now back on the hunt for news of Southern fine art photography. Will take me some time to catch up on news from the usual sources, so please be patient.

Her are a few items with which to begin:

Chapel Hill-based photographer William Ferris (see image above) has published his latest book, The South in Color, from the UNC Press, and has been interviewed on Lenscratch by Aline Smithson, go here. 

Mississippi-based photographer Betty Press (see image above) has work up now in two group shows, CURRENTS 2017 (the New Orleans Photo Alliance Showcase), up at the Ogden Museum in New Orleans through February 4th, 2018, and the Small Works show at the Center for Fine Art Photogrpahy in Fort Collins, CO, up now through December 16th, 2017. 

Press has also had solo shows of work from her Finding Mississippi portfolio at the Eula Bass Lewis Gallery in Ellisville, MS and the Jefferson Davis Fine Arts Gallery in Gulfport, MS. 

Iowa-based photographer Jeff Rich (see image above) has work from his Watershed portfolio now up at the Middlebury College Museum of Art, as part of their group show Land and Lens: Photographers Envision the Environment, until December 10th, 2017.

Rich also had work in the exhibition Landscapes and Interventions at the Hathaway Gallery in Atlanta, Georgia, earlier this fall.

Dallas-based photographer Brandon Thibodeaux (see image above) continues to have a wonderful year, publishing his book In that Land of Perfect Day, with Red Hook Press.

This book was the subject of a feature story in Photo District News, go here,  and was subsequently named one of Photo District News' Notable Photography Books of 2017, go here.

Thibodeaux's work was also featured in the November issue of Garden and Gun Magazine, go here

Other titles of interest to us on PDN's List of Notable Books include the following:

Charlottesville, VA-based photographer Matt Eich's book Carry Me Ohio, a portrait of life in western Ohio where residents struggle to recover from the end of mining in the area.

Lexington, KY photographer Ralph Eugene Meatyard is at the center of Brian Sholis' Kentucky Renaissance: The Lexington Camera Club and Its Community, 1954–1974.

Photographer Grey Villet's book; The Lovings: An Intimate Portrait, about the Virginia couple whose relationship led to the landmark ruling ending bans on interracial marriage. 

Photographer Shane Lavalette's book of photographs made in the South, One Sun, One Shadow.

Congratulations to all these folks for their notable achievements! We look forward to keeping track as their careers develop. 

More news to come, from The Southern Photographer. 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Dale Niles is Having a Wonderful 2017, and It's Still Only December!

Fayette County, GA-based photographer Dale Niles (see image above) is having a wonderful 2017. 

Niles' photograph Pardon? (see image above) received the People's Choice award, as well as Third Prize overall at this year's Slow Exposures show in Concord, GA.   

She also received honorable mention in the International Photography Awards competition, in the fine art collage category.

Niles' work was also selected for recognition through the Rfotofolio Call for Entry process, and has been the subject of a feature story and interview on the website Rfotofolio, go here.

Her work has also appeared in the most recent SHOTS magazine, go here.

She also had her work included in the Lensculture Emerging Talent Competition Gallery; in Rfotofolio's Depth of Field exhibition at the Center for Photographic Art in Carmel, CA; and in the Southeast Center for Photography exhibition Other Worlds.

Among Niles' other awards this year include First Prize for work in the Summer Vacation show at the Santa Fe Photographers Gallery; a Gold Award from the Moscow International Foto Awards; second place in the L.A. Curator International-Textures show; and Honorable Mentions in shows at the A Smith Gallery in Johnson City, Texas and in the International Photography Awards competition, in the Nature category. 

Niles also had work in a Duo show with Donna Rosser at the Lamar Arts Center in Barnesville, GA and in a solo show at the Rankin Gallery in Columbus, GA. 

She also had work in the Summer Show at the SXSE Gallery, in Molena, GA; in the Atlanta Photography Group shows in Atlanta;and in Puppy Love, a show at the Hathaway Gallery in Atlanta held to benefit charities that support rescued dogs.

Now, I'm confident this is a partial list of Niles' achievements this year, but even on this evidence, its been an exceptional year for her. 

And, who knows, we have 4 weeks of December still to go. 

Congratulations to Dale Niles for all this fine recognition -- The Southern Photographer looks forward to hearing of even more good news in the months and years ahead.

William Eggleston in the Guardian, Fall 2017

Distinguished Southern Photographer William Eggleston (see image above by Steve Pyke) continues to garner attention because of the new CD of piano music he's released this fall. 

Eggleston has recently been the subject of a feature story in the Guardian newspaper from the UK, go here.

Writing for the Guardian, provides us with an overview of Eggleston's career both as a photographer and a musician, based on extensive interviews with Eggleston. 

Well worth having a look!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Transitions -- Fall 2017

 CfA madmimi 2

Fall is a time for transitions. As the song goes, it's time for us to pause and watch the seasons turn.

In that spirit, we notice that Jennifer Yoffy Schwartz has announced the end of her Crusade for Art. 

Schwartz' campaign to develop new opportunities for artists to connect with new audiences and find markets for their work grew out of her experience running a really fine photography gallery in Atlanta. 

You can read more about the programs she started and the adventures she had on this journey by going here.

We thank Schwartz for her efforts and look forward to learning where the road of life next takes her. 

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Southern Photography Festivals -- Late Fall 2017


The days are getting shorter, the weather is getting cooler, and across the South we are gearing up for the second round of fall photography festivals.

FotoWeekDC is only a few weeks away, now, running from November 11th-19th, 2017 in Our Nation's Capitol

You can find the full schedule of events on their website, go here.

 December will bring us PhotoNOLA, this year running from December 7th-10th, 2017. 

For the full calendar of events for this year's festival, go here.

An annual feature of PhotoNOLA is the show at the New Orleans Photo Alliance of the previous year's winner of the PhotoNOLA Review Prize, which for 2016 was Samantha Geballe (see image above). 

Looking ahead, winter 2018 brings us another edition of FOTOFEST, Houston's biennial photography festival, to be held March 10 - April 22, 2018.

For the schedule for this year's FOTOFEST 2018 Biennial, go here.

So much to see, and to celebrate, in the world of Southern photography! 

Friday, October 27, 2017

SlowExposures 2017 -- A Pastoral

Once a year, the communities in Pike County, Georgia become the center of the universe for Southern fine art photography. 

Suddenly, renovated warehouses and storefronts become art galleries, stuffed with photographs and photographers. 

Photographers and photography fans from across the South, and across the nation, flock to see the work, and to renew friendships, and meet new friends.

This all happens because of SlowExposures, the annual festival of Southern photography, which took place this year in Pike County, on September the 14th through the 17th, 2017. 

Arnika Dawkins and I had the privilege of jurying this year's Main Show at SlowExposures.

We started with over 850 images, with the challenge of getting the collection of images down to 75. 

The overall quality of the images submitted was very high. We could easily have chosen a show double the size of the one we had to choose without diminishing the overall quality of the show. 

As I said at the Jurors' Talk in Concord, I wanted at a minimum to have our show reflect the breadth and diversity of Southern rural and small town life. I wanted, at a minimum, to avoid overworked subjects and sentimental or nostalgic treatments.

Arnika had her own goals and interests, but we must have shared a good bit of common ground, because the process of making our choices for the Main Show proceeded with remarkable smoothness. 

When Arnika and I got to Strickland's in Concord, site of the Main Show at SlowEx, on the morning of the 14th, we had the challenge of selecting the top images out of our final 76 selections for the Man Show.

This was even more difficult than making our original selections. But,gradually, as we discussed our choices, Brandon Thibodeaux's image Choo Choo with his Bible (see first image above) emerged as our first place entry, receiving the Paul Conlan Prize.

Second place went to M. L. Miller's Window Gazers (see image just above). 

Third Place went to Dale Niles' image Pardon? (see image above), which also received the People's Choice Award, based on voting by guests at the show.

We also chose ten Honorable Mentions, and you can see their work if you go here to the SlowEx website. 

There was so much else going on in Pike County that weekend -- the satellite shows, and the pop-up shows, and the receptions and dinners.

Watch for more coverage of this year's SlowEx as time goes by, here, on The Southern Photographer!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Southern Photographers in the News -- Mid-Fall 2017

Honorary Southern Photographer Dawoud Bey (see image above) has been named the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship. 

For more on Bey's career and his genius award, go here for the Chicago Tribune story, and here, for the Washington Post story.  

Greensboro-based artist Rhiannon Giddens also received a MacArthur Fellowship, but she's a musician, not a photographer. 

Former Lexington, VA photographer and gallery owner -- and now Gallery Director at Panopticon Gallery,in Boston, MA -- Kat Kiernan (see her to the right in the image above) has been profiled on Elin Spring's blog, go here

Kiernan has opened her first show at the Panopticon Gallery, which includes work by Raleigh-based photographer Diana Bloomfield (see image above) go here.

Bloomfield will be part of a two-person show with Amy Friend -- at Panopticon, entitled  Alchemists, go here. 

This show opens November 3rd and is up in Boston until December 30, 2017.

Nashville-based photographer Tamara Reynolds (see image above) has had work from her The Drake portfolio featured on the fotoroom blog, go here

Distinguished Southern Photographer William Eggleston (see image above by NY Times photographer Andrea Morales) continues to be noticed for his his expansion of his artistic media to include composing and performing music, go here

More to come on the Southern Photographer! 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Southern Photographers on the Fence in Durham

An installation of THE FENCE is now up in Durham, NC, as part of the CLICK! Triangle Photography Festival. 

You can see it on the fence across from Durham's City Hall, in downtown Durham, through November of 2017.

Local photographers with work on the FENCE include the following:
Bryce Lankard | Drawn to Water,   
Chris Ogden | Stones Echo 
Gesche Würfel | SE Raleigh
Joe Lipka | The Labyrinth 
Leah Sobsey | Collections 
Marthanna Yater | Growing Together: A Study of Twin Sisters Over 32 Years 
Sarah Dale | It Brings All Things They Say 
Shawn Rocco | Flickerland (Series II) 
Warren Hicks | Urban Display

Much more to see in the Triangle through October, all part of CLICK!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

A Celebration of Southern Photography at Southern Miss

Folks at the University of Southern Mississippi, in Hattiesburg, are celebrating Southern photography in a big way this October.

The Celebration includes two shows. 

The first, opening in the university's Gammill Gallery on Tuesday, October 10th, 2017, is Portraits of Southerners: Photographs from The Do Good Fund, up through Nov. 3rd, 2017.

The second, entitled Mississippi Landscapes: Places in the Land, opens in the Cook Library Art Gallery on October 12th and will be up through December 15th, 2017. 

This show features images by Mississippi photographers  Ashleigh Coleman Thomas Pearson, Euphus Ruth, David Wharton, Brooke White, and Malcolm White. 

Their work in this show is featured in a new book also entitled Places in the Land, to be available at this show. 

There will also be a special issue of The Southern Quarterly, the university's journal of Southern arts and culture, to mark the occasion, go here.  to mark this occasion.

In conjunction with these shows, distinguished Southern folklorist Dr. William R. Ferris will give a talk entitled “The South in Color: A Visual Journey,” on October 12th at 6 pm in Gonzales Auditorium. 

Ferris is a photographer and film maker and an expert in Southern studies, African American music, and folklore, who serves as the Joel R. Williamson Eminent Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

Ferris co-edited the massive Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. His most recent book, The South in Color: A Visual Journal, was published in 2016 by the University of North Carolina Press. 

Ferris’s films include “Mississippi Blues,” which was featured at the Cannes Film Festival. He has produced numerous sound recordings and hosted “Highway 61,” a weekly blues program on Mississippi Public Radio, for nearly a decade.

This sounds like a splendid series of events.  I can't make it, and I'm hoping someone who does will send me a full report.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Southern Photographers in the News -- Early Fall 2017

New Orleans-based photographer Deborah Luster (see image above) is one of 25 American artists to be awarded an Art of Change fellowship by the Ford Foundation.

The Art of Change fellowships "support visionary artists and cultural leaders in creating powerful works of art that help advance freedom, justice, and inclusion, and strengthen our democracy." 

Winston-Salem, NC-based photographer Aaron Canipe (see image above) has joined artists Diego Camposeco, Jing Niu, and Jina Valentine in a group show of work now up at the National Humanities Center in Research Triangle Park, NC, through the fall of 2017. 

The show is called “Melt with Ruth”: Visions of Home and Horizon in North Carolina, and, according to the folks at the Center, seeks to explore "notions of home, identity, geography, and sense of place in North Carolina." 

Pawley's Island, SC-based photographer Jeff Rich (see image above) has published his second book of photographs of Southern rivers, this one entitled Watershed: The Tennessee River, now out from Fall Line Press, go here.

Congratulations to all these fine shooters!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Click! begins in NC's Research Triangle

In my part of the South -- North Carolina's Research Triangle area -- the big photography event of the year is the CLICK! Triangle Photography Festival, which comes to us every October.

This is the sixth annual CLICK! Events take place across the Triangle, including Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill. 

And it's going on right now. For a preview of what's happening, check out this piece from Lenscratch, featuring Chapel Hill-based photographer Lori Vrba, interviewed by Aline Smithson

  For a full list of events, dates, and locations, go to the CLICK! website, here.

Brandon Thibodeaux is Having a Great 2017, and it's only October

Dallas-based photographer Brandon Thibodeaux (see image above) is definitely having a moment in his career as a Southern photographer. 

So much good stuff has been happening in Thibodeaux's professional life lately that I will probably miss something, but these things I know: 

Thibodeaux's book In that Land of Perfect Day is now available from Red Hook Editions, go here

His image from that body of work -- Choo Choo and His Bible, Alligator, MS, 2012 (see image above) -- was chosen as winner of the Paul Conlan Prize at the recent Slow Exposures Photography Festival in Concord, GA.

As a result, Thibodeaux will have a solo show of his work at next year's SlowEx Festival, coming up before you know it on September 20-23, 2018.

Thibodeaux and his work have also been the subject of a feature story in the Washington Post, go here. 

As well recognition as by Jeff Rich in his Eyes on the South series for the Oxford American, go here

He has also been profiled on the Its Nice That blog, go here.

And there may be even more to celebrate for Thibodeaux; will try to keep you posted. After all, it's only October.

Congratulations to Thibodeaux on all his accomplishments and recognitions. Well-deserved!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

UPDATED -- William Eggleston at the Piano

Honored Southern Photographer William Eggleston (see image above by NY Times photographer Peter Townsend) has, according to the NY Times, taken up the piano and has released an album of standards and original compositions.

Eggleston's album, entitled Musik, will be on the Secretly Canadian label, to be officially released October 20th, 2017.

According to the folks at Secretly Canadian, Eggleston recorded improvisations onto floppy disks and used a four-track sequencer to overlay parts and create fuller symphonic compositions. 

In addition to Eggleston's own music, the album includes standards by Gilbert and Sullivan and Lerner and Loewe. 

Again, according to the folks at Secretly Canadian, Eggleston "often says that he feels that music is his first calling, as much a part of him, at least, as his photography."

Good to know that Eggleston continues to explore his creative spirit. 

You can learn more about the album here. You can preorder the album here. 

The New Yorker has a feature story, here

This album is sure to wind up on many Southern photographers' holiday gift lists.