Archive for May, 2007

ATLANTA, GEORGIA: “All Cultures Are Welcome”

I’ve just spent 4 days in Atlanta. As I was driving to the airport yesterday to head home to Tucson, I passed a small business with a sign in the window declaring “ALL CULTURES ARE WELCOME.” I found it interesting – not all “people” or “individuals” are welcome, but all CULTURES are welcome. This sums up the mindset of life in Atlanta – it’s CULTURE that we are a part of, that makes up our community. Atlanta is a patchwork quilt of cultures, all interwoven to make up a most interesting and supportive home for the visual and performing arts.

My journey into the arts in Atlanta this week included visits to the SCAD Atlanta campus, the High Museum and the amazing Metropolitan Atlanta Arts Fund which is building a foundation for arts organization survival that is a role model in public/private partnerships and support of the arts. I also gained awareness on Atlanta Celebrates Photography, and ART PAPERS, both of which I”ll also share with you here.

I was honored to be invited to participate at the annual Advisory Board meeting of Savannah College of the Art’s School of Communication Arts, gathering for the first time at the new Atlanta Campus of Savannah College of Art and Design, just up Peachtree from the Woodruff Art Center and the High Museum. Steve Bliss is the Dean of this School within SCAD and Photography Department Chair Tom Fischer, along with ACA faculty member Elizabeth Turk are building a strong presence for photography in Atlanta. It is an exciting time for SCAD and especially SCAD Atlanta.

Thursday, Steve and I attended the 2007 Metropolitan Atlanta Arts Fund Luncheon, a sold-out gathering of over 700 arts leaders, elected officials and corporate sponsors which celebrates the impact of arts organizations on the Atlanta Community. This year, with the theme “What A Difference” 15 years of the Fund and its contributions to life in Atlanta was celebrated by over 30 organizations that have grown through the support of its unique mission: stability. From their website’s Grants Overview: “Each year the Arts Fund provides selected small and mid-sized arts organizations with grants to support staff positions, marketing or strategic plan development, debt reduction, capital reserves and other less glamorous “behind-the-scenes” initiatives that are vital to stability. In all, Atlanta’s small and mid-sized, non-profit arts organizations (with annual operating budgets less than $1.5 million) use Arts Fund grants to develop sustainable organizational capacity so they can further their creative endeavors.” And: “The Arts Fund is a key resource in Atlanta devoted to helping nonprofit arts organizations adapt to a changing environment, while managing growth and maintaining professionalism. It’s like venture capital for the arts. While the Arts Fund does not fund artistic programming, the goal is to strengthen organizations and allow them to do what they do best – provide innovative and exciting creative work that contributes to the quality of life in the metropolitan Atlanta community.” In other words, rather than funding programming, the Fund helps to fund staff positions, strategic planning, board development and other elements crucial to an organization’s growth. One of the most impressive things at the luncheon was that when grants were announced, each organization’s staff AND board chairs were recognized, underscoring the importance of an active board to the long-term stability of every non-profit entity. Lisa Cremin, the dynamic Director of the Fund, serves the broader arts community as a member of the board of Directors of Grantmakers In The Arts. From GIA’s website: “Grantmakers in the Arts is a membership organization whose trade is discourse on ideas about arts philanthropy within a diverse community of grantmakers.” I encourage all of you to get to know and support both of these important arts organizations.

Another leader in the arts in Atlanta that I had the pleasure of spending time with last week is Anne Dennington, director of Atlanta Celebrates Photography. “Atlanta Celebrates Photography (ACP) hosts an annual, citywide festival each October. Now in its ninth year, the “ACP 9 Festival” programming includes photography exhibitions in diverse venues, lectures by both internationally acclaimed and local artists, a portfolio review and walk, a pushpin show open to all Atlantans, a film series, and a public art program.” While the Festival is still ACP’s main programming, the organization offers additional programs throughout the year including lectures, workshop, films and public art programs as well as partnering with other arts organizations under the banner “ACP COLLABORATES.” From the website: “ACP Programs are designed to nurture and support photographers, educate and engage collectors, promote diverse photography venues, and enrich the City of Atlanta’s cultural scene. Most of these offerings are free and open to the public. ACP strives to offer programming for people of all ages and with all levels of knowledge about photography.” Anne is an important leader in the arts in Atlanta, and in the field of photography overall; under her leadership ACP is evolving to serve artists and their careers in important ways. October 6th is the date for the 2007 Portfolio Reviews and Walk; registration will open on June 1 and be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Check the website for details so you don’t miss this great opportunity. Join their e-list here.

Yesterday, myself, Steve Bliss and SCAD faculty colleague Rebecca Nolan visited the High Museum of Art to see the new Renzo Piano addition to the original museum building designed by Richard Meier, and was very happy to see the wonderful spaces for viewing contemporary art in particular. It is stunning and not to be missed! The exhibition “Annie Leibovitz: A Photographer’s Life 1990-2005” is on view through September 9th. In conjunction with the exhibition, The High will host several programs. First, a lecture by Sylvia Wolf, Adjunct Curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art, during which she will examine the work of celebrated photographers Annie Leibovitz and Robert Mapplethorpe – from iconic portraits of artists and celebrities to never before seen or published works. This event will be held on May 17th at 7 p.m. in the Hill Auditorium at The High.

Addtionally, on May 24th at 6:30 p.m., Julian Cox, the High’s Curator of Photography, will lead a guided tour through “Annie Leibovitz: A Photographer’s Life, 1990-2005.” Both of these interesting events are free with museum admission and for museum members.

Last but not least, I was reminded that an international voice begins in Atlanta: ART PAPERS Magazine. I have been a reader for many years, but had forgotten that the magazine is based in Atlanta; it is currently celebrating thirty years in publication. It’s regular section “FUTURE ANTERIOR: AN INDEX TO CONTEMPORARY ART’S IMMINENT HISTORY” features reviews of international exhibitions; every artist will want to make sure the editors at ART PAPER are aware of your exhibition(s) in hopes of being reviewed for this important part of the magazine. Be sure to read this issue’s cover story, available as a Feature Article on the website:

PETER FRIEDL in conversation with Gean Moreno

From the website: “ART PAPERS is a non-profit organization dedicated to the examination, development, and definition of art and culture in the world today. Its mission is to provide an independent and accessible forum for the exchange of perspectives on the role of contemporary art as a socially relevant and engaged discourse. This mission is implemented through the publication of ART PAPERS Magazine and the presentation of public programs.” Staff members Editor-in-Chief Sylvie Fortin and Senior Editor Jerry Cullum contribute to the arts far beyond Atlanta.
You can sign up for their e-newsletter here. And, more importantly, subscribe here.

You can experience the rich culture of Atlanta wherever you live, but don’t miss the opportunity to go and see it for yourself!

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Artist JOHN PFAHL to lecture in Philadelphia on May 17

Noted landscape photographer JOHN PFAHL will speak about his evolution as an artist and the transformation of his art in the digital age at a lecture on May 17th at 7 p.m. at NESBITT HALL, 33rd and Market Streets on the Drexel University campus. Click here for a map of Philadelphia campus.

Pfahl’s work is rooted in many historical sources and landcape subjects. He will speak about his technical methods, which have at times involved digital alterations. His new series “Scrolls” recently on view in an exhibition a the Janet Borden Gallery in NYC, makes use of the computer to radically alter photographs that began as one kind of landscape and ended up another.

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PUBLIC ART Relating to ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY: Call for Proposals for Artists Residing in AZ, CO, NM, NV, UT, CA and TX. Deadline is June 22nd

From the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture comes this great public art commission opportunity:

Life’s a journey for all of throwaway stuff in our lives. Every bottle, box, container, cell phone, newspaper and battery starts one place, for one purpose, and winds up in another. Some head to the dump, others to the recycling bin. Yet what’s that journey like? Where does it begin, meander and end? The Phoenix Public Art Program is looking for photographic artists to answer these questions with vivid images that explore the recycling process and its role in helping to sustain the environment.

Artists will be commissioned to create portfolios that delve beneath the surface of what it means to take out the trash. This project calls for artists to think broadly and inventively about the topic. Subjects may include the recyclable materials, recycling as a process, the stories attached to the process, the products and aftermath of recycling, and more. The commissioned works will be displayed at the new North Gateway Transfer Station’s and Material Recovery Facility’s viewing gallery and will be seen by the public touring the recycling facility. The images will also be used as part of a public education campaign about sustainability, reuse, and recycling.

The North Gateway Transfer Station and Material Recovery Facility’s interior viewing area offers a unique air-conditioned and well-lighted gallery with large windows overlooking the station’s recycling operations. During the school year, approximately 10,000 visitors will pass through the gallery.

Up to three artists will be selected for this project. Each will be commissioned to create a portfolio of works for the City’s permanent collection. Each portfolio should reflect at least one of the following variations on the larger themes as described above:

1. Hazardous Waste
2. Portraiture (the human factor)
3. Plastic, metal, glass, paper and stuff
4. Landscape and the environment
5. Electronics

In addition to being displayed in the North Gateway Facility’s viewing gallery, a selection of images may be used as part of a public service campaign to promote recycling in Phoenix. All commissioned works may be reproduced in a publication, poster, billboard or website pertaining to the connection between art and recycling.

Photographic artists working with analog and/or digital methods are encouraged to apply. Materials used to produce final images must be archival to ensure long-term storage and exhibition potential. The final images must be no smaller than 16” x 20” and no larger than 24” x 30” for exhibition. Selected artists will be asked to submit a digital copy of each image in addition to a hard copy, for future publication purposes. Images will be reproduced for non profit use and credit will be given to the artist in each case.

Applicants should send previously created work for review with a statement describing their approach to this project. Applicants should consider the process of recycling from start to finish, the materials used, the people involved, and anything else appropriate to the message of ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY while writing this statement.

The North Transfer Public Art Project is open to professional artists working with photography who reside in AZ, CO, NM, NV, UT, CA and TX. A strong national exhibition record is required for consideration for this commission. Applicants must be 18 or older to be considered for this commission. Students are not eligible for this commission; this is open to professional photographic artists only. City of Phoenix employees and their immediate family members as well as selection panelists and panelists’ immediate family members, are excluded from participation on this project.

The estimated budget for each selected artist is $35,000 for the creation of a portfolio of work. This budget includes artist fees, travel expenses*, print production, materials, reproduction rights, and shipping costs. Each portfolio should include up to 20 images. The City of Phoenix will cover the costs of framing and matting finished prints.

* It is expected that selected artists will photograph locally

The postmark deadline for this project is Friday, June 22nd. Applications not postmarked by this date will be returned unopened and will not be considered. Mail or deliver applications to:

Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture
Public Art Program
ATTN: North Transfer Station Public Art Project
200 W. Washington St., 10th Floor
Phoenix, AZ 85003

Artists may be selected directly from initial submitted applications, or the selection panel may elect to interview a limited number of finalists from among the initial applications. The primary criteria for selection will be previous artistic accomplishment as demonstrated in images of previously completed artwork, and initial approach to the project as demonstrated in the artist’s statement.

Application Deadline: June 22

Pre submission meeting: June 4th at 6:00 p.m.

Selection panel initial review: late summer 2007

Finalist interviews: later summer 2007

Artist Selection and Contract: early fall 2007

The Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture convenes a new selection panel for each new public art project. The selection panel will include five voting members: three artists and/or arts professionals, a community member and a staff member from the Department of Public Works. The role of the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture Public Art Program staff is to facilitate the selection process.

To be considered for the North Transfer Station Public Art project, artists must submit the following:

Each application must include:

1) A current resume, no more than two pages in length and printed on white paper in no less than 10-point font.

2) Ten digital images of previously completed artwork, all from the same series or body of work, formatted as follows:
jpeg format, 200 dpi, maximum 600 x 800 pixels, presented on a PC compatible CD-ROM. Name files with artist name and number per image list. (e.g.: smith_1.jpg, smith_2.jpg).

Please ensure that all files that you send electronically have been scanned by up-to-date virus scanning software. Incoming files with detected viruses are automatically deleted by the City of Phoenix computer system. The City assumes no responsibility or liability for undelivered or deleted files and emails.

3) An annotated, typewritten image list identifying images by number and listing media, size of the work (H x W x D), title, date and a brief description of the artwork if necessary.

4) A written artist’s statement, no more than one page in length and printed on white paper in no less than 10-point font, which addresses the artist’s interest in this project and a preliminary statement of approach. In this statement applicants should identify which subject is most appealing and how they intend to approach this idea.

5) A self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE) with sufficient postage for the return of slides/CD if desired. Applications submitted without SASE will not be returned and will be destroyed upon completion of the selection process

DO NOT SEND ORIGINAL ARTWORK. Late applications will not be considered. Do not bind materials. Every effort will be made to ensure the safe handling of materials submitted. However, the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture and the City of Phoenix will not be responsible for any loss or damage.

The Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture reserves the right, as the best interests of the City of Phoenix and affected communities may appear, to reject any or all applications or proposals, to reject any finalist, to waive informalities in applications or proposals, or to terminate the selection process for any project without prior notice. The Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture reserves the right to make selections from the Juried Slide Registry in addition to submitted applications or in the event that insufficient or inappropriate applications are received or to terminate any project at any time. Applications to any project advertised by the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture constitutes agreement to all applicable rules and guidelines. A complete copy of the rules and guidelines is available here. To receive a printed copy, call the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture, (602) 262-4637.

For more information or a copy of this publication in an alternate format, contact Rebecca Blume Rothman at phone: 602-495-0893, City of Phoenix TTY Relay: 602-534-5500, or email:”

If you have not viewed the excellent list of national public art opportunities that this office provides on line, view it here.

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Gallery of PDN 2007 Photography Annual Winners Online NOW

“As PDN‘s Photo Annual marks another year of extraordinary photography, we honor the contest winners who grace the following pages. From Lauren Greenfield‘s heart-wrenching multimedia project, “Thin,” to Gary Schneider‘s hauntlingly beautiful photo story about obesity, this year’s contest was a study in extremes. Whether it be apoignant social statement, such as Jan Grarup‘s Newsweek documentation of the devastation in Darfur, or a perfetly nutty ad campaign like Lyndon Wade‘s for Nestlé Crunch, each image has its own identity, worthy of recognition.”

Click HERE to view the Winner’s Gallery.

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David Pogue/NY Times “Circuits” on Web 2.0

David Pogue is a New York Times technology columnist whose articles are of interest to me.

In this week’s “Pogue’s Posts: The Latest in Technology from David Pogue” is an interesting piece that I encourage you to read entitled “Asking The Crowd To Spread The News.” I love the last line: “Get started, entrepreneurs. You’re living in an exciting time.”

Give it a read!

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Meeting Place FotoFest Beijing 2006: Gallery now on online at Photo-eye

Report by Fred Baldwin and Wendy Watriss from FotoFest:

“A new Internet gallery, designed and hosted by, is the worldwide extension of the Meeting Place FotoFest Beijing 2006 and a new partnership between Chinese and U.S. photography organizations, supported by China Hewlett Packard.

The 34 photographers shown in this gallery have been selected by the international reviewers at MPFB as being some of the most interesting artist/photographers they encountered in Beijing. Names and affiliations of the reviewers are available on the new gallery.

The Meeting Place FotoFest Beijing 2006 grew out of the trip we made in November 2005 to the LianZhou PhotoFestival in south China and the subsequent trip to FOTOFEST 2006 by ten Chinese curators, photographers, journalists, and businessmen. Two of them, GAO Lei and Jimmy Chu, proposed that FotoFest collaborate in creating a Meeting Place portfolio review in Beijing. We agreed and set the conditions under which the collaboration could function. Three months later, China Hewlett Packard had raised $133,000 and made the event move forward.

Following a national press conference they held in Beijing during July 2006 in the building of China Hewlett Packard, FotoFest organized and invited important national/international curators to be portfolio reviewers. Most people accepted, and the list of 30 reviewers was very impressive – leading museums, artist spaces, festivals, commercial galleries, photo agencies in Europe, North America and Australia. Five Chinese curators were invited to review. [The list of reviewers is included at the end of the narrative report.]

Based on FotoFest’s registration templates, the Chinese organizers created a new website and web-based registration process. They advertised throughout China. Over 1,000 Chinese photographers applied for the advertised 260 spaces for the four-day period. The website had four million visitor hits between August-October 2006. The portfolio reviews were free. China Hewlett Packard was the principal sponsor and main organizer of MPFB2006. Special support for FotoFest’s work came from Mary Lawrence Porter. In China, additional support came from Q Image, Beijing and China Photography Magazine.

The MEETING PLACE FOTOFEST BEIJING 2006 (MPFB2006) was full. The 278 photographic artists, documentary photographers and photojournalists came from almost every province in China, including the largest cities and many rural areas. Every reviewer had a translator for the four-day period. Leading up to the event, one of the Chinese organizers, GAO Lei, Beijing photographer and founder of Q-Imaging, gave photographers free workshops in how to organize portfolios and create CDs for the reviewers. With help of printing from China Hewlett-Packard, Q-image Lab and GAO Lei, a master printer, 25 percent of the registrant photographers received free printing for the portfolios they presented.

The organization of the event was flawless. China Hewlett-Packard, worked with GAO Lei and the co-organizer Jimmy Chu, from Hong Kong, who did all the logistics – hotel, meals, review scheduling, travel reimbursements, transportation in Beijing, tour of Beijing (Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, and Forbidden City), opening and closing ceremonies, press conference, publicity, special ceremonies, etc.

For most reviewers, MPFB2006 was their first trip to China. Almost all reviewers have said they plan to work with one or more Chinese photographers as a result of this event – exhibitions, gallery representations, published portfolios. Some plan to purchase works.”

View the gallery and work at

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PhotoSpiva 2007 Winners Announced; Exhibition on view through June 22

Spiva Center for the Arts has posted the work of the photographers selected by juror John Paul Caponigro as “Award Winners.” Click here to view the winning works. You can read Caponigro’s statement here. The exhibition remains on view through June 22nd at the Center in Joplin, Missouri.

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Guggenheim Fellowship Awards Announced for 2007

I have yet to provide my readers with a link to the press release announcing the 2007 Fellowship winners. 189 individuals were selected from nearly 2,800 applicants for awards totalling $7,600,00. Decisions are based on recommendations from hundreds of expert advisors and are approved by the Foundation’s Board of Trustees, which includes six members who are themselves past Fellows of the Foundation – Joel Conarroe, Joyce Carol Oates, Richard A. Rifkind, Charles Ryskamp, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, and Edward Hirsch.

“Guggenheim Fellows are appointed on the basis of distinguished achievement in the past and exceptional promise for future accomplishment. The diversity of the 2007 Fellows is worth noting. They range from the 30-year-old fiction writer Daniel Alarcón of Oakland, California, and the 29-year-old video and sound artist Kalup Linzy of Brooklyn, New York, to the 75-year-old medieval and Renaissance historian, Meredith Parsons Lillich, of Syracuse, New York. The 189 new Fellows range not only in age but also in their interests, as the following samples show: Jane Ira Bloom’s musical composition based on Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams; Warwick Anderson’s research on the science of race mixing in the twentieth century; Rennan Barkana’s study of gas and stars in the early universe; Sidra DeKoven Ezrahi’s literary research on Jerusalem and the poetics of return; Timothy Beach’s scholarly work related to the environmental history of the Maya lowlands; William Ferris’ historical research regarding the Mississippi blues; and Dina Rizk Khoury’s study of war and remembrance in Iraq.”

Many in the visual arts were recognized, including photographers Michael Light, Richard Ross, Alex Webb, Donald Weber and Jeff Whetstone.

A full list of the new Fellows can be found here.

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Photographer Reflects on Jazz Giants, Storm Losses: Herman Leonard, 84, Profiled on NPR’s “All Things Considered”

From the NPR website:

Photographer Herman Leonard, 84, captured jazz giants like Billie Holiday and Miles Davis on film as they worked in smoky, cramped, late-night clubs. But he almost lost his amazing collection to Hurricane Katrina.

As the storm bore down on New Orleans, Leonard rushed most of his negatives to a vault at a museum near his home. However, thousands of his prints were lost to the flood waters.

Some of the photos that were salvaged went on display last month at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans. And Leonard’s latest book, Jazz, Giants and Journeys, includes a full collection of photos that span his long career.

Leonard tells Michele Norris he’s grateful for what he was able to salvage from the storm, but much like favorite recipes, photographic prints never turn out the same way twice. He hasn’t moved back to his home city of New Orleans, and says he’ll live there again only if the city can regain some semblance of what it once was.

During his career, Leonard took hundreds of pictures of Davis, who he has described as his favorite artist to photograph. He also captured Holiday in her kitchen and in a killer pair of shoes. Leonard said the small chains attached to the shoes caught his attention.

“I thought to myself, this sort of epitomizes her life. She was in chains most of the time. She never really had any full control of her own life,” he says. “I like to photograph images — particularly of well-known people — where you don’t see their face, but the image does express part of their personality.” This interview aired 5/7/07; click here to view the page and launch the “LISTEN” button to hear it.

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HP’s Street Photography Competition: Deadline JUNE 10

“HP UK has announced the launch of the Street Photography online gallery to give professional photographers the opportunity to exhibit their work at the Recontres d’Arles photography festival in July 2007.

They can also enter the competition to have their images displayed at Arles, where they will be reproduced professionally on an HP Z-series printer, and even attend the festival with Stuart Franklin, a leading Magnum photographer and the current Magnum president. Follow this link to submit work for the on-line gallery and the competition.

Riding on the success of the HYPE galleries, the Street Photography gallery encourages photographers to look at the urban landscape in innovative or unusual ways. Cracks in the pavement, peeling walls, shadows cast by stairwells, could all be included in Street Photography.

By following the instructions on the Street Photography website, photographers can upload their images to the gallery where they are displayed online.

A launch event, including a Magnum Masterclass delivered by Stuart Franklin, will also be held today at Magnum’s headquarters in London.

Individuals then have until June 10 to submit their images online before the competition closes. The online gallery, however, will continue to run after this date for the rest of the year creating a comprehensive collection of Street Photography.

After the competition closes, Magnum president Stuart Franklin – publisher of several books on photography and award-winning photojournalist – will select the best 30 to be exhibited at the Arles festival, which runs from July 3 to September 16.

The top 30 winners will also receive their own copies printed on the HP Z-series printers to add to their portfolios.

From these 30, Franklin will also choose one winner to receive the grand prize: a paid-for trip to the festival, including an exclusive lunch with Franklin to gain valuable insights into the work of an internationally renowned photographer.

Photographers can display their work for free through the Street Photography online gallery.”

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