Archive for September, 2008

CRITICAL MASS: Registration open now through OCTOBER 6

One of my favorite ways to get to know new work is through the competition Critical Mass. As a Juror, we have a chance to see ten of your images, read your artist’s statement, learn from you what your final print process is, your preferred presentation size, price, and more. I can’t tell you how many photographers I meet at portfolio review events whose work seems familiar to me.. and I realize that they submitted to Critical Mass, and it allowed me to get to know their work for the first time, or update industry professionals on their projects. And I applaud giving the top prize winners BOOKS of their work. I love the fact that I can spend weeks reviewing the submissions and judge from CD-Rom when on airplanes over a period of weeks, allowing for thorough consideration of the work and my final rankings. Recently I have been reviewing the judging discs from previous years and can tell you that editing an sequencing DOES matter. I’ll be looking at work, completely engaged, then out of the blue the photographer decides to also show work from a complete different discipline. This challenges one’s focus on your work.

My best advice: submit 10 images that are coherent as a group. EDIT! Each image should add to the strength of the submission; don’t throw a curve ball into the submission, to show how broad your capabilities are… Carefully consider which image you elect to identify as “signature” from the submission, which will be used on the checklist we receive. If the selection of images you submit comes from a larger project or series, tell us. Provide us with titles. Write about your work with clarity.

The competition website can be found by clicking here. You will find a list of those pre-screening the work, and the Jurors who will review the submission of 175 finalists, on the site. I look forward to seeing your work this fall during the Critical Mass judging period.

From the event website:

The aim of Critical Mass, and all Photolucida programming, is to provide participants with career-building opportunities and to promote the best emerging and mid-career artists working today.

Critical Mass is a program about exposure and community. The idea is simple- photographers (from anywhere) submit a 10 image portfolio for $75. This work then gets pre-screened by a committee of 25 great jurors and from there, 175 top finalists are determined. These top finalists then pay an additional submission fee and their work goes on to a jury of approximately 200 of the world’s best curators, editors, and professionals who have agreed to vote on these finalists. From these votes, two or three photographers receive book awards and once the monographs are published, everyone who enters and reviews will receive copies of the books.

We are pleased to continue to give scholarships to pre-selected photographers by geographical region. In 2007, we gave scholarships to Polish photographers, this year the focus will be on photographers from Mexico.”

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FotoWeek DC November 15-22: Call for entries, deadline 9/22; portfolio reviews 11/15

From the event website:

“The week of November 15-22, 2008 will mark the launch of FotoWeek DC, the first annual gathering of a diverse and wide-ranging photography community in the nation’s capital, including photographers, museums, universities and all those involved in the profession across the metro D.C. area, including Virginia and Maryland. Unique among American cities, Washington, D.C. is a nexus of artistic, business, political and public sector energy, in which photography plays an integral role. FotoWeek DC seeks to bring together all photographers and imaging professionals from every discipline to join with the public in celebration of the medium.”


The FotoWeek DC Juried Awards are designed to recognize, honor, and celebrate the achievements of area professional photographers in the community of their peers through submissions of work in several disciplines. In addition, amateur and student work will be included and judged in six separate categories.”

DEADLINE 9/22 for the juried competition: click here for details.

PORTFOLIO REVIEW: November 15th at the Corcoran School of Art; registration details not yet posted so be sure to visit this link.

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Hank Willis Thomas and Kambui Olumjimi: lecture and exhibition opening 9/26 in Bay Area

Hank Willis Thomas and Kambui Olujimi’s WINTER IN AMERICA project will be on view at the de Saisset Museum, Santa Clara University from September 27 – December 13. This presentation will be the first time the stills and the video will be exhibited together. The artists will give a free public lecture on SEPTEMBER 26th from 6:30 – 7:30, followed by the opening reception for the exhibition from 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.

From the event website:

“Hank Willis Thomas and Kambui Olujimi’s collaborative Winter in America project consists of a stop-motion animation video and still photographs that function together to depict the 2000 robbery and murder of Thomas’ cousin Songha Thomas Willis. This tragic event is enacted by G.I. Joe action figures. Ironically, these toys were used by the artists when they were children to play out violent narratives. The narrative represented in Winter in America was developed from an interview with Todd Rose, the primary eye witness to the crime, as well as notes by Leslie Willis, the mother of the victim, taken during the murder trail of the perpetrators. This presentation will be the first time the Winter in America video and still photographs have been exhibited together. According to Willis, the project importantly includes both because, “Video carries the viewer through and still images allow the viewer to ponder.”

The resulting work is chillingly powerful—a dramatic statement about violence in African American communities. At the same time, the work directly critiques our culture’s relationship with violence—its prevalence in simulated forms in mass culture and its longstanding presence in the toys of our youth. Willis and Olujimi remind us that the packaging for G.I. Joe dolls identifies the toys as suitable for children ages five and up, even though all the figures are accessorized with guns. Making reference to their own personal relationships with the action figures, the artists reveal the role the toys play in “breeding a culture of violence in young boys, who are invited to author violent scenarios before they can even read.” Independent scholar and curator Carla Williams contributes: “Although this is specifically the story of young men of color, on both sides, and highly personal, this is ultimately a universal American tragedy, the inevitable and all-too-frequent by-product of a country hopped up on its own bullying bravado, blind to the consequences of its mad insistence on acquisition and dominance by any means necessary.”


The following week, Hank will make a three-city lecture tour in conjunction with his receiving the Aperture West Book Prize and the forthcoming release of his first monograph PITCH BLACKNESS:

The Aperture West Collaborative Series

October 1 at the Henry Art Museum (Seattle)

October 2 at the Hammer Museum, UCLA (Los Angeles)

October 3 at the San Francisco Art Institute, a PhotoAlliance Event (San Francisco)

Details to follow on this blog.

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Tonight in NYC: Art Criticism at SVA

SVA‘s Artists Talk on Art Presents:

Theory and Production: Art Criticism Today

Friday, September 19, 7 – 9pm

Robert Ayers, former senior editor of, and Jonathan T.D. Neil, art journalist and critic for Art Review, will discuss the challenges and relevance of contemporary art today. The panel will consider the current environment in which the curator and collector frequently supplant the art critic’s influence, as well as the effects of convergent media and blogs on the public discourse of art. Peter Duhon, executive editor of Art Comments, will moderate.

209 East 23 Street, 3rd-floor amphitheater
Admission is free for SVA students, faculty, staff and ATOA members; $7 regular admission; $3 for SVA alumni, non-SVA students and seniors.

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Registration for Review LA begins this Thursday; CENTER Members have one-day advantage

CENTER offers Portfolio Reviews in Los Angeles the weekend of Photo LA. You can sign up for three reviews, six reviews or nine one-on-one portfolio reviews during the event. You must call the CENTER office to register.

From the e-blast announcement today:

Review Los Angeles
January 9-10, 2009
Doubletree Guest Suites, 1707 Fourth St, Santa Monica, CA

Registration for Review LA will open for Center members and people who would like to become members, this Thursday, September 18th at 10am MST. Registration will open for all others on Friday, September 19th. Last year, we sold out very quickly. Registration is on a first-come, first-serve basis with the option to purchase 3, 6, or 9 reviews.

(NOTE FROM MVS: I was told that you can become a member at the time of registration).

Review LA consists of one-on-one twenty-minute meetings with esteemed gallerists, editors, publishers, agents and others, which provide photographers of all levels with networking opportunities and possible career advancement. A special lunch for participants encourages conversation, sharing of experiences and community building. In addition, an evening of Portfolio Viewing allows reviewers the time to see the work of all the photographers and participants the chance to share their work with each other and an interested public.

Click here to learn more about Review LA and see a list of the confirmed reviewers to date.

Photo LA
Review LA is planned to coincide with Photo LA, the 18th annual international photographic exposition, January 9-11, 2009, Santa Monica, CA.”

from the CENTER website:

The first day of registration is for members only and for those who would like to sign up as members at that time. The second day of registration is open up to anyone else who would like to attend.

FEES (member and non-member rates)
Includes twenty-minute reviews with professionals;
lunch on Saturday following the reviews; a night of portfolio sharing including an invitational preview for reviewers and special guests.
3 reviews – $355/$395
6 reviews – $525/$565
9 reviews – $655/$695

NOTE: I have gotten many questions from photographers today about whether they can select specific Reviewers at Review LA. From the CENTER WEBSITE there is additional information about the LOTTERY system where participants will have the chance to “enter their Reviewer preferences into our computerized lottery system. Individual schedules will be available prior to the event.” If you have any more questions, be sure to ask the Center office. These reviews WILL sell out, so if interested, don’t wait too long. I think it is good value to attend a portfolio review on the same trip that you can attend a gallery expo for inspiration and further education on the marketplace.

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Panel Discussion: The Color Photograph, September 18 at the Haggerty Museum of Art

PANEL: The Color Photograph

Held in conjunction with the current exhibition “Biographical Landscape: The Photography of Stephen Shore”

Thursday, September 18, 2008, 7 p.m. Free and Open to the Public

Moderator-Wally Mason, Director of the Haggerty Museum of Art at Marquette University


Tom Bamberger, Photographer, Milwaukee

Lisa Hostetler, Associate Curator of Photographs, Milwaukee Art Museum

Karen Irvine, Curator, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Columbia College, Chicago

Brian Ulrich, Photographer, Chicago
The exhibitions continues through September 28th.


Parking is available in the Marquette Wells Street Parking Structure, entered on 13th street between Wells Street and Kilbourn Avenue. Additional parking is available in the Parking Structure, entered from 16th street between Wisconsin Avenue and Wells Street. Metered street parking is available on Clybourn Avenue between 13th and 16th Streets and on 14th Street between Wisconsin and Kilbourn Avenues. The Haggerty lot adjacent to the museum is no longer available for parking due to campus construction. For more information please call 414-288-7290 or visit the Haggerty Website at for current parking information.

About The Haggerty Museum:

Opened in 1984 on the Marquette University campus, the Haggerty Museum of Art includes four main galleries and houses a permanent collection of more than 6,500 works of art. It regularly offers exhibitions showing cultural diversity and art influenced by modern technology. The permanent collection includes European and American contemporary art, Old Master paintings, as well as works on paper, photography and collections of African and Asian art.

For information, call 414-288-5915 or e-mail

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HCP Opening 9/12 changed to 9/19 due to Hurricane

This just in from Houston Center for Photography:

“Due to the approaching storm, we regret to inform you that the Opening Reception for Sage Sohier’s Perfectible Worlds, Mike Osborne’s On Location Beijing, and HCP’s Teacher & Student Exhibition Learning Curve 2 has been postponed to next Friday, September 19, 6-8pm.

HCP will be closed through the weekend, and will resume regular gallery hours on Wednesday, September 17. We hope that you will join us next Friday, September 19 from 6-8pm for the Opening Reception.”

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This Weekend in San Francisco, Houston, Woodstock

SAN FRANCISCO: PhotoAlliance launches the fall with a lecture by Seattle-based PAUL BERGER, with an introductory presentation by BRIAN TAYLOR on Friday, September 12th at 7:30 p.m.

About the PhotoAlliance Lecture Series:

“The PhotoAlliance lecture series brings to the Bay Area a rich range of talent and ideas to further the communities dialogue with contemporary photography. Each month we present nationally and internationally known artists as featured speakers. Our goal is also to support the diverse range of regional photographers, and when possible, our events begin with an introductory presentation by an emerging artist. You will never know what you will see or hear at a PhotoAlliance lecture, but you are likely not to forget each you attend. Everyone welcome.”

A reminder, group exhibition closing SEPTEMBER 18th:

From the website:

“PhotoAlliance in a programmatic partnership with the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery presents
Eighteen Months: Taking the Pulse of Bay Area Photography. This exhibition features over 100 images and was the result of an open call to the community. There is a diverse range of styles and interests represented including landscapes, street photography, portraits, and conceptual works.

Participating Artists: Noah Beil, Victor J. Blue, Andres Carnalla, Grant Ernhart, Alex Fradkin, Hiroyo Kaneko, Michael Maggid, Vanessa Marsh, SeanMcFarland , Julia Nelson-Gal, Elizabeth Pedinotti, Mimi Plumb, Kaycie Roberts, Joshua Smith, Susan Lynn Smith, Naomi Rae Vanderkindren, Serena Wellen, David L. Wilson, Jason Winshell, Sabrina Wong, Bijan Yashar, and Jim Zook.”

Eighteen Months was juried by Makeda Best (Assistant Curator, Photography, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art), Ann M. Jastrab (Gallery Director, RayKo Photo Center and Gallery, SF), and Doreen Schmid, (PhotoAlliance Board Member, Curator, Editor and Writer).

Three exhibitions open Friday, September 12th at the Houston Center for Photography, and HCP Fellowship artist MIKE OSBORN will be speaking that evening.

From the website: “Austin-based artist Mike Osborne is the recipient of one of two HCP Fellowship Awards in 2007, granting him a cash award of $2,000 and a solo exhibition at the Houston Center for Photography. This year´s selection was juried by Anjali Gupta, Editor-in-Chief of Artlies magazine, critic and video producer and Rachel Cook, artist, writer and independent curator.”

Additional exhibitions opening on the 12th, on view through October 26th:

Perfectible Worlds by Sage Sohier
Opening reception Friday, September 12 from 6-8pm.

“This series is about people´s private passions and obsessions. Begun soon after 9/11/01, the series portrays people transported into worlds and activities over which they have near-total control. The photographs, made from medium-format negatives, range from portraits of some who make extravagant miniature worlds, to others who have extraordinary collections or who immerse themselves in unusual pursuits. Each photograph is the discovery of a particular world an individual has found or created for himself — a private world that few are privileged to see.

The series began with a picture I took of a friend working on his model railroad. Expanding over the twenty years he has owned his house, his railroad has taken over the entire basement. When he goes down to work on it, he leaves behind both his professional and family life. He need satisfy only himself, and exercises complete control over what he has made. This kind of absorption — what we do in an imperfect world to console ourselves — struck me as a subject worthy of exploration.

We´re all fascinated with other people´s passions — what they do in their spare time to satisfy an inner need. These constructions, collections, or activities are quirky, often beautiful, and almost always ends in themselves. My ambition has been to reveal the particularity and intensity of these acts and creations, and also to capture individuals´ engagement in the midst of them. Their worlds — for a fleeting instant, and through their generosity — become mine…and now, perhaps, yours. – Sage Sohier”

Learning Curve 2
September 12 – October 26, 2008

Closing reception and Annual Print Sale: Saturday, November 1 from 4-8pm

Learning Curve 2 is a selection of work by HCP´s teachers and students from the past year. The exhibition highlights the various educational programs that HCP offers through its Learning Center from digital to alternative processes.

HCP offers over 250 workshops and classes a year ranging in skill level and medium reaching over 450 lifelong learners. The teachers that teach these photography workshops are local professional photographers and artists that are able to share their knowledge with the Houston community. In addition to the staff of teachers from Houston, HCP also hosts classes taught by visiting artists from across the nation such as Mark and France Scully Osterman, Keith Carter, and Dan Burkholder. With all the teachers HCP is able to offer something to students of all levels and photographic experiences.

Students that had taken a class between September 2007 — July 2008 were invited to submit work they have made in the past year to showcase their experience in an HCP class. The student work was juried by HCP´s Education Coordinator Rachel Hewlett and HCP´s Executive Director and Curator Madeline Yale.

HCP´s Learning Center just celebrated its two year anniversary allowing the educational programming to grow exponentially during that time. The Learning Center enables HCP to offer a well-rounded experience in photography from camera and technique classes in the Critique Room to Photoshop and printing courses in the Digital Darkroom to photo history in the John Cleary Library.

WOODSTOCK: Mickey Smith‘s exhibition COLLOCATIONS is on view until October 26th, with an artists reception Saturday, September 13th from 5-7 p.m. “Since 2004 Mickey Smith has been creating striking monumental images and site-specific installations culled from her documentation of bound periodicals and professional journals found in the archives of public libraries.

Opening Reception & Artist Talk: Saturday Sept. 13, 5-7pm
Gallery hours: Wednesday – Sunday, 12 – 5pm. “

From the artist’s website, project description:

Volume is an ongoing project documenting bound periodicals and professional journals in public and private libraries. Most of these publications are being replaced by their online counterparts, and in many cases the printed versions are no longer bound. Several titles photographed in the process of this project have been removed from the stacks due to space and budget constraints. Searching endless rows of these utilitarian texts, I am struck by the physical mass of knowledge and tenuousness of printed works as they fade from public consciousness.

The act of hunting for and photographing these objects is fundamental to my process. I do not touch, light, or manipulate the books and words – preferring to document them as found in the stacks, created by the librarian, and positioned by the last unknown reader.

The irony and graphic quality of repeating titles fascinate and draw, no matter how mundane, from known to obscure, from Vogue to Blood. I focus on simple, provocative titles that transcend the spines on which they appear.


Note: Collocation is defined as “the act or result of placing or arranging together, specifically: a noticeable arrangement or conjoining of linguistic elements (as words).”


Thank you to the following libraries and their generous staff.

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Photography.Book.Now Awards ANNOUNCED

This morning, the winners of the Photography.Book.Now competition were announced on the Blurb website.

Minneapolis-based BETH DOW is the Grand Prize Winner for “IN THE GARDEN” which I first became aware of at Review Santa Fe several years ago and have since become a huge fan of this and her more recent work.  Jen Bekman Gallery in NYC showed Beth’s elegant images in 2007, receiving a mention from photography critic Vince Aletti in The New Yorker.  Congratulations, Beth!

And congratulations are also due to all those who placed in the competition.

I encourage you to go to the website and view the projects submitted, some of which I have known and admired for some time, other bodies of work are new to me.   Entering a book dummy for this competitions was no small feat so please take a look at the efforts of those who placed as well as those who submitted, all of which are available for purchase at the Blurb Bookstore.

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Spaces still available: En Foco Portfolio Reviews in New York City, September 13

I learned this morning that there are a few spaces remaining for the upcoming Reviews sponsored by EnFoco; a very good roster of industry professionals will be available to share your work with. Membership in EnFoco is open to all; you can join at the time of registration.

Visit the even website for full details.

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