Archive for July, 2007


The submission deadline for the National Geographic Traveler and Photo District News “WORLD IN FOCUS” Travel Photography Competition is rapidly approaching; there are categories for both professional and amateur photographers. find out complete details at:

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Exhibition Reception July 31st for OUR WORLD: From the Document to the Expressive Image

The San Francisco Arts Commission and PhotoAlliance present
Our World: From the Document to the Expressive Image Exhibition
A juried exhibitoin of over 100 photographs by Bay Area Artists.

RECEPTION held Tuesday July 31st, 5:30- 7:30 at the San Francisco City Hall.

EXHIBITION runs July 12 – September 21, 2007

Amy Auerbach, Erik Auerbach, Henrique Bagulho, Stan Banos, Anne Bozack, Vala Cliffton, Katherine DuTiel, Geoffrey Ellis, Grant Ernhart, Tom Griscom, Susan Hall, Kent Hasel, Carol Henry, Ching-Wei Jiang, S. Renee Jones, Patricia Koren, Gayle Laird, Sara Leith-Tanous, Jennifer Little, Bill Mattick, Rebecca Palmer, Mary Parisi, Jackson Patterson, Alison Pebworth, Job Piston, Ari Salomon, Heather Sarantis, Peter Tonningsen, Zabi Towfique, Serena Wellen, Don Whitebread, and David Wolf.

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Lecture/Booksigning in NYC for DARFUR: Twenty Years of War and Genocide in Sudan

powerHouse Books, Amnesty International, and Barnes & Noble present

Ron Haviv, Leora Kahn, and Larry Cox
Contributors to Darfur: Twenty Years of War and Genocide in Sudan

July 30, 2007

Barnes & Noble Astor Place,
4 Astor Place, New York, NY (between Broadway and Lafayette)
Tel: 212-420-1322

Time: 7pm

From the e-press release:
“Time: 7pm

About the book, Darfur: Twenty Years of War and Genocide in Sudan:
Even by conservative estimates, the situation in the Darfur region of the Sudan is grave. There are 3.5 million people who are hungry, 2.5 million who have been displaced by violence, and 400,000 individuals who have died since the crisis began in 2003. The international community has failed to take steps to protect civilians, or to influence the Sudanese government to intervene. The spread of violence, rape, and hate-fueled killings across the border into Chad is simply the latest atrocity. Call it war. Call it genocide. Call it famine. There is no single word to describe the plight of these people. They face all of these horrors at once.

Darfur: Twenty Years of War and Genocide in Sudan features the work of photographers and writers including:

Lynsey Addario, who has focused on human rights issues ranging from the effects of the Castro regime in Cuba to life under the Taliban in Afghanistan to the war in Iraq.
Pep Bonet, who makes poignant photo essays that have shed light on some of the most heartbreaking examples of human atrocities in recent history, including Darfur.
Colin Finlay, who has covered war, conflict, genocide, famine, environmental issues, religious pilgrimage, and disappearing traditions and cultures, as well as made numerous documentaries for television.
Ron Haviv, who has covered the fall of the Berlin Wall, the release of Nelson Mandela, cocaine wars in Columbia, the Gulf War, the flight of the Kurds from Iraq, conflict in Russia, refugees in Rwanda, and political upheaval in Haiti.
Olivier Jobard, who, in April 2004, was the only Western photographer to go into Darfur; he also was the first photographer to penetrate into Fallujah, the Iraqi town seized by American forces, spending two weeks with Iraqi rebels.
Kadir van Lohuizen, who covered the Palestinian Intifada, conflict areas such as Angola, Sierra Leone, Mozambique, Liberia and DR Congo. From 1990 to 1994 he covered the transition in South Africa from apartheid to democracy.
Chris Steele-Perkins, who began his first foreign work in 1973 in Bangladesh, followed by work for relief organizations as well as travel assignments. Steele-Perkins joined Magnum and soon began working extensively in the Third World.
Sven Torfinn, who is based in Nairobi, Kenya, working on assignments for Dutch and international media and N.G.O.s.
Jon Alter, author of the widely acclaimed Newsweek column that examines politics, media and social and global issues since 1991.
Larry Cox, Executive Director of Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) since January 2006 and veteran human rights advocate.
Mia Farrow, an award-winning actress and has devoted much time to humanitarian causes, particularly those supporting children. She has been associated with UNICEF since December 1998.

The book covers three periods in the Sudan crisis, including images shot in 1988, when an estimated 250,000 Sudanese died of starvation; images from 1992 and 1995 that capture the atrocities of a civil war, when hundreds of thousands fled their homes to other destinations in Sudan or left the country altogether; and images from 2005 and more recently, bringing to light the severity of the humanitarian crisis underway, with the Sudanese government and the Janjaweed militias committing systematic violence on the people of Darfur.

A handbook is included that provides website links and additional resources for readers to pursue. It specifies measures they can take to make their voices heard so the people of Darfur do not feel forgotten. All proceeds from the book will benefit Amnesty International and Genocide Intervention Network.”

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Elizabeth Opalenik’s “POETIC GRACE” – Pre-orders Now

Elizabeth Opalenik is a wonderful artist who has touch so many through her work, and her teaching. Her series of nudes produced in the Mordancage process are truly memorable.

Elizabeth wrote recently with this news:
I have just returned from Singapore with a copy of my monograph, Poetic Grace, in hand. It was a thrilling, somewhat daunting and quite a rewarding experience to be on press for the printing. The book is bigger and as lovely as I had hoped for after 28 years. It is now 12×13 inches in size with 90 four color images. The book and the limited edition clamshell sets should arrive and be ready to ship mid August. Additional details and ordering information are available at

I am still offering the prepublication price of $65, plus shipping until August 15. After that date the price will be $75. Because I am publisher and distributor, the book can only be ordered through me for now, but some stores will carry it by fall. That said, I would be pleased if you could pass this information to any stores near you that may want to offer “Poetic Grace”.”

From the book’s website:
“In my 30 years circulating through the photographic community, I have met few individuals who have developed their creative inspiration as richly as Elizabeth. The images that flow from her frequent bursts of inspiration always surprise and delight me. She has the wonderful ability to turn any photographic process into her own unique vision and voice, from infrared to handcoloring to Mordançage. There are more unrestrained, creative impulses in her
fingers and heart than seems fair in one person.” —Reid Callanan

An exhibition of the work featured in “Poetic Grace” will open August 30 at Verve Gallery in Santa Fe. There will also be a book signing at the gallery on September 1st.

Bravo, Elizabeth! What a great accomplishment. I can’t wait to see your book and congratulate you in person when we teach together next week in Maine!

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Lecture by Charlotte Cotton on August 3 at PCNW/Seattle

Charlotte Cotton, recently appointed Curator of Photography at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), served as Juror for the exhibition “UP & NOW: 12th Annual Photographic Competition Exhibition at the Gallery of the Photography Center Northwest. The show opened on Friday, July 13th and continues on view through August 30th.

Ms. Cotton will be giving a public lecture entitled “THE PHOTOGRAPH AS CONTEMPORARY ART on FRIDAY, AUGUST 3rd at 7 p.m.

From the website:
“This lecture concerns photographic practice over the past decade and the notion of photography as an accepted and fashionable form of contemporary art. The lecture qualifies the versions of contemporary art photography that have made a lasting impact on the discourses of art as well as highlighting the issues they raise for our perceptions of photographic practice today.”

Her book of the same title is one my favorites – here is the publisher’s description:

“With some of the most important artists and key works, this is an ideal introduction to the twenty-first century’s dominant art form.

From conceptual art’s use of the banal and ‘artless’ snapshot to the carefully constructed tableaux of Jeff Wall, The Photograph as Contemporary Art considers the full range of ways that today’s artists engage with photography to make art.

Some artists, such as Sophie Calle and Erwin Wurm, use photography as a record of a real performance or everyday action, while others such as Yinka Shonibare and Gregory Crewdson stage invented scenes and narratives to tell fictional stories. Andreas Gursky, Thomas Demand and Rineke Dijkstra present a cool, seemingly objective view of the external world, while Nan Goldin and Wolfgang Tillmans offer up intimate details of their private lives. In the hands of Luc Delahaye and Allan Sekula, photography is a means of creating documentary, while for those such as Cindy Sherman and Gillian Wearing, the photograph becomes a repository of personal, social and cultural values in an image-saturated world.”

Click here to purchase at

Lecture with Charlotte Cotton
Curator of Photography, LACMA
The Photograph as Contemporary Art

Tickets: $8, $5 PCNW & SAM members and students
Location: Seattle Art Museum , Downtown, 1300 1st Avenue , Seattle , WA 98101
Purchase lecture tickets at PCNW, by calling (206) 720-7222, or online at Brown Paper Tickets.
For more information, call (206) 720-7222 or click here.

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“Making The Scene: The Midtown Y Photography Gallery, 1972-1996” Exhibition at the NY Public Library through 9/16

When traveling to NYC this summer to catch the incredible wealth of exhibitions on view, do not miss this one! From the NYPL website (don’t miss RELATED EVENTS towards the bottom):

“Vibrant Photographs from Archives of Influential New York City Gallery Celebrated in Exhibition at The New York Public Library.

Making the Scene: The Midtown Y Photography Gallery, 1972-1996 on view from April 27 to September 16, 2007.

The pioneering gallery that offered photographers an opportunity to publicly exhibit their work during a period in which few galleries showed photography at all, will be honored with an exhibit of its own at The New York Public Library’s Humanities and Social Sciences Library at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street from April 27 to September 16, 2007. Making the Scene: The Midtown Y Photography Gallery, 1972-1996 features over 160 photographic prints from the Midtown Y Photography Gallery Archive, bequeathed to The New York Public Library in 1998.

Photographs in Making the Scene represent a diverse range of topics, but many of them capture the raw urban sensibility of New York in the era directly before parts of the city were transformed by gentrification and upscale development. Photographs such as those in Sy Rubin’s 14th St. series show buildings, restaurants, and stores that no longer exist and capture the gritty street life and colorful characters of neighborhoods stretching from the East River to the Hudson. Michael Uffer’s 1980 print shows the raucous energy of a live rock show, and Arthur Tress’s spirited photograph captures the marvel of three silhouetted boys suspended on top of a batting cage. The dawn of AIDS, the vital Jewish population on the Lower East Side, and a variety of public protests are among the subjects that are threaded throughout the works displayed, especially those exhibited during the gallery’s first decade.

“The works displayed in Making the Scene reveal new sensibilities that were coming to the fore in the work of the emerging artists the gallery showcased,” said David Ferriero, the Andrew W. Mellon Director and Chief Executive of The Research Libraries. “They capture the adventurous spirit of the era in which they were taken and are an invaluable resource at the Library for researchers exploring those times. ”

Stephen C. Pinson, the Robert B. Menschel Curator of Photography and organizer of the exhibition comments, “Today, photography is obtaining record prices at auction and, simultaneously, long-standing photography galleries are expanding their inventories to include other media. These are signs that we have reached a kind of ‘second wave’ of photography’s entrance and acceptance into the contemporary art world. From this perspective, we are now in a better position to appreciate the role and contribution of the Midtown Y Photography Gallery, which helped claim for photography the position it has enjoyed for the past two decades.”

The Midtown Y Photography Gallery, founded in 1972 by Larry Siegel with the help of Robert Menschel, was the first nonprofit organization in New York City with a mission to provide a public space for the display of photographs, helping the careers of dozens of photographers from 1972 to 1996. Prior to the 1980s, very few galleries showed photography exclusively, and emerging photographers were faced with limited options for exhibiting their work outside museums. This exhibition offers a broader vision of the photography that was seen during the period in which photography became a mainstay of the art world, as well as an intimate portrait of one New York gallery.

Photographers whose work is featured in this exhibition include David Attie, Niki Berg, Dawoud Bey, Roy Colmer, Nathan Farb, Larry Fink, John Ganis, Robert Giard, Bruce Gilden, Arlene Gottfried, Ed Grazda, Linda Hackett, Peter Hujar, Sid Kaplan, Arthur Leipzig, Joan Liftin, Ari Marcopoulos, John Messina, Abelardo Morell, Larry Siegel, Aaron Siskind, Sage Sohier, Michael Spano, Louis Stettner, Neil Trager, Arthur Tress, Susan Unterberg, William E. Williams, and many more .

The exhibition is divided into three sections: (1) a retrospective survey of photographers who showed individual bodies of work during the two major phases of the gallery’s life, 1972-1982 and 1983-1996, respectively; (2) a selection of photographs drawn from some of the gallery’s large group exhibitions; and (3) a significant group of Sy Rubin’s photographs from 14th St., a project sponsored by the Midtown Y in 1981. In addition, on the four walls that anchor the corners of the hall, smaller sections entitled “Negotiations” provide information about how the gallery handled a medium in transition, covering topics such as community involvement, the role of gender, the rise of color photography, historical awareness, and the alternative and mainstream scenes for photography. Finally, a “screening room” presents a slide show that showcases in more depth the work of many of the photographers who exhibited at the Midtown Y.

On View 1972-1982 and 1983-1996

During its first decade, the Midtown Y Gallery occasionally showed historical photographs as well as the work of more established photographers (opening with exhibitions by W. Eugene Smith and Berenice Abbott), but the emphasis was on showing and promoting the work of emerging artists who could not find representation elsewhere. This dedication was solidified during the second decade of the gallery’s existence. For many photographers, these shows constituted their first “solo” exhibitions in New York City; for others, it was the first time they publicly exhibited their work. In 1993, the gallery moved from the Midtown Y to the Educational Alliance at 197 East Broadway. Tighter administrative controls at the new location, the appearance of new venues for photographers, and increased competition for state and national funding resulted in the closing of the gallery in 1996.

Featured in this section are gems like David Attie’s studio portrait of three models holding their open portfolios; Bruce Gilden’s humorous print of a woman with a very tan chest sunbathing; and Nathan Farb’s fascinatingly strange image of a man and a woman wearing bathing suits and sitting in a wicker loveseat eating corn-on-the-cob. Works by John Ganis, Susan Unterberg, Linda Hackett and others show the increased interest in color photography during the late 1970s-1980s, whereas an early photograph by Abelardo Morell hints at his later fascination with the imprint of light in camera obscura.

Group Shows

During its first decade, the Midtown Y Photography Gallery organized a number of exhibitions built around specific themes, frequently related to New York City and concerning social and/or historical themes, and for which the gallery issued open calls to photographers. For example, featured in the exhibition celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Brooklyn Bridge is Toby Old’s arresting photograph of a totaled car against the eerie backdrop of the bridge at night.

Other exhibitions were broader in scope. The gallery’s largest group exhibition, Coming of Age in America (1973), examined what director Larry Siegel called a “deep seated cultural and economic problem in our country,” which he defined as the antagonism between the “great, yet empty overvaluing of youth and things youthful and the equally great yet empty undervaluing of aging and the aged.” The original exhibition included almost 170 works by 38 photographers, and marked one of the first public exhibitions by Peter Hujar, whose particularly striking portrait of a sullen-looking older man in clownface, the creases of his age amplifying the dark, bold lines of the makeup, is a highlight of Making the Scene .

14th Street

Sy Rubin and Larry Siegel’s 14th St. demonstrates the enduring vitality of street photography (a well-established genre in New York beginning with the influential work of William Klein and Robert Frank in the 1950s) into the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Sponsored by the Midtown YM-YWHA, and funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and the J.M. Kaplan Fund, the 14th St. project documented the longest crosstown street in Manhattan, which was then considered the dividing line between downtown and midtown. Although much of the essence of 14th Street remains today, many of the once-familiar places Rubin and Siegel captured in the series have since disappeared. In the exhibition, visitors will see sites such as May’s Department Store, now the location of a Whole Foods Market; and Lüchow’s restaurant, the Palladium, and Julian’s Billiards, which have been replaced by buildings owned by New York University. On the west side, the meatpacking district has experienced an even more dramatic transformation and is now home to high-end fashion boutiques and trendy restaurants.

Sy Rubin took the photographs on view here between 1979 and 1981 and donated them to the permanent collection of the Midtown Y Photography Gallery. They are presented in the original exhibition order designated by Rubin.

Items in “Making the Scene” are drawn from the Midtown Y Photography Gallery Archive, bequeathed to The New York Public Library in 1998, and housed in the Photography Collection of The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs, and in the Manuscripts and Archives Division.

The exhibition is accompanied by a four-color illustrated publication, featuring an essay written by Stephen C. Pinson, a timeline of important events in photography during the Midtown Y Photography Gallery’s lifetime, and the complete exhibition history of the gallery, published for the first time. Published by The New York Public Library, it is available in paperback at The Library Shop (

Docent Tours

Free public tours of this exhibition are conducted Tuesday through Saturday at 12:30 and 2:30 p.m.; and Sunday at 3:30 p.m. (the Library will be closed on Sundays from May 27 through September 2). Groups of ten or more people must make reserved group tour arrangements; call 212.930.0501. Reserved group tour fees are $7 per person ($5 for seniors); there is no charge for full-time students.

Free Public Programs

Seating for these programs is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Lecture: From Marginal to Mainstream: Photography’s ‘Alternative’ History

Celeste Bartos Education Center, South Court Auditorium
Humanities and Social Sciences Library, Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street
Wednesday, May 23 at 6 p.m.; repeated Wednesday, July 25 at 3:15 p.m.

Exhibition curator Stephen C. Pinson will give an illustrated lecture focusing on the history of the Midtown Y Photography Gallery.

About The Photography Collection

The Photography Collection of The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs comprises approximately 400,000 photographs, including examples of almost every photographic process from the earliest daguerreotypes to contemporary digital images.

The Photography Collection was developed in 1980 when images culled from other NYPL departments and branches were brought together to form a new division. The historically stated focus of the collection has been “documentary photography,” a term originally coined in the 1930s to describe the work of photographers who attempted to document specific social conditions. The Photography Collection, which has significant holdings in this area, actually encompasses a much broader range of the medium, including images made for commercial, industrial, and scientific application as well as images for the press and other print media, the vernacular of amateur snapshot photography, and original works intended for exhibition and/or the art market.

Future collection activity and development will focus on fulfilling the department’s role as the most accessible public resource in New York City for the study of photographs and the history of photography.

About The New York Public Library

The New York Public Library was created in 1895 with the consolidation of the private libraries of John Jacob Astor and James Lenox with the Samuel Jones Tilden Trust. The Library provides free and open access to its physical and electronic collections and information, as well as to its services. It comprises four research centers – The Humanities and Social Sciences Library; The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts; the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; and the Science, Industry and Business Library – and 86 Branch Libraries in Manhattan, Staten Island, and the Bronx. Research and circulating collections combined total more than 50 million items. In addition, each year the Library presents thousands of exhibitions and public programs, which include classes in technology, literacy, and English as a second language. The New York Public Library serves over 15 million patrons who come through its doors annually and another 21 million users internationally, who access collections and services through its website,

Making the Scene: The Midtown Y Photography Gallery, 1972-1996 will be on view from April 27 through September 16, 2007 in the Samuel D. and Jeane H. Gottesman Exhibition Hall at The New York Public Library’s Humanities and Social Sciences Library, located at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street in Manhattan. Exhibition hours are Tuesday-Wednesday, 11 a.m.-7:30 p.m.; Thursday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday, 1-5 p.m. Closed Mondays; Sundays from May 27 through September 2; and the following days: Saturday, May 26 and Saturday, September 1. For more information on hours, current and upcoming exhibitions, programs, and services at The New York Public Library, call 212.869.8089 or visit the Library’s website at

Support for this exhibition has been provided by Robert B. Menschel: The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation and by The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation.

Support for The New York Public Library’s Exhibitions Program has been provided by Celeste Bartos, Mahnaz I. and Adam Bartos, Jonathan Altman, and Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III.”

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“PDN ON THE ROAD” Coming to Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, NYC and Atlanta this fall!

PDN and the Santa Fe Workshops have announced the fall schedule of cities where the “PDN On The Road” will travel to this fall:

Atlanta—October 1-2
Chicago—October 29–30
Dallas—November 12–13
New York —December 3–4
Los Angeles —December 10–11

From the website:
“PDN and Santa Fe Workshops are pleased to present the NEW “PDN On the Road” seminar series for professional photographers. Making money and saving time are critical. Find solutions and alternatives for this changing and intensely competitive market. PDN On The Road will provide essential insights into the business of photography, such as:

· The most effective marketing techniques
· Business growth opportunities
· Building portfolios and contacts
· Streamlining your workflow
· Getting the attention of photo buyers and photo creatives
· Multimedia marketing – tools for reaching a broader audience
· Networking and portfolio sharing reception with key industry professionals
· And much more……

The seminar will also include valuable hand-outs, lunch and a networking/portfolio sharing reception with art buyers, photo editors, art directors and photography reps. All details you need will be on the site by August 1. You can’t afford to miss this one!”

I’ll be joining a roster of friends and colleagues as Faculty for these seminars. See you On The Road! Watch for the programming to be posted.

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Too many great things to attend – so rather than a periodic listing of calendar items, I’ve decided to create a new category within which to note events of importance to my readers: APPROACHING EVENT. Remember to check it periodically to ensure you don’t miss out on a valuable experience, and an opportunity to learn, meet your peers and your industry. Book hotels early, register well before deadline, and travel safe!

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MVS & David Burnett Guests on 7/21

This weekend’s installment of Photo Talk Radio hour, live at 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. PDT, will have photojouralist David Burnett and myself as (separate) guests during this hour-long radio show. David is a founding member of Contact Press Images and it is an honor to share the program with him.

From the home page you can click on the flashing bar to listen in to the live broadcast, and call with questions for David or myself if you wish.

The show will be archived.

You can listen to my first visit with Howard Lipin and Michael Garcia, hosts of Photo Talk Radio, from 5/5/07 by clicking on the archives link here. My segment begins about 15 or 20 minutes into the show, if my memory serves me!

Leave a Comment Interview with Sean Perry

Photographer Sean Perry turned me on to a website called “Area of Design” that is featuring a wonderful interview with him currently on the home page, with samples of his work and his artists book Transitory. (I interviewed Sean about “Transitory” for the forthcoming Fall issue of the Photo-Eye Booklist; I’ll post when it is on the stands.)

I’d not previously known of this website, and find if of interest, particularly as it showcases both art and design.

“Our scope includes, but is not limited to, the following disciplines:

Fashion Design
Furniture Design
Graphic Design
Interior Design
Interactive Design.”

It’s mission statement: “Area of Design is an organization that showcases established and emerging artists, designers, commercial firms, and non profit groups based in the United States.

Our mission is to provide a forum for artists to express themselves and inspire others by encouraging, educating, and nurturing creative talent.”

Many sections of this site should be checked out, especially American Icons, Resources and the Calendar, pointing readers to interesting events like Pop!Tech 2007, and exhibitions like “Meet Contemporary Czech Design.” Just the blend of art and culture I love!

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