Archive for February 15, 2009

Reminder: SMOCA Gallery Talk and discussion on SOMMER on 2/19, “Portfolio Sharing” applications: postmark deadline March 2nd

As my readers will recall, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) is currently showing

“AT THE CROSSROADS OF AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHY: Callahan, Siskind and Sommer” through May 13th.

This week, Claire Carter, exhibition co-curator, along with Naomi Lyons and Jeremy Cox, co-trustees of the Frederick and Frances Sommer Foundation, Prescott, Arizona will discuss the importance of Frederick Sommer. The talk will be held at SMoCA at 6:30 p.m. on February 19th.

Mark your calendars as well for a gallery talk on March 11th at 12:00 noon with Phoenix Art Museum curator Rebecca Senf who will discuss the influence of Ansel Adams on Harry Callahan.

Both of these gallery talks are free and open to the public.

Towards the end of the exhibition run SMoCA will be hosting an incredible symposium on May 8 & 9th:


Friday night May 8th opens with a 7 p.m. presentation by Emmet Gowin (photographer, professor, Princeton University and student of Callahan and Sommer) will give a poetic gallery talk about Frederick Sommer, abstract photography and the influence of Sommer and Callahan on his personal work.

Saturday’s presentations run from 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 and include the following presenters and panelists:
Joseph Sterling (photographer and student of Callahan, Siskind and Sommer at the Institute of Design) will share his personal experiences and Callahan, Siskind and Sommer’s role in developing a photography program at the Institute of Design, Chicago.
Claire C. Carter (co-curator of the exhibition and Curatorial Coordinator at SMoCA) will investigate Siskind’s work and its relationship to the paintings of the Abstract Expressionists.
Leland Rice (photographer, curator and writer) will discuss Sommer’s Arizona landscape photographs and how the Surrealist painters Max Ernst and Yves Tanguy influenced his work.
Keith F. Davis (Curator of Photography, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, and Chair, Art Selection Committee, Hallmark Cards, Inc., both in Kansas City, Missouri) will lecture on Harry Callahan’s interest in the universal.
Harold Jones, (photographer, curator and educator, director of LIGHT Gallery, New York [1973-1975] and founding Director of the Center of Creative Photography [1975-1977], University of Arizona) will discuss the inception of LIGHT Gallery and how these three artists’s archives came to reside in Arizona.

Book Signing by Keith F. Davis and Britt Salvesen, authors of the exhibition’s accompanying catalog.

Learn more about the symposium here.


In conjunction with this event, the closing session on Saturday May 8th will be a “portfolio sharing” for photographers; the applications will be pre-screened by Terry Etherton of the Etherton Gallery in Tucson, Arizona.

From the event website:

In conjunction with the symposium, Exchanging Ideas: photography, abstraction and metaphor at mid-century, SMoCA would like to extend to artists the opportunity to participate in a juried portfolio share on May 9, 2009. In the spirit of Harry Callahan, Aaron Siskind and Frederick Sommer, educators who highly encouraged the exchange of ideas and work, selected artists will have the opportunity to share their professional portfolios with symposium participants, artists, curators and audience members.

University photographic faculty, graduate students, undergraduates and artists using photography are encouraged to apply.

– maximum ten jpg files, each at 1000 pixels wide on CD (formatted for Windows). Clearly label the CD with your name, email and phone number
– one copy of a type-written image checklist identifying images by number and listing the title, date, dimensions and media of the work.
– an artist’s statement, not to exceed one page
– a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) with sufficient postage to return materials. Applications without SASE will not be returned and will be destroyed upon the completion of the selction process.

Mail to: Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art
Claire C. Carter
Attn: Juried Portfolio Share
7380 East Second Street
Scottsdale, Arizona 85251

Deadline: application materials must be post-marked or delivered to SMoCA by March 2, 2009

Artists selected for SMoCA’s Portfolio Share will be notified by April 10, 2009.

Artists selected for the Portfolio Share are asked to attend both days of the symposium. Symposium fees are waived for students; all other participants must pay the symposium registration fee. To purchase symposium tickets call the Box Office at 480-994-ARTS [2787]. Participants in the Portfolio Share are asked to bring a selection of exhibition-quality display prints; no laptop displays will be allowed. Artists will be allotted 3 linear feet on a table for displaying prints and business cards. Artists will be required to set-up and take down their materials, as well as remain with their work for the duration of the Portfolio Share. Questions? Call 480-874-4641 or email

The At the Crossroads of American Photography: Callahan, Siskind, Sommer catalogue is available through the SMoCA Store and Radius Books.”

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