Archive for July, 2009

ALASKA! Upcoming Lecture, exhibitions and workshops in Anchorage, and the Homer Photo Fest 2009 in Homer, Alaska

If the heat is getting to you, head to Alaska….

Check out all the activities gathered onto the ASMP Alaska’s calendar page.  

Highlights include Hal Gage’s “Alaska’s Coastal Landscapes” workshop July 25-26, a lecture entitled “Pursing Your Passion in Photography” by Eddie Soloway on July 30th at 7 p.m. at the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center (free and open to the public) and a workshop July 31 – August 2nd, sponsored by the Alaska Photographic Center.

The next week:

A great event is happening in August in Homer, Alaska on the spectacular Kachemak Bay.  

Guest presenters are  Keith Carter, Barry McWayne, Ted Orland and Amy Scott.

For 5 days, a group of individuals will live and breathe fresh air, fresh fish and PHOTOGRAPHY.  I was invited to participate this year but regretfully had to decline due to prior commitments, and hope to make the trip sometime.

Headquarters: The Alaska Ridgetop Inn.  Format: unique among the photo events I have been to in that the schedule allows for dialogue and print sharing, lectures and casual conversations (see Keith Carter’s title “Gumbo Ya Ya” in the event schedule below).  Sounds fantastic!

From the event webpage:

“Organizers are working on the final details of the Homer Photo Fest 2009 featuring citywide photography exhibitions, delectable seafood opening treats, portfolio reviews, workshops, lectures and round table discussions about… (what else) PHOTOGRAPHY!

Here’s a snap shot of the Festival: The Homer Photo Fest will take place August 4th – 8th, 2009. Join us for five days of workshops, one on one portfolio reviews, public lectures by noted invited national artists and exhibitions by three award winning photographers. All this kicks off with an opening night gala, exhibitions throughout the week by three featured winners of the Homer Photo Fest Nationwide Portfolio Competition. If that doesn’t get you to Homer then the food will. Each opening night reception will feature along with excellent art, the very best in Wild Alaskan Seafood and other culinary delights. The Homer Photo Fest ends with a seafood banquet dinner as a send-off to a very fun filled week of photography. Click on the EVENT link for a complete schedule.

As part of the Homer week of Photography, Homer Photo Fest sponsors a portfolio competition open to photographers nationwide. Photographers working in all photographic mediums and formats are welcome to submit a minimum of 15 (maximum of 20) photographs along with an artist statement about their body of work. Our four invited guest photographic arts professionals will judge the entries, select one “juror’s choice” artist who will receive round trip airfare to Homer and a solo exhibition of their selected portfolio during the Homer Photo Fest. The juror’s will also award two honorable mentions that will also receive solo exhibitions during the Homer Photo Fest. All selected artist will receive a $300 monetary award. Click on the PORTFOLIO COMPETITION link for rules and entry form.

Guest Artists 
(serving as portfolio competition jurors, portfolio reviewers, and lecturers):

Keith Carter is an internationally recognized fine art photographer and professor at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas.
Barry McWayne is a fine art photographer living and working in Alaska and is Curator of Fine Arts Emeritus at the Univerisity Museum of the North in Fairbanks, Alaska.
Ted Orland is an educator, designer and a nationally recognized fine art photographer teaching at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Amy Scott is the Curator of Visual Arts at the Autry National Center, Los Angeles, California.


Homer Photo Fest is a collaboration of the Bunnell Street Gallery, Homer Council on the Arts, Pratt Museum, Homer Photographic Center and the Kachemak Bay Campus-Kenai Peninsula College/UAA. Additional support generously provided by the Alaska State Council on the Art and Gage Photo Graphic.”


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July 21st, Minneapolis: Tom Arndt Lecture at Mpls Photo Center, Free to all

From the e-announcement:


2400 North Second Street, Minneapolis, MN  55411  (612) 643 3511



Free and open to the public!  The exhibition “Tom Arndt’s Minnesota” is on view through August 23rd at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts; click here to view a slideshow of the work from Minnesota Public Radio.  Click here to learn about the recent publication HOME released at the time of this exhibition.

Tom Arndt Tuesday, July 21st

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Critical Mass: Registration closing soon; submit by July 22nd

Registration for Photolucida‘s Critical Mass competition is open through July 22nd

This is one of my favorite competitions of the year!   Reviewers have the opportunity to take time with your work, see 10 images and read artists statements on their work.   Many of my favorite bodies of work I have first come to know through this competition.

I encourage all my readers to submit, and to enter 10 images that work well together as a group.  Don’t try to show that you have a broad skills set – rather, show us what you are working on in depth; give us a window on what you are exploring.  Captions are important to me, as is a series or project title.  We spend a lot of time reviewing the submissions, so edit and sequence as if it is an in-person presentation.  Take your writing seriously, too.  Many people will see it and for most it will be a “first impression” of you and your work.

Good luck!  I look forward to seeing your work.

From the website:

“What Is Critical Mass?

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 approximately 20-25 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 view and 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, in 2008 it was Mexico. This year, the lucky country is Italy.

What to expect?

As an entrant to Critical Mass, you shouldn’t necessarily expect feedback from the jurors unless they want to contact you about doing something with your work. Reviewers are given the opportunity and encouraged to provide written feedback, but we can’t guarantee anything other than:

  • Everyone who enters will receive copies of each of the Book Award Winners.
  • Everyone who enters will receive a CD containing all of the submitted work.
  • Everyone who enters will have their work seen, and voted on, by the Pre-Screening committee.
  • Those who continue on in the top 175 Finalists will have their work seen, and voted on, by over 200 jurors.
  • Those who make the Top 50 will be given the opportunity to have their work in a Critical Mass Top 50 show at PCNW, curated by Andy Adams, editor/publisher of Flak Photo.

For details click here.

For the Photolucida blog with a list of reviewers click here.”

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Reminder: Aperture Prize deadline TODAY, July 16

A great chance to have your works seen by all divisions of Aperture!

From the competition link:

“Welcome to the Aperture Portfolio Prize, an international photography competition!

The purpose of the Aperture Portfolio Prize is to identify trends in contemporary photography and specific artists whom we can help by bringing them to a wider audience. In choosing the first-prize winner and runners-up, we are looking for work that is fresh and that hasn’t been widely seen in major publications or exhibition venues.

First prize is $2,500. The first-prize winner and runners-up are featured in Aperture’s website for approximately one year. Winners are also announced in the foundation’s e-newsletter, which reaches thousands of subscribers in the photography community. 

The entry period for the summer 2009 Aperture Portfolio Prize begins Friday, May 1, 2009, and the deadline is Thursday, July 16, 2009, at midnight MDT. For specifics on how to enter, see the Guidelines andFAQs pages. Good luck!

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MVS teaching at Maine Media Workshops August 5-8; a few spaces available

I’m in Tucson the rest of the month preparing for my upcoming workshop in Maine.  Starting at 6 on Wednesday, August 5th and ending before noon on Saturday, August 8th, this workshop will focus on “Presenting Your Work to the Fine Art Market.”

From the MMW Catalogue:

In this 1/2 week seminar, Mary Virginia Swanson provides insights into the most effective avenues for photographers to introduce their work to gallery and museum professionals. She discusses the value of entering national and international juried exhibitions and participating in portfolio review events. Important gallery trade shows are discussed from the perspective of helping artists assess prices and edition sizes, and research the marketplace towards potential venues for their work. Effective self-promotion materials are shared with participants, as are the professional practices necessary to successfully present their work. She will discuss ‘talking points’ when given the opportunity to sign with a gallery for representation. 

In addition to the collecting market, Swanson discusses the use of fine art photographs in book jacket and design, advertising and editorial markets, and issues relating to granting the rights to reproduce (license) images and related negotiations. One session within this information-filled workshop is dedicated to group portfolio sharing; participants are invited to bring several samples of their work to share with the class (not required). Swanson’s book “The Business of Photography: Principles and Practices” will be provided to all participants as the course workbook. 

I hope you will join us!  I’ve been scanning new resources for my lectures, and compiling an interesting library of materials to bring to class as our “library.”  It will be touch to surpass the participants I’ve had in classes at MMW in the past, whom have remained in touch with me and with each other, seeing each other at portfolio review events, supporting each other in their applications to competitions, and more.  We have a terrific time, and the blueberries are fresh in Maine this time of year!   Fellow faculty that week include some of my long-time pals Andrea Modica, Costa Manos, Arthur Meyerson and Keith Johnson.   And a visit to Timothy Whelan’s bookstore at 25 Main Street in Rockport is always inspiring; Tim stays open late prior to each of the MMW faculty lectures, as Union Hall is across the street from his shop.  Why don’t you consider joining us in early August in the picturesque Rockport Harbor?

On Thursday, August 6th, I’ll be giving a lecture at Union Hall in Rockport that is free and open to the public.  Please come!

Lastly, I have a few private consultation appointments just prior to and following the class, August 4th – August 10th in Rockport, meeting clients at The Country Inn, where I always stay when at The Workshops.

To register for my workshop, click here.

To schedule a consultation, contact

See you in Maine – the best place to be in August!

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NPR’s All Tech Considered: LOOK3’s “YourSpace”

NPR offered up this radio profile of “YourSpace” at last month’s Look3 Festival of the photograph.  Give it a listen!

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Recently I transcribed Bill Jay’s acceptance speech from the 2008 ICP Infinity Awards to add to my May 13th post noting his sad passing.  In addition, I added information sent to me by readers of the blog, and added Gerry Badger’s obituary of Bill’s life on the BJP website  to my original post.   I encourage those interested to review the post for updates.

You can link to this updated post from  by clicking here

Bill, we miss you!

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