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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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“Looking In: Robert Frank’s The Americans” exhibition at the National Gallery through April 26th

You must plan to see this exhibition at one of its three forthcoming venues (see traveling schedule below).

From the exhibition’s website:

“First published in France in 1958 and in the United States in 1959, Robert Frank’s The Americans is widely celebrated as the most important photography book since World War II. Including 83 photographs made largely in 1955 and 1956 while Frank (b. 1924) traveled around the United States, the book looked beneath the surface of American life to reveal a profound sense of alienation, angst, and loneliness. With these prophetic photographs, Frank redefined the icons of America, noting that cars, jukeboxes, gas stations, diners, and even the road itself were telling symbols of contemporary life. Frank’s style—seemingly loose, casual compositions, with often rough, blurred, out-of-focus foregrounds and tilted horizons—was just as controversial and influential as his subject matter. The exhibition celebrates the 50th anniversary of the book’s publication by presenting all 83 photographs from The Americans in the order established by the book, and by providing a detailed examination of the book’s roots in Frank’s earlier work, its construction, and its impact on his later art.

Organization: Organized by the National Gallery of Art.

Sponsor: Access Industries is proud to be the principal sponsor of the exhibition.

The exhibition is made possible by the generous support of the Trellis Fund.

Early support for research was provided by the Marlene Nathan Meyerson Family Foundation.

The exhibition catalogue is published with the assistance of The Getty Foundation.


–>Schedule: National Gallery of Art, January 18–April 26, 2009; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, May 16–August 23, 2009; Metropolitan Museum of Art, September 22–December 27, 2009

Passes: Passes are not required for this exhibition.

The exhibition is on view in the West Building, Ground Floor, Outer tier.”

Today on NPR’s Weekend Edition there was a terrific piece on Frank and “THE BOOK THAT CHANGED PHOTOGRAPHY” interviewing Frank, curator Sarah Greenough, and Joel Meyerowitz and more; listen to it here

Greenough is the author of the accompanying publication:

“Published alongside the softcover edition, Looking In: Robert Frank’s “The Americans”—Expanded Edition includes a wealth of additional materials, essential information for all interested in twentieth-century photography. It contains all of the essays and photographs in the softcover, plus all of Frank’s vintage contact sheets related to The Americans, a section that re-creates his preliminary sequence and presents variant croppings of the first and subsequent editions of the book, a map and chronology of his travels around the United States in 1955 – 1956 on his Guggenheim fellowship, along with letters and manuscript materials by Frank, Walker Evans, and Jack Kerouac related to Frank’s creation of this seminal book. This groundbreaking 528-page catalogue is certain to be the definitive source of information on The Americans for years to come.

528 pages, 108 color, 168 tritone, 210 duotone plates | 9.25 x 11.5 inches”

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SPRAWL: the 46th SPE National Conference, Dallas March 26-29

I’ve been actively involved with the Society for Photographic Education since my undergraduate days, first as a conference volunteer, then participating in coordinating regional and national conferences and serving on western regional then the national board. For many years now my friend and colleague Susan kae Grant (whom I met when we were student volunteers) offers a student seminar for the conference volunteers and scholarship winners, held just prior to the start of the conference. Whether you are directly involved in teaching, are an art maker, write about the arts, curate exhibitions or are involved in other related activities, I encourage you to attend this year’s engaging conference, and get involved in your regional activities as well. Visit the conference website for complete details on presentations, portfolio reviews, exhibits fair and more.

TOMORROW is the postmark deadline for early registration. Details follow, see you there!

From the SPE 2009 conference website:


“The city of Dallas provides an informative and imaginative backdrop for the conference theme. Like other metropolitan areas since the 1960s, Dallas has seen suburban sprawl reshape its civic geography and identity. Sprawl then is a physical manifestation of civic growth and population migration, housing developments and ‘big-box’ retail parks. But the concept of sprawl also prompts discussions of environmental conservation, the appropriate use of land and resources, the loss and/or renewal of city centers and close-knit neighborhood communities.

Cultural depictions of sprawl have long been a mainstay in popular culture, including the 1970s photo movement New Topographics, William Gibson’s cyberpunk fiction, the music of Sonic Youth, and in TV shows, such as “Weeds,” with its ‘burb’-inspired theme song “Little Boxes.” Sprawl—suburban landscape and life—serves as both cultural inspiration and critique.”


FEBRUARY 14, 2009 – Early-bird conference registration, postmark deadline

FEBRUARY 20, 2009 – Deadline for conference registration cancellation

FEBRUARY 28, 2009 – Late conference registration, postmark deadline. After this date attendees must register on site.

MARCH 2, 2009 – Hotel Cut-Off Date for $149 Room Rate at The Fairmont Dallas Hotel

MARCH 27, 2009 – Exhibits Fair Hours 8:00 am – 4:00 pm

MARCH 28, 2009 – Exhibits Fair Hours 9:30 am – 4:30 pm

2009 Conference Participants with Abstracts and Bios

Main Presenters:
Keynote Speaker: James Howard Kunstler
Honored Educator: John Pfahl
Featured Speaker: Steve Dietz
Featured Speaker: Karen Finley

General Session Speakers:

Jesus “Chuy” BenitezHouston Cultura: Panoramas and Portraits of Houston’s Mexican-American Community | Jeff Brouws“It Don’t Exist:” The Impact of Sprawl and Suburban Build-Out on Inner-City America | Gary CialdellaThe Calumet Region: An American Place | Ruth DusseaultWhat Are They Doing Out There? Recreational War in the Suburbs | Tom FischerParadise/Paradox | Jessica Todd HarperInterior Exposure | Debora HunterUA Search for Eden: Sprawl in Taos, NM | Jun ItoiTokyo Story | John MannFolded in Place | Bill McDowellAshes in the Night Sky | Osamu James NakagawaBanta (Cliff) | Rebecca Nolan and Meryl TruettYou Can’t Get There From Here | Sheila PinkelSite Unseen: Recent Social Works by Sheila Pinkel | Susana RaabConsumed: Fast Food in the U.S. | Betsy SchneiderPhoenix, the New American City: A Video Portrait | Marni Shindelman and Nate LarsonWitness: A Psychic Collaboration | Vaughn WascovichThe Tar Creek Project (Gary B Fritz Imagemaker Award winner)

Paula BollersWhere We At? Patterns of Visibility in Suburban Space | Michael BrodskyA History of Digital Photography | Christopher BurnettThe Processed Land: Sprawl and Reclamation | David Herman, Jr., and Shaun WilsonSight & Sound: Using Youth-Created Media to Explore Changing Communities | Sandy SorlienMalignancy on the Land | Mary Virginia SwansonReaching the World Online: Effective E-Marketing for Artists

Rebecca Cummins withJ.D. Talasak, Justine Cooper, and Pamela WinfreyArt in the House of Science | Judy Herrmann and Jay KinghornReal World Solutions to Digital Technology Headaches | Mark Klett with Adam Thorman, Tracy Longley-Cook, and Chad WhitePhoenix Transect Project: A Collaborative Look at Urban Growth and Change | Sandra Matthews with Deborah Bright, Kathy Kubicki, and Karen vanMeenenPhotography Journals and Cultural Debate | Katy McCormick with Susan kae Grant, Don Snyder, and Philip ZimmermanPhotobook as Pedagogical Space | Gregory Scott with Osamu James Nakagawa, Claude Cookman, and a panelist to be namedA New Way to Get the Shot: Recognizing The Growing Use of Multiple Photographs to Create New Depictions of Reality and Defining It as Hyper-Representation

Victoria Victoria ClaryOff Northwest | Mark GeilThe Utopian Wake | Bruce MyrenMarkers: History, Memory, and Home | Andrew O’BrienField Office | Jason ReblandoA Portrait of Public Housing | Alison SmithIn Between

Michelle BogreCopyright: Update 2009 | Douglas Holleley – Structuring the Sprawl | Aspen Mays and AnnieLaurie EricksonWeird Science: The Spectrum of Vision/The Science of Photography | Keith ShapiroMeeting the Photography Education Needs of Growing University Populations

Bill Gratton and Joe LavineWhat Do I Do with My 4×5 Camera Now? | Chad JenningsIntegrating Print-on-Demand Books and Bookmaking into Your Curriculum

“The Society for Photographic Education is a non-profit membership organization that provides a forum for the discussion of photography-related media as a means of creative expression and cultural insight. Through its interdisciplinary programs, services and publications, the society seeks to promote a broader understanding of the medium in all its forms, and to foster the development of its practice, teaching, scholarship and criticism.”

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February 17th Deadline for “Mind’s Eye” Call for Entries

The Center for Fine Art Photography

JURIED EXHIBITION: “Mind’s Eye”  Call for Entries February 17th

“The camera is the photographer’s medium to express his observations and interactions in response to the world, in which he lives, in the way he wishes to portray it. The images selected for this exhibition will provide viewers with exciting opportunities to see what is reflected from the eye of the photographer. There are no subject restrictions for this exhibition.
Juror: Christopher Rauschenberg
Christopher Rauschenberg was a co-founder and president of Photo Americas (a major photography festival in Portland, Oregon, now called Photolucida) and is currently a board member. A photographer, educator and author of three photography books, Rauschenberg is also a co-founder and co-director of Blue Sky Gallery , an internationally respected non-profit photography gallery in Portland.”

For details click here.

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February 13th Evening Lecture: David Goldes with Mary Parisi at San Fransisco Art Institute

Lecture: David Goldes with Mary Parisi

This Friday, February 13th, sponsored by PhotoAlliance, and hosted at San Francisco Art Institute , David Goldes and Mary Parisi will be speaking about their work.

From the website: “Through photography, the work seeks to approach simple physical phenomena within the shifting demands of perception, memory and the desire for understanding.”

Don’t forget the upcoming juried OUR WORLD Portfolio Review

Deadline February 13th!!

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February 12th- “PhotoDimensional” MoCP Opening Reception and Artist Talks


“PhotoDimensional is an exhibition of works by contemporary artists who investigate the relationship between sculpture and photography, between two and three dimensions, and explore perceptual issues intrinsic to those relationships. ” Karen Irvine (curator)

4pm at MoCP: ARTISTS’ TALK: Katalin Deér, Bettina Hoffmann, Melinda McDaniel, and Susana Reisman


Works by John Coplans, Katalin Deér, Leslie Hewitt, Bettina Hoffmann, Laurent Millet, Pello Irazu, David Ireland, Melinda McDaniel, Heather Mekkelson,Vik Muniz, Susana Reisman, Lorna Simpson, Florian Slotowa

Museum of Contemporary Photography
Columbia College Chicago
600 S. Michigan
Chicago, IL 60605

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February 9th at 7 pm: A Conversation with Photographer Paul Graham at SVA

On Monday night at the School of Visual arts Philip Grefter of the New York Times will be speaking with Paul Graham. Paul Graham’s show “a shimmer of possibility” will opened February 4th at The Musuem of Modern Art, continuing through May 18th.

Monday, February 9, 7pm, at the  Visual Arts Theater, 333 West 23 Street, New York City. Admission is free.  (Note: I recall needing photo ID to enter this building, and the auditorium is small so arrive early!)

This is the first of a series of monthly conversations that will be held at SVA.

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