This was a very fun week of talking, talking and more talking. Now it’s a rainy fall night in Seattle, and it’s night to be home and quiet.
I spent much of the week in San Francisco. I went into two MFA classes at the Academy of Art to talk about my work. It was nice to talk to them on a personal note about my process over the last 15 years, and show work from several different series, even non-Holga work (image that!). I’ve been speaking to James Woods’ classes for 10 years or so, and always get so much out of it. It’s really the mark of a great teacher (James) that I always learn things when I’m the one speaking in his classes!
On Thursday night I gave my talk on plastic cameras, my work and the book at SF Camerawork. When I began, most of the chairs were full, for a good crowd. Partway through though, I turned around from my spot behind my computer to see the entire room packed, and people standing against the back wall! There were 42 people there (and a couple more came afterwards, having gotten the time wrong). Afterwards, we sold a bunch of books and I chatted and signed. It was loads of fun – I have very enthusiastic readers! And a few friends showed up, making for familiar faces in the bunch. Thanks to SF Camerawork for a great evening! I hope to do more talking in SF soon!
Back home in Seattle was a different type of talking. Last night was the Photographic Center Northwest’s Photovision Awards and Auction. I was the announcer for the evening, reading off the titles of the pieces in the live auction and telling a little about the photographs and artists. I’ve been part of the PCNW community since I moved here in 1992, and it’s great to see how it’s grown and to help it out a little. And I got to get dressed up and have a great time!
I’m really enjoying speaking to groups and teaching, and am very gratified that I have things to say that people find interesting. The best though is when people tell me how inspired they get by the book or a class or talk to go out and create!
I can’t believe how much is going on these days, in both the worlds of fun and play, and how often they are one and the same!
I just got back from teaching at the Julia Dean Workshops in Los Angeles. This was a delightful workshop; the facility is right on Venice Beach, the weather was gorgeous, the staff is great, and the students were enthusiastic and ready to learn and play. The icing on the cake was running into my good friend Mik right there on the beach – she was also visiting from Seattle; what are the chances??? After my workshop, I sat in on Julia Dean herself teaching a class on pinhole photography (using 4×5 Polaroid film), Polaroid transfers and emulsion lifts.
Before that trip, I spent a dust-filled week at Burning Man, which is what I call the World’s Biggest Art Playground. It was a dusty year, and the city was full to the gills, and, as usual, there was tons of great art! Photos coming at some point…
In other news, “Plastic Cameras: Toying with Creativity” is going into a second printing! I just got the word from the publisher, so now the race is on to make corrections and tweaks for them. For those wondering – the first printing was 4000 copies! Imagine that, 4000 copies of the book off in the world in the happy hands of toy camera enthusiasts worldwide. Amazing. No word yet on what the second printing will be.
Coming up this fall are the talk at SF Camerawork on September 27th at 6pm, a talk at Powell’s Books in Portland on November 30th, the ICP workshop in New York, and book signings at Photo Plus. In December, I’ll be opening an exhibition at the Whatcom Museum in Bellingham, WA, an hour north of Seattle. This is a biennial photography exhibition featuring 9 photographers from the Northwest. Time to get into the darkroom once again!
Oh, and on September 29th, I’ll be the auction reader and sort-of host for the Photographic Center Northwest‘s Photovision Awards and auction. Fun!
Whew! That’s a lot to keep track of!
Thanks for all the great opportunities and support out there!