Fun with toys in 2008!

Posted in Photography at 3:26 pm by Michelle

After all the months of travel, I’ve had a really great time in December cleaning, catching up, socializing, and planning for 2008. If only we had more weeks like this, where everything shuts down…

Here’s a taste of some of the fun coming up for the brand-new year of 2008:

In late February, I’ll be teaching a workshop at the Photographic Center Northwest, here in Seattle (Feb 23 & Mar 1). Please join me for what is always a fun and informative class!

“Unrefined Light: Image-Making with Plastic Cameras and their Friends” is a juried toy camera exhibition happening at the Foundry Arts Center in St Charles, Missouri, this spring. It’s a nationally open call for art, and I’m the juror! The deadline is January 28th, 2008, so get your work together and send it in – I can’t wait to see it! Find the link for the prospectus and application here., or click here to download the PDF.
The opening is March 28th, and I’ll be there for it. Plus, I’ll be teaching a workshop that weekend. Stop by if you’re in the neighborhood.

There are several other toy cameras shows happening year in New York, San Francisco, New Orleans, and online. See here for details.
As it happens, I’ll be in San Francisco for the opening of Rayko Photo’s National Juried Plastic Camera Exhibition, opening Tuesday, January 8th. I’ll be back in SF at the end of the show to teach a workshop at Rayko on Feb 9th and 12th.
I’m hoping to go down to New Orleans to teach a workshop there during their exhibition. More details as I get them.

This week my new adventure in the Bay Area is a digital printing residency with the Creator’s Equity Foundation. The project, 21 Days of Black Rock City, is bringing in 10 or so photographers to their space in Berkeley to make large-format digital prints and mount them, using the newest high-end printer and mounting machine, with all the materials supplied. The prints be shown at an exhibition in the Bay Area, hopefully sometime this year. Very exciting!

On March 1st, the Whatcom Museum in Bellingham, WA, is hosting a panel discussion with the photographers who are part of the “Photography Biennial: 9 Photographers to Watch from the Pacific Northwest” exhibition. Since the opening got snowed out, I believe we’ll be having some sort of party in conjunction with the talk. I’ll also be teaching a workshop there on April 26th.

Later in March, I’ll be heading to Denver for the Society for Photographic Education‘s national conference. I’ve been the last few years (Portland, Chicago and Miami), and always have a great time. The theme this year is “Agents of Change: Art and Advocacy,” and the presentations look especially interesting. My friend (and contributing editor of my book), Mary Ann Lynch, is giving a talk, as is Angela Faris-Belt, who is also having her book release party, for “The Elements of Photography,” coming out in Feb by Focal Press. I have some photos in the book, so I’m looking forward to seeing it! Congratulations Angela!

At the end of June, I’ll be teaching a week-long workshop at the Maine Photographic Workshops (now part of the Maine Media Workshops), where I got my start, way back in 1991. The workshop, Toying with Creativity (June 28-July 5, 2008), will be an extended version of the class I’ve been teaching for years, and recently, all over the US. During the week, we’ll have lots of time to play and experiment with the cameras, and also in the darkroom and digital lab. Plus, the class occurs over the 4th of July, so it’ll be a great opportunity to experiment with photographing fireworks and festivities!

I have more talks and workshops in the works for 2008, so keep an eye on the website, or let me know if you’re interested in having me come to a location near you!
Happy New Year!


Toy Camera Evangalism in the Northwest

Posted in NW Arts, Photography at 10:38 pm by Michelle

It’s been a fun week here in the Northwest! I just got back from 4 weeks in Nepal and Thailand, found myself in some crazy Northwest weather, and managed to make it north, south and back home to my house on the hill.

First, I made it back in town for the last 2 days of “Cheap Shot: Plastic Cameras – The Low Tech of High Art” at the Photographic Center Northwest. I was delighted to see my images on the front panel, visible from the street (of course, I forgot to photograph it from outside). I’ve been a part of the PCNW community for a long time, and am honored to have been featured so prominently in this exhibition. The show included 6 of us toy-heads: me, Rosanna Salonia, Gordon Stettinius, Susan Burnstine, Jennifer Shaw, Shannon Welles. I’ve met all of them somewhere around the country except Jennifer – it’s a small toy camera world!

Cheap Shot at PCNW

Last Friday, I drove down to Portland for a thrilling experience – giving a talk at Powell’s Books! Powell’s is an incredible independent bookstore; there are few like it left anywhere, and it’s a lofty achievement to get into their speaking schedule (I was turned down before the book came out, but once they got to know it, and see how well it sells, I got in!). I had no idea how many people would come, except the friends I was expecting, but, people just kept pouring in, until the crowd topped 40 people (that with two of my friends managing to miss most of it)! Not sure how everyone found out about it (shoulda asked for a show of hands), but the Portland Mercury did a funny little blurb on it that drew a bunch of folks in. Everyone stayed until the end, and they asked lots of questions. I signed books and got to sign their author’s book, in some very good company!

Michelle talking at Powell's
Michelle talking at Powell'sMichelle talking at Powell's
Many thanks to Aubrey Pullman for taking photos!

The following day, I was supposed to drive right through Seattle on up to Bellingham, but, strangely for this part of the world, it was snowing! The opening was canceled, so instead I went up on Sunday to give my talk to the Bellingham folks. This talk was less formal, but still lots of fun, with 15 people braving the weather. Hopefully we can do it again during the show when more people will know about it and can make it.
Afterwards, we trekked over to the Whatcom Museum, where my work is part of the “Photography Biennial: 9 to Watch from the Pacific Northwest.” This museum to be one of the great artsy secrets of the Northwest. It’s in a spectacular building, even stranger for being in such an out-of-the-way place. My show is actually across the street, in a great space that actually managed to present 9 complete exhibitions (mine has 26 photographs) in a space that still feels intimate. And in the main building is a world-class exhibition by Lewis Hine, showing his images of child labor in the early 1900s. It’s an incredible exhibition.

Whatcom Museum
Whatcom Museum images
Whatcom Museum images
Me at the Whatcom Museum

The Photo Biennial is up through April 27, 2008, so plenty of time to check it out. I’ll post if the reception gets rescheduled.

I’m happy to be back in Seattle, and looking forward to all the fun coming up!