That’s Portland, OR, and New Orleans, LA to the uninitiated…
Not sure why I never posted this when I wrote it in January, but in the spirit of catching up, here it is!
Returning from New York I bopped down to Portland for the SPE NW regional conference – that’s Society for Photographic Education, which I’ve been a member of for 5 or 6 years – at Newspace Photo. This time I was invited to be part of a panel discussion called “Northwest Territory: Women in Photography,” moderated by Julia Dolan, Curator of Photography at the Portland Art Museum and presented by Photolucida. The panel included myself, Holly Andres, Toni Greaves, Lauren Henkin, Heidi Kirkpatrick, Dianne Kornberg, Ann Ploeger, Rebekah Rocha, and Grace Weston. It was an honest and fascinating session, and Lauren recorded and posted the whole thing to her blog: Photo Radio: Conversations on the Visual Arts. The rest of the weekend continued with gatherings and many more presentations, including Blue Mitchell, Zeb Andrews, Lauren Henkin, Harrell Fletcher and many more.
In December, I took a long-awaited trip to New Orleans for PhotoNOLA. I heard about this relatively new event when I taught a workshop for New Orleans Photo Alliance in 2008, and it definitely lived up to the positive reports I heard. New Orleans is so ridiculously full of things to do, I mixed in other friends, music, a road trip to visit the places I went in 2006 in Mississippi with New Old Time Chautauqua, and tooled around the French Quarter.
PhotoNOLA kept us busy with a slew of events. There was a group book signing where I introduced my second edition. This weekend drew a pretty large selection of my contributors together: Michael Kenna had an opening at A Gallery for Fine Art Photography, Sylvia Plachy taught a workshop at The Darkroom, Jennifer Shaw organized the whole event, Louviere + Vanessa live in town and also were showing at A Gallery, Gordon Stettinius was part of a panel discussion, and I convinced Laura Burlton to make the drive over from Houston to join us – it was a blast and I got everyone to sign my copy of the book!
A full room of photographers and fans were entranced by Michael Kenna’s images and stories; it was a rare treat for him to speak in public, and a joy for me to hear from someone who is so content and dedicated to the art he makes. It was a beautiful night. The other sessions and portfolio reviews were interesting and well-organized, and events around town kept us all socializing and looking at art until all hours.
I taught a workshop at the Big Top on Sunday and Monday with a very enthusiastic group. PhotoNOLA is a fantastic event – highly recommended!