Posts Tagged “competitions”

This book was published by the Massachusetts Arts and Humanities Foundation, Inc. in 1978, to acknowledge the recipients of its fellowships in three years of the program. Susan R. Channing was the editor, a natural fit given her role as the Artists Fellowship Program Director. Estelle Jussim wrote the Introduction, “Looking at Winners,” and one of my favorite designers, Katy Homans, did the graphics and layout. It was printed by Thomas Todd Company in Boston.

Title page of "Art of the State"; click here to go to Google books' page

I was struck by a number of things when I read through this modestly-scaled paperback book, which spotlights the period in which the PRC was emerging on the Boston scene.

First, the panelists. The three panels consisted of: Berenice Abbott, Ben Fernandez, Charles Harbutt, Lotte Jacobi, Syl Labrot, William Larson, Joan Lyons, Nathan Lyons, Mary Ellen Mark, Ray Metzker, and Barbara Morgan.

Second, the 18 fellowship recipients. The list is almost as impressive, in retrospect, as the panelists: Ken Brown, Carl Chiarenza, Stephen R. Elston, Chris Enos, Benno Friedman, Ruth Green, Bruce Kinch, Kipton Kumler, Jerome Liebling, Wendy MacNeil, Chester Michalik, Kevin Monaghan, Jonathan Morse, Thomas J. Petit, Nancy Rankin, John Rizzo, Lauren Shaw, and Jim Stone. Each artist is represented in the book by a compact biography and four nice duotone reproductions. (A nifty surprise to see Chiarenza, Enos, and Liebling all awarded in year one. Within a couple of years they were all involved with the PRC.)

The competition for the awards was fairly tough. The first year, five recipients were chosen from 450 applicants. The second year, six from 305. In year three, seven from 485. When I ran the McKnight Photography Fellowships program in Minnesota, we typically had about 120 applicants for four $25,000 awards. Clearly, there are a lot of photographers who considered themselves eligible for this support in Massachusetts.

The first paragraph of Jussim’s introduction was prescient, if a bit premature. It began:

Photography is in its hey-day. It has reached the apex of its popularity, its influence, its critical acclaim. It is chic. It is fashionable. It is produced, exhibited, purchased and pursued with the same modish flamboyance which once erupted over abstract expressionism and pop art. It is perhaps the only visual art which demonstrates such vigor, such exuberance, such accessibility. Schools of photographic practice, university programs in the history of photography, journals devoted to photographic criticism, books about, by, and for photographers proliferate in all languages, all countries, on all levels of quality.

The apex of photography’s popularity certainly hadn’t been attained in 1978. If anything, the chic quotient of photography continues to rise, however inexplicable or mysterious that phenomenon may be. Like the housing bubble—when will it burst, and what will the fallout be?

I do like the pleasures that Jussim celebrates in the work chosen for these awards; her writing is very thoughtful, but always deferential to and respectful of the experience of direct encounter with images. Especially when she writes the following about a hero to both Massachusetts and Minnesota photography: “A new conception of what constitutes a collision with reality emanates from the work of Jerome Liebling, where the outer realities are unflinchingly squeezed by a fierce individual perception which has the willingness to confront the painful fragilities of humanity, to press hard against the meaning of objects.”

The amount of the grants? $3,000. Enough, today, to buy a pretty decent digital camera, or a computer with enough oomph to process its images, but not both. Times have changed. Ever present, though, are those who question and doubt photography’s qualifications, its rights to be considered an enduring medium worthy of attention. Jussim sensed their presence thirty years ago. “It seems obvious,” she wrote toward the end of her introduction, “that the doom-sayers who have recently begun to prophesy the imminent demise of photography have been entirely too pessimistic.” Indeed.

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I write for COLOR now and then (most recently a profile on Jerome Liebling in issue #9, dated September 2010 but on the stands for nearly a month already), and as a result they send me multiple copies of each new issue. Just arrived is issue #10 (November already?), the annual presentation of winners in their color portfolio contest.

494 photographers entered nearly 9,000 images, vying for 115 Spotlight, Excellence, and Merit awards chosen by judge Henry Rasmussen. Notable among the twenty Spotlight winners, each of whom will receive a multi-page spread in a regular issue of COLOR during 2011, was Brookline’s own Rania Matar, who hereby proves herself as adept with color as she is with black-and-white. Please look for her portfolio during the next twelve months; I’m guessing that the work is of teenage girls in their bedrooms, but that’s just a guess. (Rania, if you read this, let us know what they’ll be publishing and when.)

Among a large handful of New Englanders who were published in the issue as Excellence and Merit award winners was C. E. (Christopher) Morse of Cumberland, Maine, whose records of painterly decaying surfaces so impressed our executive director during a portfolio review that he ended up acquiring one from the photographer.

Congratulations to Rania and Christopher, past and continuing PRC members getting their work out there!

link to COLOR online

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I want to remind folks that you have until TOMORROW, Saturday, February 7th to get your submission in the mail (or dropped off at the PRC 12-5pm) for the 14th Annual PRC Juried Exhibition, EXPOSURE.

Seriously photo folks, don’t let this one pass you by! It takes but a second to burn 10 images to a cd and gather your materials! If you join online and don’t have a card, don’t worry, just make a note of it, we check everyone.  Run, don’t walk to the post office. (Not that I am encouraging procrastination, but you can find the branch that is open til the wee hours online for that coveted postmark).

The juror this year is Russel Hart, Executive Editor at American Photo magazine and Editor of American Photo On Campus.  This year, he will be on the jury of AP’s “Emerging Artist” and “Student Portfolio” showcases.

Not only that, but all of us jurors are a part of a secret society (just kidding), but understand that we do talk to each other and recommend artists to each other. Who knows what this might lead to? Not only that, but gathering up a handful of juried show wins at places like the PRC and its other kindred spirits speaks volumes on your resume. A good investment, to be sure.

Read about the submission details and get the required entry form as a PDF here. See pics of last year’s show here. Now, git!

ABOVE: An installation shot from EXPOSURE 2008

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In this feature, we showcase an image per week from our current exhibition, EXPOSURE: 13th Annual PRC Juried Exhibition, juried by Aperture’s Lesley A. Martin. In celebration of the last weeks of the show, we increased the frequency (and the excitement). This is the 2nd to last image!

You have 2 days to see the show – the last day is July 2nd! We’re open this week Tuesday and Wednesday 10am – 6pm. (If you are out of town, browse our flicker set.)

This week’s image is from Erik Shubert. Erik’s work, like the other Eric, is about work – and funny! Luckily, I haven’t had too many desk jobs, or these would hit even closer to home. I was thrilled that these two could meet at the opening reception.

ABOUT : Erik Schubert (Cambridge, MA), inspired in part by Dale Carnegie’s book How to Win Friends and Influence People and his businessman father, has been collecting and documenting scenes and ephemera of corporate aspirations and failure. A 2007 MFA graduate of MassArt, Schubert has shown in several juried student shows in Boston such as Boston Young Contemporaries and the 2007 PRC Student Exhibition. He has an upcoming solo show, Thinking Big, at the Slocumb Gallery at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, TN.

From Erik’s statement:

“How to Win Friends and Influence People” – Realizing that we live in an increasingly business-centered society, how we navigate as “businesspeople” may determine the success or failure of our aspirations and the ability to pursue them. I am interested in how this kind of society shapes our visual world and language.

At a young age it was instilled in me that the mythology from Dale Carnegie’s classic book, How to Win Friends and Influence People was one that predicated success and happiness in life. The book has been widely published and accepted by businesspeople and corporate planners all over the world, including my father.

Some images are documentations of found items, constructed on location. Other images are documentations of ephemera that I have collected from such places as expositions, infomercials, my family, and home. With these photographs, I try to explore and communicate metaphorically the success, failure, and complexity of corporate mythologies in society.

ABOVE IMAGE: Erik Schubert, Level II, 2007/2008, from the series “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” Archival Inkjet Print, 19 x 23 inches, courtesy of the artist

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In this feature, we showcase an image per week from our current exhibition, EXPOSURE: 13th Annual PRC Juried Exhibition. However, in celebration of the last few weeks of the show, we are going to increase the frequency (and the excitement) and share 2 per week – it’s a veritable photo frenzy!

Get thee to the PRC before the show’s last day of July 2nd!

Originally from Spain and trained as an architect, Marta is a 2nd year graduate student at one of our member schools, Rhode Island School of Design. Marta’s work has been striking quite a chord with our visitors and we’ve been getting a lot of inquiries. In her series “On War,” Marta takes images depicting war or conflict in art and photography. The recognizable images include Goya’s The Third of may, 1808; Picasso’s Guernica, 1936; Robert Capa’s Death of Militiaman, 1936 (seen above); Richard Misrach’s Submerged Trailer, Salton Sea, California, 1983.

From Marta Labad’s statement:
The following project is composed of crumpled-up familiar images that depict conflict. These images belong to my visual and cultural heritage and allow me to talk about the world surrounding us, especially conflict and aggression related to war, catastrophe, and the landscape.

ABOVE IMAGE: Marta Labad, ON WAR #5 (Robert Capa’s Death of Militiaman, 1936), 2008, Digital C-Print, 20 x 20 inches, courtesy of the artist

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Molly Landreth

In this new feature, we are showcasing an image per week from our current exhibition, the 13th Annual PRC Juried Exhibition. Molly Landreth is our 9th to date. Don’t forget, there is only 2 1/2 weeks left to see the show!

From Molly Landreth’s statement:
“Embodiment: A Portrait of Queer Life in America” – This series of photographs is an archive and a journey through a rapidly changing community and the lives of people who offer brave new visions of what it means to be queer in America today. To be visible is to become both empowered and vulnerable, even in a world where progressive attitudes are beginning to take hold. These images depict subjects who meet my gaze with a rare combination of forthright self-awareness and total abandon, as if standing in for something much larger than themselves.

ABOVE IMAGE: Molly Landreth, Lindsay and Tina, Mills College, Oakland, CA, 2005, 2005/2008, from the series “Embodiment: A Portrait of Queer Life in America,” Digital Pigment Print, 20 x 24 inches, courtesy of the artist

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In this new feature, we are showcasing an image per week from our current exhibition, the 13th Annual PRC Juried Exhibition. Robert Knight’s is our 8th to date.

A couple of weeks ago, we concluded a 2 week run of the PRC on Flak Photo. This “web photo happening” spotlighted 10 images from the Juried Show. We’re still a “feature” on their home page,  Also be sure to check out Boston’s own Sage Sohier’s work as well. To see the show on the walls, check out our PRC Flickr page!

I have been a fan of Robert Knight’s work for some time now, so I was tickled when our juror Lesley A. Martin liked his work too.  I featured Robert’s work on Northeast Exposure Online (NEO) in May 2006 – right when he was graduating from MassArt.  Robert is one of our juried show alumni; he was also selected for last year’s exhibition as well by juror Jen Bekman (looks like he’ll also be a 20×200 soon!). This coming fall, he’ll have a show at Gallery Kayafas as well!  Congrats!

From Robert Knight’s statement:
In this subset of my larger “Dwelling” project, I explore the expectations which parents place on their children and which are reinforced by societal institutions, imagery, and traditions.  Through my photographs, I perceive a parent’s hopes and dreams about their child’s future physical image, intelligence, and success, as well as tensions that may exist between these aspirations and reality.  Collectively, I hope this project will make us conscious of children’s pressures and aware of the potential effects of the myriad images to which they are exposed.

ABOVE IMAGE: Robert Knight, Free and Hazel (Ages 12 & 8) #1, Roslindale, MA, 2006, 2006/2007, from the series “Dwelling: Caution – Children at Play,” Archival Inkjet Print, 31 x 39 inches, courtesy of Gallery Kayafas

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In this new feature, we are showcasing an image per week from our current exhibition, the 13th Annual PRC Juried Exhibition. This is our 7th to date.

Last Friday concluded a 2 week run of the PRC on Flak Photo. This “web photo happening” spotlighted 10 images from the Juried Show. We’re still a “feature” on their home page,, and in the gallery, so check it out. Thanks Andy!

If you are out of town, don’t worry, we posted lots of images of the installation and reception on our PRC Flickr page!

From Martine’s statement:
“Tête-à-Tête is a series of intimate portraits of my two adolescent sons and their friends, taken in our home in New York City as well as in the South of France. …Begun in the fall of 2005, the work explores adolescence as a liminal state-a time between childhood and adulthood, the feminine and the masculine, and innocence and a burgeoning self-consciousness.”

ABOVE IMAGE: Martine Fougeron, Nicolas and Adrien Dining, October 2005, from the series “Tête-à-Tête,” Digital C-Print, 15 ½ x 19 ½ inches, courtesy of the artist

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We just posted new pics on our PRC flickr page. So surf on in and check out installation shots of the current exhibition and photos from the opening reception of EXPOSURE: The 13th Annual PRC Juried Exhibition.

Just click the photomontage below!

A sneak peek, CLOCKWISE from upper left:

* New England Institute of Art Photo Faculty Molly Lamb and Jared Leeds (past PRC NEO!) come out to support exhibiting artist and NEIA faculty Claire Beckett (center)
* Exhibiting artist and MassArt alum Erik Schubert and PRC Curator Leslie K. Brown
* PRC Executive Director Jim Fitts and Gallery NAGA Director Arthur Dion
* Juried show alum Bob O’Connor and friend check out Eric Percher’s work

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In this new feature, we are showcasing an image per week from our upcoming 13th Annual PRC Juried Exhibition. This is our 6th to date, slightly delayed due to the holiday on Monday.

I first saw Talia Chetrit’s work in the juried graduate exhibition, Boston Young Contemporaries. I always love when artists address their own mediums. BYC 2008 will be coming soon to the 808 Gallery, right next door to the PRC, July 18th through August 2nd!

Talia’s work is different, it’s hard to put a finger on it. Enthralled, I showed her in our online series of emerging photographers, Northeast Exposure Online (or NEO for short). I was thrilled that our juror Lesley A. Martin liked her work too and selected it for this year’s show.

Here is a snippet from her artist statement:
“Photography records optical space.
Light and time are its basic elements. I reduce my subject to these fundamental components to investigate the potential of photography’s inherent properties and how we perceive and categorize this medium. I examine the photographic process and experiment with perception-both the viewer’s and my own. How can the basic tools of light and space move us? How can we encounter them differently?…
From white to black, Grayscale refers to the Zone System, a chart traditionally used when exposing negatives for a perfect tonal spectrum.”

And don’t forget – since this past Monday, the PRC has been teaming up with the kind folks at Flak Photo to feature 10 images from the Juried Show, a “web photo happening” if you will. The series continue today, and runs weekdays through the end of this week, May 26 – 30.

If you are out of town, don’t worry, we posted some images of the installation and reception (with more to come this week) on our PRC Flickr page!

ABOVE IMAGE: Talia Chetrit, Rainbow, 2007, Inkjet Print, 24 x 20 inches, courtesy of the artist

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