Monday, June 15, 2009

People We are Meeting

I know everyone is in the throws of making appointments and packing, but I wanted to share some information on some of the places we are visiting, or guest critique visitors. Some are photographers with their own books, so if you like their work, you might consider picking up a book for them to sign while they are visiting!

Tony Lewis
Curator of Visual Arts, Louisiana State Museums
Tony Lewis completed graduate studies in the history of art, with a specialization in nineteenth-century American art, at Northwestern University. He developed an interest in the history of photography during a graduate seminar with Joel Snyder at the University of Chicago. Before joining LSM in January 2007, he served in the education department of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., as Curator of Paintings at the Mariners’ Museum in Newport News, Virginia, as Assistant Director of the Middlebury College Museum of Art, and as an Assistant Professor of Art History and Museum Studies at the University of Southern Mississippi in
Hattiesburg. Dr. Lewis has developed over forty exhibitions, including a traveling exhibition of Herbert Randall’s 1964 Civil Rights photographs and an exhibit of Rudy Burkhardt’s photographs of New York School artists. He recently developing a traveling exhibition at Kennesaw University of Belgian artist Jan Yoors’ photographs of European Roma before WWII and is completing a book on Robert Tebbs’ photographs of Louisiana plantations for the LSU Press.

Thomas Neff
As a volunteer in the city in the early days after the flood, this Baton Rouge photographer witnessed firsthand the confusion and suffering that was New Orleans as well as the persistence and strength of those who stuck it out.

Neff subsequently spent forty-five days interviewing and photographing the city’s holdouts, and his record is a heartbreaking but compelling look at the true impact of the disaster. At a time when New Orleans residents felt isolated and abandoned, Neff provided the ear that many needed. The friendship he extended enabled him to capture remarkable images and to write sensitive commentaries that approach his subjects from a uniquely personal perspective. Here are Antoinette K-Doe assessing the future of her ruined Mother-in-Law Lounge; Juan Parke, who ferried scores of people to safety in his silver canoe; Ashton O’Dwyer defending his property from looters; Ride Hamilton pausing in his work as a freelance medic. These portraits and dozens more tell the story of the storm through many voices and collectively they tell a story of their own. Other books have documented the wrath of Katrina, but none has captured the human dimension as powerfully as Holding Out and Hanging On. Through these intimate, intense images, readers will meet people from all walks of life who are exhausted by grief and shock but who are determined to hold on to their culture and their city. Neff’s gripping black-and-white images and equally poignant narratives show individuals who are reorganizing their lives, trying to maintain their individuality, and even enriching their souls as they help one another.

Jennifer Shaw
Photography is always an act of discovery for me. It’s about the joy of seeing and the mysterious convergence of light, texture and form as translated onto film. A sense of wonder and a reverence for beauty are motivating factors that lead me to document and interpret the world through the camera’s lens. I attempt to create images that transcend literal description, reaching beyond the physical surface of the subject to resonate with viewers on an emotional level.

Most of my work is created using toy cameras. These simple plastic devices lend a whimsical spontaneity to the act of photographing. Although they offer little control in making exposures, their quirks can sometimes result in magic.

I print my black and white images in the darkroom on traditional silver paper, then split-tone them to add depth and color. This toning method can be unpredictable, and like every other part of my process, owes a bit to serendipity. The color work is shot on film, then scanned to make archival pigment prints on Hahnemuhle Rag 308 paper

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