The Directors Choice: Work from Jurors & Curators
A month or so ago, I received an e-mail from Director and Curator David DeMelim inviting me to be part of an exhibition at the Rhode Island Center for Photographic Arts in Providence, Rhode Island. His idea was to create an exhibition that celebrates and gives thanks to past and future Jurors and Curators of of the Center. This is a concept that I think about a lot–that many of the people in positions that elevate and promote photographers: Photo Center Directors, Gallerists, Publishers, Editors, Curators, etc., are artists themselves and often don’t get a chance to showcase their own work. So it was an incredibly thoughtful and generous offer by RICfPA to create a space for such a show. The exhibition opens on January 16th, from 5-9 pm and will run through February 14th, 2020.
David DeMelim writes: Our tradition at the Rhode Island Center for Photographic Arts is to start the year off with a director’s choice exhibition. In the past I have used the exhibition to feature ideas or photographers we were not able to fit into our regular schedule. This exhibition has provided us the ability to preview new work and trends our members wouldn’t be able to see otherwise and has proved a popular way to start the year. Building on this concept, for 2020, we are hosting an exhibition for the artists we have partnered with. This exhibition was conceived as both a thank you for their efforts creating exhibitions on our behalf and an opportunity share their work with our audience. We are excited to provide the opportunity to view their work in person and hope you will be inspired by the diverse talents of the artists we have partnered with. This exhibition brings together a wide selection of photographers from around the country in one group exhibition to start off our 2020 exhibition series.
Exhibition includes photography by: Marky Kauffmann, Stephen Fisher, Annu Palakunnathu Matthew, Aline Smithson, Michael Itkoff, John Reuter, Yorgos Efthymiadis, Neal Rantoul, Mick Cochran and introducing the 2020 partners: J. Sybylla Smith, Jesse Burke, Ann M. Jastrab, Francine Weiss, Claudia Ruiz Gustafson & David DeMelim.
Marky Kauffman, Curator for Outspoken and Outspoken Expanded will be back in October with Moved to Act. Marky is a Boston based photographer, educator & curator with a strong interest in feminist issues and social action… Marky is a passionate educator who taught photography at Milton Academy and Weston High School among other secondary schools as well as to adults as part of the New England School of Photography’s Evening Workshop Program.
Stephen Fisher: Juror for The Naked Print, Stephen is a master printmaker and educator crafting photorealistic images on glass plates that explore the viscosity of light, and the tactile, sensual nature of materials. Stephen Currently teaches printmaking and drawing at Rhode Island College. Public recognition of Fisher’s efforts includes 3 Rhode Island State Council on the Arts Fellowships and a regional N.E.A. Fellowship.
Annu Palakunnathu Matthew, Juror for our First Annual Juried Members’ Exhibition, Annu is an internationally recognized photographer who’s work has been supported by fellowships from the Fulbright Program, John Gutmann Trust among others and has been included in major exhibitions internationally. Annu currently heads the photography program at the University of Rhode Island and is represented by sepiaEYE, NYC.
Aline Smithson: Juror for 6th International Open Call, Aline is the founder of the popular online photography journal LENSCRATCH. Aline has been teaching at the Los Angeles Center of Photography since 2001 and at other venues around the globe. In 2019, Aline’s photography was selected for the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize in Photography at the National Portrait Gallery, London, for Critical Mass Top 50, and published the sold-out book, Lost II: Los Angeles through Kris Graves Projects. She recently curated the exhibition, Beyond the Surface, for Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, CA.
Michael Itkoff: Juror for Photo Stories, Michael is Co-founder of Daylight Books, a non-profit dedicated to publishing art and photography books. Michael is involved in both print and digital media publishing and has written for the NYTimes Lens blog, Art Asia Pacific, Nueva Luz, Conscientious blog and the Forward. Before starting Daylight, Michael interned at the Annie Leibovitz Studio and Aperture Foundation.
John Reuter: Juror for Time Zero & Beyond, John is the Director of 20 x 24 studio and adjunct professor of photography at the University of Hartford. John continues supporting large format Polaroid photography since becoming the main photographer in the Polaroid 20×24 Studio in 1980.
Yorgos Efthymiadis: Juror for our Second Annual Juried Members’ Exhibition, Yorgos is a Boston based photographer, the creative force behind The Curated Fridge and an active commercial photographer. A board member of Somerville Arts Council, his work is exhibited nationally and internationally, his fine art is represented by Gallery Kayafas, in Boston.
Neal Rantoul: Juror for 7th International Open Call, Neal was head of the Photography program at Northeastern University in Boston and previously taught at Harvard University. Neal now devotes his efforts full time to making new work and actively exhibiting his works, having previously served on the boards of the Photographic Resource Center in Boston and the Griffin Museum of photography in Winchester.
Mick Cochran: Juror for Journeys Onward, Mick Cochran has been a photojournalist for most of his life. He served as Director of Photography at USA Today and previously in art, photography, and technology editorial positions at The Providence (R.I.) Journal-Bulletin and as an assistant managing photo and graphics editor at The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer. Mick teaches at Western Kentucky University’s Mountain Workshops for photojournalism.
And introducing some of our partners for 2020:
J. Sybylla Smith: Juror for the heart goes nine coming to the galleries in February 2020. Sybylla is an independent curator, educator and photographer. An adjunct professor, thesis advisor and guest lecturer at the School of Visual Arts New York, Harvard University, Emerson College, Emmanuel College and Tufts Museum School of the Fine Arts. Smith has curated exhibitions internationally and is an active member of the Society of Photographic Educators.
David DeMelim: Curator of Behind the Lens 2020: Women in Photography coming in March 2020. His vision is represented in all the programing at the Rhode Island Center for Photographic Arts where he is Managing Director and Exhibition Coordinator. A Rhode Island based photographer and printmaker, David is responsible for designing the exhibition schedule and selecting the jurors.
Jesse Burke: Juror for The Juried Members’ Focus Exhibition coming in May 2020. Jesse is a faculty member at the Rhode Island School of Design. He divides his time between commissioned work and personal art projects often exploring human’s complicated relationship with nature. Jesse has been named one of Time Magazine’s top 50 US photographers to follow on Instagram. His work has been exhibited in galleries and museums internationally and is held in many private and public collections.
Ann Jastrab: Juror for Photography without a Lens, a call for alternate process work coming in June 2020. Ann is Executive Director of the Center for Photographic Art in Carmel, CA. Ann previously served as Gallery Director at the Rayco Photo Center in San Francisco where she also oversaw their Artist in Residence program. A curator and active educator, Ann is also a fine art photographer who still carries around a wooden view camera.
Francine Weiss: Juror for Third Annual Juried Members’ Exhibition coming in August 2020. Francine is the Senior Curator at the Newport Art Museum in RI where she curates exhibitions of contemporary art, photography, and American art. Previously she was Curator at the Photographic Resource Center (Boston, MA) and Acting Assistant Curator in the Department of Photographs at the National Gallery of Art (Washington DC), Dr. Weiss teaches and advises students in the MFA program in photography at New England College.
Claudia Ruiz Gustafson: Curator of Crossing Cultures: Family, Memory and Displacement, coming to the focus gallery in August 2020. Originally from Lima, Perú, Claudia Ruiz Gustafson is a fine art photographer based in Massachusetts with a background in photojournalism. She currently runs her own portrait and event photography business while teaching creative photo workshops in the Boston area. Claudia’s work has been exhibited internationally.
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