Saturday, January 14, 2012

Photo LA Features Work of Masters, Amateurs, the Avant-Garde and Everything in Between



Grey Villet and Paul Schutzer photographs of the Civil Rights Movement, Monroe Gallery of Photography, Santa Fe. (Photo by Rebecca Joyce/special to LAist via Flickr)


Via LAist

By Rebecca Joyce/Special to LAist

You might think photography shows are for the collectors and connoisseurs. They’re for people who wear turtlenecks, and sport coats over t-shirts. For people with shiny shoes and who use words like “exquisite” when discussing an artist’s work. People who begin conversations by identifying the art school they attended and sound very important even when discussing lunch.

That’s what I thought, too.

Art buyers and collectors are very important—after all, patrons keep galleries open and make it possible for artists to keep working—but photography shows are for everyone.

In addition to a good collection of works by master photographers, such as Ansel Adams, Photo LA is the place to see what is new and fresh in the photography world, a world ever-growing and constantly changing. Photography is an accessible art, and Photo LA has done everything possible to make this show accessible as well. Anyone who is a lover of photography at any level can be inspired here. There are photographs of the Civil Rights Movement and other works from the 60s, 50s and even earlier.

But for those wanting to see more contemporary work, there is music photography by Jerome Brunet and Ingrid Herfelder, digital work by Catherine Nelson, photographs of urban decay by Thomas Jorion, and the very popular work of Jay Mark Johnson and Stephen Wilkes.


Monroe Gallery of Photography, Santa Fe. On the right is one of the Stephen Wilkes "Day to Night" photographs. (Photo by Rebecca Joyce/special to LAist via Flickr)
 

There are great resources for photographers on hand. Lucie Foundation, which sponsors photography scholarships and Month of Photography, is currently accepting submissions from photographers at all levels. Women in Photography International accepts submissions for year-round photography contests for women of all levels and provides a way for new photographers to interact with established artists.

Check out the event schedule. In addition to guided tours, there are lectures and panels with photographers, collectors, and curators. For new photographers, the Emerging Focus learning series has educational lectures on topics such as travel photography and fine art printing. A Canon representative will be teaching a class on working with RAW files.

If you need further proof that this show is for everyone, The Emerging Focus installation, featuring finalists of a photography contest open to amateurs, seemed to be the most popular and drew the largest crowd while I was there.

So, collectors, curators, students, artists, professionals, enthusiasts, just-got-a-camera-for-Christmas people, whether you love it or don’t understand it, this photography show is for you.
Photo LA is on exhibit at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium until Monday. For more information about the event check out its website.

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