Thursday, June 29, 2023

GOOD TROUBLE: Gallery Conversation with Ryan Vizzions


Monroe Gallery of Photography, 112 Don Gaspar, Santa Fe, NM, is pleased to present "GOOD TROUBLE”, a major exhibition inspired by the late Civil Rights icon and Congressman John Lewis’ quote: "Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble."

The exhibition of 50 photographs registers the power of individuals to inspire movements and illustrates the power of mass protest from a deeply human perspective. The exhibition begins Friday, June 30, and a special Gallery Conversation with Photojournalist Ryan Vizzions will be held Friday, July 7, starting promptly at 5:30. Seating is limited, and RSVP is essential. The conversation will also be live on Zoom, please contact the Gallery for registration.

Ryan Vizzions is an independent photojournalist who has covered the Standing Rock protest movement, many Black Lives Matter protests, and most recently the “Tennessee Three”, State Representatives wrongly expelled for protesting Republicans’ inaction on gun violence.

Vizzions will speak about his experiences documenting and participating inside social protest movements, and recent efforts to suppress protest and silence critical voices; global trends towards the militarization of police, and the increase in the misuse of force by police at protests.

“When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have to speak up. You have to say something; you have to do something. You must be bold, brave, and courageous and find a way…to get in the way”. – John Lewis

Friday, June 23, 2023

Committee to Protect Journalists, partners call for charges against New York journalist Stephanie Keith to be dropped

 Via Committee to Protect Journalists

June 21, 2023

District Attorney Alvin Bragg
New York County District Attorney’s Office
One Hogan Place
New York, NY, 10013

Dear District Attorney Bragg,

We, the undersigned press freedom and civil liberties organizations, write to ask that you drop the disorderly conduct charge (Section 240.20, Subsection 6) pending against photojournalist Stephanie Keith, who was documenting a vigil when she was unjustly arrested by New York City police on the evening of May 8, 2023. Her prosecution would set a harmful precedent of prosecuting reporters simply for doing their jobs and documenting matters of public importance.

Leading up to her arrest, Keith was photographing a vigil organized to commemorate the May 1 killing of Jordan Neely, a homeless man who was choked to death on a New York subway train. Keith had been documenting demonstrations around New York in the wake of Neely’s death, with some of her coverage published in Brooklyn Magazine.

Around 8 p.m., Keith was near the northwest corner of East Houston Street and Lafayette Street when NYPD Chief of Patrol John M. Chell can be seen in a video of the arrest grabbing Keith’s arm. Chell can be seen forcefully pushing her into two officers in jackets marked “NYPD Community Affairs,” while yelling “lock her up.” Keith— who was wearing a press badge and was holding a camera— can be heard saying “Please don’t.” The photojournalist was then handcuffed and taken to the 7th Precinct, and then the 9th, where she was issued a court summons.

Later that evening, Chell said during a press conference that Keith “interfered” with three arrests before officers arrested her. However, Keith was simply doing her job and photographing police action and that evening’s vigil. No video has been released showing any alleged interference.

We are gravely concerned by the charges facing Keith. All of the videos of Keith’s arrest show that she was behaving professionally and trying to photograph events, and do not show her interfering with the police. Keith is an award-winning photojournalist whose clients have included Getty Images, Reuters, The New York Times, and Bloomberg. This year, she was part of the New York Times team nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for their breaking news coverage of a fire in the Bronx. Keith was not at the vigil to participate in a protest or interfere with police but to perform the public service of documenting the news, as she’s been doing her entire career.

Our organizations document cases of press freedom violations both in the United States and globally. Our research shows that arresting reporters is a crude form of censorship: it stops journalists from documenting current events, and protracted legal proceedings to dismiss baseless charges create financial and time pressures for reporters. It is disappointing and concerning to see these tactics being deployed in New York City.

Furthermore, the prosecution of reporters in the United States is exceedingly rare, according to the non-partisan U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, which maintains data on press freedom violations across the country. Prosecuting Keith would send a chilling message to journalists in New York City and beyond, and indicate to the wider public that New York City believes that members of the media can be prosecuted simply for doing their jobs.

We understand that your office does not usually take part in summons prosecutions, but we consider this to be an exceptional case. We urge you to dismiss the disorderly conduct charge against Keith and ensure that journalists working in New York City will not face punitive retaliatory measures from the city’s police.


Committee to Protect Journalists

Freedom of the Press Foundation

New York Publishers Association

Coalition for Women in Journalism

National Press Photographers Association

Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression

Reporters Without Borders

Online News Association

The Deadline Club, NYC Chapter, Society of Professional Journalists

National Coalition Against Censorship

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Journalists in America must be allowed to safely cover protests

 Via Columbia Journalism Review

June 20, 2023

Journalists in America must be allowed to safely cover protests

(Note: Monroe Gallery presents "Good Trouble", an exhibition of photographs that register the power of individuals to inspire movements and illustrates the power of protest from a deeply human perspective. Through this exhibition, we are reminded of the power of photographs to propel action and inspire change. June 30 - September 17, 2023)

A week after the May 1 strangulation death of Jordan Neely, demonstrators assembled outside the Broadway-Lafayette subway station for a candlelight vigil. Freelance photographer Stephanie Keith was there to cover events, and when police began to arrest protesters, she moved into the street to get the shot. Soon Keith was in handcuffs, being led away by two officers, facing charges of disorderly conduct. 

“I was dumbfounded. I thought it was a mistake,” Keith told me. “I really didn’t understand why this was happening to me.” 

Keith’s arrest might be a relatively minor incident in America’s press freedom landscape if it were not the case that police routinely impede the rights of the press to cover protests and demonstrations.

I spent 2022 as a fellow at the Knight First Amendment Institute researching the issue. I spoke with dozens of journalists across the country, with leading experts on policing, with First Amendment scholars, and with the police themselves (none would speak on the record). I pored over data from the US Press Freedom Tracker, and researched the history of police-press interactions from the civil rights era to the present day. My report “Covering Democracy: Protests, Police, and the Press” is out today. 

The report documents a troubling reality: despite the protection of the First Amendment, the right of journalists to cover protests has not been secure. As the Associated Press’s assistant general counsel Brian Barrett explained, what matters most “is what a police officer decides at two in the morning in a heated environment.”

In most instances journalists and protesters themselves enjoy the same rights, including the right to photograph and otherwise record events, so long as they do not interfere with the activities of the police. But by tradition, journalists covering protests have sought to distinguish themselves in some way—by standing off to the side, but wearing credentials or distinctive clothing, or by verbally identifying themselves to police. In most instances police respected the role of the press and allowed journalists to do their job. But where the institutional relationships have broken down, and particularly when police employ force, journalists have been arrested and attacked in significant numbers. 

The issue came to a head most recently during the summer of 2020, when Americans took to the streets in record numbers following the murder of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis. According to the US Press Freedom Tracker, 129 journalists were arrested or detained while covering the protests during 2020, and hundreds more were attacked or assaulted by police, in some cases resulting in serious injuries. 

One of the most notorious episodes occurred on May 30, 2020, the day after CNN correspondent Omar Jimenez was arrested on live television. That evening, as police in Minneapolis enforced a citywide curfew, they swept through a group of about two dozen journalists who were standing apart from protesters, wearing credentials and carrying professional camera equipment. Police attacked them using less lethal munitions, including pepper spray, and shoved several who tried to escape the onslaught over a six-foot retaining wall. 

Ed Ou, a Canadian war photographer who had moved to the US because he wanted to work in a country where the rights of journalists are respected, was hit in the face with what he believes was a flash-bang grenade; he was seriously injured. Ou later told me that because of the violence and suddenness of the police response in Minneapolis, “my radar for what’s safe has been completely fried.” 

Ou decided to participate in a lawsuit brought by the ACLU against the police and state and local authorities on behalf of journalists who had been attacked and injured. That case, Goyette v. City of Minneapolis, resulted not only in monetary compensation for the plaintiffs but a settlement requiring police to refrain from attacking or arresting journalists. A scathing Justice Department report on the Minneapolis Police Department released Friday noted that “officers regularly retaliate against members of the press—particularly by using force.”

Police in Minneapolis and across the country often claim they can’t possibly distinguish between journalists and protesters when everyone has a cellphone. But the First Amendment requires that they do so, as affirmed in the Goyette settlement and a federal court ruling in another case, Index Newspapers v. City of Portland. In that instance, the court determined that police must ensure that journalists are not subject to violence, arrest, and dispersal and directed officers to identify journalists based on observable behavior, often called a “functional test.”

Police at times have resisted that standard because they allege that protesters falsely claim to be journalists in order to evade arrest. But my research indicates that such behavior, while troubling, is exceedingly rare. Much more common, and thoroughly documented, are instances in which police attack, assault, or arrest journalists who are clearly identifiable and engaging in newsgathering. In one instance Australian correspondent Amelia Brace and her crew were assaulted live on camera by US Park Police while covering a protest outside the White House in June 2020. Brace later testified before Congress that she was shocked by the violence of the attack and that she had expected to work “freely and safely…in the world’s greatest democracy.”

Brace is right. The media has a critical role in ensuring that all First Amendment rights are protected, including the right to assembly and speech. The recent arrest of Stephanie Keith drives home the fact that, as Keith herself put it, “the cops are so arbitrary, and they have so much power over you.” As we enter a polarizing election session in which some of America’s messy politics are likely to play out in the streets, police across the country must ensure that journalists are able to document protests without the risk of attack or arrest. 

Joel Simon is the founding director of the Journalism Protection Initiative at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism.

Monday, June 12, 2023

On-Line Exhibition: 1964 - The Beatles and Their Cameras


black and white photograph by Bill Eppridge of Paul McCartny with a camera held to his eye, 1964
by Bill Eppridge

New virtual exhibition now on line.

In 2020, a trove of nearly a thousand photographs taken by Paul McCartney on a 35mm camera was re-discovered in his archive.  A new book has been published: "Paul McCartney Photographs 1963–64: Eyes of the Storm", available in June 2023, and selected photographs from the book are on exhibit at The National Portrait Gallery in London. through October 1, 2023.

‘Millions of eyes were suddenly upon us, creating a picture I will never forget for the rest of my life.’ --Paul McCartney

Bill Eppridge was at John F. Kennedy airport on February 7, 1964 on assignment for Life magazine to cover The Beatles arrival at JFK airport. He was then invited to continue shooting in their room at the Plaza Hotel and during the days that followed, notably at the Ed Sullivan Show rehearsal and historic performance; in Central Park; on a train ride to Washington, D.C., for the concert at the Washington Coliseum; at the British embassy; and at their renowned performance at Carnegie Hall.

"One morning my boss said, 'Look, we've got a bunch of British musicians coming into town. They're called the Beatles. These were four very fine young gentlemen, and great fun to be around," Eppridge recalled. After he introduced himself to Ringo, who consulted with John, the group asked what he wanted them to do while being photographed for Life. "I'm not going to ask you to do a thing," was Eppridge's reply. "I just want to be here." --Bill Eppridge

View the exhibit here.

Sunday, June 4, 2023

Spencer Museum of Art Adds Prints By Gabriela Campos and Sanjay Suchak To Permanent Collection


Spencer Museum of Art text logo

June 5, 2023

The Spencer Museum of Art has acquired photographs by Gallery photographers Gabriela Campos and Sanjay Suchak.

Male Native American dances on top of pedestal where a statue of Spanish Conquistidor Juan de Onate was removed, New Mexico, 2020

Gabriela Campos: Than Tsídéh, 19, of the Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo dances on the empty platform where a statue of Juan de Oñate was removed, Rio Arriba county, New Mexico, June, 2020

Overhead color photograph of Robert E. Lee statue  with grafitti arond base and sidewalk in Richmond, Virginia, 20202

Sanjay Suchak: Robert E. Lee Monument Overhead, Richmond, Virginia, July 2, 2020

With a diverse collection of more than 47,000 art objects and works of cultural significance, the Spencer is the only comprehensive art museum in the state of Kansas and serves more than 100,000 visitors annually. 

The Museum’s vision is to present its collection as a living archive that motivates object-centered research and teaching, creative work, and transformative public dialogue. The Spencer facilitates arts engagement and research through exhibitions, artist commissions and residencies, conferences, film screenings, musical and dramatic performances, artist- and scholar-led lectures, children’s art activities, and community arts and culture festivals.

Friday, June 2, 2023

Tony Vaccaro in 'This Is New York'



June 1, 2023

black and white photograph of dancer Gwen Verdon lounging in a hammock on a balcony overlooking the New York skyline in 1953

In a town where private space is at a premium, this 1953 photo from Michael "Tony" Vaccaro 
taken for LOOK magazine shows off a stylish way to get a city view.
Michael "Tony" Vaccaro /Museum of the City of New York

Visiting New York City this summer? A fun, family-friendly exhibit celebrating movies, TV shows, music, books, fashion and art inspired by the city is now open at the Museum of the City of New York.

This Is New York is in celebration of the museum's own centennial. It turns out that the past 100 years have been rich ones for depicting the city.

"1923 is really at the beginning of mass American culture ... Radio, film, it's at the beginning of a whole cultural explosion," said Lilly Tuttle, one of the curators. She said the exhibit is meant to capture New York as artists have experienced it during that time. It's not a love letter.

"It's a crowded, dirty, smelly, rude, cacophonous place. And also glamorous and wonderful and glitzy and fabulous and elegant and cool. And artists across time and across media have captured that," she said. "It's all in here, all at once."

But there's so much to see — in this corner, Jake LaMotta's boxing gloves from Raging Bull! In that corner, a video mocking the meme Pizza Rat! — that it can be overwhelming. Full article here.

color photograph of dancer Gwen Verdon lounging in a hammock on a balcony overlooking the New York skyline in 1953
Gwen Verdon, New York City, NY, 1953

Thursday, June 1, 2023

Harwood Museum of Art Centennial

 Via Harwood Museum of Art

Graphic image with Harwood Museum of Art 100 text on red background

On view at the Harwood from June 2023 to January 2024, the Harwood Museum of Art Centennial exhibition will take visitors on a journey through the museum’s rich history. Touchstones will include the cultural history of the land where the museum now stands, and the many roles the property has served since it was purchased by Burt and Lucy Harwood in 1916. The property was the site for Taos’ first library and art gallery, including a permanent art collection from donors such as Mabel Dodge Luhan. It housed the Works Progress Administration’s (WPA) Taos County Project, the University of New Mexico Summer Field School of Art, and served as a nexus for the Taos Moderns.

The Harwood Museum of Art Centennial exhibition is a survey of the museum through time, the history of the town to which it is so central, and the role that art from Taos and its surroundings played in the larger artistic movements of the last century. Through unique historic and contemporary exhibition vignettes, the Centennial is a dynamic chance for guests to understand the evolution of one of the Southwest’s oldest museums. With a focus on the future, contemporary artists will be showcased through a series of community art installations and a juried artist commission.

Monroe Gallery of Photography is honored to have loaned a print by Margaret Bourke-White for the exhibition.

Native Americans on rock outcropping on the Acoma Pueblo in New Mexico, 1935. Photographed by Margaret Bourke-White for TWA
Margaret Bourke-White/©Life Picture Collection:  Acoma Pueblo, New Mexico, (for TWA), 1935