The recession still matters, but has less power over optimistic plans. Photo projects in El Paso and in Washington D.C. are well under way. And architects and builders design and build again; being a photographer to those collaborations remains a pleasure. And, as in 2009, I will be teaching at UNM this summer: "Photographing the Built Environment" - in the School of Architecture and Planning.
Three-artist show Etherton Gallery in Tucson, November-December 2010: with Michael Berman and Jamie Stillings.
Solo exhibition of Red Desert at 222 Shelby Street Gallery, Santa Fe, NM, April 30 - June 5.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Framing the West, symposium, panel discussion and three-month exhibition of the work of Timothy O'Sullivan and six contemporary American photographers, Washington, D.C., Feb. - April.
December - The first release of a limited double-signed boxed edition of RED DESERT will become available. The hardcover first edition, signed by Annie Proulx and Martin Stupich, along with an 8x10 print available only with this set - in a clamshell case designed by Jace Graf of Cloverleaf Press in Austin, TX - will be announced on this web site, and available through Amazon.com. Pricing will be scaled, in sets of five, to copies remaining in the edition of thirty.
July - Preparing now for a drive to the Roswell Museum and Art Center to give a talk on Contemporary Desert Photography and my recent work in Wyoming's Red Desert - Wednesday evening, July 22.
February - Winter is a time to dig in and tend to indoor chores. Here in the mid-Rio Grande Valley, winter has been short and now, mid-March, it is almost over. So gardening, hiking and road trips sabotage the best intentions to organize files, catalogue negatives and tidy the studio.
Through March 7, some of my photographs are hanging at Santa Fe's photo-eye gallery in the collaborative "Galisteo Basin Photo Project"
On March 11, as part of Mary Virginia Swanson's "The NEW Business of Photography",
I offered a studio tour and an afternoon of Q&A to workshop participants. The topic of the extended conversation was "collaboration".
In late March I will present a talk to the New Mexico Historic Preservation Alliance in Silver City, New Mexico. I will be showing and discussing examples of my collaborations with the University of New Mexico's Summer Institute documentation projects along Historic Route 66, from 2006 through 2008.
From June 15-19, I will teach a 40 hour course on "Photography in the Built Environment". More info is available on the UNM link
In February 2010 I will participate in an exhibition and symposium at the Smithsonian American Art Museum; the subject: Timothy O'Sullivan's work & its influence on photographers working today in the landscape of the western United States. More info to follow.
The year draws to a close. It has been tough but good. The publication by University of Texas Press of RED DESERT
with Annie Proulx, and other friends and colleagues, is a high point. After seven years and eighty thousand jarring and dusty miles, the ink is on the paper - and bookstores will have RED DESERT in late December.
My first solo Albuquerque exhibition ("Thirty Years, Thirty Photographs") ran through June and July at the American Institute of Architects gallery. I am grateful to you who came to see the work, to review it, and to purchased prints.
Late this year, I was invited to participate in the Galisteo Basin Photographic Project. Some of my work, along with the pictures of 26 other photographers, will hang at Santa Fe's photo-eye gallery
in January 2009. A portion of the proceeds from sale of the photographs will benefit efforts to preserve the Galisteo Basin as it faces off with energy extraction interests.
2008, December 23 - A traveling version of the RED DESERT exhibition is touring small and remote venues in Wyoming, thanks to the state's Arts Council. Sowing art in high arid places is never wasted energy. I offer this recent email exchange as a proof:
• Hi, I am a student at a small college here and I am double majoring in graphic design and photography. I know that you have a display of your photographs here at the college so I was wanting to ask you a question. The administrators here came up with the idea that photography is NOT art. I was just wondering how you feel about this.
•• Thank you for your note. I hope no one there thinks they
came up with the idea that photography is not art. It is an old notion, like the one that the earth can not be spherical, or that peace can not be patriotic. Of course as with all painting or all dance, not all
photography is art.
But anyone seriously asserting that photography is absolutely never art deserves your quiet pity, since there is nothing sadder than a rigid incurious mind. But do remember that faculty and administrators in academic settings often deliberately prod with argumentative jabs - simply to stimulate rich discourse. I suspect that is what your administration folks are up to - since they must know that artists, academics and critics pretty much settled the "photography as art" issue back when Wyoming was still a territory.
I appreciate your interest in the work. By the way, what do you and your classmates make of photography as art? - M.S.