PhotoNOLA 2017 Reviewers
Sooanne Berner, MACK
Jonathan Blaustein, The New York Times Lens Blog
Frish Brandt, Fraenkel Gallery
Joan Brookbank, Joan Brookbank Projects
Paul Buckley, Penguin Books
Martine Chaisson, Martine Chaisson Gallery
David Chickey, Radius Books
Dr. Rhea L. Combs, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
Julian Cox , de Young Museum
Roy Flukinger, Harry Ransom Center
Taj Forer, Orion Magazine
Gregory Harris, High Museum of Art
Margaret Houston, Garden & Gun Magazine
Sarah Kennel, Peabody Essex Museum
Amelia Lang, Aperture Foundation
Ingsu Liu, W. W. Norton & Company
Russell Lord, New Orleans Museum of Art
Richard McCabe, Ogden Museum of Southern Art
Quiana Mestrich, Dodge & Burn
Kathy McCarver Root, KMR Arts
Glenn Ruga, Zeke Magazine
Leslie-Claire Spillman, Soren Christensen Gallery
Mary Virginia Swanson, Marketing Consultant
Thea Traff, The New Yorker
Natalie Yubas, CNN Photos
Sooanne coordinates press, marketing and creative partnerships for MACK. She joined in the sixth year of the London-based publishing house and looks after collaborations with bookshops, galleries, concept stores and art/book fairs. Much of her role is focussed on broadening MACK’s readership and strengthening brand awareness. Prior to MACK, she worked as a copywriter for Dazed Media after completing an M.A. in Art History and working for various contemporary art galleries.
Jonathan Blaustein is an artist, writer, and educator based in Taos, New Mexico.
Jonathan is a regular contributor to the popular blog A Photo Editor, as well as the New York Times Lens blog, and has written about art and photography online for The New Yorker, VICE, and Hyperallergic. He has also taught photography for many years, and recently founded the Antidote Photo Retreat at his family horse farm outside Taos.
He has exhibited his work widely in galleries and museums the US, and in festivals in Europe as well. His photographs reside in collections, including the Library of Congress, the State of New Mexico, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
Jonathan is most interested in seeing fine art and documentary photography with a fresh vision, or a sense of innovation. As a long time professor, he’s also happy to offer constructive feedback on project development.
President and Co-owner, Fraenkel Gallery
San Francisco, CA
Frish Brandt is President and co-owner of Fraenkel Gallery.
Opened in 1979, the gallery has witnessed the evolution of photography from non-art to high art. The gallery represents work from 19th, 20th and 21st century…and has fun doing so. Over the years as the photography’s acceptance grew, the gallery increasingly played with the ever-blurring lines including works by artists in other media. Exhibitions along the lines of “The Unphotographable,” “Edward Hopper & Company” and “Not Exactly Photographs” are a few examples.
In addition to the gallery, Frish serves on the board of San Francisco Art & Film for Teens, the Exploratorium arts committee, and is active at SFMOMA in a number of ways including serving on the Director’s Circle committee.
Her first job was working for Sears Home Shopping Service in catalog sales, skills which still come in useful when working with collectors from afar.
VP Executive Creative Director, Penguin Random House
New York, NY
Paul Buckley is VP Executive Creative Director within Penguin Random House and oversees a large staff of exceptionally talented designers and art directors working on the jackets and covers of fourteen imprints within the Penguin Random House publishing group. Over the past two decades, his iconic design and singular art direction have been showcased on thousands of covers and jackets, winning him many awards and frequent invitations to speak in the United States and abroad. In 2017, he edited and introduced Classic Penguin – Cover to Cover, and in 2010, he edited and introduced Penguin 75.
Though I love to see series work, I cannot help you get a book deal or a show. My team and I do well over 1,000 book covers a year – from Amor Towles to Zadie Smith; fiction, nonfiction, a wide array of topics. I do not work on mass market of any kind. We commission photos as well as use existing work. My worst review experience was a gentleman who spent 5 minutes in a supermarket and put a portfolio together of closeups of fruits and vegetables and tried to convince me they’d make great book covers – for 15 minutes – which can be an absolute eternity. Please don’t be that guy.
Owner/Artistic Director, Martine Chaisson Gallery
New Orleans, LA
With an emphasis on quality, Martine Chaisson Gallery represents emerging and established artists providing a variety of original contemporary art including painting, drawing, photography, and sculpture to enhance both corporate and individual environments.
Publisher/Creative Director, Radius Books
Santa Fe, NM
David Chickey is Publisher, Designer, and Editorial Director for Radius Books, a non-profit publishing company based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Founded in 2007, Radius Books’ mission is to encourage, promote, and publish books of artistic and cultural value. Radius titles have received national recognition, including multiple awards from AIGA, American Association of Museums Publishing, and best book nominations from The New Yorker, TIME, PDN, Independent Publisher, and The Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation.
Chickey also owns a private design firm, with clients including Aperture, Abrams, Harvard University, The Lannan Foundation, SITE Santa Fe, and David Zwirner, among others.
He is the former board chair of the Center for Contemporary Art in Santa Fe, and a graduate of Sussex University, England, and UNC, Chapel Hill, where he was a Morehead Scholar.
Dr. Rhea L. Combs
Curator of Film & Photography, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
Rhea L. Combs is Curator of Film & Photography at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. She also serves as the head of the museum’s Earl W. and Amanda Stafford Center for African American Media Arts (CAAMA). Combs’ current exhibitions and projects include, Everyday Beauty: Selections from the Photography and Film Collection, and Through the African American Lens: Selections from the Permanent Collection of NMAAHC, along with the six-part photography books series, Double Exposure. Her writings have been featured in anthologies, academic journals and exhibition catalogues on a range of topics including: African American female filmmakers, black popular culture, visual aesthetics, filmmaking and photography.She has developed a program called “The Great Migration” that focuses on collecting African American home movies for the museum’s permanent collection. She’s presented talks on media, art, and culture at various museums and throughout the US.
Combs is interested in contemporary fine art photography and photojournalism, Black & White as well as color photography.
Senior Research Curator, Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin
Roy Flukinger is the Senior Research Curator at the Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin, where he has served as a curator since 1977. While serving as department head of photography he was responsible for the management of the collections and archives. He has taught and lectured at The University as well as at a variety of other organizations and institutions of higher learning. His most recent publications were on Arnold Newman and on the Center‚Äôs Gernsheim Collection, and he has mos recently completed co-curating a gallery-wide exhibition on their Magnum Photos collection. He consults with a variety of institutions and researchers; serves as juror, reviewer and evaluator of contemporary events, groups and support organizations; and continues to assist in research, management, conservation and development matters for the department.
He is interested in all forms of contemporary photography from black and white to color and digital, with an additional interest in modern work employing historical, alternative processes. He is most interested in seeing artistic and photojournalistic bodies of work, and less interested in purely commercial work, though he still remains pretty dang enthusiastic about all disciplines of photography.
Assistant Curator of Photography, High Museum of Art
Gregory Harris is the Assistant Curator of Photography at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. Harris is a specialist in documentary photography and is best known for his work with emerging artists. Since joining the High in July 2016, Harris has organized the exhibitions Thomas Struth: Nature & Politics (2016) and Paul Graham: The Whiteness of the Whale (2017) and is currently working on projects with Amy Elkins and Mark Steinmetz. He was previously the Assistant Curator at the DePaul Art Museum in Chicago, where he curated several exhibitions including Sonja Thomsen: Glowing Wavelengths in Between (2015), The Sochi Project: An Atlas of War and Tourism in the Caucasus (2014), and Studio Malick: Portraits from Mali (2012). Harris is also the curator and author of the exhibition catalogues We Shall: Photographs by Paul D’Amato (2013), Matt Siber: Idol Structures (2015), and Liminal Infrastructure (2015). Harris previously held curatorial positions in the Photography Department at the Art Institute of Chicago, where he organized the exhibitions In the Vernacular (2010) and Of National Interest (2008). His essay, “Photographs Still and Unfolding,” was published by the McNay Art Museum, San Antonio in September 2016 as part of the book Telling Tales: Contemporary Narrative Photography. Harris also wrote the introduction for Black is the Day, Black is the Night (2016) by Los Angeles-based photographer Amy Elkins, which was shortlisted for the Aperture First Photobook Prize and the MACK First Book Award. In addition to his curatorial work, Harris is a founding editor of the photobook press Skylark Editions, serves on the Board of Directors for LATITUDE, a community digital lab in Chicago, and is a member of the Advisory Council of Atlanta Celebrates Photography. He earned a BFA in photography from Columbia College Chicago, and an MA in art history from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
He is interested in fine and art documentary photography, particularly projects of and about the American South as well as work that examines the intersection of photography and other media.
Associate Photo Editor, Garden & Gun
As the Associate Photo Editor at Garden & Gun Magazine—an award-winning national magazine with a focus on Southern culture—Margaret Houston is part of an art team of three that curates the look of each issue, where 99% of the photography is original. Houston started at G&G in 2011 and over the past six years has helped establish the magazine’s aesthetic. Originally from Augusta, Georgia, she earned a BFA at Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia, and the South continues to have a strong influence on her appreciation of photography. For Houston, it’s equally as exciting to send a non-Southern shooter into far off corners of the region as it is to work with a champion artist who is native to the land—everyone’s interpretation is unique. Like many editors, she got into the business by working as a photographer first. Due to that background she remains interested in the various tools, equipment, and techniques that help make each image. Within the past several years, she has also enjoyed watching photographers’ relationships with motion evolve.
Houston is interested in reviewing photography about the South AND beyond in both digital and film formats. Photojournalistic and artistic styles of photography are preferred over commercial.
Byrne Family Curator of Photography, Peabody Essex Museum
As The Byrne Family Curator of Photography at the Peabody Essex Museum, Sarah Kennel leads an ambitious, globally oriented exhibition program devoted to both historical and contemporary photography and time based media. Sarah oversees the care and growth of an extensive collection of photographs dating from 1839 to the present, with exceptional strengths in nineteenth-century East and South Asian, Maritime, and New England-area photography. She is preparing a major exhibition on the artist Sally Mann, slated to open in 2018, and planning an exhibition on nineteenth-century photography in China. Prior to joining PEM in 2015, Kennel was Associate Curator in the Department of Photographs at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C, where she curated numerous photography and interdisciplinary exhibitions. She earned a B.A. from Princeton University and a Ph.D. in art history at University of California, Berkeley and she occasionally teaches the history of modern art and photography.
Sarah is interested in the entire history of photography and especially fascinated with the relationship between photography and other art forms; contemporary portraiture; the relationship between science, technology and photography; photography as a form of visual knowledge, and contemporary artists working with so-called alternative processes.
Curator of Photography, Ogden Museum of Southern Art
New Orleans, LA
Richard McCabe is a curator, writer, and photographer. He was born in England and grew up in the American South. In 1998, he received an MFA in Studio Art from Florida State University. For the past nineteen years he has lived and worked in New York City and New Orleans. Since 2010, Mr. McCabe has been the Curator of Photography at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. He has curated over twenty-five exhibitions including: Seeing Beyond the Ordinary, The Mythology of Florida, The Rising, Eudora Welty: Photographs from the 1930s – 40s, Contemporary Alabama Photography, and The Colourful South.
Richard McCabe’s thoughts and writings on photography have been published in the New York Times, N.P.R., Louisiana Cultural Vistas, Spot, The Bitter Southerner, AINT – BAD, and South x Southeast magazine. In 2016, he contributed an introduction essay for the Fall Line Press publication: Sweetheart Roller Skating Rink: Bill Yates.
Mr. McCabe is interested in reviewing photographs of and about the American South.
Executive Editor, ZEKE Magazine
Glenn Ruga is a graphic designer, photographer, curator, editor,and a life-long human rights activist. In 2008, Glenn founded the Social Documentary Network which to date has presented more than 2,000 documentary photography exhibits from all parts of the world on its website. In February 2010, Ruga curated SDN’s first exhibition at powerHouse Arena in New York on the global recession and has continued to curate exhibitions for SDN in New York and other locations. From 2010-2013, Glenn was the Executive Director of the Photographic Resource Center (PRC) at Boston University, and in 2012 Glenn was a curator of the New York Photo Festival. In 2015, Glenn founded ZEKE: The Magazine of Global Documentary, which is now publishing its sixth issue. Glenn has a B.A. in Social Theory from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, and a MFA in Graphic and Advertising Design from Syracuse University.
Mary Virginia Swanson
Creative Consultant, MVSwanson & Associates
Tucson, AZ & NYC
Mary Virginia Swanson is an author, educator and advisor to artists and arts organizations whose career includes exhibiting, collecting and licensing photography. In 2013, Swanson received the Focus Award for Lifetime Achievement in Photography from the Griffin Museum in Boston and the recipient of the 2014 Susan Carr Prize for Education given by ASMP. Her publications, articles, and blog on marketing opportunities for photographers are invaluable resources for photographers that can be found at www.mvswanson.com.
Ms. Swanson is happy to advise participating artists on what markets are most likely to respond positively to their imagery. In addition to viewing examples of final prints, she encourages those who meet with her to bring samples of marketing materials they are currently using to promote themselves, and/or mock-ups of catalogues / monographs in the planning stages. Sharing your website during your session will allow her to advise on its effectiveness in presenting your work to desired collectors, collecting institutions, and others.
Associate Photo Editor, The New Yorker
New York, NY
Thea Traff is a photo editor at The New Yorker magazine, where she commissions shoots and does photo research for the print edition. She also pitches stories and produces new content for the magazine’s photo blog, Photo Booth. Outside of her time at the magazine, she enjoys attending photo reviews and festivals, and working with authors and New York-based publishers on photo research for nonfiction books. Prior to joining The New Yorker in 2013, she studied photography and philosophy at Colgate University in upstate New York.
Thea wishes to see work that could be applied in an editorial context, everything from documentary to fine art.
Photo Editor, CNN
New York, NY
Natalie Yubas is a photo editor with CNN Photos. Since 2013 she has helped oversee daily digital galleries as well as long-form projects and assignments, including the CNN Photo Blog. In 2015 Natalie was involved in CNN’s production of “Picture This: New Orleans,” in which Mary Ellen Mark was assigned to photograph the city for the 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
She is most interested in reviewing photojournalistic work and personal projects.