Issue #182  8/5/2011
Afternoon Program On Collecting Is Part of The Annual Slowexposures Photography Festival, Which Runs Sept. 16-25, South of Atlanta, GA

By Alex Novak

OK, they (or I should say, Nancy McCrary) roped me into doing an afternoon with photography collectors and the photographer portfolio review at this, the 9th Annual SlowExposures Photograph Festival. The festival is held just south of Atlanta near Concord, GA, from September 16-25. But the more I learned about this long-running, influential and interesting non-profit program, the more enthusiastic I became. SlowExposures is an annual photography exhibit with workshops, portfolio reviews, satellite shows, collectors lecture, and a black-tie Ball--all designed to celebrate the rural South. The event raises money to benefit historically significant buildings and land in the area.

Some of my fellow participants will include famed gadfly collector, writer and curator John Bennette; noted art photographer Sylvia Plachy; curator, writer and publisher Elisabeth Avedon; gallery director Brenda Massie; photo museum curator Kevin Miller; gallery owner and AIPAD member Anna Walker Skillman; and professional photographer and designer Jerry Atnip.

If you are a photography collector (or are thinking about collecting), curator, consultant, photographer, dealer or gallery owner, it would be well worth your time (and a lot of fun besides!) to come spend a few days in mid-September in the rural countryside a quick drive south of Atlanta.

I will start with the photography collector program that I'm involved with. It will be held on Friday afternoon, September 16 beginning at 2 p.m. at the New Hebron Baptist Church, Concord, GA, with a photography approximation of the Antiques Roadshow. I think Nancy is calling it something like "Photo Roadshow". This will be for photography collectors who would like to bring their photographs for an informal evaluation and a little feedback on what they have.

Then from 3:00-5:30 p.m. we will gather together in the church for a Photography Collecting Discussion and Seminar. My plans are to make this informal enough to answer most of the group's questions about collecting, buying, donating, protecting, etc. It will also provide you with a framework and a lot of solid information to take back with you from the session that will help you focus and make more of your own collection, or help you start a collection that really speaks to your desires. This program is designed for collectors, art consultants and curators of all levels of experience.

The cost is $65 per individual or $100 per couple for the Roadshow and the Collecting Discussion and Seminar. Individual tickets to only the Collecting Discussion and Seminar are $50 per individual and $90 per couple.

The following events later that evening are also included with the purchase of one or both of these tickets: "Southern Memories; Part Two", the opening reception for a satellite photography show curated by John Bennette, from 5-7 p.m. at the Whiskey Bonding Barn, and the Collectors' Soiree at Split Oak Farm, 7 p.m. until closing. At the Soiree relax under the wide, candle-lit porches and gardens of a 1907 farmhouse. It's a casual, laid-back evening--stroll the grounds, take a dip in the pool, or cajole the horses to come up to the fence from their moon-lit pasture. Enjoy incomparable hors d'oeuvres (including the famous California tortillas) and a full bar along with the innovative and offbeat conversation and camaraderie that makes this evening one of the most anticipated events of the SlowExposures opening weekend (only for ticket holders, and comes with cost of the Collecting Discussion and Seminar).

Better yet, plan to spend the weekend in the country and join in the experience. If you are a collector, curator, dealer or art consultant and want to make a complete weekend of it, you might want to purchase what Nancy has called the "Complete Package", which includes the Photo Roadshow and Collecting Discussion and Seminar, Friday evening Collectors' Soiree, the SlowExposures Ball on Saturday evening, and Sylvia Plachey's talk, "Dancing with Ghosts", which is the Lunch and Learn photo slide show on Sunday after the Juror's Talk. The Complete Package per individual is $120, or per couple, $220. And remember that it all goes for a great cause.

The main juried photography exhibit at the R.F. Strickland Building, Concord, GA is also not to be missed with its 70 exceptional images of the rural South, which were chosen out of 745 submitted. The show's jurors were Elisabeth Biondi, Visuals Director at The New Yorker magazine, and Peter Essick, a National Geographic freelance photographer with 33 covers under his belt. They will both be there for that weekend and will give a talk on Sunday, September 18th at noon in the exhibition area.

In addition, for the photographers out there, Elizabeth Avedon headlines a workshop on creating personal, effective photo books. And an exceptional, intimate portfolio review with me, Brenda Massie, Kevin Miller, Anna Walker Skillman and Jerry Atnip will afford serious photographers an opportunity to sharpen their vision and work.

And then, finally, there is the serendipitous meeting and greeting--in a place that embodies an ineffable, genuine sense of place. To quote Nancy McCrary, the event's organizer, "It's authentic and real. We gather at receptions, at breakfast, at the Juror's Talk, and at the SlowExposures Ball. We laugh, trade stories, make new friends, and see some of the most startling, moving images imaginable that capture the American South. Come and share the experience with us."

The program schedule includes:

Friday, September 16th: Jurors award prizes. Show opens to the public at 1-5 p.m., R.F. Strickland Building, and is open for the entire weekend

Friday, September 16th: Collector's Afternoon: Photo Roadshow (ticketed event) at 2-3 p.m., the New Hebron Baptist Church, Concord, GA

Friday, September 16th: Photography Collecting Discussion and Seminar with Alex Novak (ticketed event) at 3-5:30 p.m., the New Hebron Baptist Church, Concord, GA

Friday, September 16th: Opening Reception, John Bennette's satellite show, Whiskey Bonding Barn (open to the public, free) 5-7 p.m.

Friday, September 16th: Collectors' and Sponsors' Soiree, Split Oak Farm (by invitation or with ticket to Collectors Program above) 7 p.m. until closing

Sarturday, September 17th: Portfolio Review, 9-3 p.m., Concord United Methodist Church, Fellowship Hall, (ticketed event)

Saturday, September 17th: Self-Publishing Book Workshop, 9-3 p.m., New Hebron Church, Concord, GA (ticketed event)

Saturday, September 17th: The SlowExposures Ball (ticketed event), R.F. Strickland Building, 7-11 p.m.

Sunday, September 18th: Juror's Talk (open to the public, free), noon, R.F. Strickland Building

Sunday, September 18th: Lunch and Learn with Sylvia Plachy on "Dancing with Ghosts": A pizza and slide show program, 1-3 p.m., R.F.Strickland Building (ticketed event)

Friday, September 23rd: Show opens to the public for second weekend (free), R.F.Strickland Building

Sunday, September 25th: Student's Reception

Go to http://www.slowexposures.org for contact information, the complete schedule, event details, cost of other ticketed programs, registration form, directions, nearby hotels, non-profit support program, and show specials. Or contact Nancy McCrary at 1-706-647-8714, or by email at mccrarynancy@gmail.com .