Issue #207  9/22/2014
Griffin Museum of Photography Selects Focus Award Winners

The Griffin Museum of Photography has announced its 9th annual Focus Awards, which will be presented in Winchester, MA, home of the Griffin Museum of Photography. The event will take place over a two-day period, October 24-25.

"This year's Focus awardees are a combination of local and international photography trendsetters and innovators. The Focus Awards recognize the hard work, dedication and enthusiasm of a select group of enthusiastic, creative individuals and organizations dedicated to the art and business of photography," says Paula Tognarelli, executive director of the Griffin Museum.

The Lifetime Achievement Award is given to an individual whose ongoing commitment to photography has created far reaching impact; the Rising Star Award reflects an emerging force the photographic community is watching with great enthusiasm; the Scribe Award recognizes an individual for excellence in writing on the subject of photographic arts and the Spotlight Award is given to an entity that consistently shines a light on photography resulting in an extensive influence in the field.

This year's Focus Award recipients are:
--Lifetime Achievement – Jim Dow
--Rising Star – Dr. Rebecca Senf
--Scribe Award – Dr. Elin Spring
--Spotlight –Indie Photobook Library

Jim Dow--Lifetime Achievement Award

Jim Dow (photo credit © Jacquie Dow)
Jim Dow (photo credit © Jacquie Dow)

Jim Dow received a BFA in Graphic Design ('65) and a MFA in Photography at the Rhode Island School of Design ('68). He has taught at Harvard University, Princeton and the Museum School since 1972, and has lectured extensively in the United States. He has been widely exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the United States as well as Argentina, Canada, Portugal and the United Kingdom.
His work has been supported by the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New England Foundation for the Arts, Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, as well as numerous private organizations and individuals.

In addition to appearing in numerous publications over the years, he has authored two books, Marking The Land (2007) with the North Dakota Museum of Art and American Studies (2011) with The Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University.

Dr. Rebecca Senf--Rising Star Award

Dr. Rebecca Senf (photo credit © CCP)
Dr. Rebecca Senf (photo credit © CCP)

Dr. Rebecca (Becky) Senf is a photo-historian with a unique joint appointment between the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, Arizona and the Phoenix Art Museum. Her position was created in 2006 and she is responsible for curating exhibitions from the holdings of the Center for Creative Photography and putting them on view at Phoenix Art Museum.

She curates three exhibitions a year in the gallery and her past exhibitions include "Debating Modern Photography: the Triumph of Group f/64"; "Richard Avedon: Photographer of Influence"; "Human Nature: the Photographs of Barbara Bosworth"; "Edward Weston: Mexico"; "Odyssey: the Photographs of Linda Connor"; "Charting the Canyon: Photographs by Mark Klett and Byron Wolfe"; and "Face to Face: 150 Years of Photographic Portraiture".

Senf grew up in Tucson and went to undergraduate school at the University of Arizona, studying the History of Photography. She spent ten years in Boston, MA, where she earned a Ph.D. in Art History at Boston University. In Boston she worked on the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston's major exhibition "Ansel Adams from The Lane Collection", for which she also co-authored the exhibition catalogue.

Dr. Elin Spring--Scribe Award

Dr. Elin Spring (photo credit © Ned Kaufman)
Dr. Elin Spring (photo credit © Ned Kaufman)

Dr. Elin Spring travels to photography shows at museums and galleries in the Boston region and throughout the country writing popular analysis and review pieces. Elin authors "What make it great?" photography exhibit reviews, "Meet The Artist" interviews, "Who Said It?" photography quote quizzes and book reviews.

Spring is also a Swampscott-based professional photographer, specializing in fine art and commercial portraiture. She has studied with portrait photographers Joyce Tenneson, Andrea Modica, Kevin Lynch and Michael Grecco and was trained by master printer George Tice.

Dr. Spring earned her bachelor's degree from Brown University and Ph.D. in Neuroscience from University of Pennsylvania.

Indie Photobook Library--Spotlight Award

Larissa Leclair (photo credit © Rebecca Drobis)
Larissa Leclair (photo credit © Rebecca Drobis)

The Indie Photobook Library is a U.S. based archive that collects and showcases self-published and indie published photobooks, and facilitates discourse on trends in contemporary publishing and scholarly research now and in the future. It was founded by Larissa Leclair. Leclair is an independent curator and writer.

Since May of 2010, the IPL has organized over 30 pop-up library spaces, events and feature-length exhibitions in the United States, Canada, Guatemala and China. The seminal traveling exhibition "A Survey of Documentary Styles in early 21st-century Photobooks" was featured in the San Francisco Chronicle and on TIME LightBox.

Larissa Leclair has written for PDN, GUP, PQ, Photo-Eye, and VOP. She has served as a juror for the Blurb Photography Book Now competition, Magenta Foundation's Flash Forward Festival, the 4th International Photobook Festival Photobook Award in Kassel, Germany, and the CPW Fellowship Fund 2013. She has lectured at the School of Visual Arts, Georgetown University, the Corcoran College of Art & Design, MICA, the New York Art Book Fair and the Cleveland Museum of Art, among others.

Leclair was a 2014 Young Voices Fellow for The Next Conversation at the Center for Creative Photography in Tuscon, AZ. Leclair is the editor of a volume of critical essays on the contemporary photobook with a specific focus on self-published work to be published in 2015 by the Indie Photobook Library and Conveyor Arts.

The Griffin Museum created the annual awards in 2006 to recognize individuals who have made critical contributions to the promotion of photography. They are one of the few to recognize the work of those who have been instrumental in building greater awareness of the photographic arts in the general public.

This year Panopticon Imaging sponsors the Focus Awards.

For more details on the program and for tickets to the award banquets, click here: http://www.griffinmuseum.org/blog/focus-awards-2014/.