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An archive of contemporary artists who explore humans' interactions with animals and nature

Read the author's notes about relevant conferences, exhibitions, opportunities, etc.

SPE National Conference, New Orleans

SPE National Conference, New Orleans

I went about this year’s National SPE Conference a little differently. My companion at every conference in years past wasn’t able to fit it into his schedule this year, and since my husband and I have been talking about taking a road trip to the South for years, he decided to come along and we made a short vacation of it.

I’ve realized there’s a balance in attending conferences like SPE; it’s incredibly demanding to try to go to a talk every time slot, as well as take advantage of every opportunity the conference offers. So I saw more of the city and consequently missed more of the conference events this time, and I managed my guilt about this well, I think :) As always, here are my notes.

 

The first conference event I attended was the Thursday evening guest speaker, non-fiction writer Rebecca Solnit (her books include maps made by artists and cartographers; one by Jakob Rosenzweig and Jacqueline Bishop is this post’s featured image). It was a great kickoff to a heavy but engaging conference, the theme being “Atmospheres: Climate, Equity, and Community in Photography.”

 

Friday, I didn’t make it over to the conference until the afternoon, for Julieanne Kost’s Lightroom demo. After that, I went to Lara Shipley and Antone Dolezal’s talk about their project, Devil’s Promenade. In the evening, I caught the Honored Educator Ceremony for the fabulous Mary Virginia Swanson, then settled in for guest speaker Chris Jordan’s amazing presentation, “Atmospheres of the Mind/Heart: Facing the Realities of Our Times.” I was thrilled when Jordan mentioned that he decided that morning to scrap his prepared talk and spend the evening just talking about Midway, a favorite project of mine.

Late into the evening, I walked around the awesome Curator Portfolio Walkthrough (seriously, this one was the best I’d ever been to!) and got to see so much great photography. I’m bummed I somehow didn’t take any pictures, but I snagged a couple from Jaime.

 

First thing Saturday, I went to a talk I loved, a panel discussion on “Finding the Right Graduate Program.” If you’re thinking about MFA programs, I’ll gladly share with you my notes from this talk. Maybe it’s that I’ve been out of undergrad a while, but I really appreciated these tips that felt like, “hey, take it from some folks who know—these are the important questions you need to be asking and getting answered in order to make this huge decision.” Then there was Julieanne Kost’s Photoshop CC talk, which was definitely the incitement I needed to upgrade from  CS5, which I’ve been using since I graduated from college D: And if you haven’t seen Julieanne Kost speak, why not?! She is so funny! I was initially bummed Peter Krogh wasn’t at this conference, but now I think both Adobe presenters are wonderful.

I finally got to see one of my favorite former instructors, Nate Larson, and his collaborator, Marni Shindelman, speak about their work during their talk, “Tributes to the Data Stream.” It was fantastic! Last was Hank Willis Thomas’ “I Am. Amen.” I saw Thomas speak once when I was a student at MICA, but seeing this talk in post-Katrina New Orleans and in light of the police killings of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice… it was a compelling presentation to see. I ended the conference Saturday night with the Combined Caucus Exhibition opening reception at the New Orleans Photo Alliance and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. I have a couple pieces in the show, which is up at both locations through April 5 before traveling to the University of Central Florida Art Gallery for an exhibition May 13-28.

 

A few things stood out to me this conference. This year there was a conference app, Guidebook, which I found super helpful. I generally try to avoid using my phone too much at SPE conferences, but this is an alternative to tons of booklets and paper, and it had everything I needed, like maps, bios, and the ability to make my own schedule. Probably the coolest thing was the addition of (surprise!) performances by the Big Nine Social Aid and Pleasure Club and the Mardi Gras Indians: Guardians of the Flame at the end of the big talks. I really can’t get over it. What a great way to keep the energy going, include the local culture, and add to the experience of New Orleans.

There were a lot less people I knew/recognized this time! I wonder why, because I don’t feel like the conference attendance overall was low. I’m not sure if I can commit to it yet, but I don’t know how next year’s conference in Las Vegas can top this one. Awesome job, SPE!

Two Years of MH + A Facebook Page

Two Years of MH + A Facebook Page

Since two’s not so special a number I won’t gush, but the “anniversary” does give me an opportunity to look back, and I’ll say it’s been a good year for this website I enjoy working on so much. The past year, I made 99 posts, featured 87 new artists, and posted 28 submissions. I worked on streamlining the site, making more sense of the categories and tags for the first time since they were created. I became more intentional about how I post with the MH tag on Tumblr. I think Dan and I finally got posts to appear correctly in a feed reader, with a post looking “perfect” just in time for 2015, and we might still do a little work there.

I made 16 posts on Feature Shoot, which certainly widens MH’s audience. I had a feature about MH on PDNPulse, wrote in the Rule Breakers series on Don’t Take Pictures, and juried Feature Shoot’s zoo photography exhibition, all an honor and a joy. I went to two SPE conferences, the national in Baltimore and the Midwest regional in Madison. Within the past couple weeks I’ve been working out the details to attend the 2015 national conference in New Orleans, probably my last SPE conference for a while as I’m anticipating moving to Portland late this summer and unfortunately missing the Midwest region’s Louisville conference in the fall (Hi, Northwest region SPE-er’s!).

Last month, I set up a Facebook page for MH, something I had been thinking about doing for a while. I hope it will not only serve as a connection point with artists but also make the website easier to catch updates from. Click the badge below or find the Muybridge’s Horse Facebook page here. Add me as a friend, if you like :) And thanks for reading!

“State of the Art” at Crystal Bridges

“State of the Art” at Crystal Bridges

Over the weekend, I made the drive to Bentonville, AR, to visit Crystal Bridges, the Walmart-funded museum of American art that just opened three years ago, and check out the State of the Art exhibition. I’d heard so many good things about the exhibition and a bunch of friends or people I’ve met through MH have work included, so I was really excited to see it. The museum is amazing and I wish I’d planned to spend more time there (sidenote: I learned there was a “drive-through safari” nearby, so instead of using the day to thoroughly explore the museum, I may have been driving around having deer and zebras and camels try to shove their noses into my vehicle). I’d never been to the state before, but northwest Arkansas is beautiful, and Crystal Bridges is located in the heart of the country. The museum invites “visitors to enjoy the natural environment as a continuation of their museum experience” and the architecture of the museum itself is incredible.

I also wanted to see the Audubon exhibition at the museum, and it was very small so I zipped right through it first and then made my way through the State of the Art galleries. There are more than 100 pieces by artists from every region of the US; so much to see. Below are images by artist friends or artists who stood out to me and a few pictures I took on my phone. Be sure to visit the State of the Art website to read about and see images of work by each of the artists included in the show. I’ve never seen an exhibition website quite like this one before.

Recent News

Recent News

Muybridge’s Horse has been making appearances in some great places online the past few weeks.

I did a Q&A with the PDN blog, Pulse. It’s approaching two years since the MH site launched, and the Pulse piece was a nice opportunity to think about why this endeavor is important to me and where it stands almost 150 posts later.

Kat Kiernan of Don’t Take Pictures asked me to participate in the monthly series, Rule Breakers, featuring one “rule” in photography that is seen too often, along with five photographs that violate that rule but are of exceptional quality. I chose Dara Scully and showed a few of her gorgeous black and white pictures.

I had the pleasure of being the guest judge for Feature Shoot’s recent online group exhibition of zoo photographs. It was a joy to spend time looking at all the images submitted and making the final selection. There is such a good amount of animal photography being produced today, all over the world, by many different types of photographers. Be sure to check out the post and look through the thirty-six pictures included.

Finally, keep in mind that you can submit your work or suggest an artist you think would fit in to the MH artist index by emailing me at muybridgeshorse@gmail.com. A description of the work as well as some images (jpegs attached or a link to a portfolio website) in the initial email is just fine. I am always open to collaborations and creative projects and I love receiving friendly hellos.

These are the kind of things I would post on a Facebook page if I had one. I’ve been considering it lately, but until then, subscribe to the feed (I’m a Feedly person, myself) to see posts twice weekly.

MWSPE Conference, Madison

MWSPE Conference, Madison

This past weekend was the Midwest region’s SPE conference in Madison, WI. As usual, I went with my buddy, Dan Garza, and we saw some good talks and lots of awesome art. In the tradition of typing up my notes and thoughts about the conference, which is sometimes my sole way of keeping up with the photography community in person, links and images galore below.

 

We arrived in Madison just in time for Michael Lesy’s talk about the Keystone View stereographs. Lesy’s book, Wisconsin Death Trip, was recommended to me numerous times as a student and I recently spent some time looking back and contemplating it (this post’s featured image is one from the book). Especially after recently hearing him on a quite old episode of This American Life, I had been really looking forward to Lesy’s talk.

 

Friday, we started out with talks by Nathan Abramowski and Jason Rutter, Shreepad Joglekar, and Matt Rahner. Abramowski and Rutter shared some gorgeous photographs from their collaboration, reDiscovering the Grand, Joglekar spoke about a show he curated, and Rahner showed images from his beautiful project based in Kansas City, Eminent Domain.

After that, we made our way to MMoCA for the Alec Soth exhibition, From Here to There, where I seriously could not have spent enough time. Back at the conference, we went to Kristin Reeves‘ talk, and then trekked downtown again for the FlakPhoto Midwest Print Show. It was a wonderful exhibition, and so nice to see names from the Midwest that I recognized. From there, we walked to the Art Lofts to see the UW-Madison Undergrad Photography Show, Yours is the last house before the far-off: home, isolation, and the self.

That evening was a talk by the Featured Speaker, Andy Adams. It was so distinct, engaging, and motivating; my favorite talk of the conference. I took a lot of notes, rife with exclamation points. To wind down the night, we went to the Scholarship Show reception, book signing, and open portfolio sharing.

 

Saturday was a short day since Dan and I had decided to go to Chicago in the afternoon. We saw four scholarship winners speak–Chadric Devin, Amanda Carmer, William Knipscher, and Gregory T. Davis–all great! We went to the Members Meeting, then snuck out to hit the road.

 

The conference felt small attendance-wise and I was hoping for more archives-themed content, but I thought there was valuable programming regardless. I especially loved the exhibitions and their accessibility; I think it can sometimes be a struggle to see it all. Madison is such a pretty, fantastic city–I shared a little about the rest of my trip there on my personal blog. Until next time, SPE! New Orleans, anyone?

SPE National Conference, Baltimore

SPE National Conference, Baltimore

Last week, Daniel Evan Garza and I traveled to the SPE National Conference in Baltimore, MD.  This was our second national conference; the first was in warm, wonderful San Francisco in 2012.  We had a great time in Baltimore (and actually, it wasn’t too cold, but we still reminisced about passing time between talks exploring the Bay).  We started the conference weekend off with the Thursday evening guest speaker, Joan Fontcuberta, and ended it with the MICA Open House late Saturday.

Joan Fontcuberta was introduced to me by my Contemporary Directions and Practices in Photography instructor at MICA, Nate Larson (also this conference’s chair!).  His Secret Fauna (from which this post’s featured image comes) was a huge inspiration to me, one of the earliest bodies of work I was drawn to in the animal genre.  It’s always stuck with me, so I enjoyed seeing his presentation.

 

Friday morning, we went to Peter Krogh‘s talk, “Lightroom: Organize, Optimize, Utilize.”  We had seen Peter’s Lightroom talk in San Francisco and we both thought it was super helpful, as I had just started using Lightroom then and that talk is what made Daniel want to start.  We’re huge Peter Krogh fans through and through.

Next was the Midwest Regional Meeting, where I learned that the theme of the fall conference has to do with photography and the archive (!), in Madison, WI.  At the center of the conference will be FlakPhoto and Michael Lesy’s Wisconsin Death Trip.  I already feel so excited; hopefully I can make the 500-mile trip in October.

That afternoon, I went to an excellent panel discussion, “Portraiture and Identity” with Jess Dugan, Kelli Connell, Richard Renaldi, and Chad States.  I’ve been an admirer of each of these artists’ work since I found out about them.  It was like a contemporary portraiture dream team to see them all on the same panel.

 

Saturday morning, we saw talks by Haley Morris-Cafiero (“Wait Watchers: A Study of Anonymity in the Public Space and Media”) and Thomas Brennan (“Collecting Shadows”), the latter I hope to share soon here on MH.

I had been seeing John Keedy‘s It’s Hardly Noticeable all over the internet lately, so I was excited to see him speak about and share images from that body of work.

The Saturday evening guest speakers were the fantastic Nicholas Kahn and Richard Selesnick.  What a great talk!  I was so entertained and really enjoyed hearing them talk about their collaborative projects that began before I was born.

Saturday night, we took a shuttle to the MICA Open House to see a couple of exhibitions and check out their undergraduate photography area (it had been a while!) and the Photography & Electronic Media MFA program space at the Graduate Studio Center.  We also rode to Notre Dam of Maryland University to check out the SPE Joint Caucus Exhibition at Gormley Gallery.  Great show!

 

Other talks I saw over the course of the conference were Catherine Lord’s “The Camera and the White Perimeter;” Ginevra Shay’s “Analog Processes and The Community;” the friday evening guest speaker, Zoe Strauss; and Sylvia de Swann’s “Return: A Sequel” (funny sidenote: Return was one of my very first posts on this blog, before it had an animal/nature theme).

And friends! I was so happy to see Tom Baird, Colette Veasey-Cullors, Nate Larson, and Elle Perez from my MICA days;  Alaina Hickman from the MWSPE confernece in Lincoln; Diane Fox and Areca Roe, whose work I featured on MH a couple years ago; and my friend and mentor from UCD, Carol Golemboski.  It was a good conference.  Next year: New Orleans!

One Year

One Year

It was one year ago Saturday that I launched Muybridge’s Horse.  I’ve been thinking about it for a while, and the most surprising fact related to this anniversary is that MH has received nearly double the amount of pageloads in one year that my old “art blog” on Blogger, from which this website was born and which racked up its own surprising amount of pageloads, received in its lifetime of five years.

I certainly wasn’t expecting this kind of audience.  I used to post and write about artists’ work solely for me.  Knowing others are reading and expecting and feeling excited, and even knowing this is a site people stumble upon or are referred to from a Google search, is a humbling thing.  I have such gratitude for this feeling of purpose.  I make an effort to email each artist the day I feature them, and I have received so many wonderful emails in response.  I’ve had the opportunity to meet artists in-person and form relationships with them.  I’ve received such great messages from readers with compliments and suggestions.  I so value those.  It’s been a great year.

Working on this website is a labor of love for me.  While it is true that my desk job that has in ways allowed me the time and the freedom to search for artists and compile posts of their pictures with some of my own written thoughts, now that I am in graduate school and have entered the home stretch of planning for my wedding, I can’t deny that I feel a certain pressure to keep this going.  But as I write this morning, there are no less than 67 posts in my drafts folder, and that number seems to grow every week.  I can’t wait to share the work of these artists and continue to build up the artist index, a resource I believe in wholeheartedly.

Here I’d like to remind you that you can subscribe to this website (and hopefully see a featured image in your feed reader, an issue Dan and I have been meaning to figure out for many months, only recently semi-succeeded in doing, and intend to fix 100% soon), and also email me with your thoughts, questions, submissions, etc.  I’ll also happily mail you one of those MH postcards, or give you one in-person at SPE in Baltimore next month :)

A Bit Personal + an Update

A Bit Personal + an Update

Whenever I explain to someone that I can’t connect with them via various social media because I don’t have it, I jokingly call myself a dinosaur (which is so silly; I’m 24, just… slightly embarrassed). So because I’m a dinosaur, I never saw myself being one of those people that had to keep up with and adapt to the way my “brands” and “identities” and platforms change. But things shift and evolve, especially in terms of the internet, and here I am, making one more document for my internet time capsule about where I’m moving what to now.

Just as the “non-theme artist” posts didn’t have a place anymore once my old art blog became Muybridge’s Horse, I’ve begun to realize that “personal” posts don’t really have a place here, either. So aside from posts with my own images of Muybridge’s Horse-related things like exhibitions or museums I’ve been to, all posts in the “personal” category have been made private. I will no longer be making posts here detailing updates on my own artmaking in a place that I think should be devoted to the artmaking of others.

I’ve always kept a photo blog, since I was a teenager scanning all my film photos of daily life and thinking it was a perfect equivalent to digital photography (it wasn’t; I wasted hundreds of hours over the years). So from now on, you can find personal posts, meaning updates on what projects I’m working on, places that feature or exhibit my work, and photos of what I do in my… offline life, on my blog, Antlered. I even moved some of the personal posts from here to there. Feel free to follow. I have a really cute dog.

MWSPE Conference, Lincoln

MWSPE Conference, Lincoln

Typing up my notes about regional and national conferences for the Society for Photographic Education has proven to be quite valuable to me over the past two years and it’s something I intend to continue to do twice each year.  My best friend and collaborator, Daniel Evan Garza, and I have been to four conferences together now, and we thought this one in Lincoln was great.  Anecdotes and many links ahead…

 

Thursday night, I really enjoyed the Keynote Speaker, Christian Patterson, talking about his work, Redheaded Peckerwood (from which this post’s featured image comes).  I’m super into “following rules,” so when a talk is about interesting work that’s relevant to the conference theme as well as the region, I’m on board.  I was not ready for this talk to end.  Afterwards, I went to the reception for an exhibition of student work at Tugboat Gallery, where I saw some great pieces.

 

This was my third SPE conference seeing a talk by Dan Coburn.  Dan recently accepted a tenure-track position as Assistant Professor of Photo-Media at KU, so now he’s in Lawrence, where I am.  His work is really beautiful and unique.

I was excited to see a talk by Emma Powell, who I have featured here in the past, as well as an exhibition of her pictures.  I am looking forward to seeing more of her new work about declining bee populations.

I had been seeing Lara Shipley‘s work a lot online lately, and I really enjoyed her and Antone Dolezal’s talk about their project, The Devil’s Promenade.  Lara also recently relocated to Lawrence, and since I discovered them I have thought her photographs are gorgeous.

Other speakers I saw on Friday were Bradley Peters, Emily Franklin, Kally Malcom, and Honored Educator, Jeff Curto.  Also this day, I had a portfolio review with Regina Flowers, Education Director at LUX Center for the Arts.  At the end of the day, I went to the reception for Emma Powell’s show, In Search of Sleep, at Workspace Gallery.  Workspace is a gorgeous space (and the reception was catered by Bread & Cup, which is such an awesome establishment right next door, where I returned the following day for lunch).

 

Saturday morning started off with a great talk by April Watson, Associate Curator of Photographs at the Nelson-Atkins.  It was nice to be exposed to some photographers in the region through her talk about the show, The American Dream Now.

Next was the incredible talk, my personal favorite of the conference, “Paranormalcy” by Christopher Schneberger.  The talk was engaging (in 3D!), the work was fascinating and beautiful–it was just great and you’ve got to see it for yourself, and in person.

When we looked at the program to choose which talk to go to next, we were so excited to see that Alaina Hickman was giving a short talk as one of the MWSPE scholarship winners.  Dan and I loved two pieces of hers at Tugboat and when we realized they were both by the same artist and she was giving a talk, we were sold.  Her talk was so good!  She showed her tintypes of natural history museum dioramas.  I ended up connecting with her at the portfolio walkthrough later and I’m really happy I did.  (Alaina hasn’t got a website now, but I hope to keep up with her and feature her work in the future.)

We’d seen Andy Bloxham speak in Santa Fe two years ago, and when we saw he was speaking, we had to go.  Once again, his talk was really entertaining.  It’s always refreshing to laugh during artist talks.

I was happy to see a talk by D. Bryon Darby.  Bryon emailed me in the summertime about having come across my work and us both winding up in Kansas and we’ve met a couple times since then.  I really appreciated his openness and focus on a bit of his process, which I find artists are often reluctant to talk about.  There were a few artists at the conference who opened up this way, for a nice change.

I also saw Nicole Hupp, Kate Allen, and Lauren Zadikov and Christine Holtz speak.  After the talks, I headed over to the Sheldon Museum of Art for John Pfahl, the Invited Speaker.  My first experience with John Pfahl is having seen his compost pile pictures at the Albright-Knox in Buffalo, NY, where I am (and he is) from.  I was a teenager, and the pieces blew me away and stuck with me.  I actually looked at them a ton while I was processing and printing At Rest.  After the talk, I got to see some of his Altered Landscapes photos in a show at the Sheldon and then went to a reception for three exhibitions on the university campus.  I am seriously impressed by the community and resources for photographers at UNL and in Lincoln in general.

And I ended the night with the portfolio walkthrough!  I was sincerely excited to see so much great work and meet and talk to so many people.  I don’t think we had a portfolio walkthrough at the two Southwest regional conferences I’ve been to, so it was nice to see that this is something important to the members in the Midwest region.  This conference was a great welcome to the region, I thought.

 

KU Natural History Museum

KU Natural History Museum

I’ve written here a few times about how much I value the Natural History Museum on the University of Kansas campus.  The story goes that I found out my neighbor also had a jackalope tattoo, and in talking he told me I had to go to Lawrence, KS, to see some of the only “real jackalopes.”  I was going on a road trip that summer, so I stopped in Lawrence to see them.  That particular floor of the museum was closed, but we finagled our way up there and saw him, that little guy from Wichita with “horns” sticking out from his face.  When we visited Kansas later to choose a city to move to, the museum was re-opened and I got to see the rest of the displays.  I remember being so happy that I was in tears.  I felt a connection to this place and wanted to be near it, so for that and other reasons, we moved to Lawrence.

The museum is home to an incredible panoramic display of mammals, created by Lewis Lindsay Dyche, under some instruction by the well-known taxidermist, William Temple Hornaday.  The panorama appeared at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.  I’ve really never seen anything else like it.

Nat and I signed up for a tour of the mammals collection at KU last weekend, but probably since it was such a beautiful day, we were the only ones who showed up!  So we had a private tour of the collection (the second-largest collection of mammals in the country) led by curator, Bob Timm.  We got to see the most awesome things!  And, of course, I asked to see other “jackalope” specimens from the collection (in case you were wondering, the growths are tumors caused by the Shope’s Papilloma virus, which only affects rabbits).

You can read a lot of interesting facts about the museum here, and if you live in eastern Kansas, the museum often has really cool events and tours that you can find out about on their website.  During the Campus Art Walk next week and through the winter, “Macro/Micro: Collections Up Close,” an exhibition of images of specimens from the KU Biodiversity Institute and Natural History Museum collections by photographer Brian Goodman will be on display at the museum.