Every exhibit has a life of its own. For the 33rd Photo Regional, it has had a multitude of existences. What started in November as a panel of curators and artist reassessing the relevance of surveys of this kind morphed into a traditional open-call juried exhibit.
After a series of meetings, many ideas were generated by Ian Berry, Melissa Stafford, Deborah Zlotsky, Corrina Ripps Shaming, Timothy Cahill, John Van Alstine and Tim Kane. Among them were dividing the show into a invitational/ open call format, with each member selecting one or two artists to build it around, having a kiosk displaying downloaded images for the public at large and developing a projection installation to highlight the Albany Center Gallery windows looking out on Tricentenial Park.
But given funding limitations and each volunteer’s time constraints, the Regional was paired down to the hybrid concept with each panelist-they were asked to participate, in part, due to their diversity of affiliations and geographical base-bringing in one from seven roughly-defined areas of the Greater Capital Region to expand ACG’s base during a precarious time for arts groups.
By late February, it was evident the time it would take to view, select and schedule each invitee was too ambitious and complicated with a late-April opening. And longtime director Sarah Martinez, who had guided the not-for-profit for nearly five years, was departing, so the backbone of organization was moving on as was the institutional memory. With all this—a search for Martinez’s replacement was ongoing—there was flux, a sense it was bobbing along at the mercy of waves—an event that would happen, like a 1960s European “fluxes” exhibit, when it did.
This is when the exhibit you see today was born. With Tony Iadicicco on board as creative director by the end of March, we decided a juried open-call process would be the best option to fulfill its mission. With several date changes, most of the original panel could not participate due to prior commitments. Two jurors, Berry and Stafford, would make the selections.
A final date was extended to allow for a sufficient amount of time to cast a wide enough net to attract a diverse selection of photographers reflective of the region’s creativity. At the initial deadline, we only had a handful of artists.
Gone were the more heady ideas, replaced by the tried-and-true juried exhibition. Nearly 500 images were submitted-nearly a record. The final 35 images present an array of visions, many of whom truly fall into the “emerging” category.
In the end, the basic idea of reassessing the role of regional surveys was replaced by a reaffirmation of the most egalitarian approach. Judging by the photos, this regional broadened the base of its host institution and uncovered some new artists with flare. Like art itself, this year’s edition was borne out tumultuous circumstances for the better.
Artists include: Jeffrey Altman, Deb Baldwin, Sebastien Barre, David Bruce, Bennett V Cambell, Nicole Carriere, Patricia Decker, Chris DeMarco, Angelo Dounoucos, Craig P Flood, Jerry Freedner, Keith Greenbaum, Deb Hall, Ray Henrikson, Dave Higgins, Ivan Koota, Steven Rolf Kroeger, Jeff Lansing, Jason Lehr, Mark McCarty, Jenny McShan, Linda Morrell, Heidi Ricks, Michael Roach, Anthony Salamone, Dr. N Sukumar, Jonathan Villegas, Dave Waite, and Chad Weckler.
Congratulations to the winners of the 33rd Photo Regional @ Albany Center Gallery, there was a 3 way tie for 1st place. Deb Baldwin "Bryan", Heidi Ricks "Mixed Emotions (after the Festival)" and Jeff Altman "Crime Scene?". And 5 honorable mentions include Mark McCarty "MK#0570", Deb Hall "Artifacts", Sébastien Barré "Poolside", Jonathan Villegas "Light Painting March 2011", and Bennett Campbell "Eagle & Lancaster, Albany NY"