As the President of the William G. Baker Jr. Memorial Fund, I could not be more proud nor impressed with how far the Baker Artist Awards have come in the past 10 years! It’s hard to express what a privilege it has been to be so involved with the Baltimore artist community through such a wonderfully transformative platform, to see how immersed it has become within the community, the connections it has fostered, and the lives it has changed.
Every year I look forward to my chat with Rhea, my dear friend, on the MPT ArtWorks program as we announce the winners of the awards.
Above is the 2018 episode as it aired on May 18th, fast forwarded to my interview with Rhea, but be sure to watch the entire segment either here or on the MPT website to see this year’s amazing and well deserving artist awardees!
Last Thursday, MPT ArtWorks aired Episode 507, highlighting their theme on “Photographers”. I could not be more thrilled with their segment on yours truly, which featured an in-studio visit and interview with my dear friend Rhea Feikin. I thought the images looked great, and Rhea’s thoughtful questions focused on core aspects of my work and process that I was eager to share.
On Sunday, May 22, Juniper Workshops featured a webinar with Ben Long and myself using WebEx conferencing technology to create a virtual classroom for hosting an in depth photo critique session. Although I’ve previously tutored students one-on-one using FaceTime, Skype, and Dropbox, this was the first time I’ve met with a group over the internet to offer feedback, and I found it to be extremely effective.
There were 8 participants total, consisting of 5 students, Ben and myself, and Joanna, a moderator from Juniper Workshops. We began the webinar using a Keynote to introduce and discuss the nature and purpose of critiques. Starting off by declaring that they are first and foremost nothing to be afraid of, I found a wonderfully effective font to use to be sure to get this point across…
All joking aside, we explained how the critique is NOT a place for value judgements, but rather a method for acquiring feedback to build visual awareness, discover potential directions, and enhance understanding of your images. This kind of feedback is crucial to your development as an artist, but can often be difficult to find- while words of encouragement from friends and family may be intended to support you, they rarely provide concrete information about your images and your work. The value of an in depth critique can show you not only how to resolve an image, but area’s to improve and where to go next in your creative process.
Seeing another artist being critiqued can also be a valuable and insightful experience in and of itself. On Sunday, students could observe everyone else’s critique, although Ben and I engaged everyone individually. One of the things I appreciate most about working with Ben is that while we agree on a lot of things, we often have different attitudes and approaches in resolving an image, which provides students with different levels of understanding and options for moving forward. Each student presented 2 images, and we spent about 5-10 mins thoroughly discussing each image. Through the WebEx platform, we were able to be very precise in pointing things out to show what we were talking about, and I found it to be a wonderful way to communicate.
I was so pleased with how the online critique turned out. Everyone seemed to find it very productive and to come out of the experience with greater enthusiasm and comprehension of their work. We have already begun planning for the next webinar session, and will keep everyone posted on details as they develop!
I have just returned from my trip to Sweden for the Reflections opening at the brand new Almlof Gallery, and what a great experience!
Sweden was wonderful, and although Patricia and I were only there for the weekend, we enjoyed every minute of it. The people were warm and welcoming (and TALL) and the exhibit looked fantastic. Everyone who attended the opening seemed impressed with the new gallery space Jan Almlof has put together, and the response to my work was positive.
Whenever I get to travel for an exhibit, I am overwhelmed by the feeling that I am the luckiest person to be able to meet people from around the world and connect with them on a very deep level, despite language and cultural differences. I love the sincere and meaningful connections we can make through my work, and the capability of relating to one another through mutual passion and openness. I had wonderful conversations with guests at the opening;
one couple responded to Untitled #7146 and talked about how the hand looked like it was being pushed out of the body and that it felt like the moment of birth of a full grown person.
Another guest was intrigued by Untitled #3572, saying that it felt like “what you try to keep inside, but keeps getting out anyway”. I was so touched by that insight and found it truly beautiful!
When a mother asked her little girl (perhaps no older than 8 years old) which image was her favorite, she responded by saying “the dead one”, pointing to Untitled #4-24-08-492, and did not seem the least bit upset by the photograph. I found this utterly fascinating as this was the second time a young child, undisturbed by their own interpretation, related this particular image to death; the first was at a lecture at the Delaware Center For Contemporary Arts back in 2009.
Prior to the opening – but following a luxurious 5 hour nap – Patricia and I went exploring in the neighborhood between the gallery and the hotel we were staying in. We stumbled across a clothing boutique called “City Syatelje & Design Malmö”, where Patricia found a very cute dress amongst the twelve or twenty or so she tried on 😉 Meanwhile, I had a great time chatting with Giovanna Brankovicthe, the owner of the shop:
Giovanna: When did you arrive in Sweden?
Me: About 9 o’clock.
Giovanna: And when do you leave?
Giovanna: ?? *incredulous*
We told her about my exhibit at the Almlof Gallery, and were delighted when she and a friend came to visit at the opening. They were very interested in my work and I felt like we were quickly making new friends.
One of the most intriguing experiences during the opening was an occasional response from viewers when I introduced myself and offered to answer any questions. A few of the guests were not interested in how the work was made or what the work “meant” – they wanted to enjoy it and interpret it on their own terms. This doesn’t happen very often, and I love it when it does. To see people engaging with my images in such a personal way is truly gratifying.
The Almlof Gallery seems to be off to an excellent start, and I was thrilled to see such a great turnout at the opening. Several of us gathered for dinner with Jan at a nearby restaurant afterwards, and the wonderful conversations and discussions that had flourished during the opening continued over our meal. It was such an incredible experience not only to connect with one another, but to feel that the excitement over connecting in this way was mutual. I’ve always felt that this is the true power of art – the ability to connect us to each other, to ourselves, and to our humanity in a way that transcends the inadequacies of language.
THANK YOU!!!! to Jan Almlof for being such an AMAZING host during our stay in Sweden – we had an incredible time and it was wonderful getting to know you! I’m looking forward to seeing the continued success of the gallery and can’t wait for the next visit!!
The show at the ALMLOF GALLERY will showcase 26 large prints from my portfolio- 10 of the more recent color images and 16 classic B&W pieces. Jan has put together a strong selection of some of my favorite work, and I think the exhibition is going to be excellent. I’m also very excited to visit and looking forward to making the trip to Malmö in the southernmost part of Sweden for the opening!
The Almlof Gallery is already getting some good media coverage in Sweden; a major southern Swedish news source, Sydsvenskan, recently announced the opening of the gallery and the upcoming exhibit:
From the text: “….[Jan Almlof] made the decision to start an art gallery specializing in photography. The first photographer that is exhibited is the American Connie Imboden . “I will start overseas to show that it is not just yet another in a series of galleries showcasing our already famous Swedish photographers. After Connie Imboden , there will be photographers from France, Norway and Finland, among others.”
The exhibition opens November 8th, 2014 – just around the corner! I’ll be posting more details soon, in the meantime, here’s the gallery info for any of my Scandinavian friends who might be in the neighborhood:
The exhibit coincides with another workshop I’ll be teaching at The Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute (OSAI), details of which will be posted later here on the blog. I had a great time there last summer, and am looking forward to the exhibit at JRB and another sunny visit to The Sooner State!
Leaving Baltimore to go to Norway in April was an interesting challenge. Just as the weather was warming up here, the temps in Norway were topping out in the 50’s. Although you wouldn’t know it from the photo of Kristiansund above, there was also occasional rain, sleet, and snow to boot. We had come prepared, packing winter coats and cold weather gear, but arrived to find that our suitcases had (of course) not made it.
Patricia and I with Marian, decked out in our Nordic winter gear!
Fortunately, our host Marianne Andersen was prepared, and was so gracious to provide us with coats, scarves, warm socks and shoes. We were promptly taken care of, and felt so warm and welcome despite the chilly weather.
The festival featured a slew of excellent and talented photographers, including Alex Webb, Chris Rainier, Steve McCurry, Leysis Quesada, Nelson Ramirez De Arellano, and Pedro Abascal. It was exciting to meet so many amazing photographers from around the world and hear them talk about their work and processes. It made for a truly invigorating and inspiring atmosphere. The festival included 15 impressive exhibitions, great panel discussions, and even photography trivia at night in the local bar!
My visit to the festival included a presentation where I had the opportunity to discuss my work and the creative process, and it could not have been more well received. Everyone seemed to really respond to my images, and I was flattered to have the talk end with a standing ovation!
In addition to the wonderful experience we had at the festival, the Norwegian landscape was breathtaking. Norway is known for it’s beautiful fjords– long, deep inlets of the sea formed by glacial activity between high cliffs. We managed to take a trip outside of Kristiansund to see some and they were stunning. The water there is an amazing shade of blue and the Norwegian countryside was simply gorgeous.
The trip to Norway was one I will never forget. I have had a number of fortunate opportunities to travel to various workshops in the past year or so, and it has been a real privilege being able to meet so many people from around the world who share a passion for photography. Again and again I have been amazed at the power visual language has to transcend cultural differences. The potential for connecting to other human beings on real, deep, and meaningful levels through the medium of photography is astounding, and never ceases to astound me. With more workshops just around the corner, I can hardly wait to see what lies ahead…
Established in 2006, the festival is one of the biggest and most important photography events in Europe, and attracts re-knowned photographers from all over the world. I will be exhibiting 25 photos, both new work as well as old, between April 23 – May 5, 2013. I’ll also be participating in portfolio reviews and be giving a lecture at some point during that time frame, although the exact date has not yet been set- I’ll keep you posted!
After the festival, several images will be be catalogued in the Nordic Light International Centre for Photography’s “House of Photography”, as part of a collective exhibition called “Legends of Honour”.
This should be a very exciting festival and I’m honored to be included in their permanent collection!
Connie Imboden has spent more than 30 years using photography to examine, distort and redefine the human body.
Imboden’s work is in the collections of many major museums including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco, the Bibliotheque Nationale in France and the Ludwig Museum in Germany. Her photographs have been exhibited in an extensive range of group and solo shows at galleries and museums throughout Europe, the United States, South America and most recently China.
Her first book of images, Out of Darkness, won the Silver Medal in Switzerland’s “Schonste Bucher Aus Aller Welt (Most Beautiful Book in the World)” competition in 1993. Her most recent book, Reflections was released in 2009.
Imboden currently teaches photography at the Maryland Institute College of Art as well as many workshops around the world.
Imboden’s photographs, seen through the camera and free from darkroom or computer enhancement, display the strangeness of reality in an age of digital manipulation. She will discuss the technical issues involved in relying on her vision to transform the subject matter and how an intuitive creative process has kept her fascinated with the same body of work throughout the years.
Tickets for this event will be released online on Wednesday, March 14 at 12 noon and Thursday, March 15 at 9:30am. Once tickets are released, you may register by clicking here. Each person is limited to two tickets.
Please note that our lectures tend to fill up quickly. Don’t be discouraged if you are unable to get tickets through our online ticketing system. The standby list for each lecture begins at 5pm on the day of the event in person at the Photography Space. About 10 minutes prior to the start of the lecture, we release any seats that have not been claimed by ticketholders to our standby guests. Out of respect to our speaker and the other guests, late arrivals to the lecture are discouraged.
FOR MORE EVENT INFO, CLICK HERE!
The Annenberg Space for Photography | 2000 Avenue of the Stars, #10 | Los Angeles | CA | 90067