Pecha Kucha This Friday in Camden & Jackie Battenfield Presentation

“Long Nights Moon”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

This coming Friday I’ll be presenting at Camden’s Pecha Kucha event under the stars – or at least the evening sky. The event will be at the Camden Amphitheater (right next to the library) on Friday, August 24th and features 8 presenters, including fellow Midcoast photographer Peter Ralston. The gates, such as they are, open at 7 pm and the first presentation (that would be me) will be right at sunset. There will also be live music starting at 7ish until the presentations start.

My presentation is going to be about my Adventures in Celestial Mechanics series – the one with the full moon rising over the Maine landscape – you can see this body of work on my website if you would like a sneak preview.

For those of you who have never heard of Pecha Kucha, it is a fun and lively event where each speaker (who has some connection to the arts and/or creativity) gives a fast-paced presentation of 20 slides – with only 20 seconds per slide. Each presentation moves quickly and lasts less than 7 minutes. The poster for the event is below for more details…Hope to see everyone there!

In an another event likely to be of interest to many readers, there is a very intriguing presentation up in Belfast at the Hutchinson Center at 6:30 pm on August 27th. The Belfast Creative Coalition is bringing in noted author Jackie Battenfield to speak about making a life and career as an artist. It looks like a great opportunity to hear an interesting presentation and also to mingle with many of Midcoast Maine’s creative types.

Calls for Entries August 2012

“Pyrotechnic #33”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

Here are some of the upcoming exhibition opportunities or calls for entry for photographers, particularly those in Maine and New England. This list is certainly not exhaustive and reflects ones (usually) of particular interest to me. Things continue to be slowish this time of year, relatively speaking, though certainly there are still many opportunities.

As always, I recommend being selective in choosing ones that make sense for you and your work, as the cost of these in time and treasure certainly add up (see my post from last month about whether these things are worth it). Please let me know in the comments if you have any other suggestions for this list!

The StoneCrop Gallery in Ogunquit has a call for entry due August 10th entitled “Love, Hate, & Everything In-Between”.

The Grand Prix de la Decouverte has their first International Photography Award with entries due August 15th – this one is based in Paris and one of my favorite contemporary photographers, Michael Kenna, is one of the jurors, so I am intrigued.

Aline Smithson, on her wonderful photography blog Lenscratch has occasional calls for entries with a bit of a twist – no entry fees (yes!) and everything is published (with a link to your site). You can find the list of upcoming ones here, and the next one entitled “Hometown” is due August 20th.

The Kiernan Gallery in Lexington, Virginia has a call for entry coming up entitled “Still Life: The Art of Arrangement” with entries due August 20th.

The Minneapolis Photo Center has a call for entries entitled “The Human Condition: A Survey of Humanity” with entries due August 25th.

The Vermont Photoplace Gallery has an exhibition entitled“Windows and Mirrors” with entries due August 27th.

The Center for Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins, Colorado has a call for entries entitled “The Urban Landscape” with entries due August 29th.

The British Journal of Photography has their International Photography Award 2012 contest with entries due (I think – the website is vague on this, oddly enough) on September 15th.

Gallery Photographica in San Francisco has a call for entries entitled “New Images Photography Awards” with entries due September 20th, with the images jurored by Maine’s own Rose Marasco.

Calls for Entries July 2012

Here are some of the upcoming exhibition opportunities or calls for entry for photographers, particularly those in Maine and New England. This list is certainly not exhaustive and reflects ones (usually) of particular interest to me. Things continue to be slowish after the spring flood of competitions, though certainly there are still many opportunities.

As always, I recommend being selective in choosing ones that make sense for you and your work, as the cost of these in time and treasure certainly add up (see my post from earlier this week about whether these things are worth it). Please let me know in the comments if you have any other suggestions for this list!

Aline Smithson, on her wonderful photography blog Lenscratch has occasional calls for entries with a bit of a twist – no entry fees (yes!) and everything is published (with a link to your site). You can find the list of upcoming ones here, and the next one is due tomorrow, June 29th. I find her blog to be a great source of photographers, too – she is often highlight great work that I’ve not previously seen.

B&W Magazine has their next call for entries coming up, this one the B&W single image contest 2013 with entries due (postmark date) by June 30th.

The Worldwide Photography Gala Awards has a call for entries for cell phone images with entries due by July 1st.

The Vermont Photoplace Gallery has an exhibition entitled “Water” with entries due July 2nd and one entitled “Personal Portraits” with entries due July 30th.

The Davis Orton Gallery in the Hudson River Valley in NY has an upcoming call for entries entitled “Landscape“, with entries due July 6th.

Lyceum Gallery in Lewiston has a call for entries entitled “Black and White” with entries due July 8th.

Critical Mass 2012 has their call for entries open until July 16th. Critical Mass is part of PhotoLucida (in the West Coast version of Portland) and while it can become very expensive if you make it to the final rounds, it does give very strong exposure to 20o industry jurors (and as an entrant you also get copies of the books of they make for the winners, too, as well as a CD of all the submissions). Definitely recommended if your work fits and you can swing the extra expense if you make it as a finalist.

The Kiernan Gallery in Lexington, Virginia has what looks to be an interesting call for entry coming up entitled “Terrain” with entries due July 19th. You can read more about the call for entry and the juror, Sean Kernan, here. I don’t have any experience with this gallery but it looks promising.

The Center for Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins, Colorado has a call for entries entitled “Green” with entries due July 25th.

The Minneapolis Photo Center has a call for entries entitled “The Human Condition: A Survey of Humanity” with entries due August 25th.

Gallery Photographica in San Francisco has a call for entries entitled “New Images Photography Awards” with entries due September 20th, with the images jurored by Maine’s own Rose Marasco.

 

 

Free Lectures at Maine Media and Celestial Updates

"Egg Moon I", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

Tonight begins this year’s lecture series at Maine Media Workshops in Rockport with a slideshow presentation at 7:30 pm by noted street/travel photographer Peter Turnley. You can read about this presentation as well as tomorrow night’s presentation by Michael Wilson here. These lectures run through the summer and early fall and are truly one of the great photographic resources here in Maine – world-class photographers presenting their work to an audience of photographers, all free of charge. I know I always come out of these presentations charged and motivated.

I’ve seen both of these photographers present and they both really are wonderful – I’ll able to make Turnley tonight but won’t be able to make Wilson tomorrow because of child care issues, but hope to see you there! There are new presentations every week, so keep on checking back on the MMW site to see the updated schedule.

On an unrelated note, the weather here in Maine is not cooperating with the two big celestial events of the week – the Strawberry Full Moon tonight and the very rare transit of Venus across the sun tomorrow afternoon/evening. Hopefully we’ll see a break in the clouds sometime but things are not looking good at the moment.

I may not be able to photograph the Strawberry Moon this year, but I have updated my website with the final selects from the recent Worm, Milk, and Egg Full Moons. You can see my Adventures in Celestial Portfolio right here.

"Milk Moon I", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
"Worm Moon I", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

Calls for Entries June 2012

Here are some of the upcoming exhibition opportunities or calls for entry for photographers, particularly those in Maine and New England. This list is certainly not exhaustive and reflects ones (usually) of particular interest to me. Things are starting to slow up a bit after a big rush throughout the spring, though certainly there are still many opportunities.

As always, I recommend being selective in choosing ones that make sense for you and your work, as the cost of these in time and treasure certainly add up. Please let me know in the comments if you have any other suggestions for this list!

The Vermont Photoplace Gallery has an exhibition entitled “Alternative Realities” with entries due June 4th and one entitled “Water” with entries due July 2nd.

The Center for Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins, Colorado has their annual Center Forward competition with entries due June 12th.

The Photo Review in Philadelphia has its annual Photo Review International Photography competition with entries due June 15th. I believe this one to be a pretty prestigious one.

B&W Magazine has their next call for entries coming up, this one the B&W single image contest 2013 with entries due by June 30th.

The international contest entitled “The Art of Photography Show” in San Diego has entries due June 30th.

The World Photography Gala Awards has their 4th Edition of the Julia Cameron Awards (which is open to women photographers) with entries due June 30th (discounted fees if you enter by May 31st). I’ve seen some really good work in this contest in the past.

Critical Mass 2012 has their call for entries open from June 1st – July 16th. Critical Mass is part of PhotoLucida (in the West Coast version of Portland) and while it can become very expensive if you make it to the final rounds, it does give very strong exposure to 20o industry jurors (and as an entrant you also get copies of the books of they make for the winners, too, as well as a CD of all the submissions). Definitely recommended if your work fits and you can swing the extra expense if you make it as a finalist.

The Kiernan Gallery in Lexington, Virginia has what looks to be an interesting call for entry coming up entitled “Terrain” with entries due July 19th. You can read more about the call for entry and the juror, Sean Kernan, here. I don’t have any experience with this gallery but it looks promising.

Good luck!

Calls for Entries May 2012

Here are some of the upcoming exhibition opportunities or calls for entry for photographers, particularly those in Maine and New England. This list is certainly not exhaustive and reflects ones (usually) of particular interest to me. Thank you also to everyone who has sent me leads this month, too.

As always, I recommend being selective in choosing ones that make sense for you and your work, as the cost of these in time and treasure certainly add up. On a semi-related note, if you are keen on photo festivals, here is a nice site collecting information about photo festivals across the world.

As always, please let me know in the comments if you have any other suggestions for this list!

The Vermont Photoplace Gallery has their annual Call for Portfolios with entries due May 2nd and an exhibition entitled “Alternative Realities” with entries due June 4th.

The Photography Portfolio Competition 2012 from the Women’s Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art has entries due May 4th – this is a good one (and the first of three on this list from the Philadelphia area).

The Center for Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins, Colorado has a call for entry entitled “Illusion” with a deadline of May 9th and their annual Center Forward competition with entries due June 12th.

StoneCrop Gallery in Ogunquit has a call for entries for Cell Phone Photography with entries due May 15th. I don’t know anything about this gallery, but the entry fee is low ($10) and they offer to print accepted images for free if you wish, so it is certainly a good deal if it is of interest to you.

PX3 Prix de la Photographie Paris has its annual photo competition coming up, with a final deadline of May 15th. This one is not cheap, but I think it is one of the absolute best ones out there and definitely recommended.

Daylight Magazine has their annual Daylight Photo Awards with entries due May 15th – a very nice set of jurors, particularly if you have documentary work.

Photo Center NW has their 17th annual Call for Entries entitled “Equivalents” with entries due May 18th. The juror is W. M. Hunt and I heartily recommend reading his description of what he is looking for in submissions, even if you don’t plan on submitting.

The Viewpoint Photographic Arts Center in Sacramento, California, is accepting proposals for solo or group exhibitions right now with submissions due May 18th. These submissions are for exhibitions that will run between February 2013 and January 2014. Viewpoint is a non-profit organization serving the Sacramento region and their is no fee for on-time proposals.

The Philadelphia Photo Arts Center has their 3rd Annual Contemporary Photography Competition & Exhibition with entries due May 29th.

The ipa (International Photography Awards) has their annual photo contest coming up with a final deadline of May 31st. This is another very prestigious one and worth considering.

The Photo Review in Philadelphia has its annual Photo Review International Photography competition with entries due June 15th. I believe this one to be a pretty prestigious one also.

B&W Magazine has their next call for entries coming up, this one the B&W single image contest 2013 with entries due by June 30th.

The international contest entitled “The Art of Photography Show” in San Diego has entries due June 30th.

Good luck!

Calls for Entries April 2012

Here are some of the upcoming exhibition opportunities or calls for entry for photographers, particularly those in Maine and New England. This list is certainly not exhaustive and reflects ones (usually) of particular interest to me. Thank you also to everyone who has sent me leads, too.

There are still many good ones coming up – this time of year is one of the busiest with respect to calls for entries, based on my following of these for the last few years. As always, I recommend being selective in choosing ones that make sense for you and your work, as the cost of these in time and treasure certainly add up.

As always, please let me know in the comments if you have any other suggestions for this list!

The Griffin Museum of Photography of Massachusetts has their 18th Annual Juried Photography Exhibition with entries due March 31st. A highly recommended one for New England exposure.

The Vermont Photoplace Gallery has their annual PhotoPlace Open curated by Kyohei Abe and with entries due April 9th as well as their annual call for portfolios with entries due May 2nd.

This is not a call for entries or a contest, but on April 10th online registration begins for the New England Portfolio Reviews down at BU in Boston. I went to these last year and had a very good experience and hope to go again this year.

The Center for Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins, Colorado has a call for entry entitled “Simply” with a deadline of April 11th.

PX3 Prix de la Photographie Paris has its annual photo competition coming up, with a final deadline of April 15th. This one is not cheap, but I think it is one of the absolute best ones out there and definitely recommended.

The Minneapolis Photo Center has a call for entry for Portraits: Up Close and Personal, with entries due April 15th.

The Santa Fe Workshops are having their semi-annual photo contest, this one entitled “Portraits”, with a final deadline of April 30th.

The ipa (International Photography Awards) has their annual photo contest coming up with early entries due April 30th and a final deadline of May 31st. This is another very prestigious one and worth considering.

Another very nice one is the Photography Portfolio Competition 2012 from the Women’s Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art with entries due May 4th.

Photo Center NW has their 17th annual Call for Entries entitled “Equivalents” with entries due May 18th. The juror is W. M. Hunt and I heartily recommend reading his description of what he is looking for in submissions, even if you don’t plan on submitting.

The Viewpoint Photographic Arts Center in Sacramento, California, is accepting proposals for solo or group exhibitions right now with submissions due May 18th. These submissions are for exhibitions that will run between February 2013 and January 2014. Viewpoint is a non-profit organization serving the Sacramento region and their is no fee for on-time proposals.

The Philadelphia Photo Arts Center has their 3rd Annual Contemporary Photography Competition & Exhibition with entries due May 29th.

B&W + Color Magazine has their next call for entries coming up, this one the B&W single image contest 2013 with entries due between April 1st and June 30th. I just saw in the copy of the magazine that arrived yesterday that they are dropping the Color part of their magazine again and focusing exclusively on black & white going forward.

The international contest entitled “The Art of Photography Show” in San Diego has entries due June 30th.

Good luck!

Calls for Entries March 2012

Here are some of the upcoming exhibition opportunities or calls for entry for photographers, particularly those in Maine and New England. This list is certainly not exhaustive and reflects ones (usually) of particular interest to me. Thank you also to everyone who has sent me leads, too. There are a ton of good ones coming up – this time of year is one of the busiest with respect to calls for entries, based on my following of these for the last few years.

There are more than ever in this posting, but don’t panic! You obviously don’t have to enter all or any of them, but hopefully you’ll find some that make sense for you and your work. I know that I cannot afford (with time or money) to enter all of these myself, so I will be selective about my entries as well.

As always, please let me know in the comments if you have any other suggestions for this list!

The Center for Maine Contemporary Art (CMCA) in Rockport has a call for entries for their 2012 Biennial with entries due March 1st. Please note also that entries are physical proof-type prints that must be delivered by that date – it is not an online entry (but there is no entry fee). The Biennial will be co-curated by CMCA director Suzette McAvoy and independent curator Daphne Anderson Deeds. This is obviously one of the big shows this year in Maine and definitely recommended.

The PRC in Boston is having their prestigious 17th Annual Juried Exhibition, entitled “Exposure 2012”, with entries due March 2nd. The juror is Alison Nordström, Curator of Photographs and Director of Exhibitions at the George Eastman House. This is one I definitely recommend that all New England photographers consider.

The Vermont Photoplace Gallery has a few calls for entries up, including “Abstract Expressions” curated by Carl Chiarenza due March 5th and their annual PhotoPlace Open curated by Kyohei Abe and with entries due April 9th.

PX3 Prix de la Photographie Paris has its annual photo competition coming up, with an early bird entry of March 15th and a final deadline of April 15th. This one is not cheap, but I think it is one of the absolute best ones out there and definitely recommended.

Communication Arts has its photography competition with entries due March 16th. I don’t know much about this one but it looks promising if your work fits in. It seems to be geared towards photographers who work with designers and art directors.

The Santa Fe Workshops are having their semi-annual photo contest, this one entitled “Portraits”, with an early submission deadline of March 19th and a final deadline of April 30th.

The Darkroom Gallery in Essex Junction, Vermont has a call for submissions for “Night Light” (night photography) with a due date of March 21st.

The new Lyceum Gallery (in the former space of Gallery 5 in Lewiston) has a call for entries for “Through the Lens”, a fine art photography contest with entries due March 25th. The show last year had some great work and I look forward to seeing what is included this year.

Galerie Dufour in Belfast is having a call for entries for fine art nudes by Maine residents entitled “Primavera”, with a deadline of March 31st for photography (there is a separate call for other types of art).

The Griffin Museum of Photography of Massachusetts has their 18th Annual Juried Photography Exhibition with entries due March 31st. Another highly recommended one for New England exposure.

The Detroit Center for Contemporary Photography is having a call for entries entitled Change of Pace 2012, curated by David Bram of Fraction Magazine, with a deadline of March 31st. This one looks pretty intriguing.

This is not a call for entries or a contest, but on April 10th online registration begins for the New England Portfolio Reviews down at BU in Boston. I went to these last year and had a very good experience and hope to go again this year.

The Minneapolis Photo Center has a call for entry for Portraits: Up Close and Personal, with entries due April 15th.

The ipa (International Photography Awards) has their annual photo contest coming up with early entries due April 30th and a final deadline of May 31st. This is another very prestigious one and worth considering.

Another very nice one is the Photography Portfolio Competition 2012 from the Women’s Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art with entries due May 4th.

The Viewpoint Photographic Arts Center in Sacramento, California, is accepting proposals for solo or group exhibitions right now with submissions due May 18th. These submissions are for exhibitions that will run between February 2013 and January 2014. Viewpoint is a non-profit organization serving the Sacramento region and their is no fee for on-time proposals.

B&W + Color Magazine has their next call for entries coming up, this one the B&W single image contest 2013 with entries due between April 1st and June 30th. You can’t submit yet but I thought I’d mention it for people trying to plan out (and budget) their entries.

The international contest entitled “The Art of Photography Show” in San Diego has entries due June 30th.

Good luck!

Maine Photographers Represent in B&W + Color Magazine’s 2012 Single Image Contest

"Pyrotechnic #12", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

The most recent B&W + Color Magazine has just come out with the results of their annual Color Single Image Contest. I was very pleased to see that one of my images (above) received a Merit Award in the Pattern/Texture category. (You can see other of my Pyrotechnic series images here and here).

"Lost Highways", Copyright Sharon Arnold. All Rights Reserved.

But I was just as pleased to see how many other Maine photographers were found in this issue, including many friends and clients. Sharon Arnold received a Gold Award in the Metaphor/Abstract category (see photo above). Felice Boucher joined her in that category with a Merit Award. Robert Moran ended up with 5(!) selected photographs, garnering a Silver Award, two Bronzes, and two Merits. Mary Woodman also had a Gold Award to go along with her two Merits. Jane Yudelman joined the fun with a Merit award of her own, as did Lynn Karlin. Carol MacLeod also had a Silver Award and a Merit Award and LeeAnne Mallonee nabbed a Bronze and a Merit. Congratulations to all of the photographers selected!

I know that all of these contests are subjective and you can only take their meaning so far, but I see this sort of result as further confirmation of the rich and vibrant photography community here in Maine. Those of us who live here already knew about that, but I’m happy to see others taking notice as well.

You can see a copy of the magazine cover below if you want to find it on the magazine racks:

Embracing Rejection: Thoughts on Juried Exhibitions & Contests

"Wolf Moon II", Copyright Jim Nickelson

I’ve been thinking about juried competitions quite a bit recently – I’ve been entering many (and getting in a few), and most of my photographic friends and clients are doing the same.

Before I go on, I’d like to clarify that I believe that juried events are valuable to artists, particularly emerging artists. The obvious potential benefit (and the reason most people submit) is that getting your work in front of jurors, receiving an award or selection, and having work included in an online or physical exhibition can all result in exposure of your work to people who may be able to help advance your career. Another benefit is that selections will help fill out your artistic resume or CV and may help establish credibility and/or seriousness as an artist.

I’ve also found that for me personally, the process of selecting work to submit is a valuable exercise in editing, and who among us doesn’t need more practice with editing our own work? (If you get in the habit of frequently entering exhibitions & contests, however, your costs in time, money, and mental energy will quickly add up, so it is worthwhile to consider whether each makes sense for you and your work.)

So now let’s talk about rejection. After dinner last night when I checked my e-mail, I was staring in the face of three brand new rejections that all came in within the previous few hours. No matter what you might have won in the past or your own evaluation of your own work, a string of rejections is not conducive to warm fuzzy feelings about yourself. Most of us will inevitably start questioning ourselves, even if just fleetingly: Maybe my work just isn’t that good?

Well, who can be objective about their own work? For the purposes of this discussion, however, let’s assume that your work is good. And yet we still get rejected, time and time again. There are many legitimate reasons why any selected work will be rejected by a particular juror. First, most of these competitions are incredibly competitive – many have 1o’s or 100’s vying for each spot. Second, art is subjective. Perhaps the juror just didn’t like your work — well, there are always people who don’t like any piece of work. Maybe your work is more traditional and they were looking for something edgier, maybe your work is edgy and they wanted traditional. Maybe the juror was selecting works to curate a unique vision and, while they loved your work, it just didn’t fit it. For all these reasons and more, as artists we need to learn (and, believe me, it is hard sometimes) to not take it personally.

My lesson from all of this for my work is to embrace the rejections and recognize that they are just part of the process. Instead of being annoyed at each one like I used to be, I have now slowly come to realize that they really are subjective. And while I certainly prefer to get an acceptance rather than a rejection, getting a rejection means that I’m out there in the ring and trying to present my work to the world. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, but how great is the ability to present your work that way? Now when I get those inevitable rejections, I know that I’m putting my work out there, trying for more and more competitive shows, and if I don’t get in — well, there is always next year.