Thursday, February 5, 2009

2009 Louisville Photo Biennial

This summer the Louisville Photo Biennial will be taking place between June 1 and July 31. The theme this year is "The Center for Photographic Studies" which happens to be where I attended my very first year of photography school. The Center, founded in 1970 by C.J. Pressma, was an alternative school for creative photography and it's impact on my career was monumental. The school had two galleries which showed work by important artists, such as Ansel Adams, Minor White, Henry Holmes Smith, Ralph Eugene Meatyard and many more. The Center also had a regular stream of visiting lecturers such as Russell Lee, Duane Michals, Les Krims and W. Eugene Smith. A. D. Coleman would come around from time to time. One of my most vivid memories was of smoking a joint with Eugene Smith and then taking him out for White Castle hamburgers at midnight in my old jalopy car. I had no idea just how cool that was at the time, I was so naive.
I received a query for material a couple of months ago and while digging through very old negatives and contact sheets I came across some of the first portraits I ever made, a series of fellow students shot in 1976. Using a borrowed Rollei, they were mostly made in the 4th floor loft of the school building under the skylight with natural light. Sadly the ravages of time on my memory have left me unable to name but a couple of these folks, (after all it was 32 years ago) but I remember the shoots and remember many things about each of them. If my luck plays out I will be able to attend the reunion scheduled for this summer and maybe pass on a copy to them all.


Susan said...

Wow - Robbie these are great.

frank marshman said...

I was at the cpc in 1971-72. I think it was the finest experience in terms of photography of any I had or still have. The continuing rotating door of both shows and artists was an amazing experience. Everyone was either making wonderful images or trying to. Conrad and Alex Traub were very intense.
Look forward to the Looneyville show and reunion
Frank Marshman
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