by Paul Stanek
Last month, I was fortunate enough to participate in a unique and incredibly well-run portfolio review event located in sunny “Hotlanta.” The beautiful October weather was as welcoming as Amy Miller and Michael David Murphy of ACP, and the photography delights I witnessed during my brief stay solidified this trip as one helluva fine experience.
For a bit of background info on this event, here’s a snippet from acpinfo.org:
The ACP (Atlanta Celebrates Photography) Portfolio Review and Walk offers artists the opportunity to meet with highly respected curators, dealers, editors, and agency representatives from across the United States and beyond. The Portfolio Walk (following the review sessions) gives participating photographers the opportunity to present their work to the general public at an evening reception, open to all.
This year’s event was held at the stunning Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center, where reviewers were also put up in the hotel’s lovely rooms.
Shortly after checking into my room, I was whisked away to our reception at the TULA Art Center, which featured Ben Rollins’ cerebrally visceral “A Thin Space” series.
Through mingling with the locals over bottles of “Sweetwater 420” and tasty hors d’oeuvres, I quickly began to gain insight into Atlanta’s dynamic fine art photography scene. From there, we broke up into smaller groups to explore the broad array of Friday night activities Atlanta has to offer.
After a fantastic night and a delicious round of room service breakfast (I opted for my go-to bagel & lox spread), I made my way to the conference room for the reviews, where I found there was no shortage of caffeine to provide whichever kind of kick-start we might need.
The reviews themselves had a slightly different vibe than what I was used to, with boxes of loose prints a-plenty. It was a refreshing opportunity to dive further into the conceptual development of these fine art photography portfolios, while also providing guidance on what kind of commercial potential I saw shining through each photographer’s creative vision.
There were many stand-outs, one of which being Greer Muldowney, who was showing her pristine and contemplative architectural series of Hong Kong cityscapes, titled 6426 km². The series marries her passion for photography with her studies in urban planning.
After meeting #16, I met up with a few of the other reviewers for a well-earned pint and a chat about anything ranging from Man Ray forgeries to the source of the mysteriously good chips at the bar. Forward-thinking gallery owner Jennifer Schwartz and I instantly hit it off when we both used the phrase “non-traditional” in the descriptions of our companies. She’s got an alternative approach to fine arts photography promotion/sales through a few different channels, one of which being the groovy Crusade for Collecting. Similar to Wonderful Machine, word is spreading of the effectiveness of her methods. I see wonderful things coming from this one.
From the lounge, we headed up to the Portfolio Walk, which was an excellent opportunity to browse the art of all of the photographers who were there for the review.
Before rushing off to catch a plane back north, I relished in fine company at the reviewer’s dinner at the marvelous Ecco, which I’d recommend to anybody in Atlanta looking for a tasty bite and a mellow atmosphere. The perfect ending to the perfect trip!
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