Festival Overtures: 


Photo Festivals across the Country


We’ve had jazz, fringe, film, and folk festivals, and lately, photo festivals of all kinds are flourishing across the country. Here, we’ve selected four notable festivals taking place this fall. Like their indie forebears, photo festivals are characterized by a sense of inclusiveness and community; many include competitions open to the public as well as free events. But they also nod to tradition — lectures and auctions with established names are becoming the norm. Can’t be there in person? Like just about every other art form, you can follow the festivals on social media and see much of the work online.






When is a shipping container not a shipping container? Well, you’ve seen pop-up stores, restaurants, and ice-cream parlors, and now photography has gotten into the picture — literally — with Photoville, a mini village made up entirely of repurposed shipping containers. Now in its third year, the event presents multimedia installations, outdoor photo exhibitions, workshops, and lectures. With its diverse mix of photography — including established photojournalists, students and work by 40 photographers chosen for The Fence — the event is billed as the largest annual photographic experience in New York City. Produced by United Photo Industries, the event pops up in Brooklyn Bridge Park September 18-28. Making it even more enticing: All events are free and open to the public; dogs are welcome, and food vendors will abound.



FotoFocus Biennial 2014 



Cincinnati is the site of FotoFocus, a month-long celebration of photography and other lens-based art. Centered around historic Washington Park, the biennial features special exhibitions and five days of lectures, panel discussions, and performances in Memorial Hall October 8-12. The event aims to champion photography as a medium and start a dialogue between photo-based art and the history of photography. FotoFocus has also partnered with Paris Photo Los Angeles to offer Sound and Vision — The Screenings, a series of video and film programs.



Atlanta Celebrates Photography



On the photo festival circuit, Atlanta Celebrates Photography, now in its 16th year, has become a strong presence. In October, a series of lectures, exhibitions, events, and public art projects will be held at more than 150 venues spread out across Atlanta. The Fence makes its Atlanta debut with a 600-foot-long installation. The Fence takes place in three cities this year: Brooklyn (its original home), where it is part of Photoville, and Boston as well as Atlanta. The aim is to add a new city each year. A jury of more than 30 photography professionals curates the show of 40 photographers from around the world. The chosen works are displayed in an outdoor exhibition, on a winding display that mimics a fence. Another inclusive endeavor is The Pushpin Project, which invites photographers of all ages and backgrounds to hang the best examples of their work celebrating the theme of Embracing Diversity at the Piedmont Park Community Center. Other happenings? A benefit auction, a photo book fair, and a film series.



Medium Festival of Photography



Take that, film industry. California is rapidly becoming a notable center for photography exhibitions and experimentation, including the Medium Festival of Photography, an organization dedicated to fostering creative, innovative photography, with an annual festival held in San Diego. Aiming to bring together photographers to collaborate and share ideas, the festival runs October 23-26 at the Lafayette Hotel in San Diego. A keynote lecture with photographer Duane Michals on October 24 opens the Present Tense series, and there are portfolio reviews, artist lectures, and other events (many of them free).