Special Focus: The Curatorial Perspective

Sunday afternoon, FRANK hosted “The Curatorial Perspective,” a 6pm panel discussion in UNC’s Wilson Library with Stephen Fletcher, Dennis Kiel, Roger Manley, Linda Dougherty, and moderator Xandra Eden.

To begin the event, each panelist introduced both themselves and their background in curating. Linda Dougherty, chief curator and curator of contemporary art at the North Carolina Museum of Art, published critic, and exhibition cataloger, started by talking about her museum and its rotating exhibits. Dennis Kiel, chief curator of the Light Factory, specialist lecturer, and North Carolina Arts Council Visual Artist Fellowship Panel and NEA Panel member, followed Dougherty, explaining his process of selecting theme then artist for exhibitions. Roger Manley, director of the Gregg Museum and grant and fellowship-awarded published artist, spoke about the expanding collection at his museum. Stephen Fletcher, Photographic Archivist for the NC Collection and photographer, presented last, introducing the collecting and archiving process used at Wilson Library.

After the short presentations, the panel, moderated by Xandra Eden, published curator of the Weatherspoon Museum, opened up for discussion. When asked about their institution’s involvement with photography, the panelists had different responses. Stephen Fletcher answered about promoting the use of archival photographs as a parallel means of research to text over its common use as a secondary source in accompanying analysis. Dougherty and Manley spoke of the increasing presence of photography in museums of today. Kiel added that although more commonly seen, some places such as Charlotte require photography be defended as an art form now more than ever.

The panelists discussed the increasing ease of access for photographic production and reproduction in the digital age. All agreed that the omnipresence of photography today was beneficial to the visual literacy of the public.

Dougherty, Kiel, Fletcher, and Manley are all excited about the trajectory photography is taking, re-exploring alternative processes and expanding through digital means.

Following the panel discussion, panelists and FRANK members gathered at the gallery for a celebratory cocktail party. Board members mingled with curators over hors d’oeuvres and a live band.

Upcoming Events:

1. Tea at Two, Wed., Oct. 10 at 2pm at the Ackland Museum

“Colors of Confinement: Rare Color Photographs of Japanese American Incarceration in World War II.” Join Eric Muller as he looks at and discusses Bill Manbo’s documentation of his family’s experience in a Japanese-American internment camp.

2. Salon: Alternative and Legacy Processes Thurs., Oct. 11 at 6pm at FRANK

Discover the appeal of the hand-made, getting your hands dirty approach to photography with Alan Dehmer, Bryce Lankard, and Brady Lambert.

3. Curator’s Seminar Thurs., Oct. 11 6-7:30pm at the Ackland Art Museum

Ackland curators Peter Nisbet and Timothy Riggs present on and look at Noh Kabuki theater woodblock prints.

4. Opening: “Border Glitches” UNC MFA Visions in Contemporary Photography Fri., Oct. 12 at 6pm at FRANK

Ali Halperin discusses the blurred line today between our digital lives and our corporeality through her works.

5. Opening: “A Sense” UNC Undergraduate student photography exhibition Fri., Oct. 12 at 7pm at the Allcott Gallery of UNC’s Hanes Art Center

6. *Opening: “The American Landscape” Fri., Oct. 12 at 8pm at 143A University Square

FRANK intern Kaitlin Knapp is curator of this show, delving into the topic of the political and cultural landscape of America. Featured artists are Knapp, Jeremy Bass, Diego Camposeco, and Hannah Shaban.

7. Photo Gazing: Mondo Public Slide Show Sat., Oct. 13 at 6pm at the Wallace Parking Deck

All are welcome to bring 15-30 images on a CD or thumbdrive to share your work on a giant projector. Bring a blanket, lawn chair, picnic, and friends to enjoy a night of art and live music.

8. Public Tour: “Perspectives on Japanese Painted Screens and Scrolls” Sun., Oct. 14 at 2pm at the Ackland Art Museum

This tour explores the history and aesthetics of the Japanese painted screens and scrolls on view in New Light on Japanese Painting: Recently Conserved Screens and Scrolls.


The Informed Collector

Sunday, September 30th at 1pm, FRANK hosted “The Informed Collector,” a panel discussion at the Carolina Inn explaining how and why to collect fine art photography. Gallery directors Roylee Duvall, Gabrielle Larew, and Jennifer Schwartz, fine art photography collector Frank Konhaus, and moderator Kelly McChesney of Flanders Gallery delved into this topic, addressing the process of collecting for galleries and personal collections.

Roylee Duvall, director of Durham’s Through This Lens Gallery, kicked off the afternoon with a description of the photograph selection process he employs for his gallery. Duvall buys a range of works, some outside of his personal taste, to appeal to the palate of the general public.

Gabrielle Larew, director of the Doma of Charlotte, proceeded after, advising the buyer to purchase works that resonated with them. In her gallery, she promotes the displaying of both purchase-ready work and “museum-type work,” art that may not be as likely to sell but that is educational on the “breadth and depth of photography,” for the benefit of the community.

Frank Konhaus, Chapel Hill private collector, continued the afternoon with a discussion of his personal collection techniques. He explained from his gathering experience, artwork could be collected from many venues, traditional or non: photo fairs, museums, or even from the occasional juried college or high school photography competition.

Jennifer Schwartz, of the Jennifer Schwartz Gallery in Atlanta, GA, followed with her spin on collecting. Schwartz’s gallery focus is in presenting the emerging photographer to the public both in the gallery and community setting. Many of her recent and/or current projects involve traveling exhibitions and active community engagement in the arts.

During the discussion, speakers debated the topic of the edition in the digital age. In her Atlanta gallery, Jennifer Schwartz encourages artists to work in smaller edition sizes, no greater than 25 in number. Frank Konhaus acknowledges the importance of editioning contemporary works, but does not see a negative consequence of deciding against such. Roylee Duvall explained the changing nature of edition pricing, describing how as the edition dwindles, the remaining prints become more expensive.

Chief Curator of Charlotte’s The Light Factory Dennis Kiel launched a conversation on the traditional darkroom-based edition and how, in his opinion, those works are technically monoprints due to the sometimes unpredictable properties of darkroom chemicals.

A reception sponsored by the Carolina Inn followed.