Second time around

Since the beginning of the year, I have been working on curating one of our upcoming exhibitions for Fall 2013, Staking Claim: A California Invitational. The exhibition is the second in a triennial that began at MOPA in 2010 with the exhibition State of Mind: A California Invitational, and focuses on contemporary California photographers. You might be wondering, how do we create an invitational? Well, beginning this summer, I reached out to over 50 curators, galleries, and other professionals and gave them the chance to nominate up to three photographers whose work they felt was strong and worthy of being part of a museum exhibition. The response was incredible with over 80 different artists nominated, some garnering more than one nomination. From here I shared the nominations with our director and I began scheduling gallery and studio appointments to see the artists’ work.

One of the most exciting aspects of putting together a show like this is being exposed to so many emerging and newly established photographers and having the opportunity to meet them and speak with them about their work. Since September I have traveled to both Los Angeles and San Francisco to meet these artists and have had some incredible conversations about the state of photography today and what inspires these artists to continue to work with the medium. While there isn’t a direct theme for the exhibition outside of these photographers being California based, through the nominations, I have seen many different themes and ideas about the art form emerging. I have also noticed that while the photographs created don’t have to be done in California, the landscape and way of life on the West Coast are present in much of the work I have seen. While I am at the tail end of finalizing the short list and can’t reveal too much more at this point, I can say that this will be an incredible show not to be missed.

So, in the meantime, enjoy these photos from some of my studio and gallery visits.