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Thread: Breaking Barriers in 2006

  1. #1
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Albuquerque, Nuevo Mexico

    Breaking Barriers in 2006

    For 15 years The Albuquerque Museum of Art and History has hosted an invitation only art sale to benefit the museum foundation (50/50 with the artist). It is phenomenally successfull partly because it attracts some of the best artists in the SW and partly because it is a "Minatures" show, limited to 3 smaller works per artist, and therefore somewhat more affordable to some collectors. The opening is so popular that they sell tickets to get in, limit them to 500, and sell out weeks in advance and turm away many people at the door. I personally have never seen such a feeding frensy by collectors at an art opening. The energy is palpable.

    Until this year photography was not allowed. Because of a new Curator of Art (Doug Fairfield, who has a backgroud in photography and curated my 2005 retrospective) and event organizer, I had the distinction of being the first photographer invited to participate. Thank God for the future of all photographers in this event I sold four prints opening night.

    I had never payed any attention to this show in the past, never gave it a thought and was not aware even that it excluded photography. The Albuquerque Museum itself has shown and collect my work in their art collection for many years. If this were 1975 this would not be surprising, but I do find it surprising that in 2006 that there are still barriers to break in the arts with photography.

    Are there more barriers like this out there? More places in the arts where photography is still excluded?

    at age 68
    "The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep"

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 2001

    Re: Breaking Barriers in 2006

    Wilhelm (Sarasota)

  3. #3
    Eric Biggerstaff
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Denver, Colorado

    Re: Breaking Barriers in 2006

    I am a bit surprised that the museum would not of included photography until now, heck New Mexico has a who's who list of well known and highly regarded photographers whose work would fetch good prices for the museum.

    I am sure similiar situations exist out there and I can understand this to an extent but as this was a museum ( who I would hope understands the history and importance of photography as an art) I am surprised.

    I am happy you sold the prints by the way, way to go.
    Eric Biggerstaff

  4. #4
    Senior for sure
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Southern Ontario

    Re: Breaking Barriers in 2006

    I think as long as a photo can be made by anyone with the push of button, these barriers will exist. Personally, I believe it is all about snobbery, unless of course the presentation is specific to a particular medium. A parallel - Canada is blessed with a rich diversity of wood - and a culture of working with it, mostly at a primitive resource level, though. One of the hardest things to sell here at a respectable price is a sophisticated turning - there seems to be the popular belief that "I can do that, if I wanted to be bothered, why would I pay for it?" I think a lot of photography is viewed that way by the popular art community (perhaps not by the artists). I think there continues to be a perception that if its a great photo, it was luck, not skill. You can see the skill in a painting or print...

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