Rotogravure

The Wohlauer memorial at CPAC provides a prelude to Denver's Month of Photography.


As happened with the conference of the National Society for Education in the Ceramic Arts, which came to Denver in 2000, and the gathering of the Handweavers Guild of America this past summer, the upcoming Southwestern Regional Conference of the Society for Photographic Education has been used as a hook on which to hang shows highlighting a particular medium -- in this case, of course, photography.

The SPE conference has been dubbed "The Educated Eye" and is scheduled for October 15, 16 and 17 at the Tivoli Student Union on the Auraria campus. Exhibition venues all over town are -- or will be -- hosting photo shows in honor of all the shutterbugs who will be here. The so-called Month of Photography was partly organized by SPE and partly by art dealer Mark Sink.

"Trees, Fog and Road: Del Monte Forest, California," 
by Ron Wohlauer, silver gelatin print.
"Trees, Fog and Road: Del Monte Forest, California," by Ron Wohlauer, silver gelatin print.

A number of Denver galleries are dedicated to showcasing photography, including the Camera Obscura Gallery (1309 Bannock Street, 303-623-4059), Gallery Roach (860 Broadway, 303-839-5202) and Gallery Sink (2301 West 30th Avenue, 303-455-0185), and all of those spots will be hosting photo shows. And there's a new gallery, the Blue Space (760 Santa Fe Drive, second floor, 303-571-5404), that appeared out of the blue, so to speak, and just had its grand opening last week when Ruth Bernhard: Still Lifes and Nudes was unveiled. Bernhard, who's in her nineties, is an acknowledged modern master, making this an auspicious launch for the Blue Space. The Bernhard show runs through October 16.

CPAC (1513 Boulder Street, 303-455-8999) will also get into the act, though the Wohlauer exhibit will be closed by the time the conferees deplane at DIA. Instead, the meeting's flagship venue will present Emmet and Elijah Gowin: Photographs, which opens Saturday, October 16 with a reception from 5:30 to 8 p.m. The father-and-son Gowin team will be the keynote speakers for the conference. Their show closes November 27.

In addition to the aforementioned photo specialists, a number of the city's top galleries are giving themselves over to exhibits about photography. At the William Havu Gallery (1040 Cherokee Street, 303-893-2360), which only rarely shows photographs, there's Photography Exhibition: Randy Brown, Lawrence Argent, which opens with a reception this Friday, September 17, from 6 to 9 p.m. Brown is a well-known Denver photographer, while Argent, who teaches at the University of Denver, is better known as a conceptual artist. The Brown and Argent duet is on through October 16.

Just up the block, at Walker Fine Art (300 West 11th Avenue, #A, 303-355-8955), Vapor will also open on Friday, September 17, with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. This show, which closes November 6, combines digital media by talented young photo-artist jsun Van Tatenhove with photos by L. L. Griffin and sculptures by Brian Scott.

The Sandy Carson Gallery (760 Santa Fe Drive, 303-573-8585), which has a long-term commitment to the medium, is featuring an impressive group show called Photo-Op, which opened last week. The exhibit includes work by both local and international artists. On the roster are collaborators Rimma Gerlovina and Valeriy Gerlovin, along with Carol Golemboski, Jeff Hersch, Frank Hunter, Andrea Modica and Stephen Roach. Photo-Op closes October 16.

The Robischon Gallery (1740 Wazee Street, 303-298-7788) is another space that has often shown photography, and it's presenting a trio of exhibits on the theme -- FAR AFIELD, AWAY OUT OVER EVERYTHING and CONFIGURATION -- that open with a reception on Thursday, September 23, from 6 to 8 p.m. The three interrelated shows concern the idea of place. FAR AFIELD is a large group effort with Edward Burtynsky, Guido Guidi, Ray Metzker, Richard Pare, Laura McPhee, Virginia Beahan, Kahn and Selesnick, Gary Emrich, Ruth Thorne-Thomsen and George Woodman. AWAY OUT OVER EVERYTHING is a solo dedicated to photos of the Northwest by Mary Peck. CONFIGURATION includes additional pieces by Woodman and others by Eric Schwartz, Owen O'Meara and Janieta Eyre. The three exhibits come down October 30.

Area museums and art centers are also part of the festivities. Capture the Moment: The Pulitzer Prize Photographs is currently on display at the Colorado History Museum (1300 Broadway, 303-866-3682). Muscovites: Ilya Ilf and Mark Markov-Grinberg: Photographs 1930-1940 is at the Singer Gallery in the Mizel Center for Arts and Culture (350 South Dahlia Street, 303-316-6360) until November 4. The exhibit, a collaborative effort of the Mizel and DU's Center for Judaic Studies, explores the work of two notable Russian Jewish vanguard artists who worked in the decades following the Russian Revolution. At the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, two legendary figures from the history of photography have been brought together in Ansel Adams Edwin Land: Art, Science, and Invention: Photographs From the Polaroid Collection. In the '60s, Adams was invited by Land, the inventor of the instant-film camera -- the Polaroid -- to try out the company's ever-changing technologies. The show highlights the pieces Adams did with the Polaroid equipment. Art, Science, and Invention is on display until October 24.

The photo offerings I've mentioned are just a few of the many around the area being presented now and for the next several weeks. Considering how hot photography is in contemporary art, it makes sense to check out as many of them as possible. And if I were you, I'd start with that handsome Wohlauer memorial over at CPAC.

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