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2019 SPE Annual Conference: The Myths of Photography and the American Dream / Major support by The Joy Family Legacy Foundation

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Past SPE Annual Conferences

Take advantage of automatic enrollment in your affiliated chapter. While each of the eight chapters are unique, they all provide local conferences, networking opportunites, and other benefits to serve the special needs of their constituency. You can also volunteer to serve as a chapter leader. 

Affiliated Chapter Leadership


Chair Rebecca Michaels
Vice Chair/Secretary Elena Volkova
Treasurer Jeanne Anderton
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Chair Larry Gawel
Vice Chair/Secretary Garin Horner
Treasurer Joseph Mougel
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Chair Jodie Goodnough & Julee Holcombe
Vice Chair/Secretary Laura Beth Reese
Treasurer Robert Knight
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Chair David Strohl
Vice Chair/Secretary Jason Lazarus
Treasurer Jennie Castle
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South Central

Chair Scott Hilton
Vice Chair/Secretary Tom Turner
Treasurer Kristy Peet
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Chair Zane Logan
Vice Chair/Secretary Marni Shindelman
Treasurer Emily Gomez
contact Southeast


Chair Abbey Hepner
Vice Chair/Secretary Emma Powell
Treasurer Paul Sisson
contact Southwest


Chair Amanda Dahlgren
Vice Chair/Secretary Renee Billingslea
Treasurer Ken Marchionno
contact West

International Chapters




Upcoming Chapter Events


AMK Ranch in Grand Teton National Park - AMK Ranch in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming   |   September 21 - September 23, 2018

This year's Northwest SPE conference will examine how the photographic medium can explore interactions between human and nature, as well as human nature itself. How do these concepts oppose one another? In what context can they be compatible? Against the backdrop of the Wyoming's Teton mountains, workshops, panels, and discussions will expand beyond landscape photography, delving into topics such as portraiture within nature, human impact on the environment, construction of boundaries, public lands management, and more. Human/Nature can be broadly defined and SPE is looking forward to a wide range of unique and exciting proposals related to this concept. Where: University of Wyoming's NPS Research Station at the AMK Ranch.  On Jackson Lake, 1 hour north of Jackson, Wyoming. When: September 21 – 23, 2018 Keynote Speaker: Jesse Burke ( and Clare Benson ( Conference Website: Contact: In September of 2018 SPE Northwest will be retreating to the banks of Jackson Lake in Grand Teton National Park to discuss how photographers incorporate nature and our ecosystems into our work.  Featuring artist talks, panel discussions, demonstrations and photographic excursions, this will be a unique and small conference event.   Planning on staying at AMK Ranch?  Please add "ON-SITE Lodging" to your purchase and the $60 lodging fee will be added to your registration fee. This $60 fee covers lodging from Thursday night until Sunday morning. Space is limited and purchasing this lodging prior to the conference is required. Prices: Early Bird Pricing in effect until 8/1/2018. These fees do not include on-site lodging. Please purchase lodging for $60/person by  adding "On-Site Lodging" to your fees (be sure to click the box to add it!): MEMBER REGULAR: $160 MEMBER ADJUNCT: $140 MEMBER STUDENT: $120 NON-MEMBER REGULAR: $180 NON-MEMBER STUDENT: $140 Questions? Contact Conference Member Rani Robison at

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The Fierce Urgency of Now

Penland School of Crafts - Bakersville, North Carolina   |   September 28 - September 30, 2018

2018 SPE Southeast Chapter Retreat at Penland School of CraftsFriday, September 28 - Sunday, September 30 We are excited to announce the 2018 SPESE Regional Retreat, which will take place at Penland School of Crafts, on September 28-30. Set in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, Penland offers the perfect environment to retreat, reflect and retool. In his iconic "I Have a Dream" speech, Martin Luther King Jr. referred to what he called "the fierce urgency of now". Fifty years later, we embrace this phrase as the title and theme for our regional chapter retreat at what is widely understood to be a very urgent moment. Hosted and sponsored by the University of South Florida in Tampa, THE FIERCE URGENCY OF NOW, will feature a diverse array of accomplished speakers whose work addresses the present moment.  Penland will also showcase their new photography studios, which were opened to the public for the first time this summer. The retreat will also offer an array of creative workshops and a portfolio throwdown. Penland's facility offers accommodations on their renowned picturesque campus in addition to on-site dining in their legendary dining room. REGISTRATION WILL BEGIN ON SEPTEMBER 1ST. A LIMITED NUMBER OF ROOMS WILL BE AVAILABLE AT PENLAND, SO PLEASE PLAN TO REGISTER EARLY. ALTERNATIVE ACCOMODATIONS CAN BE FOUND here We look forward to seeing you all in the mountains at Penland School of Crafts in September!   

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Material + Meaning

Louisiana State University - Baton Rouge, Louisiana   |   October 04 - October 06, 2018

CONFERENCE DATES: October 4th – October 6th, 2018 HOSTED BY: Louisiana State UniversityConference Committee: Johanna Warwick (LSU), Kristine Thompson (LSU), Jeremiah Ariaz (LSU), Lily Brooks (Southeastern Louisiana University), Jonathan Traviesa (Tulane University), and Deb Lillie (Nicholls State University) ABOUT THE CONFERENCE:Material + Meaning brings together shared thematic concerns at the forefront of contemporary photographic practices. The widespread exploration of the aesthetic and physical possibilities of photography points toward a renewed understanding of the photograph as material object. We are interested in putting these investigations of the tactile and tangible in conversation withthe harder-to-pin- down social and political concerns of our time. What can photography help us understand about power, truth, transparency, and reliability? We look to artists who synthesize materiality and meaning to act as stewards of interpretation and representation---framing and shaping visual culture and politics. We hope this conference will provide a platform for us to connect and reflect on these themes within our region and beyond.

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SPE MidAtlantic Pop Up


Tyler School of Art - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania   |   October 05 - October 06, 2018

HOSTTyler School of Art, Philadelphia, PA ABOUT THE CONFERENCE We are in the midst of a sea change in Photography education, where teaching methodologies are shifting to encompass new and related technologies such as the moving image and smartphone technologies. We are excited to announce the 2018 SPEMA Chapter Pop Up which will be hosted and sponsored by Tyler School of Art on Saturday October 6. The theme for the retreat is Teaching Photography.  The retreat will offer an array of talks, panels, demonstrations and a portfolio throwdown. On Friday October 5, the Tyler Photography Program is hosting a Vendor's Day and all participants in the SPEMA Chapter Pop Up are welcome to attend.  Setting the model with this first event, we will pass along knowledge gained to anyone who wants to hold a similar event in their home school or venue. We look forward to an engaging conversation about Teaching Photography!

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Tipping Points

Global / Local / Personal

SUNY New Paltz - New Paltz, NY   |   October 06 - October 07, 2018

Call for Work is now closed! Notifications will be sent out soon! The juried exhibition will be held at the Palmer Gallery at Vassar College in conjunction with the 2018 Chapter Conference. The exhibition will be juried by our Keynote Speaker, Paul Mpagi Sepuya. Accepted work must arrive at the Palmer Gallery between 9/25 - 9/28. The SPE Northeast Chapter Reception will be held during the conference on October 6, from 6-8pm. Please direct any questions about the Juried Exhibition to NOTE: We are currently also accepting nominations for this year's Honored Educator. Please send your nominations to About Tipping Points: The world is facing unprecedented change on multiple fronts -- environmental, technological, sociological, psychological, and political. While historically things are always in flux, the exponential acceleration of so many factors is new to our age, as is the concept of humans propelling irreversible tipping points at a global scale. The world is facing unprecedented change on multiple fronts – environmental, technological, sociological, psychological and political.  While historically things are always in flux, the exponential acceleration of so many factors is new to our age, as is the concept of humans propelling irreversible tipping points at a global scale. The 2018 SPE-NE Chapter Conference addresses the ways in which artists are responding to this rapid acceleration at global, local, and internal levels through photography and related media, and how the photographic medium itself might be implicated in these changes. Tipping point (climatology), a point when global climate changes from one stable state to another stable state. Tipping point (physics), the point at which an object is displaced from a state of stable equilibrium into a new equilibrium state that is qualitatively dissimilar from the first. Tipping point (sociology), the event of a previously rare phenomenon becoming rapidly and dramatically more common. Tipping point (systems theory), signifies a critical point after which the system shifts radically and potentially irreversibly into a different equilibrium state.

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School of Art & Visual Studies at the University of Kentucky - Lexington, KY   |   November 01 - November 04, 2018

Photography mediates the world. Artists continue to challenge and expand the possibilities of what can be expressed through this medium. How can we see what cannot be seen? How can we represent that which has not been represented? And how can we expand the ability of the lens-based arts to articulate what we care most about?  Medium is an opportunity to think about the role of the artist and how we might challenge and expand our ideas about what lens-based arts look like and what they can accomplish. To submit to the Juried Member's Show with 9/16 deadline, click here.

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Coming Together in Conversation

University of New Mexico - Albuquerque, New Mexico   |   November 02 - November 04, 2018

From Many, To Many Taking its name from the meeting of two rivers, the theme of the 2018 West/Southwest is based on the notion of meeting, exchanging, and transforming. It is based on the transformative power of conversation. From the keynote dialogue with Ana Teresa Fernandez and Mario Ontiveros to the many opportunities for sharing, Conflux is a conference of member-initiated creative conversations, hands-on collaborative projects, roundtable discussions, demonstrations, member's exhibition, artistic feedback and cultural site visits which pivot around photographic practice and contemporary culture. Exhibition Opportunity! Conflux Coming Together in Conversation College of Fine Arts-Downtown Studio, 113 4th St NW, Albuquerque, New Mexico. Reception November 3, 2018 6 - 9PM The exhibition, Conflux Coming Together in Conversation, is an open call to those attending the joint SPE W/SW conference. The exhibit aims to spark a visual dialog among participants by forging visual and conceptual similarities among the exhibited works. The reception will take place at the CFA downtown studio gallery in Albuquerque, New Mexico on November 3, 2018, 6 - 9PM.    Exhibition Specifics:  Please bring one print per person (either unframed or framed work will be accepted) in person to the CFA gallery on Thursday, Nov. 1-Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018 (hours to be determined) Maximum print size 30"x40" All work brought in will be included and will be pinned/hung in the gallery with each artist making visual/conceptual connections to other artworks.  Artwork must be picked up Sunday morning (hours TBD) or it will be discarded, unless other arrangements are made in advance. Cancellation Policy: Conference registration is non-transferable and requests for a full refund must be received in writing to by October 16, 2018. After October 16, 2018, cancellations are subject to a $25 processing fee. The cancellation policy applies to all circumstances (including severe weather, natural disaster, flight cancellations, etc.).

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