Cart Search
submit Remember my login

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

Looking for a chapter event?

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
contact Mid-Atlantic


Chair Larry Gawel
Vice Chair/Secretary Garin Horner
Treasurer Joseph Mougel
contact Midwest


Chair Jodie Goodnough & Julee Holcombe
Vice Chair/Secretary Laura Beth Reese
Treasurer Robert Knight
contact Northeast


Chair David Strohl
Vice Chair/Secretary Jason Lazarus
Treasurer Jennie Castle
contact Northwest

South Central

Chair Scott Hilton
Vice Chair/Secretary Tom Turner
Treasurer Kristy Peet
contact South Central


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 ( Conference Website: Contact: Conference Tickets are not yet available. 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.   While we don't yet have a specific price, this conference will cost in the range of $250 per person for all housing and food, Thursday evening to Sunday morning. We are now accepting proposals for this conference.  We are interested in the following types of presentations but are also very open to other options.  Because of the unique nature of this site, we encourage everyone to think outside the box and come up with interesting and new ways to use the location.  Below the list of presentation types see a brief description of the facilities to guide your proposal.   -Image maker presentations -Art Historical talks / museum or gallery related talks -Small group discussion or teaching workshop topics For this we're thinking about guided discussions on a single topic, eg 'Syllabi analysis' or 'Science and Photography' or 'Social practice photography'. -Workshops / photography expeditions The site has one large lecture hall, a medium sized conference room, a biological wet lab (not light tight but we can figure it out), multiple small meeting rooms / living rooms and lots of outdoor space, weather permitting, with amazing views. Finally, please read carefully through the description of our location and spend some time looking at housing options, travel and the location information before submitting a proposal.  This is a unique location and as such has a range of difficulties and opportunities inherent to it so please make sure you actually will attend before submitting. Proposals deadline extended to Midnight on May 23, 2018. Members and Non-members alike may submit proposals. To submit a proposal please send an email to the following address with the below information. Name Affiliation / city of residence Type of proposal Brief description of proposed talk, discussion, workshop, expedition or other ideas, 500 words or less. Website where we can see your work if relevant. Up to 10 sample images, jpgs, no more than 2mb each. Questions about a potential proposal? Contact Conference Chair Bailey Russel at

view conference details

The Fierce Urgency of Now

Penland School of Crafts - Penland School of Arts and Crafts, 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 Arts and 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 politics of performativity, activist platforms, alternative and emergent practices.  Penland will also showcase their new photography studios, which will open to the public for the first time later 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 open in August, but space on campus will be limited, so we encourage members to register early! A list of alternative accomodations will be available soon. We are currently accepting nominations for Honored Educator. Please contact Wendy Babcox with your nomination: We are seeking proposals via google forms for presenters in three categories: Image Maker / Scholar Panel / Round Rable /Discussion Teaching and Learning Deadline: 6.1.18 We look forward to seeing you all in the mountains at Penland School of Arts and Crafts in September!   

view conference details

Material + Meaning

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

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 with the 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.  Interested in presenting? Click here for details. Deadline May 1st. 

view conference details

Tipping Points

Global / Local / Personal

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

Proposals are now being acepted with the theme of Tipping Points, the deadline is May 15th, 2018 at 11:59pm (EST). 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. Click here to submit a proposal. Please have the following information prepared: 1. Your name2. Category to which you are submitting (from one of the following six options): Academic Practicum Workshop (45 min) a lecture, demonstration, or panel that addresses pedagogy. Lecture (30 min) a presentation on an historical topic, theory, or another artist's work. Panel (60 min) a group led by a moderator to discuss a chosen topic. Imagemaker (30 min) a presentation of the artist's own work. Imagemaker PechaKucha Presentation (6 min 40sec) a timed presentation of 20 slides of the artist's own work. What is a PechaKucha presentation? Click here to find out more! Student PechaKucha Presentation (6 min 40sec) a timed presentation of 20 slides of the artist's own work. 3. Title of your presentation proposal. 4. A description of your presentation, no longer than 300 words. 5. If submitting an Imagemaker or PechaKucha Series, 10 supporting images saved as: JPEG, sRGB Color, max quality, 1200px long dimension, Name your jpg's this way: lastname_## (example: johnson_01.jpg). The submission deadline of May 15th, 2018 (EST) is final. Late or incomplete proposals will not be accepted. Selected presenters register for the conference at a 50% discounted rate. Email with any questions about the conference or presentation proposals. We encourage (but do not require) that proposed topics address the theme of the conference, Tipping Points: Global / Local / Personal. You may submit more than one proposal if you wish to submit to more than one presentation category.                 Information about the 2018 SPE Northeast Juried Exhibition will be available soon! Stay tuned!    Everyone, even non-members, is encouraged to apply, but you must show proof of membership when submitting the contract for accepted proposals. Thank you!  We look forward to seeing you in New Paltz in October!

view conference details


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. Conference proposal deadline is June 4th, 2018. To apply, submit here! PROPOSAL GUIDELINES Eligibility SPE members and nonmembers are eligible to submit one proposal for consideration. Individuals who have presented at either a national or MWSPE chapter conference since 2016/17 (St. Louis/Orlando) are not eligible for Lecture or Image Maker presentations. You may however apply for the Panel Discussions or Teaching & Learning sessions. Requirements Proposals will be submitted online and screened through Submittable by a peer review panel Complete Submittable Form 150 word max bio for each presenter 3 page CV per presenter 500 word max summary of presentation 5-10 images/video links (if applicable to proposal) 1 page image/video list with details and descriptions (if applicable to proposal) Notification and Consideration Accepted presenters will be notified by the first week of August, 2018. Presenters must be current members by August 15th, 2018 to participate. Accepted presenters are eligible for a 50% discount on registration for the conference. While the theme for this year's conference is Medium, proposals of all themes are welcomed and encouraged. Conference Proposals Image Maker (presentation of your own artistic work - 50 minutes)  Lecture (presentation of your research in the lens based arts - 50 minutes)  Panel Discussion (thematic discussion between moderator, panelists, and audience with a maximm of 3 panelists, and one moderator - 50 minutes)  Teaching & Learning (presentations, demos, lectures, discussions, etc. that address educational issues, strategies, and other professional exchange - 50 minutes)  Dialogic Image Maker (presentation of your own artistic work - 15 minutes)  Dialogic Lecture (presentation of your research in the lens based arts and/or teaching - 15 minutes)  Graduate Student (presentation of your graduate program and your own artistic work. Must be enrolled in a graduate program at time of application - 15 minutes)  Undergraduate Student (presentation of your undergraduate program and your own artistic work. Must be enrolled in an undergraduate program at time of application - 15 minutes) Call for Panelists  Breaking into Academia: this round table conversation seeks new faculty who have been teaching for 1-3 years to offer guidance to recent MFA grads/Contingent faculty who are looking to teach full time  Applying to Grad School: this round table conversation seeks current MFA candidates, as well as those who have graduated in the last 2 years, to offer guidance to those who are seeking application to grad programs Conference proposal deadline is June 4th, 2018. To apply, submit here!

view conference details

Email Sign Up

SPE email updates contain resources, news, and more!

About this piece

Comments about this piece

Dialogue and critique are important to the SPE mission.
Please join the conversation.

Exit Full Screen Mode