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2024 Annual Conference

St. Louis

March 21-23, 2024

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Past SPE Annual Conferences

Northwest Chapter | Conferences

SPE Northwest Chapter includes:
Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming

Chair Marcus DeSieno
Vice Chair/Secretary Ryan Parker
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Past Conferences


Black Hills State University - Spearfish , South Dakota   |   October 05 - October 07, 2023

Our goal for this year's event will be to once again bring together artists in the visual and performing arts, arts educators, educators in all disciplines, and any interested community members for a two-day schedule of workshops and presentations. The conference will feature art practices for social engagement and community involvement taking place right now, and ways to continue them in the future. This conference is held in conjunction with the South Dakota Art Education Association (SDAEA), the South Dakota College Art Association (SDCAA), and the Society for Photographic Education - Northwest Chapter (NWSPE). Conference participants do not need to be members of either organization to attend.

Our goal of this conference will be to equip participants with socially-engaged arts activities so you can lead community-oriented arts projects within your local communities.

Register for the Conference here:

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Looking Inward: Reflecting on 2020

- Online Event, All Are Welcome!   |   September 26 - September 26, 2020

In light of the current Covid-19 pandemic, our traditional in-person fall chapter conference has been postponed until 2021. That said, with times like these, there are an abundance of conversations to be had about the state of the world and "The New Now", and so we're encouraging submissions from photographers, educators, artists, and students to broadly interpret this concept for a virtual conference to be held September 26th, 2020 entitled "Looking Inward: Reflections on 2020".

In the last two months, what "The New Now" refers to has dramatically changed. No longer is the Covid-19 Pandemic the only aspect that is working to reshape and redefine our lives. These are tumultuous times that we live in, and we would be remiss not to rise to the call and encourage a dialogue through sharing your efforts in addressing these concerns both in and out of the classroom and with your creative work.

May and June have been redefined because of the ongoing struggles behind the #BlackLivesMatter movement. We're reassessing our histories, considering our privilege, and educating ourselves in new ways. Confederate statues are toppling and calls to Defund the Police have us reconsidering the responsibilities we give our law enforcement. The recent Supreme Court decisions and Executive Orders have LGBTQ+ rights in a constant state of flux. Beyond all of this, the rift between fellow Americans continues to widen, as politics, policies, individual beliefs and world views pit us against friends, family and loved ones.

How has 2020 changed you, your work in the classroom, the way you teach, or your creative output? How do we create connection while teaching online, and how can we create more inclusion in the classroom in terms of race, identity, and mental health?

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In Our Own Voices: Culture / Identity

University of Alaska Fairbanks Campus - Fairbanks, Alaska   |   September 13 - September 15, 2019

Explore the Last Frontier this fall at our 2019 Chapter Conference at the University of Alaska Fairbanks!

This three-day conference will provide one track for peer-reviewed international presenters, panelists, workshop artists and portfolio reviewers while also dedicating an entire additional track to Alaska-based photographers, indigenous artists and educational opportunities.

The theme, which is "In Our Own Voices: Culture / Identity,"- invites a wide array of photographers and educators to share their talent with our international guests and local artists.

Our conference will also feature a members-only show in the UAF Art Department Gallery in the Fine Arts Complex. 

Brian Adams, an Anchorage-based Inupiaq photographer, and Lorenzo Triburgo, Brooklyn-based photographer and performance artist, will serve as our keynote speakers for the event. Brian Adams documents the real Alaska through its people, their various cultures and their unique landscapes. Brian's photobooks, entitled I am Inuit and I am Alaskan provide wonderful context to the cultural diversity and traditions of the Last Frontier. Lorenzo Triburgo has helped with our previous SPE-NW conference at OSU in 2017 and is creating amazing work focusing on identity with their series of heroic "Transportraits" and their current performance work in front of Stonewall. 

Our two-day business expo will be open and free to the public, and will feature a wide variety of major corporate sponsors, local businesses and educational opportunities.

Affordable, on-campus housing will be provided by UAF Residence Life during the conference. A whole dorm has been set aside for #SPENW attendees and will cost $40/night in a shared double occupancy room, $60/night for a single occupancy room, and $80/night for a full room with double occupancy (twin beds). Shared rooms have two twin beds in them while single rooms only have a single twin bed. Single rooms are extremely limited, so we ask that our attendees opt to share a room with other conference attendees. Request specific roommates by emailing us at or put your name on the list for pairing. Nerland Hall will be filled with photographers, educators and artists, so it is bound to be a blast! Be sure to add "ON-SITE Lodging" to your schedule for each day you plan on lodging on-campus. Lodging must be added by 9am on 9/9/2019.

Any questions? Want to help sponsor our upcoming event? Please contact Conference Chair J. Jason Lazarus at!

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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:


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.


Early Bird Pricing has ended. 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!):






Questions? Contact Conference Member Rani Robison at

Conference registration is non-transferable and cancellation requests must be received in writing to by September 7, 2018. Cancellations are subject to a $25 processing fee. Cancellations after September 7, 2018 are non-refundable. The cancellation policy applies to all circumstances (including, but not limited to, severe weather, natural disaster, flight cancellations, illness, personal/family emergency, etc.)

Supported in part by a grant from the Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund, a program of the Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources.

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Illuminate & Provoke: SPE-NW 2017

Oregon State University - Corvallis, Oregon   |   October 20 - October 21, 2017

SPENW welcomes photographers, artists, writers, educators, curators, historians, and professionals from other fields for the 2017 northwest regional conference: Illuminate and Provoke.

In his introductory paper for the anthology of Orion essays "The Future of Nature" the poet, Barry Lopez, situates writing as a social as well as an artistic act and suggests that, like birds, writers "represent a visible, coherent trajectory through a confusing wood. They illuminate and provoke."

During times of political and social confusion, photographers also illuminate and provoke, and this conference topic challenges photographers, writers, social scientists, and photo-historians to consider how your work is a social as well as an artistic act. Our keynote speaker, Richard Misrach, will speak to this theme in his talk on Friday night.

On Friday, the conference will begin at 1pm and will start with a choice of three-hour in-depth workshops followed by meetings of the LGBTQ caucus and high school and community college instructors. Then, meet fellow conference attendees at a reception with artists Nicole Jean Hill and Alexis Pike followed by our keynote speaker, Richard Misrach. On Saturday, choose from a selection of sixteen lectures and artist presentations on topics of photography relevant today. A conversation with Christopher Russell, and Rafael Soldi at the The Arts Center in Corvallis, moves our conference away from the university in the early evening. During the conference, we have seven photography exhibitions on view around the city and on Saturday evening, visit pop-up galleries with works by Natalie Krick, Joan Truckenbrod, and Mazdak Shadkam.

-- Julia Bradshaw, SPE-NW 2017 Conference Chair

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EVOLVING: Craft & Concept

Art Institute of Seattle - Seattle, WA   |   November 03 - November 06, 2016

Register now for SPE’s Northwest Regional Conference, Evolving: Craft & Concept, taking place in Seattle, November 3rd-6th. 2016.

By pre-registering, you will save money on your admission and secure your attendance at the conference. Join us for three days packed full of presentations featuring John Keatley & Creative Live, a Chuck Close photographic exhibition at the Henry Art Gallery, an evening of photojournalism at PCNW featuring Honored Educator Walter Bodle & Youth In Focus, an exciting array of northwest artists and educators presenting their recent work and ideas, plus industry seminars, workshops, portfolio reviews, exhibitions, and more.

Full schedule details coming soon.

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Choreographing the Image

Process & Practice in Contemporary Photography

Portland Community College - Southeast Campus - Portland, OR   |   November 05 - November 08, 2015

This year's conference focuses on the process and practice of making the photograph serve a purpose as we explore the varying ways photographers evolve their images. From concept through material and process to the end result, we explore the new ways of how traditional and historical technologies come together.

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Current WWU Students, Faculty, & Staff Attend Free (no pre-registration, must have ID)

Western Washington University - Bellingham, Washington   |   October 10 - October 12, 2014

Western Washington University is pleased to host TRANSFIXED | TRANSMEDIA, the 2014 Society for Photographic Education's Northwest Regional Conference. This conference seeks to explore, embrace, and question the ever-expanding definitions of photography. This conference will dissect the past, present, and future of photographic practices as they relate to the constant redefinition of the field by featuring speakers, students, practitioners, theorists, and historians who are actively pushing the boundaries of the medium. Check out the digital preview of the 2014 SPENW Conference Program:

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Community: Connecting Through Photography

Photo Center NW - Seattle, Washington   |   November 07 - November 10, 2013

Location: Seattle, WA on November 7-10, 2013 Conference Chair: Melinda Hurst Frye, Ashley Siple Major Speakers: Holly Andres, Amanda Koster, Rosanne Olson, Christopher Boffoli Honored Educator: Janet Neihauser

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Crossing the Divide

University of Oregon - Eugene, OR   |   November 01 - November 04, 2012

The event kicked off with Arthur Tress as the keynote speaker on Thursday evening with a full auditorium. Plenary sessions began on Friday at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. Friday's program also included a special selection of 5 film shorts by EOFF director and MFA student Ian Clark; and a talk on Contemporary Arab Photography by Amjad Faur. Lucas Foglia and Justyna Badach delivered talks on their current work, which was followed by a facilitated discussion between the two moderated by Professor Jenny Lynn of the University of Oregon.

Saturday's programming was dedicated to the 12 presented selected from the many superb proposals submitted by regional and national participants including Mary Goodwin, David Turner, Michael Sherwin, Allie Mount, Mike Sell, and Dennis deHart.

The afternoon session concluded with Dan Powell receiving the Honored Educator award and delivering his lecture titled: "I have forgotten my umbrella." (Summary by Terri Warpinski)

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