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Past SPE Annual Conferences

South Central Chapter | Conferences

SPE South Central Chapter includes:
Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas

Chair Amanda Breitbach
Vice Chair/Secretary Carol Record
Treasurer Humna Raza
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Past Conferences

Imagining New Futures

Columbus State University - Columbus, Georgia   |   October 20 - October 22, 2023

Imagining New Futures

SPE South Central/SouthEast in collaboration with Eye South

October 20-22, 2023

Columbus State University, Columbus, GA

The work of artists and educators is inextricably linked to imagining, preparing for, and shaping the future. For our 2023 joint chapter conference, we invite members of the photography community to envision bold new futures in our artwork, our teaching, and our lives.

We will be hosted by Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia in the beautiful Corn Center for the Visual Arts.

Our keynote speaker for Imagining New Futures is Jay Simple, executive director of The Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative and founder of Photographer's Green Book.

Conference programming will include artist lectures, workshops, portfolio reviews for students and professionals, juried exhibitions for members and students, and much more!

For questions or more information, contact:

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Come Together

Bossier Parish Community College - Shreveport and Bossier City, Louisana   |   October 14 - October 15, 2022

For our 2022 regional conference, we invite members of the photography community to consider how we can come together, to explore our common humanity and help build new relationships and communities based on respect and inclusion. We will be hosted by Bossier Parish Community College for a celebration of all we share as artists, educators, and students of photography.

Our keynote speaker is Andrea Morales, (b. 1984; Lima, Peru) a documentary photographer, journalist and educator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee. Morales is the visuals director of MLK50, a nonprofit newsroom that focuses on the intersection of poverty, power and policy. Her personal work attempts to lens the issues of displacement, disruption and magic. 

This year's programming features a variety of lectures, workshops, discussions, and exhibitions of work by members and students in our region. Conference attendees will also be given complimentary passes to attend Music Prize, part of Prize Fest, an annual festival of the arts in Shreveport.

Hotel Information:

There is no official conference hotel, but there are several hotels close to Bossier Parish Community College, our host institution, including a Holiday Inn Express, SpringHill Suites by Marriott, and Comfort Suites Bossier City.

For questions or more information, contact:

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Portfolio Throwdown- South Central '22

South Central

University of Texas at Arlington - Arlington, TX   |   April 23 - April 23, 2022

The Portfolio Throwdown is a solid day of looking, talking, sharing, and learning about photographs, making crucial connections, and meeting new friends.
We invite all photographers- emerging and established professionals, recent graduates, and students- to come share your work.  We've assembled a fantastic crew of artists, educators, curators, and publishers who are looking to see what the next generation of photographers are thinking about and creating.

Every photographer will get up to four 20-minute sessions with our reviewers, plus plenty of opportunity to informally share work with other attendees. 
Whether you are looking for that next job, a great internship, or publishing and exhibition opportunities, the 2022 Portfolio Throwdown could be the place where the magic happens.

Every participant will get 3 or 4 individual 20 minute review sessions.  Plus plenty of chances to share your work with other reviewees attending.  You'll make connections and meet new friends.

Registration closes Tuesday April 19 at midnight

Limited spots available, register now!

SPE Members: FREE!!

Non-Members: $20

Please consider joining SPE for discounts on future conferences, and to support our wonderful programming!

Click here to see the schedule of the day

Click here to see short bios about our excellent team of reviewers

Click here for a parking map

Click here for Google Maps pin to UTA Gallery

Check your emailed receipt for a link to choose your reviewers.

Click here for a guide on how to prepare for a portfolio review.


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SPESC Regional Conference 2021

University of Texas at Dallas - Richardson, TX   |   October 29 - October 30, 2021

EMBRACING CHANGE is the title of the 2021 Society for Photographic Education's South Central Regional Conference (SPESC). This year's conference will explore the rapid changes in photographic practice, relating to web, video, performance, installation, and interactive environments. 

This hybrid conference will invite participants to share strategies and innovative perspectives for addressing the continuing rapid changes in photographic practice, relating to web, video, performance, installation, and interactive environments.  Through dialogue and exchange, the aim is to foster an understanding of the connections shared by creative professionals and scholars working in areas such as contemporary art, social media, commercial photography, video, and education. This hybrid conference will be comprised of both virtual and in-person events.

The unexpected, the emergent, and the transitory serve as beacons in this shifting landscape, paving new avenues for discovery as well as career opportunities.  The goal of our discussions is to provide guideposts for navigating the future for the student, professional, artist, scholar, and educator. 


*We encourage all in-person attendees to stop by the SP/N Gallery to pick up Orange Parking Passes before driving onto campus. 

Exhibitions: October 15- November 13, 2021

_SP/N Gallery, The University of Texas at Dallas

_2021 SPESC Juried Member Exhibition (juried by Christopher Blay)

_2021 SPESC Student Exhibition 

Friday, October 29:  

  • virtual panel talks, presentations, and portfolio reviews

  • on-campus workshops

Saturday, October 30: 

  • virtual panel talks, presentations, and portfolio reviews

  • on-campus workshops

  • exhibition reception: to be announced

Keynote Speaker: Letitia Huckaby
7:00 pm, Jonsson Performance Hall, UT Dallas and virtually

Please direct questions to:

Conference Hotel:  Hyatt Regency North Dallas, 701 E Campbell Rd, Richardson, TX, 75081

Chapter Conference Committee: Marilyn Waligore, Chair, Diane Durant, Anna Fritzel, Emily Loving, Daniel Martinez,Cynthia Miller, Marcy Palmer, Ariel Wilson

We greatly appreciate the support from our SPESC 2021 CONFERENCE CORNERSTONE SPONSORS:  Aperturent, Frame Destination, Red River Paper, Comer Photography Collection at UT Dallas (on behalf of the School of Arts and Humanities).





SP/N Gallery

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To Be Continued...

- Virtual, Conference   |   October 22 - October 25, 2020

To Be Continued… 

Photography has a complicated history. In its infancy, the medium was used as a tool to support imperialistic imaginations and desires. Yet, the medium has also been subversive in time. Through photographs, we can precisely locate those sinister slippages when photography has been used to oppress or harm and to name them for what they are. Photography remains ambivalent: it can cause harm or it can incite a revolution. The 2020 SPE South Central Chapter conference comes at a moment when current events remind us of the value of critical self-examination. We have been prompted to search for correctives, and we have a responsibility to acknowledge how the photographic medium is implicated in inciting, memorializing, and perpetuating patriarchal and white supremacist ideologies and practices.

To Be Continued… was chosen as a theme to acknowledge this gathering as a chance to speak openly about institutional failures, reparation, and reconciliation. To wield a camera is akin to wielding privilege; both acts command power. Such agency has been historically reserved for and credited to white practitioners. This year's programming is dedicated to de-centering the historically dominant voices of our field and our professional organization. The planning committee seeks to amplify the voices and professional practices of our region's Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) community members. 

Our work towards equity must push far past empty statements of solidarity and social media trends. To Be Continued… aims to facilitate a public conversation concerning the inherently political nature of art-making and art education and the marginalization and oppression of individuals in pursuit of those endeavors. We can sit on our hands and imagine a truly just world, but continued action is our only way of getting there.






_Conference Chairs: Amanda Breitbach, Rebecca Drolen, Alec Kaus & Rana Young
_Conference Committee Members: Michael Darough, Diane Durant, Rebecca Hopp, Chris Ireland, Cynthia Miller, Heather Wetzel

Photograph copyright Zora Murff, 2020

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SPESC Portfolio Throwdown 2020

A Porfolio Review

Texas Woman's University- East / West Galleries - Denton, TX   |   February 29 - February 29, 2020

Registration open Saturday, Jan 25 until midnight Thursday February 27, 2020

Our second year!  Come for your chance to sit down for one-on-one portfolio review sessions with some of the best artists, teachers, curators, and gallery professionals in the area.  Get valuable feedback!  Make connections! Get inspired!  Jump-start that brilliant career!

Texas Woman's University
East / West Galleries
Visual Arts Building
302 Pioneer Circle
Denton, TX 76204

See the list of reviewers here.

Location and parking info here.

Registration is $5 for all SPE members, $60 for non-members.

Not an SPE member?  Click "join" up above- a one-year membership is $55 for students (Undergrad or Grad- have your student ID or class schedule ready) or $65 for The Bridge (finished any degree in the last 2 years).  SPE membership also gets you significant discounts on attending the Annual Conference in the Spring, and the Chapter Conference each Fall.

At the completion of the registration process will be a link for scheduling your portfolio reviews.  These will be available on a FIRST-COME, FIRST-SERVED basis, so register soon!

Registration deadline is Midnight Thursday February 27, 2020

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SPE Southcentral Conference 2019

Texas Tech University - Lubbock, Texas   |   October 10 - October 12, 2019

WITH AS MANY... points to the overlap and convergence of the many communities contemporary photographers 
foster, support. advocate for, and collaborate with through their photographic work. 

PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE.... presents immeasurable opportunities for defining ourselves and the places we come from and we are interested in catalyzing a conversation between photographers who: 
•    use their work to engage local communities
•    give voice to underserved communities
•    link communities together for a shared cause
•    represent communities on their own terms
•    build new communities through artistic collaboration

MANY POSSIBLE... Proposals can be for individual presentations, collaborations, workshops and panels from member photographers, writers, educators, curators, historians, professionals, and students. Topics are not required to be theme-based, and may include but are not limited to; image-making, history, contemporary theory and criticism, multidisciplinary approaches and new technologies, and presentations of work in photography, film, video, performance and installation. 

Texas Tech Conference Website

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SPESC Portfolio Throwdown

Portfolio Reveiws at the Nasher Sculpture Center

Nasher Sculpture Center - Dallas, TX   |   April 14 - April 14, 2019

Registration deadline is Thursday April 11 at midnight!

You've worked hard to make your photographs.  You studied the work of your photo-heroes, you set up your studio lights, found that perfect location, got that perfect angle, you put in the hours of editing tweaks to make them just right, you made the prints and you've shown then in class… so now what?

You're ready to take it to the next level.  Imagine yourself sitting across a table from the person who gets what you are doing- who might just help you get into grad school- or get a great internship- or who gives you the feedback that blows your mind and make you so excited to jump right back into your ideas and make them BETTER.

Here's your chance!  It's the Portfolio Throwdown!

A solid day of looking, talking, sharing, and learning about photographs, making connections and making new friends.  Join us on Sunday April 14 from 11:00AM-5:00PM at the beautiful Nasher Sculpture Center, the heart of the Dallas Arts District.

We've assembled a fantastic group of portfolio revewers from colleges, galleries, non-profits, and publications, to help you make the best of your photography.  You'll get to share your work with students from other schools as well. 

See list of portfolio reviewers here.

Reviewers will choose a single winner of the Throwdown Prize- a solo show at 500X Gallery, with gift certificates from Frame Destination and paper from Red River Paper.

Information about the location and parking can be found in the "location & travel" tab, or just click here.

Portfolio Review Strategies

  • Bring a portfolio of 15-20 photographs.  Reveiwers are interested in seeing how well you can explore an idea in depth, not how many different styles of photographs you can make, so it's best choose images that have a cohesive theme or approach. 

  • Reviewers will prefer to look at prints, rather then images on a screen, but if your work is sculptural, motion, or time-based, then bring a laptop or pad- just make sure ahead of time that your files are viewable and working.  Reviewers prefer not to look at images or videos on a phone.

  • The best option is to bring prints in a clamshell-style portfolio box. Prints in a binder-style portfolio are okay, but some reviewers do not like looking at prints that are in any kind of plastic sleeve or page.  Matted prints are fine, but not required.

  • Prepare your "elevator speech"- a brief description of your work, what you think it means, what your concerns are as a photographer, and what you hope your audience will get out of seeing your work.  Your "speech" doesn't need to be memorized and recited, but you will be better able to represent your work and ideas if you have some practice talking about it.

  • Make some business cards or postcards, with an image and some contact information, and hand that to the reviewer at the end of your review.

  • Reveiwers will ask questions about your work, but you should also have some questions ready to ask them.  Good reviews are dialogue between the reviewer and the artist, so it's best to be prepared, but also able to "go with the flow" of the conversation.

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Material + Meaning

Louisiana State University - Baton Rouge, Louisiana   |   October 04 - October 07, 2018


October 4th – October 6th, 2018

HOSTED BY: Louisiana State University
Conference 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)

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.


Early registration ends Sept 10, and closes October 1. On-site registration will be available.  Refunds must be requested by Sept 20, more detials in the Registration tab.

Regular Member-                                  $75l

Student Member-                                  $30

Contingent/ Part-time Member-            $55

Senior Member-                                    $40

Non-Member-                                       $110

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Considering the Emerging Trends and Vernacular in Photography

Baylor University - Waco, Texas   |   October 13 - October 15, 2017

This year's conference held in the Fine Arts Building at Baylor University, will investigate and discuss how the current vernacular of imagery is ever-changing in the 21st century. It is estimated that over 1.8 billion images are uploaded to the internet daily. We are living in a time when family snapshots are no longer consigned to be neglected in family albums but are now publicly shared and disseminated. As cell phone photography grows more sophisticated, and technologically so easily available, so does the curatorial and artistic sensitivities of the public. During this growth, and with technology so easily available, lens-based artists are incorporating new technology and methodologies while finding new ways to embrace and define the traditional foundations of photography. Drones, microscopes, satellites, the internet, and surveillance imagery, are all becoming part of the vernacular in which we experience lens-based images today.
For questions, please contact –
H. Jennings Sheffield, Co-Chair of 2017 SPE South Central Regional Conference, 254-710-6388.
Chris Ireland, Co-Chair of 2017 SPE South Central Regional Conference, 254 968 9274.

Featured Speaker events are free and open to the public.

Friday Featured Speakers Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison
Friday, October 13 - 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM at the Jones Theatre
You can find more details about this lecture at the following link.

Saturday Featured Speaker Charlotte Cotton
Saturday, October 14 - 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM at the Jones Theatre
You can find more details about this lecture at the following link.

This year's conference is sponsored by

• Creative Waco Artsmatch Grant
• Sprint Systems
• Baylor University
• Tarleton State University – College of Liberal and Fine Arts
• Texas Humanities
• Waco Hilton – Conference Hotel
• Texas Photographic Society
• Tarleton Ultra Club
• Frame Destination
• Red River Paper
• Baylor Libraries
• San Antonio Camera Exchange

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2016 SPE SC Regional Conference

Camp Stewart

- Hunt, TX   |   October 13 - October 16, 2016

Join together with friends (and future friends) at our all-inclusive 2016 Conference/ Retreat! Nestled by the Guadalupe River in the picturesque and culturally rich Texas Hill Country, the site of our conference will be Camp Stewart, a summer camp in Hunt, TX.

This regional conference offers the type of programming you expect as well as some new experiences. There will be two full days of lectures, workshops, demonstrations and portfolio reviews from regional SPE members, as well as keynote presentations in poetry, performance and the written word. Unique to this conference will be outdoor cookouts, a gourmet catered meal, ongoing exhibitions, a Yurt Obscura and outdoor activities!

Camp Stewart is located near the small town of Hunt, TX, about 15 miles from Kerrville, 116 miles from Austin, and 80 miles from San Antonio. Lodging options include group cabins (bunk beds), shared rooms, private rooms, campsites, and an off-site motel.

Registration begins on August 15. Only current SPE members may register. Be sure to buy or renew your SPE membership before you register. Non-members will have their registration cancelled. Advanced Registration Only. No on-site registration.

TO SEE ALL CONFERENCE INFORMATION (including schedule, lodging, speakers, events, etc.) AND TO REGISTER click on the link:

Special Events and Activities-

Friday Evening Performance: Montopolis Trio performs Monolith – (Sponsored by the University of Texas at Arlington)

A “Psychedelic Modern Classical Ensemble” from Austin TX, performing “Monolith,” a recently debuted work for piano and strings, inspired by the massive pink granite monolith called “Enchanted Rock,” 40 miles north of the conference site. The performance includes projected photographic images and spoken word narrative of the monolith’s geological formation.

Ongoing Photo Show – Take advantage of on-site printers, paper, and portable walls, for a crowd-sourced exhibition that will change and evolve as the retreat progresses. Sponsored by Red River Paper, Hannemuhle, Propanels and KIND Snack Bars.

Open Portfolio Reviews – New format: Reviewees will be assigned a table. Official Portfolio Reviewers commit to spend an hour moving from table to table offering feedback to each Reviewee, allowing the flexibility for longer (or shorter) individual reviews.

Friday Morning Hike by the River – Enjoy an invigorating stroll through the Hill Country landscape.

Saturday Morning Yoga – Led by Colette Copeland, SPE member and Certified Yoga Instructor. Bring your own mat!

Hammock Pavilion – Overlooking the Guadalupe River. Relax, sway slowly in the breeze, sit a spell, and cleanse your mind for creative rejuvenation. Sponsored by Eagle’s Nest Outfitters.

Yurt Obscura – A 150 sq. ft. circular temporary “tent” made of foam insulation panels and duct tape, with a lens mounted in one wall! Experience the optical thrill known since ancient days. Courtesy of SPE Member Rachel Rushing.

FREE TIME! Fridays and Saturdays 3:00-6:00 will be free time for swimming, canoeing, archery ($35 fee), or one of several informal demonstrations such as Carbon Transfer, Wet Collodion, and Screen Printing.

Gourmet Dinner – Catered by Brenton Childs, former Executive Chef at the Salt Lick and Bess Bistro (both in Austin, TX), and Stubb’s BBQ. He specializes in “Southern gourmet comfort food.”

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Spheres of Influence

University of Oklahoma - and, Oklahoma City Museum of Art   |   September 24 - September 27, 2015

Conference events on Friday will take place at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art (OKCMOA) in Oklahoma City. Saturday events will take place in Norman, Oklahoma, at the University of Oklahoma and at MAINSITE Contemporary Art Gallery.

Oklahoma City rests at the intersection of many highways that cross the continental US. OKC is known for Boomers and Sooners, sunsets, beauty queens, red dirt, tornado alley, and a capital with an oil derrick on site. The variety contained promotes why the locality of Oklahoma City is the perfect place to explore how we identify and reflect on the many guiding "forces" impacting our creative lives. All of us are affected by a variety of influences from history, culture, identity, geography, politics, scientific discovery, mentors, and experience to name some. This conference hopes to address how these spheres of influence impact us as artists, educators, and students and how this manifests in our photography as discovery, investigations, and recording in our worlds.

For questions, please contact

Conference Chair - Alex Emmons

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Engaging Possibilities

Middle Tennessee State University - Murfreesboro, TN   |   October 02 - October 05, 2014

Please join us for an exciting regional conference, exploring ideas of "Engaging Possibilities." The conference will take place on the Middle Tennessee State University campus and will have content such as workshops, imagemaker presentations, and demonstrations presented by SPE members. Other events throughout the conference include a film screening, portfolio reviews, member exhibit, special exhibit, and a Nashville evening experience. Saturday morning we welcome ASMP sponsored presenters, alongside some Nashville based artists.

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Refining Humanity: Photography and Empathy

Houston Center for Photography - Houston and Galveston, Texas   |   October 17 - October 20, 2013

The 2013 South Central Regional Conference began in Houston with portfolio reviews at Houston Center for Photography on Thursday. The reviewers were Jason Dibley, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Libbie Masterson, Houston Center for Photography; Jennifer Ward, FotoFest; and Clint Willour, Galveston Arts Center. After the reviews, attendees toured the Menil Collection then boarded buses for an exhibition at FotoFest. The evening ended with dinner and a reception at HCP. On Friday and Saturday the conference moved to College of the Mainland (COM) in Texas City for presentations and a dinner reception for one of two Member and Student shows. Honored Educator Keith Carter and keynote speaker Tracy Xavia Karner (author, curator, and visual sociologist) delivered very compelling talks. Saturday's bus tour of Galveston galleries included the Galveston Arts Center and Galveston College where the second Member and Student exhibition was on display. Dinner was provided back at COM, along with the raffle drawing, a photo booth and photo-themed piatas! The conference ended on Sunday with a tour of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston print room. The tireless conference Co-Chairs, Kristy Peet and Juliana Forero, and their dedicated committee and student volunteers put together an outstanding conference! (Summary by Bryan Florentin) Conference Chairs: Kristy Peet, Juliana Forero

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Nothing Ventured/Nothing Gained: The Creative Risk

- Starkville, Mississippi   |   October 25 - October 28, 2012

The 2012 South Central Society for Photographic Education conference was held at Mississippi State University in Starkville, MS and co-hosted by the Department of Art and the Department of Communication. The conference titled Nothing Ventured/Nothing Gained: The Creative Risk focused on the risks artists take in the conceptual and technical aspects of their work, and the challenges they overcome in their visual research. Mississippi State University's commitment to hosting the conference and very generous support cultivated an environment that allowed us to critically examine the diversity of photographic practice by addressing the three major physical sectors of photography: traditional, digital, and alternative processes. The tireless efforts of the conference co-chairs, Marita Gootee, Dominic Lippillo, and Wendy Roussin, along with their enthusiastic team of volunteers, truly made it an event to be remembered. Dornith Doherty was presented with the Honored Educator award as modest appreciation for her excellence as a teacher, artist and SPE leader. The conference included many fine and exciting presenters, including the featured speakers: Kelli Connell, Todd Hido, and Susan Burnstine. To top it all off, Mississippi State University provided several fantastic exhibitions and a party with a Jazz band, we could not have asked for anything else. (Summary by Jay Gould)

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