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2018 SPE Annual Conference: Uncertain Times: Borders, Refuge, Community, Nationhood / Hosted by The University of the Arts

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Past SPE Annual Conferences

Southwest Chapter

SPE Southwest Chapter includes:
Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah

Chair Abbey Hepner
Vice Chair/Secretary Megan Jacobs
Treasurer Paul Sisson
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Upcoming Conference

Tahoe CoLab

Creativity, Community, and Collaboration

Granlibakken Tahoe - Granlibakken Tahoe, Tahoe City, California   |   November 03 - November 05, 2017

Please note that you must reserve your lodging and meal package with Granlibakken Retreat Center separately by visiting or by calling (800) 543-3221. Reservations for Granlibakken are due by 10/3/2017 and any reservations received after this date are on a space available basis.

Retreat registration is done through this SPE website by clicking on the "register" link to the right. On the pages that follow, be sure to choose only one activity for the Saturday 1–2 pm hour and a different one (and only one) for the 2–3 pm hour. Each activity is limited to 10 participants, so if you don't see the activity you want, unfortuntely that means it's full.

Early bird retreat registration pricing ends October 1, 2017.

To get the full experience, we strongly recommend staying on site at Granlibakken for both nights. If you are interested in staying off site or only attending a portion of the retreat, please email us for options:


Join us for Tahoe CoLab: an interactive, community-building retreat where we will explore the ways in which photographers collaborate with each other, with artists in different disciplines, with scholars in other fields such as science and the humanities, and with community members. The permutations are as endless as they are exciting.

We are thrilled to have Harrell Fletcher as our "weekend headliner!" He will be giving the keynote address on Friday evening, presenting a selection of socially engaged collaborative and interdisciplinary work from his 25+ year career as a social practice artist using photography. In addition, Harrell will lead us all in an exciting participatory project on Saturday afternoon.

Granlibakken Tahoe Resort, just minutes from the shores of Lake Tahoe, will be the retreat backdrop as we dine, slumber, learn, create, and collaborate with others from the West and Southwest chapters of SPE: students, educators, curators, artists, etc. Programming will include image-maker presentations, intimate roundtable conversations, portfolio sharing, nature and photography outings, and a collaborative project.

Granlibakken is located five minutes from Tahoe City in the Tahoe National Forest and about an hour drive from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport, serviced by major airlines such as Alaska, American, Delta, jetBlue, Southwest, and United. From the retreat location, Emerald Bay State Park is a 20 mile drive south and then it is an additional 52 mile drive around the lake with scenic wonders at each mile. For those who search for the cultural aspects of a region, a fifteen mile drive east will get you to the state line for the gambling and music at the Crystal Bay Club.

  • Retreat style, with lodging and food included. Rates for the 2-nights, including all taxes. Paid directly to Granlibakken by visiting by calling (800) 543-3221.
    • Double occupancy: $367.20 per person
    • Single occupancy: $482.40 per person
    • Dorm-style (5–6 people per room): $220.80 per person
    • To get the full experience, we strongly recommend staying on site at Granlibakken for both nights. If you are interested in staying off site or only attending a portion of the retreat, please email us for options:
  • Registration fees, paid directly to SPE:
    • Regular, Senior, Sustaining member: $75 early, $90 regular
    • Adjunct/part-time: $40 early, $55 regular
    • Student: $20 early, $25 regular
    • Non-member: $190
    • Student non-member: $60
    • Early bird deadline is October 1, 2017
  • Retreat activities:
    • Retreat programming to start Friday at 5:30 pm with a hosted cocktail reception and juried exhibition presentation
    • Keynote Speaker: Social Practice Artist Harrell Fletcher
    • Participatory Workshop Project led by Harrell Fletcher
    • Wet plate collodion giant van camera demo by Ian Ruhter
    • Honored educators' (West and Southwest) talks
    • 15-minute image-maker presentations
    • Roundtable discussions on a variety of topics
    • Portfolio sharing
    • Hiking and photography outings
    • Programming to end Sunday at 1 pm after lunch

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