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2021 SPE Annual Conference: CANCELLED Imagining Legacy: Archives, Collections, and Memoria

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Beyond the Photographic Document

When September 23-26, 2021
Where Black Hills State University, Spearfish, South Dakota
Keynote Speaker Linda Connor

SPE-NW at Black Hills State University in Spearfish South Dakota
We invite you to join us for the 2021 SPE-NW chapter conference in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota at Black Hills State University, September 23-26, 2021. The theme of this year's conference is "Beyond the Photographic Document." Photography is known for its ability to document the world, but there are images that transcend the notion of photography as a document and hold deeper meaning. Images that are symbolic, poetic, inspiring, cerebral, spiritual, images that have an essence of something more. We invite you to submit proposals that interpret the theme in your unique way.

During the conference we are planning trips to Devil's Tower, Mt. Rushmore, Deadwood, and Spearfish Canyon. We hope you will join us to enjoy the crisp weather and beautiful fall colors in the Black Hills of South Dakota.  

We are accepting proposals in the following categories:

  • Imagemaker (45 min)

  • Student Presentations (15 min)

  • Teaching Methodology and Research (45 min)

  • Workshops/Hands-On Training (45 min)

  • Panel Discussion (3-4 people. 45 to 90 min)

  • Lightning Round Artist Presentations - For Single Bodies of Work (15 min)

We accept submissions from photographers, educators, artists, students, and professionals that are not SPE members as well as people living outside of our region. Thank you for your interest and do not hesitate to contact our Conference Chair through email (provided below) or via SPE-NW's Facebook and Instagram pages. 

Please enter your proposals at:

Submissions are due by TBA

Please keep submissions to 500 words or less.

We will also be accepting entries for a month-long "SPE-NW: Beyond the Photographic Document", an exhibition in the BHSU Ruddell Art Gallery.

SPE-NW Conference Exhibition Details:

Submission Deadline: TBA before Midnight MST

Announcement of Accepted Work: Before TBA

Accepted Work Due to Gallery: August TBA (if it comes earlier than this date please, as no one from the gallery will be on campus to receive the image)

Exhibition Dates: TBA

Closing Reception: TBA

Please submit up to 3 images related to the conference theme to by TBA. Accepted work will be announced early August, Work due to the gallery between TBA. The show will be on display from TBA. Prize winners will be announced during the gallery closing reception on TBA.

Please provide return shipping labels in packaging, or be ready to take the work with you after the closing exhibition.

Our conference theme is largely inspired by the work of our Keynote speaker, Linda Connor. Those familiar with her work will know the presence of the Other, something beyond the scene photographed, that is ever present in her work. Each of Connor's images resonate with an unseen spirituality. 

Linda Connor is an American photographer who photographs spiritual and exotic locations including India, Mexico, Thailand,Ireland, Peru, and Nepal. Connor has taught at San Francisco Art Institute since 1969, and in 2004 was the Honored Educator, for the Society of Photographic Education.

Linda's photographs appear in a number of books, including Spiral Journey, a catalog of her exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Photography in 1990 and Odyssey: Photographs by Linda Connor, published by Chronicle Books in 2008. Connor was awarded National Endowment for the Arts grants in 1976 and 1988, and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1979. Connor's work is included in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

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