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Past SPE Annual Conferences

2015 SPE National Conference

Atmospheres: Climate, Equity and Community in Photography

Society for Photographic Education's (SPE) 52nd National Conference will be held March 12-15, 2015, in New Orleans, Louisiana, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. The theme for the 2015 conference, Atmospheres: Climate, Equity and Community in Photography, will bring together ideas about the complex atmospheres of climate, equity, and community and will examine how photographers, teachers and students can examine, embrace, editorialize, and understand them.

SPE is a unique community of instructors, critics, curators, gallery directors, exhibiting photographers, photojournalists, collectors, and students. The national conference is the centerpiece of SPE's yearly programming and features concurrent sessions, a curator portfolio walkthrough, one-on-one portfolio reviews, informal portfolio sharing, Adobe demo sessions, a print raffle, silent auction, film festival, book signings, dance party, and an exhibits fair featuring over sixty corporate exhibitors showing the latest equipment and processes, hot- off-the-press books, and other resources for lens-based artists. The exhibits fair is free and open to the public.

An impressive lineup of keynote speakers includes Rebecca Solnit, Chris Jordan and Hank Willis Thomas. Rebecca Solnit will open the conference on Thursday evening sharing with attendees her "Maps, Photographs, Words and Truths," describing place and the frictions between generalizations and specific data. The Friday evening Keynote address by Chris Jordan draws on his last ten years a visual journey into our culture of mass consumption, and will probe questions of hope. Saturday evening, Hank Willis Thomas will captivate attendees addressing issues of race and identity and the impact of photography on his work. There are also over 40 presentations scheduled throughout the day on Friday and Saturday and include an invited NOLA panel "Mutual Efforts: Threading Community, Creativity and Commodity," with Sesthasak Boonchai, Russell Lord, Joshua Mann Pailet, Richard McCabe, and Jennifer Shaw.

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