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Past SPE National Conferences

Take advantage of automatic enrollment in your regional chapter. While each of the eight regions is unique, they all provide local conferences, networking opportunites, and other benefits to serve the special needs of their constituency. You can also volunteer to serve as a regional leader. 

Upcoming Regional Events

About A Place

Pittsburgh Filmmakers - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania   |   October 23 - October 24, 2015

"About a Place" addresses social, natural, political, psychological, and personal geographies, broadly. We invite members to submit work that explores the intersections of these and other ways of understanding the worlds in which we live, and through which we move. Our understanding of what constitutes "place" is rapidly changing, influenced by current events that ask how localities transform (gentrification), what national borders mean (ISIS, Russia/Ukraine) and to whom the United States "belongs" (Occupy); by geologic transformations (climate change, resource extraction); by new technologies (social media, surveillance and "big data," virtual realities, and global positioning); and more. What distinguishes a place? How can photographic practice articulate the relationships between experience and memory, or between history and landscape? How can photographic processes transform knowledge about place-based subjects? What are the stories that we tell about places, and why? We look forward to seeing responses that engage with these themes, using photography to both address and raise questions "About a Place." Travel Grants Applications are being accepted until Sept. 24

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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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Advocacy: Photography’s Role in Affecting Change

Photographic Resource Center - Boston, MA   |   November 06 - November 07, 2015

Conference Dates: November 6 - 7, 2015Conference Theme: "Advocacy: Photography's Role in Affecting Change"Host: Photographic Resource Center at Boston University, Boston, MAKeynote Speaker: Maria Magdalena Campos-PonsHonored Educator: Arno Rafael MinkkinenInvited Speaker: Jane D. MarschingPresenters and panelists: listed/linked to on the next page, including schedule Evidence and Advocacy: SPE Northeast Member Juried ExhibitionNovember 5, 2015 - January 10, 2016Reception: November 7, 6:30 - 9:00pmJurors: Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, Keynote Speaker, and conference Co-Chairs, Bruce Myren and Camilo RamirezSelected photographers: to be announced very soon!* Please click the yellow button to REGISTER and for more info, including the complete SCHEDULE & REGISTRATION options (under "program guide") and HOTEL - linked to on the menu at the right. *

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Plays Well With Others

The Collaborative Process in Photography

The Fine Arts Center - Greenville, South Carolina   |   November 06 - November 08, 2015

We are excited to announce the 2015 SPESE conference title and theme, Collaboration: Plays Well with Others. The conference will highlight artists whose work is developed in the spirit of collaboration. Photography is all around us, and it is frequently referred to as the most prolific and democratic visual medium. While photographs have always communicated the realities of the world, they have also been about helping the photographer communicate their personal interests about a place, a situation, or their fellow human beings. In the 21st century, photography is no longer a solitary practice. Instead, it is a medium that encourages discourse with other artists, writers, and communities in an effort to share and facilitate ideas. This year’s conference lectures, presentations, workshops and demos will address photographers working with other photographers and other members of the visual arts community. We will explore the sharing of photographic ideas and images and how this collaborative practice functions in contemporary society and impacts its communities. We are looking forward to seeing you in Greenville, SC!

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SPE Southwest and West Joint Retreat

- Joshua Tree, CA   |   November 13 - November 15, 2015

Go to for more information and TO REGISTER. Experience the natural beauty and creative character of Joshua Tree with an all inclusive retreat weekend at the Joshua Tree Retreat Center (designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and son, Lloyd). Conference programming will include Honored Educators Sant Khalsa (CSUSB) and Mark Klett (ASU), guest speakers, round-table discussions, and portfolio sharing as well as field trips to the National Park, Andrea Zittel's A-Z West Home and Studio and High Desert Test Sites, Noah Purifoy's Art Park, Sounds Baths at the Integratron and more.Relax and rejuvenate with SPE friends at the pool and jacuzzi, star gazing at the night skies or on a hike or meditation walk. You’ll be nestled in with your colleagues in retreat style accommodations and served a delicious and fresh catered menu (with options for special diet restrictions) by renowned local chef, Rosa Ficara. Prepare yourself for a unique experience at the the Joshua Tree Retreat Center (JTRC), the oldest and largest retreat center in the Western United States. JTRC is considered to be an architectural landmark, a sacred site, and location of 18 energy vortices. We will show our respect for the longtime custom of the retreat center of removing our shoes when entering some of the conference meeting rooms and be mindful that there are others on the premises engaged in silent meditationJoin your colleagues to enjoy "Pop Up Pix" a 15 minute presentation style format showcasing new works by your peers, intimate round table "Casual Conversation" discussions, yoga, excursions, live music dance party, casual portfolio reviews and plain old hanging out and star gazing. As a bonus, participants arriving early or staying on will have the opportunity to attend pre and post-conference programming, tours and experiences as well as explore the Joshua Tree National park and other free sights. The Mojave Desert landscape and the eclectic Joshua Tree community is sure to please. You must be a current SPE member to attend. Renew your SPE National membership BEFORE you register for this retreat or your registration will be cancelled. Pack your hiking shoes, layered clothing and sun protection for varied weather conditions, don't forget your camera gear and get in the spirit for a special joint SPE West and Southwest Retreat.FEES: Includes conference fee, 6 gourmet meals and 2 night stay (Fri/Sat) at JT Retreat Center. $355 shared double, triple or quad+ lodging$325 single gender cottages (7 people each)$275 co-ed dorm room lodging$225 camping onsite$200 no onsite lodging - conference and meals only + $4.75 registration software fee + 5% Visa processing fee OR 6% AMEX processing fee TO REGISTER: Registration is open until November 1, 2015.

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