Last week was Art Week in Boston, with tons of official and unofficial events. For me, it was more of a photo week, and I learned and saw a lot!
It started with the Entree to Boston Arts party hosted by ONEin3 Boston, an organization that focuses on the city's younger residents. Major art organizations had representatives there to answer questions, give away offers, and explain why their events are awesome. As someone who works at a museum, it was nice to meet other art employees as well and network a bit. We came away from the party with a solid list of must-see events. Here are a few of our upcoming plans:
- See Smart People and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner with the Huntington Theatre Company thanks to discounted tickets for the under 35 crew (complete with after party).
- Have a swanky night out at Third Thursdays at the Gardner Museum. I've been looking forward to seeing the new fashion exhibition of Carla Fernández.
- Score $10 tickets to any Arts Emerson show just by calling the same-day at 10am!
- Finally see the legendary Boston Gay Men's Chorus during Pride Week.
- Start counting the days to Boston Ballet's performance of Swan Lake in fall.
Moving on, the focus shifted to photography. The fourth annual Flash Forward Festival mainly took place over the weekend, but a great pre-event was held by the Boreal Colletctive, an impressive group of photographers out of Canada. Their work is mostly photojournalistic, but they have a range of jobs and the photos they shared were all from their personal projects. What made the event stand out was the format: each photographer showed 20 photos, for only 20 seconds each, while providing some narrative and context. It was a great way to sample their work and see a lot of amazing photos. I especially loved the work of Ian Willms.
The rest of the festival is made up of an array of exhibitions throughout Boston (most still ongoing) and two-days of lectures and panels. I attended all three on Saturday and really enjoyed the presentations by Sadie Quarrier, Senior Photo Editor at National Geographic (hello dream job) and Stacey Baker, Associate Photo Editor at the New York Times Magazine. Both were talking about the influence of multimedia and cell phone cameras on their publications, and showed great feature stories and projects. I think I was most inspired that they were women in high-up photo and editing positions, which is not often the case. They didn't have normal career paths (neither started as photographers) and they worked their way up without really having an ultimate goal position. It was nice to hear I'm not already five years behind.
From Sadie, check out the amazing and immersive multimedia projects on the Nat Geo website. They are true feats of photo technology, logistics, design and talent. The most interesting was on Serengeti Lions and a great resource is the library of video interviews with their staff photographers.
From Stacey Baker, take to heart that the NYTimes Magazine is seriously using Instagram to find photographers and images for their stories. They still hire and commission photographers in the traditional sense, but they're expanding how they look at images and building the visual side to their stories. Her Instagram feed is a fun project on the legs of New York (must see to understand) and the Photo Director Kathy Ryan has beautiful photos from around the magazine's offices.
The last panel was about long-term projects (really long term, as in 5+ years), and while this isn't really what I'm doing at the moment, it was a good reminder that you don't have to finish something right away for it to be good or for you to be doing something important. It's ok to let it change and expand over time. I thought of longer projects as something you needed funding for or a different job (still debatable), but these photographers have made it work around their other responsibilities. Maybe I'll find one or maybe I'm already working on one without realizing it!
Many exhibitions are still open, so go and see photos at the PRC, Griffin Museum and great outdoor installations on the Greenway.