2019 Review Selection Committee Statements

Members of the photographic and arts communities comprise the Review Santa Fe Selection Committee. Their responses to their experience selecting the work for the 2019 Review Santa Fe conference are below.

© Luis Cardel

The spectrum of work submitted for Review Santa Fe was vast. Regardless of content, the projects I favor are at once cohesive and striving to see and represent things in a new way. Ezra Pound’s dictum that we must “make it new”, always resonated, even if, as it has been said, “there is no new thing under the sun”.

About 20 or so years ago I attended a panel on digital vs. film photography. What stands out in my memory were the words of artist and photographer Duane Michals. After long-winded pontifications on the topic by other presenters, Duane stepped up to the podium and cut to the chase. He said he didn’t think the dichotomy was relevant. The question that we should be asking is, “does the image make you feel something?” When reviewing these portfolios this has been my ultimate criterion.

And plenty of the work made me feel something. I hope that those selected and that attend the review have an inspiring experience. The potential connections can help push your work to new frontiers and ideally keep you taking photographs and being creators for a lifetime. Best of luck!

Alejandro Durán
Photographer • Review Santa Fe Alum
New York & Mexico

What I took away from my Review Santa Fe jury and the photographers who shared their work with CENTER and this selection committee is this:

Dedicated Photographers respond – They use the medium as a cathartic tool for personal issues that reflect the universal and as an opportunity for self-reflection and introspection. They expose the inequalities in the social and political life, both familiar and foreign. A collective and societal awareness often fosters commonalities in the year’s themes as photographers respond to the issues that call for exposure.

Concerned photographers reflect – They hold a mirror to the larger community. Artists deal with issues that affect women, migrants, the homeless. They spotlight racial disparities; the politically fickle, unwavering, and disenfranchised; those unequal in their society; and those whose lives are in a state of turmoil or disruption.

Creative photographers experiment – Photographers take chances with a license to explore the pre-constructed or their own built environment. Since the invention of photography, artists have utilized tableaux, constructed realities, and the world of metaphors. Photographer is a medium of storytelling.

Successful photographers learn – They strive for excellence in your projects and images. They get to know their true motivations for working on a project and how it connects with a wider audience. They take chances and learn as much as you can from your achievements as from your disappointments for their project’s vitality and viability. They take notes and take note.

Exposure of each artist’s work makes them vulnerable. I am thankful to each artist for sharing their work.

Melanie McWhorter
Consultant & Photographer
New Mexico