Atlanta Celebrates Photography has spent well over a decade supporting our town's photography community and exposing Atlanta's artists to the public. This year, the ACP Festival is packed with a month of exhibitions, openings, artist talks, and more, including one sweet throwdown with yours truly (why, yes, there will be beer, cocktails, food trucks, themed photo-booths, video projections, DJs and plenty o' general awesomeness to go around). But I digress. We spoke with ACP's Executive Director, Amy Miller, about the organization's rich history, noble goals, and spectacular 2012 festival:
SCOUT: ACP came to life fourteen years ago to build a stronger photography community in Atlanta. Do you think that community has grown or changed a lot since then?
AMY: I think the photography community is much more connected and networked than they were 14 years ago. We believe that we have had some effect on this. Atlanta really is a photography town, and we do all we can to facilitate and promote this. There are several great galleries that focus solely on photography, there is a thriving commercial photography industry and the High Museum has developed its photography holdings to be of some significance. Of course, we can’t take credit for all of this, but we do have the sense that we bring photographers and audiences together like no other organization around. The Atlanta Celebrates Photography Festival is the largest annual community-oriented photography festival in the United States!
SCOUT: What makes this year's edition of ACP different from years past?
AMY: We do everything we can to make sure that each festival is unique. We always have a series of different (and diverse) artist lectures and our public art project is always quite different than the previous year. We are always trying new things and making new partnerships that influence the festival programming. This year we are proud to be involved in a powerful photo program that involves inpatient teens at Scottish Rite and Egleston Hospitals. We will do an exhibition of some of their portraits and writing at the High Museum of Art November 1 – 10.
SCOUT: How about some festival highlights for our readers to check out?
ACP Lecture Series - Joel Sternfeld
Sep 27th at High Museum, 7pm
My Atlanta Exhibition
(open to everyone push-pin show at the Piedmont Park Community Center)
Sept. 29 – October 27 (Saturdays only 10am – 1pm, closed October 13)
ACP Film Series
Ben Shapiro will be speaking about "Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters"
Also screening will be the Alec Soth documentary “Somewhere to Disappear”
Oct. 3rd at the Plaza Theater, 6:30pm
Panel Discussion Moderated by Curator Deb Willis
Oct. 5th at Southwest Arts Center, 6pm
ACP Lecture Series - Brian Ulrich
Oct. 11th at Georgia Tech Paper Museum, 7pm
ACP Pubic Art
by Marni Shindelman and Nate Larson
(exhibition, reception, video display and billboards)
ACP Lecture Series - Alex Prager
Oct. 23rd at High Museum, 7pm
ACP Spotlight on Local Talent - Liz Von Hoene
Oct. 24th at Big Studio, 7pm
SCOUT: This year's ACP includes almost 150 photo-related events/exhibitions throughout Atlanta. Why should people check them out?
AMY: Never let it be said that there is nothing fun and free to do in Atlanta. Almost all of the ACP events are free and open to the public. There are artist talks, book signings, exhibitions, receptions, public art events, workshops. Artists and venues have been planning these great events since the spring, and some since last year. It is inevitable that you will encounter experiences and inspiration by attending ACP events. I always walk away from the festival completely blown away by the depth and diversity of the ongoing exploration of the photographic medium. The festival offers people a chance to learn and be inspired and experience something that will impact their lives. It also offers entertainment and food for thought.
SCOUT: Last but not least: why does ATL need ACP?
AMY: The photo community here is full of outstanding people and organizations – and the numbers are constantly growing. Everyone loves photography and everyone’s lives are touched by photography in a myriad of meaningful ways.
ACP hopes that by working to support all levels of the local photography community, by bringing members from the national (and international) photography community to Atlanta, and by promoting the Atlanta community nationally (and internationally), Atlanta will increasingly become a city that retains and attracts creative talent. We believe in the importance of thriving arts and culture to world class cities, and photography – because of its mass appeal - is a perfect gateway.
High-fives all around to an organization that's given local artists a leg up in the community and beyond. Read more about ACP's storied past, peruse the festival happenings, and come to our party, to which you are most cordially invited.