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The 21st edition of Atlanta Celebrates Photography’s monthlong festival is upon us, and once again, it’s prime time to enjoy, and yes, celebrate a medium that keeps reinventing itself. As Executive Director Amy Miller notes in her introduction to the 2019 guide, “Photography has swelled with a newfound diversity of voices to become the preeminent vehicle of pop culture and the language we all share.” 

Not surprisingly, ACP has chosen to emphasize women photographers this year — numerous national events have done the same, following a growing movement aimed at rebalancing gender equality in a male-dominated industry. 

October features more than 110 photo-related events, from galleries and museums to green spaces and streets. Here are just a few of the highlights. (If you act quickly, you can still snag a ticket tonight’s artist talk by R.E.M’s Michael Stipe, at 7 p.m. at SCADshow on 14th street. General admission is $35.)

To plot what you’ll see, consult festivalguide2019.acpinfo.org or download the festival app. Use #acpfest2019 on Instagram.

Lectures not to be missed

Amy Arbus and Charlotte Cotton are internationally known industry leaders and will speak, respectively, October 25 and October 22 at the High Museum of Art. Both events, in the Hill Auditorium, begin at 7 p.m. 

Arbus is an acclaimed portrait photographer who has 36 worldwide solo exhibitions to her credit. She’s the daughter of the great Diane Arbus (1923–71), which means she grew up surrounded by cameras. 

“Photographs for me are not like a diary exactly,” she says. “I feel if I can take a picture of something, I don’t need to have it. I’d almost rather have it as a photograph. I don’t have a lot of things. I have a lot of cameras. I have a lot of pictures.” 

Cotton is an author and curator known for her thoughtfulness and deep knowledge of contemporary photographic culture. Aperture released her second book, Photography Is Magic, in 2015. 

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Atlanta portrait and commercial photographer Kate T. Parker talks about her work — like this photograph — October 17 at Facet Gallery.

Atlanta portrait and commercial photographer Kate T. Parker will give a presentation of her work on October 17 at Facet Gallery, in partnership with ATL Photo Night. Parker is best known for images that convey a message of empowerment for young girls. Her first book, Strong Is the New Pretty, became a national bestseller, and she has just released a follow-up titled The Heart of a Boy.

Public art

Public art installations are at the heart of ACP’s mission and a great way to reach audiences that wouldn’t typically attend a gallery opening. In 2020, ACP is committed “to an even more robust public art presence,” according to Board Director Mary Stanley.

ATL at the Core features curated photos that explore the city, from its skyline to its architecture and parks. See it at Emory Point through October 31.

 

This year’s major installation, ATL at the Core (October 3–31) takes place at Emory Point (855 Emory Point Drive) on the green space adjacent to restaurants and shops across from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The curated photos explore the city, from its skyline to its architecture and parks.

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The Fence is an outdoor exhibition spanning more than two football fields in length and featuring work from more than 40 international photographers. Atlanta is one of eight cities in the United States and Canada seeing the exhibit.

The Fence is returning to Atlanta for a sixth time in collaboration with Brooklyn’s United Photo Industries and the Atlanta BeltLine. Look for it in a new location on the west side of the BeltLine, at the Martin Luther King Jr. Drive–BeltLine overpass at Stafford and Jasper streets.

Photography and beyond

The festival will screen photographer/filmmaker Chris Verene’s Home Movies at 7 p.m. October 10 at the Landmark Midtown Art Cinema. Verene’s work mostly explores true personal stories and the private lives of his extended family in Illinois in a blunt, unadorned fashion. The evening will include a special screening of shorts and an artist panel discussion. (See ArtsATL’s review of Verene’s Home Movies photo show HERE.)

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The festival wraps with a November 7 party at the Westside Cultural Arts Center. That gives you a month or so to fill your calendar with events large or small. The festival’s beauty lies in its participatory nature, which allows photographers at all levels of expertise to show their work and spread their love for the medium. 

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