Guest Author - Donna Ledbetter
Art lovers and festival buffs alike will enjoy visiting DC’s newest international arts festival. Though beginning as a local arts competition, the festival’s collaboration with artists worldwide have expanded FotoWeek into an international phenomenon—right here in the MidAtlantic.
As Theo Adamstein, founder of FotoWeek DC explains, "in just two years, [FotoWeek] has evolved from a citywide photography festival to one of international scope. Through our partnership with world-renowned photographers, we are thrilled to present numerous exhibitions, lectures, and programs that encompass a broad spectrum of photography from editorial photojournalism to experimental fine art and everything in between. This inspiring weeklong festival celebrates what photography means to people today, from both a local and a global perspective.”
Noteworthy local artists from this year’s festival include Joshua Cogan whose featured work is entitled “Soundprints: Volume 1,” a series of photographic representations of music and musicians. FotoWeek DC curator and Pulitzer-Prize winning photojournalist Lucian Perkins will feature special exhibitions of his work in Iraq, Russia, and Cuba. These photographs have never before been seen in Washington, DC.
Despite its remarkable growth, FotoWeek DC has maintained its photography arts competition at the center of its festivities. Entrants from around the world and throughout the United States enter the competition for a chance to win cash awards. Its largest award is the Spirit of Washington, with a prize of $5000 for the best entry. The competitions are open to professionals, students, and amateurs alike and cover a broad range of categories, including single image entries in fine art, travel, and advertising and new media entries in documentary/storytelling using photography, video, sound, and graphics to convey a plot and storyline.
Aspiring photographers not yet ready for a competition also have the opportunity to sit down with master artists and have their portfolios critiqued. For a small fee, up to three masters will review your work.
FotoWeek DC covers all manner of themes and subjects through its installations and is a truly interactive event. Art lovers not interested in competing or having their portfolios examined can also attend FotoWeek DC for entertaining receptions at participating embassies throughout Washington, DC or participate in the weeklong lecture series. Also in the lineup is NightVisions, FotoWeek DC’s all night live photo shoot. In this event, photographers conduct a photo shoot and then deliver their images to a central FotoWeek location where they will be downloaded, printed, and available for immediate display.
Both Maryland and Virginia area galleries are also opening extra space for FotoWeek exhibits and book signings. This DC event covers a broad MidAtlantic area and makes it optimal for local daytrippers and international visitors alike to visit the DC region for the shows.
FotoWeek DC runs November 7-14, 2009.