Pride without Prejudice
NOVEMBER IS THE MONTH for photography in the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania, which kicks off with a weekend of talks, workshops and parties called InVision.
What is interesting about the Lehigh Month and the InVision weekend is that they are so inclusive in their programming. The former UN photographer John Isaac worked for six weeks with young people at the Hispanic Centre, introducing them to the art of portraiture. Their works show alongside photographs by Isaac at the Olympus Digital Imaging Center. Meanwhile Stephen Perloff, who founded The Photo Review back in 1976, is showing his own work at Alvin H. Butz Gallery and college students from North-Eastern and Mid-Atlantic states are showing at Hallway to the Arts.
THE LINE-UP INCLUDES the eminent American photographer Joyce Tenneson, whose evocative and often ethereal images seek to go beyond the visual in the way they suggest the essence of an individual or relationship. The winner of many accolades, she this year received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Professional Photographers of America. A retrospective of her work is showing at Banko Gallery.
While the festival offers a full month of exhibitions, events are focused into one weekend called InVision. Artist presentations and a range of workshops from large-format to cell-phone photography run over the three-days. As with so many festivals, there is a portfolio review where aspiring practitioners can seek feedback and advice on their work. And there are parties including a slide night at the ArtsQuest Center with image-music compilations selected from an open submission invited earlier in the year.
INITIATED BY JANICE LIPZIN, INVISION is one of several arts and music festivals produced annually by ArtsQuest. Founded in 1984 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, the centre is now based around a campus developed in the city’s former steel plant. In an area where 35% of adults never completed high school and 28% live below the poverty line, ArtsQuest provides cultural and educational experiences for that community, more than 80% of which are free of charge. With a special focus on young adults, the centre has proved a significant success, reaching more than 1.3 million people annually.
In a world where art can too easily become a point of division, ArtQuest is working to integrate the creativity of the community with the virtuosity of the professional. There is a pride in making, and a joy in sharing what is made and aspiring to go better. This is art at work in the world.
InVision runs from 2–4 November 2012 at the SteelStacks Campus and Banana Factory, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA.
For more information on InVision and on the Lehigh Month of Photography go here.
Images (from the top):
© Joyce Tenneson from the series ‘Transformations’
The SteelStacks at night