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Are you ready for a photographic embarrassment of riches? Flash Forward Festival is about to kick off in Boston, running from this Sunday May 1st through next Sunday, May 8th, 2016. In its fourth year, the Festival that celebrates emerging international photographers – with a healthy dose of local talent – is sponsoring some innovations in programming and exhibit locations. First off, the very popular, season-long outdoor photography exhibit, The Fence, is being installed in and around the SoWa Open Market in Boston’s South End gallery district area rather on the Rose Kennedy Greenway. Big plus right there. The six small exhibits housed in shipping containers will be in that location as well.
The cornerstone exhibit of the Festival is the 2016 Group Show, an annual competition that showcases the work being created by the best emerging photographers from Canada, the UK and the US. Judges from each of the participating countries select young people that they believe show promise as professional fine art or documentary photographers. This year the winners will be exhibited at a Thayer Street gallery in SoWa from Noon – 6pm daily, with an artists reception on Saturday, May 7, 2016 from 6 – 9pm. For more information and directions, go to: http://www.flashforwardfestival.com/exhibition/flash-forward-2015-group-show/
In keeping with the mission of the Flash Forward Festival to feature the most exciting work being made by young photographers, Undergraduate Photography Now (Part 4) celebrates New England’s best student photographers, while [Photo]gogues: New England (Part 4) each year honors a selection of the inspiring faculty that teach and mentor them. For more information and directions to the Downtown Crossing [Photo]gogues exhibit, go to: http://www.flashforwardfestival.com/exhibition/photogogues-new-england-2016/. The Undergraduate Show will have a free public reception on Sunday, May 1, 2016, the final day of the exhibit, from 4 – 7pm at the Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester: http://www.flashforwardfestival.com/exhibition/undergraduate-photography-now-part-4/ For my review of this lively student exhibit, go to: http://elinspringphotography.com/blog/flash-forward-festival-undergraduate-photography-at-griffin-museum-of-photography-ma/
Many Boston photography institutions and galleries are sponsoring shows in association with Flash Forward Festival Boston this year, including the Griffin Museum of Photography, Gallery Kayafas, Photographic Resource Center, and the New England School of Photography. To see my review of the spectacular solo exhibit by Aline Smithson at the Griffin Museum, go to: http://elinspringphotography.com/blog/aline-smithson-self-and-others-at-griffin-museum-symone-walker/ To read my review of the witty conceptual solo exhibits by Matthew Gamber and Frank Egloff at Gallery Kayafas, go to: http://elinspringphotography.com/blog/frank-egloff-and-matthew-gamber-at-gallery-kayafas-boston/ For information about the locations, hours and scheduled receptions for each of these Boston exhibitors, refer to the Flash Forward exhibit schedule: http://www.flashforwardfestival.com/exhibitions/
Perhaps my favorite Flash Forward treat is the special exhibition by an invited curator. This year Karen Haas, the Lane Curator of Photographs at MFA, Boston is presenting A Fragile Balance, an exhibit featuring eight New England photographers whose work addresses “the critical tipping point we have reached in our increasingly tenuous relationship to the natural world and to others.” Caleb Charland, Christine Collins, Lisa Kereszi and Jesse Burke (feature image) explore our precarious relationship to the natural environment, while Justin Kimball, Eric Gottesman, S. Billie Mandle and Rania Matar (below) explore the social and psychological effects of the ways we treat one another. This promises to be a moving and intelligent show, with a special event scheduled for Friday May 6, 2016, beginning at 6pm. The reception will start with a conversation between curator Karen Haas and artists Christine Collins and Jesse Burke, followed by an exhibition party until 9:00pm. For more information about the exhibit and special reception, go to: http://www.flashforwardfestival.com/exhibition/a-fragile-balance/
There are a host of other Flash Forward exhibits and receptions, including one for Lines of Sight on May 2nd from 6-8pm, a show curated and hosted by Boston photographer Alicia Savage that features the inventive viewpoints of seven international photographers. For more information about this show, go to: http://www.flashforwardfestival.com/exhibition/lines-of-sight/
For a full schedule of events and exhibits during Flash Forward Festival Boston, go to:http://www.flashforwardfestival.com/
Feature Image: “Blistered, 2011” (detail) from the series and book Wild & Precious by Jesse Burke (courtesy of the artist and ClampArt, NYC).