Conference spectacular:SPEMA comes to town

Philly Vernacular Spectacular poster
Postcard announcing the Vernacular Spectacular Extravaganza show at Penn in conjunction with SPEMA conference. Click to see it large then click all sizes to actually read it.

Libby and I are involved with the SPEMA conference this weekend. We’ve been going to the Society of Photography Educators, Mid-Atlantic region conference as portfolio reviewers for several years. And we’re thrilled that this year the “do” is in Philadelphia, right in our backyard at University of Pennsylvania’s Meyerson Hall!!

John Waters
John Waters, Keynote Speaker, SPEMA Conference this weekend. Photo by Greg Gorman.

Artblog pal and frequent contributor Colette Copeland co-organized the conference with Gabe Martinez. And they’ve cooked up a wild child of a conference with some great-sounding exhibits and talks by (roll the drums) filmmaker and art collector John Waters and the Reverend Billy, a performance artist with something called “The Church of Stop Shopping” that I want to join (or let’s say I want my daughter to join).

Rev. Billy
Reverend Billy, speaking Saturday afternoon at SPEMA Conference.

Martinez, who heads the photography department at Penn, co-organized the Vernacular Spectacular Extravaganza exhibit with Jeremiah Misfeldt; Colette organized the video festival exhibit; Zoe Strauss juried the student snapshot exhibit and in addition there’s an MFA student photo show. The exhibits are up and there are receptions this Friday night, 5-7 pm.

You can register at the conference site, Meyerson Hall, University of Pennsylvania, 210 S. 34th St. on Friday 3-7 pm and Saturday 8-12 pm. The prices for registering are on the website.

Becky Young
Becky Young, honored educator, taught in the Penn Fine Arts department since 1975. She retired in 2005.

Waters speaks at 7:15 pm. Friday night. That, however, is open to conference participants and the Penn community only. I believe there’s a $20 fee for the talk if you’re not registered for the conference.

The exhibit has many other speakers and presentations and then, of course, the portfolio reviews for students and professionals. This year, Harris Fogel of the University of the Arts’ photography galleries will be reviewing portfolios looking for artists for his galleries. Lots of other folks will be reviewing work. Check it out if you’re interested.

Invitational Vernacular Spectacular Extravaganza, Nov. 2-24, opening reception, Friday, Nov. 10, 5-7 pm, is in the Lower Gallery, Meyerson Hall, 210 S. 34th St., UP

Video festival, Saturday, Nov. 11, 8 am-3 pm, B3 Meyerson.

Regional Juried Student Snapshot Exhibition, Juror Zoe Strauss, Nov. 2-11, opening reception, Friday, Nov. 10, 5-7 pm, Upper Gallery, Meyerson Hall

MFA Photo Exhibition, UPenn, Charles Addams Gallery, 200 S. 36th St. Upenn