Since 1995, Fotoseptiembre has showcased the best local and international photographers in San Antonio. A growing eminent force in the photography world, the 2016 festival is curated exceptionally and contains the perfect balance of revived city pride and appreciation for other unique, influential photography artists.

The September festival especially prides itself on its community-based style and values that are not specifically thematic, although participants seem to naturally form a common motif each year. Curated exhibitions constitute the majority of the festival; however, competitive exhibitions such as those by the Texas Photographic Society are a refreshing and welcomed addition. The director of Fotoseptiembre, Michael Mehl, is a prominent photographer as well as the curator of the festival.

I had the pleasure of visiting several different exhibits; however, there were a few that stuck out. The first, an exhibit by San Antonio native David Rubin titled “Visions II,” which was on display from Sept. 8-11. I had the pleasure of meeting Rubin the day after his highly successful opening reception at Joseph’s, an upscale menswear retailer. Part-time photography teacher and full-time dad, the well-rounded photographer informed me that he was a participant in Fotoseptiembre in 2015 and had a “huge response,” which prompted him to participate this year. He asserted that Fotoseptiembre director, Mehl, “does a great job of having interesting photographers organize and promote” the festival.

The second exhibition that caught my eye was an exhibit titled Making Fact And Fiction, which is curated by Libby Rowe and Scott Sherer located at UTSA’s Main Campus Art Gallery in the art building and on display until Friday, Sept. 30. The exhibit features Texas artists Tami Bone, Shelley Calton and Polly Chandler. In addition, the exhibit showcases both Troy Colby living in Kansas and Tytia Habing living in Illinois. The display is primarily based on narrative photography that is meant to convey stories that encourage the viewer to form their own interpretations and conclusions. The show follows the regular art gallery hours and is free and open to the public.

Lastly, I was very impressed with photographer D. Clarke Evans’ “Photographic Projects: World War II Veterans & U.S. Marines” located at the University of the Incarnate Word in the Semmes Gallery at the Kelso Art Center. The exhibit follows the Semmes Galleries regular hours, is free and open to the public, and is on display until Sept. 30. Evans’ exhibit centers around honoring veterans but also providing insight into their daily lives to portray life after service. UTSA junior Antonio Lopez asserts “Evans’ work shows viewers that it takes a special kind of person to earn the title of marine and that these people put their all into serving our country and into their daily lives.” What truly makes Evans’ photography style unique is the fact that he interviews and ensures that the photographs he snaps embodies each individual in the photos—the essence of each subject is truly captured.

Alongside exhibitions and events that take place throughout the city, there are a number of web galleries that present the very talented work of several different photographers on the Fotoseptiembre website. One of my favorites is Frank Herfort’s “Time In Between,” curated by festival director Michael Mehl. Herfort is native to Leipzig, Germany and has spent a lot of time in Russia examining daily life there, in which his art is primarily focused. “Time In Between” is focused on the concept of “everlasting waiting,” in which time is permanently frozen or still. The exhibit is meant to convey a multi-faceted interpretation of the modern Russian lifestyle. You can access Fotoseptiembre web galleries on the festival’s official website at fotoseptiembreusa.com.

 

Other exhibits definitely worth visiting:

Exhibit name: “Kick It Old School”

Location: Freight Gallery & Studios

Dates: Sept. 10 – Oct. 1

Viewing hours: Tues. – Sat., Noon-5 p.m.

Exhibit name: “Borderland”

Location: Cinnabar Art Gallery

Dates: August 25 – October 9

Viewing hours: Wed. – Sun., Noon-6 p.m.

Exhibit name: “Graciela Iturbide: A Lens to See”

Location: Ruiz-Healy Art

Dates: Sept. 8 – Oct. 15

Viewing hours: Tue. – Sat., 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. and by appointment

 

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