The Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition is proud to be offering a new program this year called “Portfolio Reviews.” Portfolio reviews are 20-minute, in-person, one-on-one review sessions with curators, Appalachian State University photography faculty, gallery owners, and publishers, in which the photographer and reviewer will discuss a portfolio of 20 of the photographer’s best images.
Portfolio Reviews are a great way to network with reviewers and photography colleagues. Below is a list of the reviewers for this year’s program. Read on for more detailed biographies.
- Brian Bookwalter
- Martin Church
- Bridget Conn
- Lauren Greenwald
- Dot Griffith
- Ann Pegelow Kaplan
- John Latimer
- Michael O’Neill
- Jessica Christine Owen
- Joshua White
- Chip Williams
Brian Brookwalter earned a BA in Economics and Environmental Science from Bucknell University and his MS degree in Photography from The Brooks Institute of Photography. Brian has owned and operated Bookwalter Photography LLC since 2002 specializing in architectural, editorial, and commercial photography. Bookwalter Photography has been based in Indianapolis, IN, Houston, TX and Boone, NC. In the past 12 years he has had over 2000 of his images published in regional, national and international magazines, including 120 covers. Brian is currently an Assistant Professor in the Commercial Photography program at Appalachian State University.
Martin Church is a lifelong student of photography. A native of Watauga County, he was first taught black and white photography at Mabel Elementary School by the school librarian, Mable Mast. His first inspiration was the landscape of the Appalachian Mountains in western North Carolina and southwest Virginia. Later, as a student at Virginia Intermont College, he was trained in Ansel Adam’s process of the Zone System and became a proponent of Edward Weston’s concept of Previsualization. While a graduate student at Radford University, he researched elements of chance and developed an alternative approach he calls Advancing Backward. This work involves experimental techniques such as timed exposures, paper negatives and multiple images. His photographs are made using many formats and media of subjects that incorporate the landscape, portraits and one’s relationship to the environment. Martin has shown work in various venues and published in national magazines including Fine Woodworking and The Photo Review. He has taught photography and art at Virginia Western Community College, Radford University, James Madison University and conducted children’s workshops in after school programs. He currently teaches in the Art Department at Appalachian State University.
Bridget Conn earned her BFA in Photography from Tulane University in 2000, and her MFA from the University of Georgia in 2003, focusing in Photography, Mixed Media, and Installation. She has taught at numerous colleges throughout the Southeast, and is currently the Photography professor at Blue Ridge Community College, and a Darkroom Photography instructor at Warren Wilson College. She is also the Founder and Executive Director of The Asheville Darkroom, a non-profit educational facility focused on providing classes, workshops, and member access to facilities. Bridget’s personal artwork has encompassed both digital and analog photography processes, as well as non-traditional media. Her current body of work explores chemigrams: abstract imagery made by breaking just about every darkroom rule ever established.
Lauren Greenwald is a visual artist and educator working primarily in photography and video. Her work focuses on landscape, perception, and the experiential, incorporating a range of digital and analog processes. Ms. Greenwald received her B.A. in Art History and French from the College of Charleston and her M.F.A. in Studio Art, with a minor in Museum Studies, from the University of New Mexico. During her time in New Mexico, she worked with several New Mexico arts institutions, including Land Arts of the American West, SITE Santa Fe, and Radius Books, and has exhibited regionally and nationally. She was Visiting Assistant Professor at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, NM for two years before relocating to Columbia, SC in 2014, where she is Assistant Professor of Photography in the School of Visual Art and Design at the University of South Carolina.
Dot Griffith is a photographer who studied at the University of Georgia in Athens. After spending time in Italy as a graduate assistant teaching photography, Dot moved to NYC, where she worked freelance for many years. She opened a studio in Atlanta, where she worked with architects, designers, and authors, as well as regional and national magazines. She eventually moved to the mountains of North Carolina to raise her family, and has since traveled extensively, both domestically with Appalachian Voices, to photograph the effects of coal extraction and coal ash on our Appalachian mountains, and abroad with Waterkeeper Alliance, to document the destruction coal use has wrought on the earth’s ecosystems. In her personal work, decay has been an ongoing focus that Dot continues to explore. She lives in Linville with her dog, Shug, two cats and four chickens.
Ann Pegelow Kaplan
Ann Pegelow Kaplan is Visiting Assistant Professor of Cultural, Gender and Global Studies at Appalachian State University. She served previously as Visiting Assistant Professor of Art at Elon University and Visiting Faculty at Philippines Women’s University in Manila. Kaplan works at the intersection of visual arts and documentary to juxtapose fact, fiction, and questions of truth. Both an artist and ethnographer, she earned an MFA from Clemson University and MA in ethnography/folklore from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Her current photography and video work follows her own autobiographical threads to explore modern day instances of oppression, considering in an age of difference what our relationships to one another as human beings are now and could be. Recently her work has shown at Vermont Studio Center, Light Factory Contemporary Museum of Photography, University of Texas, Manifest Creative Research Gallery, North Carolina Museum of Art, and SOHO20 Gallery Chelsea. Her artist presentations include College Art Association’s THAT Camp, 50th Anniversary Meeting of the Society of Photographic Education, and F/Stop Festival für Fotografie, Leipzig, Germany.
John Latimer is the coordinator of the Commercial Photography program at Appalachian State University. He holds an MFA in photography from RIT. For over 12 years prior to coming to ASU in 2010 John owned and operated a professional fine art printing studio working with national and internationally recognized photographers. His clients include Jerry Uelsmann, Maggie Taylor, Catherine Opie, Carl Chiarenza, The George Eastman House, the Barbara Gladstone Gallery amoung others. John has also shown his own personal work nationally and internationally. His personal interests in imaging relate color theory and perception in printing and Photoshop editing.
Michael O’Neill was born in 1974, in Watford, England. After graduating with a B.A. in Psychology at Wake Forest, he worked as a freelance commercial photography assistant, architectural photographer and instructor at The Light Factory in Charlotte, NC, before earning his MFA at New Mexico State University in 2007. His thesis project, “Gazing” consisted of large format pinhole photographs made during figure drawing sessions in his models’ homes. The photographs depict the relationship between photographer and subject and explore the expectations of each in a ritualized exchange. His newest work consists of stitched panoramic images using a specially converted infrared camera that explores the manipulated landscape. Michael’s work has been exhibited in numerous group shows around the country and has been exhibited in a solo exhibition at Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana. Michael is currently a full time commercial photographer and teacher.
Jessica Christine Owen
Jessica Christine Owen is an artist and educator whose work explores the evolution and standards of Western beauty and the representation of identity. Her work utilizes both historical and contemporary photographic processes. She received her BFA in Photography and BA in Art History from New Mexico State University. She completed her MFA in Photography at the University of South Carolina.
Joshua White is an artist and educator whose work explores scientific themes in a poetic way, using sculpture, photography, and mixed media to investigate memory, mortality, ecology, and sustainability. His images have been shown nationally, most recently in a solo show at the Griffin Museum of Photography in Massachusetts, and his series A Photographic Survey of the American Yard was featured in the September 2015 issue of National Geographic. White received his MFA in Photography from Arizona State University, and is the Photography Area Coordinator in Studio Art at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC.
Prior to coming to Appalachian State University as a faculty member, Chip Williams worked as a corporate and editorial freelance photographer and filmmaker for over 20 years in Chicago. He photographed for national magazines such as Smithsonian, US News & World Report, ESPN the Magazine, Kiplinger’s, Money and Parade to name a few. Previous to relocating to Appalachia and the Blue Ridge Mountains, Chip was actively involved in prairie restoration, working extensively with the Lake County Forest Preserve District in Illinois as a client. He extensively photographed their work in this area, as well as wildlife monitoring and naturalist education. His work can be found at http://www.chipwilliams.com.
Visit our Portfolio Review page for more detailed information on the program.