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After Six Weeks of a Formidable Run of Exhibits, the FotoFest 2010 Biennial in Numbers
FotoFest, the United States’ largest citywide celebration of photography, put its 2010 focus on Contemporary U.S. Photography.
HOUSTON, TX.- The FotoFest 2010 Biennial closed its main events on Sunday, April 25, after a six-week run, which was marked by a formidable number of exhibitions, events, workshops, forums on contemporary curating, the world’s largest portfolio review for artists, an International Fine Print Auction, book signings, and a lot of networking between photographers who came from around the world.

FotoFest, the United States’ largest citywide celebration of photography, put its 2010 focus on Contemporary U.S. Photography and invited five curators from different regions of the country to present their visions of the field and what they felt best reflected photography in the U.S. today. The four main U.S. exhibitions were accompanied by a fifth, non-thematic exhibition, Discoveries of the Meeting Place, spotlighting ten artists who had presented work in the previous Biennial’s portfolio review. In addition to FotoFest’s own exhibitions, the city boomed with 111 independently organized photographic exhibitions citywide. The International Fine Print Auction featured 81 hand-picked international works; workshops focused on online multimedia and social networking technologies. There were films, gallery treks, artist-curator talks, and public Evenings with the Artists. An estimated 245,000-250,000 people attended the Biennial events over the six-week period.

Over 1,000 artists from 35 countries participated in the FotoFest 2010 Biennial. FotoFest featured the work of 57 photographers in its principal exhibitions, and 493 artists exhibited in independent shows. FotoFest itself sponsored 25 different events, offering opportunities for the public to tour the art works and encounter many of the artists. One of the most anticipated and praised events of the Biennial, the Meeting Place Portfolio Reviews welcomed 520 artists from 31 countries who shared their work with 172 reviewers from 24 countries. Several days of professional exchange, which provide career-building opportunities for participating artists, the Meeting Place is one of the distinctive features of the FotoFest Biennial and its stories are countless. Veterans of the Meeting Place return, year after year, because they find the dialogue and the exposure an irreplaceable tool for furthering their connections to the professional and museum world. Among the many stories are those of Sara Terry from New York who saw a collector buy several of her prints for the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and of Takeshi Shikama, a photographer from Japan who had his work taken to New York for AIPAD 2010 by John Cleary Gallery in Houston. The 16-day Meeting Place is the world’s largest portfolio review, and over its 26-year history, it has been a launching pad for the careers of hundreds of photographers. The 2010 Biennial got one of its best accolades this year from Bill Meyers in The Wall Street Journal, who called it “remarkable”.

The FotoFest 2010 Biennial Grand Opening took place on Friday, March 12, 2010 at the FotoFest headquarters and gallery – the site of Whatever was Splendid: New American Photographs, one of the four principal exhibitions of Contemporary U.S. Photography. It was attended by Houston Mayor Annise Parker and by an array of museum professionals; international consuls; patrons; collectors - including Mary and Roy Cullen, Marshall and Victoria Lightman, Bernadino and Mary Arocha and Carolyn Farb; and New York gallerists and collectors William Hunt and Brian Clamp. Guests also included the FotoFest 2010 Biennial curators: Natasha Egan, Aaron Schuman, Edward Robinson and Gilbert Vicario and many of the 45 exhibiting artists. In the ensuing weeks, the Media Workshops and the Fine Print Auction were attended by William Luers, former President of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and his wife Wendy; Tim Wirth, President of the United Nations Foundation, and his wife Wren; Jamie Niven, Vice President of Sotheby’s in New York; collectors Lynn Wyatt and Joaquim Paiva from Rio de Janeiro, Nion McEvoy of Chronicle Books in San Francisco.

The FotoFest Fine Print Auction provided a rare opportunity to encounter and acquire high quality contemporary fine art photography from five continents. Conducted by Denise Bethel, Sotheby’s Senior Vice President and Director of Photographs Department, it played to a full house of 400 people on Tuesday March 23, 2010 at the Doubletree Hotel Houston Downtown. The auction brought in $363,575 and all 81 lots sold to bidders from the U.S. (especially New York, California, Tennessee and Texas), Latin America and Europe. Revenues from print sales at the auction benefit FotoFest artist programs and the Portfolio Reviews. Proceeds from Auction ticket and table sponsorships benefit FotoFest’s artist programs and FotoFest’s Literacy Through Photography year-round classroom-based education program in Houston-area public schools.

The FotoFest 2010 Biennial | Contemporary U.S. Photography | Denise Bethel |




Last Week News

May 2, 2010

Two Person Exhibition by Michael Joo and Damien Hirst at Haunch of Venison in Berlin

Expanded Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Opens Its Doors

Israeli Artist Avigdor Arikha Dies at 81 on Thursday in Paris

Metronom to Show Works by Bruno Cattani, Michele Buda and Enrico Moretti

Socrates Sculpture Park Presents Eleven New Works

Photos of Women's Pub Outings Offer a Snapshot of Churchillian Post-War Spirit

Denver Art Museum to Unveil Artist-Centric American Indian Galleries

Key Figure in Minimalist Painting, Jo Baer, Exhibits at Barbara Thumm Gallery

Susan Wides Explores NYC and Its Environs in Exhibition at Kim Foster Gallery

Marc Jancou Contemporary Showing Videos and Sculptures by Meredith James

Sale of Southeast Asian Modern & Contemporary Art Announced at Christie's

Kendell Geers' "Handgrenades From My Heart" at Galerie Rodolphe Janssen

Site-Specific Installation by Jiri Kovanda at the Secession

Midlands Arts Centre Opens Following 15 Million Pound Transformation

Michael Snow Pushes Every Possible Button of Artistic Expression at Klosterfelde

TheGreatNude Invitational to Highlight Artworks Featuring the Nude Form

Haitian Study from Now Destroyed Port-au-Prince Cathedral Mural Added to Bonhams Sale

Austria at the EXPO 2010 Shanghai Features Mozart's Music

Giant Maya Figureheads to be Restored

OJ Simpson Acquittal Suit Arrives at Newseum in DC

May 1, 2010

Shanghai Opens Multi-Billion-Dollar Expo with Dazzling Display of Fireworks

Interesting Survey of Key Artistic Schools at Sotheby's Sale

Oakland Museum of California Reopens with Dramatic Presentation of Collections

Leading Works Light Up Christie's Post-War & Contemporary Art Evening Sale

Rare Guercino Painting Acquired by the Kimbell Art Museum

New Photography and Sculpture by Liu Bolin at Eli Klein Fine Art

First Contemporary Sculpture Acquisition for Dulwich Picture Gallery

Georgia O'Keeffe Museum Makes Over 3,000 Items Available for View Online

Shane Guffogg and Jon Krawczyk: Neo-Modern at Leslie Sacks Fine Art

Mario Ybarra Jr. Presents Two Installations at Galerie Michael Janssen

Gans Gift of 50 Works of English Silver Elevates Stature of VMFA's Collection

National Maritime Museum Launches Toy Boats Exhibition

Big Guns Turn Out for Bonhams Fine Arms & Armour with a 1.1 Million Pound Result

Florida GOP Plans to Auction Oil Painting of Gov. Charlie Crist

Amon Carter Museum Receives $118,000 in Education Grants

Burials Were Discovered at Tlatelolco

Armenians in Turkey 100 Years Ago at the Brunei Gallery

Magnificent Russian Imperial Orders will Be Sold by Morton & Eden/Sotheby's

Great British Composers: From Elgar to Ades at the National Portrait Gallery

Russian Businessman and Owner of Stalin Museum, Vasily Bukhtiyenko, Killed in Russia

April 30, 2010

Shanghai Opens Multi-Billion-Dollar Expo with Dazzling Display of Fireworks

Sotheby's to Sell John Lennon's Handwritten Lyrics for A Day In The Life

Magnificent Maps: Power, Propaganda and Art at the British Library

Exhibition in Venice Examines the Evolution of Utopian Ideas

Breathtaking Chihuly Exhibition Among Meijer Gardens' Largest

Michael Darling is Named New Chief Curator of MCA Chicago

New Work from Greg Smith on View at Susan Inglett Gallery

George IV's Tastes in Dutch Art on Show in Edinburgh, Scotland

Sampson and Horne's Legacy Makes Over 1 Million Pounds at Bonhams

Landscapes by Liebermann, Corinth, and Slevogt at Wallraf-Richartz Museum

Vinyl Factory Releases Exclusive Art Edition by Grace Jones & Chris Levine

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art Announces Portrait, Sculpture

New, Six-Part Series by Andreas Gursky at Sprüth Magers in Berlin

New Photography Exhibit at BYU Presents Sly Examination of Suburban Life in 1970s America

Group Exhibition Curated by Gao Minglu Opens at Contrasts Gallery

Denise Grünstein Exhibits Four Series of Photographs at Kiasma

Anna Artaker Continues Her Work on Death Masks at the Secession

Pictures, Objects, Concepts from the Collection of Herman and Nicole Daled at Haus der Kunst

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts Opens Multimedia Retrospective of Jazz Musician Miles Davis

National Archives Opens Groundbreaking Civil War Exhibition

April 29, 2010

Exhibition of Monumental Sculpture by Colombian Artist Fernando Botero at Marlborough

British Artist Roger Hiorns Creates Sculpture for Art Institute

Most Comprehensive Show of Frida Kahlo's Work Ever Staged Opens in Berlin

Santiago Calatrava Collaborates with the New York City Ballet

Iconic Portraits of Powerful and Influential Figures at Atlas Gallery

Joseph Kleitsch Highlights Auction of California and Western Paintings

Mamma Andersson and Jockum Nordstrom Exhibit at David Zwirner

Anne Frank's Full Diary on Display at the House Where She Wrote It

Cleaners Paint Over Priceless Stencil of a Rat by Banksy

Los Angeles Artist Mark Ryden Presents New Work at Paul Kasmin Gallery

Single-Owner Collection of The Who Memorabilia Highlights Christie's Sale

Lee Bul's Utopian Modernity on View at Lehmann Maupin

Ackland Art Museum Receives Extraordinary Gift of 51 Works

Woodmere Museum Collection Brings Noteworthy Results at Bonhams

Sculptural Installations by Francis Upritchard at Vienna's Secession

Fantasies and Fairy-Tales: Maxfield Parrish and the Art of the Print Opens at Everson

National Portrait Gallery Announces BP Portrait Award 2010 Shortlist

New Work by British Painter Nigel Cooke at Stuart Shave/Modern Art

California Dealer Reaches Plea Deal in Phony Picasso Case

April 28, 2010

Christie's Dubai Auction of Modern and Contemporary Art Realises 3 Times Its Estimate

Unseen Sorolla Leads Spanish Section of European Paintings Sale at Sotheby's

Pinta London: A New Chapter in the Expansion of Latin American Art

Sotheby's Amsterdam Presents Paintings of Great Historical Value

The Re-Inauguration of Jaffa Gate in the Old City in Jerusalem

Shanghai Expo Designer Denies Mascot Copy of Gumby

After ArtParis: New Horizons for Caroline Clough-Lacoste

Volker Hueller's Hand-Coloured Etchings at Timothy Taylor Gallery

Skylar Fein's "Remember The Upstairs Lounge" Opens in New York

Unique Photographs, Previously Unseen in the UK, at Michael Hoppen Gallery

Hammer Museum & LACMA Jointly Acquire Edition Jacob Samuel Archive

First Free Sol Lewitt Copy by SUPERFLEX Leaves the Van Abbemuseum

ROM Announces Largest Single Juried Display of African Canadian Art

Amon Carter Museum to Exhibit Ansel Adams Photographs

Sotheby's Announces London Sale of Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art

The Art of Dance: Sculpture by Emma Rodgers at the Walker Art Gallery

Ten London Artists Respond to Italian Modern Art

Doll Dressed by Queen Victoria's Eldest Daughter to Sell at Bonhams

April 27, 2010

Museo Picasso in Málaga Presents a New Approach to Its Permanent Collection

Olafur Eliasson: Inner City Out Opens at Martin Gropius Bau

Doug and Mike Starn Create Monumental Sculpture for Metropolitan Museum'

Art World Remembers Artist Jeanne-Claude in New York City

Landmark Exhibition of Siqueiros Landscape Paintings Announced

Picture Bought by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Surfaces at Bonhams

Insects, Antlers, and Bones Given New Life as Unforgettable Works of Art

Figge Art Museum Unveils Exhibition of the Deere Art Collection

Recent Work by Erwin Olaf Featured in Second Solo Exhibition at Hamiltons

Allison Gildersleeve and Erik Jeor Exhibit at Allegra LaViola Gallery

Artists Announced for Ambitious Exhibition of Contemporary British Art

Tate Britain Announces Major Eadweard Muybridge Retrospective

Moana: Cultures of the Pacific Islands at the National Museum of Anthropology

Group Raises $12.5M Goal for Hollywood Sign Land

Amon Carter Museum Announces New Assistant Facilities Manager

Science Museum Stages Egyptian Makeup Workshop at April Lates

Leon Golub: Live & Die Like a Lion? at The Drawing Center

Lismore Castle Arts Presents Gerard Byrne Curated by Mike Fitzpatrick

Christie's Fine Art Storage Services Announces New Facilities in New York and Singapore

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