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PHotoEspaña 2014 attracts 718,000 visitors to an edition dedicated entirely to the visual arts in Spain
PHE14 featured exhibitions and activities in Alcalá de Henares, Alcobendas, Cuenca, Getafe, Madrid, Lanzarote and Zaragoza, and exceptionally this year, at cultural centers in Almería, Arlés, Cádiz, Logroño, London and Toulouse. Photo: ©Jacobo Medrano.

MADRID.- PHotoEspaña 2014 closed officially last July 27. However, 23 of the 110 exhibitions that made up this year’s festival will remain open until the beginning of September. According to the latest data, the 17th Festival of Photography and Visual Arts exceeded 718,000 visitors.

PHE14 was made possible through the invaluable help provided by the Community of Madrid’s Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports, the cities of Alcobendas, Alcalá de Henares, Cuenca, Zaragoza, Getafe and the Cabildo of Lanzarote; the foundations of Banco Santander, Banco Sabadell, Canal, ICO and Loewe; and companies such as Samsung, Mahou and smart, who year after year have shown their confidence and have actively participated in organizing this ambitious project that garnered more than 3,000 reviews in national and international media.

After seventeen editions, PHotoEspaña confronts its future having become one of the most acclaimed cultural events of the international calendar year, despite the difficulties faced by the cultural sector in our country. Once again, the festival saw its budget cut by 11% compared to the previous year. This decrease was mainly the result of reduced institutional participation, which meant that public funding was just 17% of the total. This figure represents even more of a contrast when compared to early editions of the festival, when public investment in the event reached 40% of the budget. For PHotoEspaña’s organizers, public participation must increase if the viability of the festival is not to be compromised.

In 2014 PHotoEspaña featured 110 exhibitions and events with the participation of 440 artists –75% of them Spanish– in the cities of Alcalá de Henares, Alcobendas, Cuenca, Getafe, Madrid, Lanzarote and Zaragoza. On an exceptional basis the festival collaborated with Almería’s Centro Andaluz de la Fotografía, the Kursala in Cádiz and the Casa de la Imagen in Logroño. PHE14 presented the work of Spanish artists at Les Rencontres d’Arles, at London’s 12 Star Gallery and Le Chateau d’Eau in Toulouse, initiatives representing a promotion impetus and support for Spanish photography which were the principal objectives of this edition.

In the words of Claude Bussac, PHotoEspaña’s director, the number of visitors confirms that “the public welcomed with enthusiasm the celebration of Spanish photography offered by PHotoEspaña 2014’s program of events, and validates the interest shown by the public in our country’s visual arts in an edition devoted entirely to Spanish photography.”

“The expansion of PHotoEspaña’s territory has brought a unique and ample panorama of Spanish photography, developed in collaboration with important curators and specialists, to a wide public, a goal impossible to achieve without the faithful support of the public sector, businesses and brands that year after year have contributed to celebration of the Festival,” Bussac affirms. He also highlights the presence of Spanish photography in the international media, “The attention received each year from the international press on the activities of PHotoEspaña extended on this occasion to Spanish photography in general, which was given special coverage, a highly satisfying result that reaffirms our commitment to the international promotion of Spanish visual arts.”

The next edition of PHotoEspaña will take place from June 3 – July 26, 2015, and will follow the path begun with this edition, focusing on new geographic regions, specifically Latin American photography.

Meanwhile, PHotoEspaña’s activities will continue. Next September 27 and 28 the photographer Ricardo Casas will direct a new PHotoWalk on the island of Lanzarote and in the autumn other projects will be organized on the other side of the Atlantic. Trasatlántica, a program promoting the encounter of professionals and specialized networks in the sector of photography and the visual arts across Latin America, will organize, with the help of AECID, events in Honduras, at the Spanish Cultural Center in Tegucigalpa (November 5 - 7), and in Argentina, at the Parque de España Cultural Center/AECID in Rosario (November 26 - 28). In 2015, PHotoEspaña will return to Brazil, and in collaboration with the Servicio Social de Comercio-SESC, will organize a program of activities, including encounters, talks and master lectures in São Paulo.

PIC.A | PHotoEspaña International School Alcobendas
The Alcobendas City Hall and PHotoEspaña offer new courses at the PHotoEspaña International School Alcobendas. The international school of photography launches its second year of activities with an extensive program of classes covering both basic and amateur as well as professional levels, including post-graduate studies.

PIC.A will host the 7th edition of PHotoEspaña Master in Photography: theory and artistic projects. This post-graduate course aims to stimulate the production of photography and contribute to the professionalization of the field. During the course, offered annually, participants will create a portfolio of photographs, an artist’s book and a group show, with the goal of learning how images articulate their discourse through the use of distinct media. The faculty of PHotoEspaña Master will feature the participation of Javier Vallhonrat, Chema Conesa, Alberto Anaut, Horacio Fernández, Jem Southam, Gonzalo Romero, Gerardo Mosquera, Nuria Julbe, José Bautista, Christopher Morris, Rosell Meseguer, David López, Sèrgio Mah, Carlos Gollonet, Laura González Flores, Mary Virginia Swanson and Donald Weber, among others.

Also offered annually, the school presents specialist and professional-level graduate courses in eight specialties: Books, Photojournalism, Multimedia, Printing and Management, Still Life, Studio (lighting and special techniques), Landscape and Photoshop for photographers, as well as Basic Studies, introductory courses in photography aimed at those wishing to learn how to use digital cameras and printing programs. Finally, PIC.A offers, on a quarterly basis, a program of themed workshops, given by artists and experts in photography with broadly acclaimed careers, classes aimed at professionalization that provide photographers with the tools necessary for the promotion of their work and professional seminars that delve into different areas of photography such as printing, curating and management.

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