Up & Now

Music

I blame passionate educators for my love of photography—those that made me read Susan Sontag, and Diane Ackerman’s A Natural History of the Senses (he insisted it would help, and it did), and the History of Photography professor who convinced me of the art form’s power and potential, especially in the 20th century. I’ve felt the cultural worth of a good photograph diminish in the eight years since I took that class, now that everyone is a photographer—we see so many images that we forget to actually look at them. But there are people who still care about artfulness in photography. In Seattle, a good chunk of them operate the Photographic Center Northwest, a place where anyone can take classes, use the darkroom, and view (usually) excellent shows. “Up & Now” is the Center’s 12th annual Photographic Competition Exhibition, with entrants from around the country, like Oakland’s Aly Su Borst. It was curated by Charlotte Cotton of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, who’ll lecture here on “Photography as Contemporary Art” on Aug. 3. If all the snaps you’ve seen lately come from Flickr, consider this show for a breath of fresh art.

 
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