International geographic

Mary Ellen Mark, Alex Webb & Rebecca Norris Webb to lecture at Center for Photography at Woodstock

by Paul Smart
August 25, 2011 10:46 AM | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Mary Ellen Mark’s South Beach, Miami, Florida 1979
Mary Ellen Mark’s South Beach, Miami, Florida 1979
The Center for Photography at Woodstock (CPW) has been having a very good summer. Its “CAMP: Visiting Day” exhibition, curated by executive director Ariel Shanberg, has drawn accolades and large audiences for its unique glimpses into the ways in which our past summers off haunt us ever after, while “Becoming Muses,” showing several families who have modeled for a variety of photographic artists over the years, has reminded the local community just how key CPW has been to Woodstock over the years.

Weekend photo workshops have been busy and crowded, and the Saturday-night lectures have drawn a steady crowd not only of photo enthusiasts, but also of growing numbers of artists of all stripes looking for both inspiration and a chance to spend evenings discussing aesthetics, working methods and the role that culture plays in making our lives meaningful.

Over the coming term, CPW will not only start to draw its annual season of workshops and lectures to a close, but also build toward its annual auction, set to take place over the coming Columbus Day weekend on October 9. Moreover, it’ll be hosting some of its more popular events of each year in the lecture world, including both a talk and demonstration by Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb on the subject of “Personal Photojournalism” this Saturday, August 27, and the legendary Mary Ellen Mark in her annual outing to Woodstock on Saturday night, September 3.

Alex Webb, a longtime member of the noted Magnum Photos team and regular at National Geographic and The New York Times Magazine, has become known for his politically complicated color work in Latin America and the Caribbean and a growing body of well-received books. Originally a poet, Rebecca Norris Webb has gained a reputation – and growing museum representation – for her focus on the complicated relationship between people and the natural world.

Mark, meanwhile, is legendary for her portraits, her committed explorations of modern life’s underbelly, as well as her still-relevant work with Seattle homeless kids that became the film Streetwise. She is a regular at The New Yorker and Vanity Fair, has published 14 books including the most recent Seen behind the Scene: 40 Years of Photographing on Set, and has become known as one of the greats that the entire field has produced over its 150-plus-year history.

“I think you have to have a real point of view that’s your own. You have to tell it your way. And I think it’s a mistake to shoot for a specific magazine’s point of view, because it’s never going to be as good,” she has said of her working style. “I just think that it’s important to be direct and honest with people about why you’re photographing them and what you’re doing. After all, you are taking some of their soul.”

Reservations are not taken for spaces at CPW’s Saturday-night lectures, which start at 8 p.m. at its main gallery located at 59 Tinker Street, just past Tannery Brook on the west side of town. So get there early and give yourself time to check out whatever’s on display, which will include “CAMP” and “Becoming Muses” this week, and then a preview of auction goods. For further information call (845) 679-9957 or visit

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