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Atlanta Celebrates Photography

By Collin Kelley, Managing Editor

Atlanta Celebrates Photography (ACP) returns this month with over 150 exhibitions, events, and lectures throughout the city, including the return of the “My Atlanta” project at Piedmont Park.

This year’s extravaganza also brings noted photographers from around the world to Atlanta to discuss and exhibit their work in a series of lectures and shows, including Larry Sultan (who’s iconic My Mother Posing for Me, 1984 is pictured here), London’s Tate Modern curator Emma Dexter, Bruce Davidson and Paul Aresu.

According to ACP executive director Anne Dennington, the organization closely examined last year’s event and refocused to provide more of what visitors wanted. “This year we are creating the template that will be used for all the future ACP festivals,” Dennington said. “We think this year’s show will be the balance everyone wants.”

The refocusing also helped ACP grow: more than 200 photographers are involved, along with 150 venues scattered all over metro Atlanta. Dennington admits that seeing everything during the month-long celebration will be a stretch.

“We’ve reached the point where you can’t see everything, but there is diversity and everyone will find something of interest,” she said.

“My Atlanta,” the opening event of the festival, returns this year with a new theme: a celebration of dance. Amateur and professional photographers are encouraged to take photos of dancers of all ages in different settings around the city and bring them to the Piedmont Park Bath House on Sunday, Oct. 9. The photos will be hung in the Bath House, judges will choose the best and prizes will be awarded.

“A new component of ACP will be the Portfolio Review,” Dennington said. This day-long event on Saturday, Oct. 1, will give participating photographers a chance to meet with curators, editors and agents who might be interested in purchasing or representing their work. A number of New York galleries will have representatives, as well as the Magnum Photo Agency and Photograph magazine.

“This event gives photographers access to people they couldn’t just call and say come look at my work,” Dennington said. “It’s a chance for the photographers to move to a new level.”

Photography collectors will have the opportunity to hear with their peers, collector’s seminar on Saturday, Oct. 15, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Arnall Golden Gregory gallery (171 17th St., Suite 2100).

The heart and soul of the ACP event is the galleries and spaces hosting photography exhibits this month. While too numerous to mention here, some of the bigger ones include the Annie Liebovitz show “American Music” at Jackson Fine Art. Fay Gold Gallery will celebrate its 25th anniversary in Atlanta during ACP with work by Robert Mapple-thorpe, Andres Serrano, Herb Ritts, Cindy Sherman and Sandy Skoglund.

Dennington said a complete guide for ACP is available online at, and printed programs are available at local galleries, bookshops and coffeeshops now.

The idea of Atlanta Celebrates Photography was first conceived during the summer of 1997 by a group of local photographers, educators and museum professionals. The goal was to have a regular event in which photographers could come together to network, share resources and talents, discuss issues, and grow professionally.  

By 2003, the festival had grown to include over one-hundred photographic exhibitions and events.  Two of the co-founders, Corinne Adams and Susan Todd-Raque, have remained active in the organization and been integral to its growth.

For more information on Atlanta Celebrates Photography, call (404) 634-8664 or email