Our Top 10 Picks for Fotoseptiembre 2016

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6. ‘Caras III’ The cara (Spanish for face) is a strange thing. Capable of telling a person’s entire life story, obscuring it, revealing true feelings, or of disguising/altering them, the face is the initial brand by which we come to associate the substance of a person with their form. Considering this truism in depth, and boasting portraiture work by more than 20 local photo artists — Rolando Briseño, Melanie Rush Davis, Trish Simonite and Ramin Samandari among them — “Caras III” is an extension of the “Nuestras Caras” and “Caras II” projects that began as community collaborations with the San Antonio Museum of Art’s “Retratos” exhibition back in 2006. Free, opening reception 6-9pm Fri, Sept. 16, on view 9am-5pm Mon-Fri through Oct. 14, closing reception 6-9pm Fri, Oct. 14, Centro Cultural Aztlan, 1800 Fredericksburg Road, (210) 432-1896, centroaztlan.org

click to enlarge Photographic Society of America’s 78th Annual Conference & International Exhibition
Photographic Society of America’s 78th Annual Conference & International Exhibition

7. Photographic Society of America’s 78th Annual Conference & International Exhibition This year, the Photographic Society of America will host its annual Conference and International Exhibit in San Antonio to fall smack in the middle of Fotoseptiembre. The conference, which will run during the same time frame as the exhibition, will feature seminars, workshops, image projections and plentiful opportunities for networking. Students, educators, amateurs, and old pros are encouraged to attend (see website for more details). While we don’t know much yet about the exhibit, judging by its international scope, we are entirely prepared to be blown away. Free, opening reception 6-8pm Tue, Sept. 13, on view 1-6pm Wed-Fri through Sept. 16, closing reception 5pm Fri, Sept. 16, Wyndham San Antonio Riverwalk, 111 E. Pecan St., (847) 636-7543, psa-photo.org.

8. Scott Mueller: ‘Nick Bottom and the Dark Gloomy Root Vegetables’ How about a photo exhibit that combines the donkey-licious shadow of one of Shakespeare’s most offbeat and humorous characters with a consideration of the glories of root vegetables? If that sounds just crazy enough to be perfect, that’s because it absolutely is. In “Nick Bottom and the Dark Gloomy Root Vegetables,” photographer Scott Mueller gets weird and playful as he uses a variety of photographic techniques (including transfers and gum oils) to create intriguing images of his ground-dwelling subjects. Free, opening reception 6-9pm Sat, Sept. 10, on view 4-8pm Wed, noon-5pm Fri, 11am-5pm Sat, 1-5pm Sun through Sept. 30, Gallery 20/20, 1010 S. Flores St., Suite 108, (210) 473-8331, gallery2020.net

click to enlarge ‘Ansel Adams: Distance and Detail
‘Ansel Adams: Distance and Detail

‘Ansel Adams: Distance and Detail’ One of the finest photographers ever to come out of the United States, Ansel Adams (1902-1984) helped establish photography as a truly legitimate art form — one that could preserve the past, keep the present honest, and foster new ways of seeing and communicating. An environmentalist and a social activist, Adams has influenced photographers the world over with his conscience and with his inimitable skill with photography. Spanning across much of his career, “Distance and Detail” presents a chance to view 30 of Adams’ works, including some biggies like Moonrise Over Hernandez and some lesser-known gems. $8-$10, opens Fri, Sept. 16, on view 10am-9pm Tue, 10am-5pm Wed-Sun through Dec. 15, Briscoe Western Art Museum, 210 W. Market St., (210) 299-4499, briscoemuseum.org.

‘Estrella Studio: Posed Portraits

10. ‘Estrella Studio: Posed Portraits’ A historical and culturally poignant collaboration between mother and daughter, this exhibit is really something special, even on a list of special things to behold. Diana Rodríguez Gíl began serving as an assistant to her mother, Bertha Gíl Rodríguez, at a very early age, back in her hometown of Eagle Pass. Bertha eventually relocated to San Antonio (in 1950) and started Estrella Studio on Dolorosa Street (which ran until the late 1970s). In this series of historically and personality-rich photographs, some of them originally taken as required identity photos for non-citizens, we see the work produced by both Bertha and Diana as an important and compelling documentation of the evolving immigrant experience and the Mexican-American experience as a whole. Free, opening reception 6:30-8:30pm Fri, Sept. 9, on view 9am-noon Tue-Fri through Sept. 30, Jump-Start Performance Co., 710 Fredericksburg Road, (210) 725-2690, jump-start.org.

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