Photography Atelier 23


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Photography Atelier is a course for emerging to advanced photographers taught by photographers Meg Birnbaum and assistant instructor Amy Rindskopf. The class is built primarily around the practice of supportive democratic critiques and critical discussions of each other’s work. Peer feedback leads us to better understand other peoples’ work as well as our own. Participants come from all walks of life, are any age but all share a passion for photography and want to take their work to the next level. Some participants are looking for the structure of weekly deadlines, some participants want help determining if an existing project needs further work, often people attend the Atelier more than one time. The class culminates in an exhibition at the Griffin Museum of Photography as well as online exhibition.

Instruction in the Atelier includes visual presentations relating to the 4-5 assignments made, which are designed to encourage experimentation in both subject matter and approach. Participants also learn the marketing basics needed for approaching industry professionals to show their work, as well as how to prepare for a regional or national portfolio review. There is discussion of promotional print materials, do-it-yourself websites and DIY book publishing. Participants learn the critical importance of writing an artists statement and bio, everyone finishes class with a bio and statement that has been work-shopped by the class.

Any method or medium of image making is welcome although digital photography is recommended for the first half of the class when work is assigned each week.

Matting, framing and hanging a show are also discussed in depth leading up to the participants’ exhibition at The Griffin Museum. Participants work will appear on the Photography Atelier website,

The Atelier was conceived and taught by Holly Smith Pedlosky and later taught by Karen Davis for 7 years. The workshop was originally offered at Radcliffe Seminars, Harvard University and Lesley Seminars and in the Seminar Series in the Arts, The Art Institute of Boston (AIB), both at Lesley University. The Atelier has been held at The Griffin Museum for 5 years.

The 12 session class will be offered starting in September 2015 on Tuesday evenings from 4-7pm, or on Wednesday mornings from 10:30am-1:30pm. The fee for the Atelier is $575 for members of the museum or $650 for non-members. Each class will be limited to 15 students.

Classes will be held on:

1) Sept. 15 & 16
2) October 6 and 7
3) October 13 and 14
4) October 20 and 21
5) October 27 and 28
6) Nov. 3 and 4
7) Nov. 10 and 11
8) Nov 17 and 18
9) Dec.1 and 2
10) Dec. 15 and 16
Holiday break
11) January (2016) 5 & 6
12) January 19 and 20

“I would like to express my gratitude to the Griffin Museum. I feel so fortunate to have discovered you. Your Atelier program gave me the opportunity to rekindle an old passion for photography and provided me with the guidance to sharpen my skills and develop my art. I do not think I would have gotten where I am today without you. Thank you so much for just being there. With your help I was able to create a new chapter in my life when it was most needed. I will be forever grateful and indebted to you.”
– Bob Avakian

“As someone who participated in the Photography Atelier for three sessions, I am so pleased to offer this program at the Griffin Museum,” said Paula Tognarelli, Executive Director of the Griffin Museum. “There is a dearth of photography programming that offers peer critique coupled with critical conversation. The Atelier gave me a new approach to drafting new ideas and motivated me to continually work on a project to completion.”

“I gained amazing amounts of knowledge about many different facets and layers of the fine art photography world. What makes a solid portfolio, what is expected at reviews and what I should expect from them, what does a project consist of and how to construct a cohesive body of work. The Atelier inspired me to push myself to produce project based work that would be presented for critique each week and I looked forward to seeing my new friends that were made during the session. ……………… I learned about preparing for shows and the subtleties that can make a strong difference. I became familiar enough to feel comfortable, and that allowed me to share my work and to be happy doing so. ……..Since, I have had the honor of seeing my work hanging in a small handful of shows in and around Boston! I have become friendly with some inspiring and influential people. I have become very good friends with a few that are now immeasurably valuable additions to my life.
Are you anything like I was and you know your way around the camera, you know the sort of things that you like to photograph, how and why you photograph them, but you do not know what the hell to do with it all ? Do yourself a huge favor and sign up for the Atelier. My only regret is that I didn’t do this for myself.
-Joe Staska

“I had reached a plateau in my photography and I knew I was ready for something more. A search for photography classes in my state turned up only degree programs, so I was delighted to find the Atelier at the Griffin Museum. I happened to be visiting the Griffin Museum during one of the classes and I was graciously invited by Meg to stay for the student critiques. I was very intrigued and immediately investigated the Atelier and signed up for the last class. I appreciate and loved the diversity of the individuals in the class and the incredible talent and different perspectives each one brought to the experience.”
-Cheryl Prevost

“The loose structure of the class worked for me. It gave me the opportunity to dig back through a project that I’ve been working on for years, receive feedback, and bring it together into a cohesive body of work that I can now put out into the world. That was a huge step for me. Also, the connection made with the instructors and the amazing community of the Griffin Museum. The class also gave me a chance to explore approaches different than my own. It was so nice to be a student again (after several years of teaching photography).”
– Amy Thompson Avishai

Interested in Photography Atelier 2.0? Go here! 

Additional Information

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AM Session, PM Session

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