FotoWeek DC 2009

By Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, November 6, 2009

FotoWeek DC is back. From Saturday through Nov. 14, the second annual celebration of all things photographic will provide a mountain of offerings designed to appeal to the region's shutterbugs, photo collectors, art students, dealers, camera gearheads and gawkers.

But with a blizzard of exhibitions, lectures, workshops and parties (not to mention salespeople) vying for your attention, FotoWeek can seem like an insurmountable Everest. Where to even begin? Ladies and gentlemen, meet your sherpa:

A lawyer by day, Heather Goss moonlights as an editor for DCist, a blog on local news and culture. She also served on the jury for last year's FotoWeek DC photo contest and is the founder of Ten Miles Square, a venture that encourages the collecting of local photographers' work by mounting affordable art shows in nontraditional spaces. We asked for her recommendations on what to do and see at FotoWeek.

At the museum

Goss's pick for museum show is the Corcoran Gallery of Art's "Edward Burtynsky: Oil," featuring large-scale landscapes documenting the production, distribution and use of oil. "I have a hard time hiding how much I love Burtynsky's work," she says, calling the show a guilty pleasure for its ability to be both ugly and beautiful at the same time. On Wednesday at 7 p.m., the artist will discuss his work in the lecture "Edward Burtynsky and the Industrial Sublime."

Corcoran Gallery of Art, 500 17th St. NW. 202-639-1700. Exhibit, $8-$10; talk, $20.

In the galleries

Earlier this year, Joshua Cogan took home a news and documentary Emmy for his photojournalistic contributions to a report about HIV in Jamaica. On Thursday, from 7 to 9:30 p.m., an exhibition of the artist's music-themed photographs will open at the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. Goss, who says she was "blown away" by Cogan's show during last year's FotoWeek, calls "Joshua Cogan: Soundprints Vol. 1" the gallery show to see this week. It also doesn't hurt, she says, that the place tends to go "all out" on its receptions.

Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, 600 I St. NW. 202-408-3100. Free, with cash bar.

Off the beaten track

You expect shows at galleries and museums, but Goss says one of her favorite things about FotoWeek is the way you "stumble on it where you least expect it." Like where? Like under the sidewalks of Crystal City, where a selection of images from the 2009 Newseum show "Fotobama: Picturing the President" will be on view all week.

Crystal City FotoWalk, 1750 S. Clark St. Arlington. The walk starts at the Crystal City Metro Concourse Level and winds south through the interior walkways for about 300 yards. 202-412-9430. Free.

For the collector

"If anyone knows anything about collecting photography, it would be Kathleen Ewing," Goss says. On Nov. 13 at 7:30 p.m., the longtime Washington photo dealer will talk about the rapidly changing landscape for the novice and veteran collector in "The Fine Art of Collecting Photography: How Things Have Changed and What Is in the Future." The lecture at the Torpedo Factory Art Center will be preceded by a reception from 6 to 7 p.m. at the center's Multiple Exposures Gallery and a chance to browse through other photography studios there.

Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 N. Union St., Alexandria. 703-838-4565. Free.

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