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2015 Clarence John Laughlin Award to be juried by Dr. Carol McCusker

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New Orleans Photo Alliance Accepting Submissions for
$5000 Clarence John Laughlin Award


“Carlos” by Keliy Anderson-Staley, 2014 CJL Award Recipient
The New Orleans Photo Alliance (NOPA) is pleased to announce its call for submissions for the 6th annual $5000 award to recognize and reward a fine art photographer who is creating or has completed a significant body of photographic work.

The Clarence John Laughlin Award was instituted by the New Orleans Photo Alliance in 2010 to support the work of photographers who use the medium as a means of creative expression. It honors the life and work of Clarence John Laughlin (1905-1985), a New Orleans photographer best known for his surrealist images of the American South. The Clarence John Laughlin Award grants one $5000 prize annually to a photographer whose work exhibits sustained artistic excellence and creative vision. Dr. Carol McCusker, Curator of Photography at the Harn Museum of Art at the University of Florida in Gainesville, will serve as this year’s juror.

The award is open to emerging and established photographers who reside in the U.S. The online application process requires a portfolio of 10-20 photographs, a written statement, a bio or CV, and a $25 application fee. NOPA will accept applications from June 1 – July 15, 2015.

“The Clarence John Laughlin Award fulfills a key tenet of NOPA’s mission: To encourage the understanding and appreciation of photography.” said NOPA President Thom Bennett. “We honor the life and work of Clarence John Laughlin through the recognition and support of a photographer whose work expands the artistic language of photography.” Past recipients of the Clarence John Laughlin Award are Keliy Anderson-Staley (2014), Walker Pickering (2013), Lee Deigaard (2012), Joni Sternbach (2011) and Charles Grogg (2010), whose winning portfolios can be seen on the NOPA website:

About Dr. Carol McCusker
Dr. Carol McCusker is Curator of Photography at the Harn Museum of Art at the University of Florida in Gainesville. From 2001-2010, she was Curator at the Museum of Photographic Arts (MoPA), San Diego where she also taught the history of photography as an Adjunct Professor at UCSD and USD. She has curated over 35 exhibitions. McCusker received her MA and PhD in art history with a concentration in the history of photography at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, studying with Beaumont Newhall, Eugenia Parry Janis and Geoff Batchen. McCusker’s Master’s Thesis was on the influence of Clarence John Laughlin’s massive library on his photography; John Lawrence of the Historic New Orleans Collection was on her thesis committee. Other examples of her writing can be found in: Paul Outerbridge (Taschen); Phil Stern: A Life’s Work (powerHouse); Terry Falke: Observations in an Occupied Wilderness (Chronicle); James Fee -The Peleliu Project (Seraphin); Breaking the Frame: Pioneering Women in Photojournalism (MoPA); Jennifer Karady: Soldiers’ Stories (SF Camerawork), and Uelsmann Untitled – A Retrospective (Univ Press of FL), among others. From 2008 to 2011, McCusker was staff writer for Color and B&W magazines. Her awards include the Beaumont Newhall Dissertation Award, UNM; an NEA Internship Award; the Ansel Adams Research Fellowship at the Center for Creative Photography, UA/Tucson; and the Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation Art Writing Workshop. She has juried numerous photography competitions, most notably the 2010 ICP Infinity Award with Chris Boot and Peter MacGill.

About Clarence John Laughlin
Louisiana-born Clarence John Laughlin (14 August 1905—2 January 1985) photographed and wrote about things that interested him and that he thought others should notice, too. Laughlin found hidden meanings and universal truths in a variety of sources: everyday objects, the architecture of New Orleans, Louisiana’s plantations, and Victorian architecture of the United States. He interpreted these subjects, and others, through black and white photographs, accompanied by texts he composed to steer the viewer in certain directions about the photographs’ contents. Collage, multiple exposures, combination printing, and hand-coloring were among the tools he incorporated in crafting his pictures. His 1948 Ghosts Along the Mississippi was critically acclaimed and remained in print for some four decades. Museums around the world house his prints. Prior to his death, The Historic New Orleans Collection acquired Laughlin’s archive of photographs and writings.
~John H. Lawrence, The Historic New Orleans Collection.

About the New Orleans Photo Alliance
The New Orleans Photo Alliance is comprised of a diverse group of photographers who joined forces in 2006 to create unity and opportunity for photographers in the Gulf South. It is an artist-run 501(c)3 nonprofit which currently includes more nearly 400 members from across Louisiana and throughout the United States. NOPA sponsors numerous photographic exhibitions, workshops and educational programs, and coordinates PhotoNOLA, an annual photography festival in New Orleans.

To learn more about the New Orleans Photo Alliance, please visit our website: