Louisville’s Photo Biennial Round Up
By Mary Margaret Sparks

Entire contents are copyright © 2011 Mary Margaret Sparks. All rights reserved.

The Photo Biennial is the Louisville photographic festival. It was started in 1999 and has grown into a huge citywide event featuring over 30 exhibitions at galleries, museums, universities and other public venues. The Biennial not only features exceptional exhibitions ranging from local to international photography but also includes lectures, workshops, symposia and public discussions. The Photo Biennial will be on display through the end of the month. Here are a few exhibitions not to miss.

Kaviar Forge & Gallery is currently exhibiting work by photographer Ryan Pyle. The exhibition is in conjunction with the “Canadian Invasion” section of the Photo Biennial featuring work by exceptional Canadian artists. Ryan Pyle’s work documents his 2006 journey in Central Asia photographing Chinese Turkestan culture. Pyle is a photographer for the New York Times based in China and will be giving a lecture at the Mellwood Arts Center on Sunday, October 23. An artist reception will be held at Kaviar Forge & Gallery on Saturday, October 22, from 1-4PM.

With Pyle’s credentials and awards, one would expect the works to be of great quality, and viewers will not be disappointed because each black-and-white photograph is stunning. Viewers will be drawn in by Pyle’s attention to detail in crafting each photograph and by the detailed subject matter of each piece. This exhibition is a great example of combining documentary realism with artistic creativity.

Another exhibition to check out is The Vision of a Generation: Photographs from the Parklands of Floyds Fork by Ted Wathen, Bob Hower and John Nation at the Main Branch of the Louisville Free Public Library.

The long layout of the Bernheim gallery lends itself well to the work. Viewers are met by the vivid colors as they walk into the space. The exhibition covers the five parks within the Parklands areas with the photographers taking on different parks.

The photographs were taken in 2007 after each had toured the Parklands. They decided to photograph the parks during each of the seasons to showcase the natural beauty and variety of the wilderness.

The images are breathtaking and range from aerial views to extreme close-ups capturing each individual park in its best form. Some of my favorite pieces include a close-up of four different tree barks by Bob Hower. The piece captures the delicate skin of the tree contrasting with the typical view of old trees as strong monuments. I also enjoyed John Nation’s piece depicting an animal skull lying amongst a field of purple lilacs.

The exhibition is free to the public and will be on display in the Bernheim Gallery through October 31.

All of the Photo Biennial exhibitions are remarkable, so make sure you check out as many as you can before they’re over! Below is a listing of upcoming events, and you can view all of the exhibition listings online at:


Photo Biennial Upcoming Events:
Friday, October 21: Canadian Invasion kick-off event at Mellwood Arts Center
Alan Rokach lecture at Actors Theatre, 6-8PM

Saturday, October 22: Jim Doiron lecture at Galerie Hertz, 3PM
Laura Carnie lecture at Gallery Janjobe
Alan Rokach workshop at Bernheim Arboretum

Sunday, October 23: Canadian Invasion lectures by Barrie Wentzell, Russell Monk & Ryan Pyle at Mellwood Arts Center, 6PM
Jim Doiron lecture at Galerie Hertz, 1:30PM
Alan Rokach workshop at Bernheim Arboretum

Saturday, October 29: Slide Luck Potshow at Land of Tomorrow