Aperture juror to speak at State Museum

Posted: Thursday, January 22, 2004

Michelle Dunn Marsh, the managing director of Aperture West and the juror for the Alaska Positive 2004 photography exhibition, will give a free lecture on the history of the Aperture Foundation at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 23, at the Alaska State Museum, 395 Whittier St.

The State Museum has been hosting Alaska Positive, a statewide juried photographic competition of fine art, since 1970. It's known as one of the most prestigious photographic competitions in Alaska. Traditionally, the museum chooses a juror outside of the state who's well known nationally and internationally for his or her work.

Aperture (www.aperture.org), self-described as "the premier not-for-profit arts institution dedicated to advancing fine photography," was founded in 1952. Marsh has worked with the Aperture Foundation since 1997, designing more than 30 books, magazines and exhibitions featuring a wide range of photography. Marsh was hired in August 2002 to launch Aperture West, an outreach branch of Aperture focusing its mission in the West, with an advisory board of photographers and collectors based in California.

Marsh also is a freelance book designer and a professor in the graphic design department of Seattle Central Community College, and she is on the advisory board to the master's publishing program at Pace University. She holds a bachelor of art degree from Bard College and a master's degree in publishing from Pace University.

The deadline for Alaska Positive entries was Jan. 17. The museum received photos from 73 photographers in 13 Alaska communities, said Mark Daughhetee, curator of exhibitions. Thirty of those photographers were from Juneau, he said.

Marsh will select the winners Friday, Jan. 23, before her lecture. An exhibition of selected works will open in conjunction with First Friday on Feb. 6 and run through April 3 at the museum. After that, the exhibition will travel to museums and galleries throughout Alaska from May 2004 to March 2005.

Only photographs not shown in a previous statewide juried competition were eligible. All work must be original, completed by the artist within the last three years, and submitted by the artist.

In addition to receiving recognition for their work, photographers whose photos are selected for Alaska Positive 2004 will compete for several cash awards. Marsh will bestow one Juror's Choice Award for $300 and two $150 Awards of Recognition. The Friends of the Alaska State Museum sponsor the awards. Marsh will select a number of photographs for honorable mention.

For more information about the lecture, Alaska Positive 2004 or the Alaska State Museum, call 465-2901 or visit www.museums.state.ak.us.

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