Hey, Photographers: Today's The Deadline To Submit Entries For The First-Ever Slideluck Dallas!
Casey Kelbaugh loves photography exhibits. He also likes pot luck dinners. So, in Seattle in the early '00s, the commercial and editorial photographer did the very possible and combined the two.
Yeah, it was a simple enough idea. But something about this combination — he'd decided to call it “Slideluck” — struck a chord.
It helped that, well, his concept wasn't just a potluck dinner and some photo slideshows. Sure, that was the crux of it — a two-hour-long potluck dinner (bringing along a dish to be served is the cost of admission) followed by an hour-long photo exhibit — but there's more behind it: To have their work shown at the event, hopeful exhibitors have to submit photos to be judged by a jury of highly regarded professional photographers.
And it's not just the best technical photos that get selected, necessarily.
“We want to bring people from very diverse backgrounds together,” Kelbaugh says over the phone when asked to further explain the story behind his event. “It's kind of a mash-up of different kinds of ideas, different kinds of genres, different kinds of places and different kinds of people. And it's not just professionals, either. At each event, we try to show at least one person who has never shown work before.”
Perhaps it's this kind of open-armed approach to the often insular photography world that's made Slideluck such an international phenomenon. At the time of this writing, Kelbaugh, who is prepping this week for a trip to Bogota for Slideluck event preparations there, estimates that the event currently takes place in over 50 cities across the globe.
“It's tough to say for sure off the top of my head,” he says with a laugh. “But it's a lot.”
On Saturday, November 3, Dallas will join that ever-growing list, as local organizers and Kelbaugh combine forces to throw the first-ever Slideluck Dallas affair, which will take place from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Exposition Park gallery The Power Station. And Kelbaugh, for one, couldn't be more excited about his organization's expansion to Dallas.
“We've had more requests for this event from Dallas than from perhaps any other city in the world over the last five years,” he says. “I really get the feeling that something's happening there. It's a really wide range of people that have approached us — and, like, every day, too.”
As teased last week on our Facebook page, applicants have until tonight to enter their photos into consideration for the Dallas exhibit (apply here). Those judging the applications are hardly slouches: The hour-long slideshow will be curated by Harper's Magazine art director Stacey Clarkson, Newsweek senior photo editor Jamie Wellford and Dallas art critic and curator Charles Dee Mitchell. In addition, those who submit photo sets for Slideluck consideration will also have the opportunity to have their portfolios reviewed by the likes of Clarkson, Dallas Morning News photo editor Guy Reynolds, Museum of Fine Arts Houston cataloger Jason Dibley, The Power Station's Danielle Avram Morgan, University of North Texas photojournalism professor Thorne Anderson and others.
“The whole thing is very educational,” Kelbaugh adds. “You see a wide range of photography and you learn a lot about the world. It's amazing the subcultures that people dedicate years to shooting. The thing that never ceases to surprise me is that all of the artwork, the people and the food have all been there the day before and they will all be there the next day. We just provide a forum and hold a mirror up to the community.”
It's a cool concept, that's for sure — and one that Central Track is proud to be a part of as a sponsor of the event. Adds Kelbaugh: “I just hope Dallas really brings it. I want to see how photography is done in Dallas. And, on a more selfish note, I want to eat well.”
Cover image via WikiCommons.