Regional Art Conference Welcomes Producers, Educators, And Professionals

National nonprofit organization, the Society for Photographic Education, is making its way to Oregon State University for their northwest regional conference, Illuminate and Provoke: SPE-NW 2017, on October 20 and 21.

The conference welcomes a collaborative collective of photographers, artists, writers, educators, curators, historians, and other-field professionals to gather and learn the ways in which art, photography, and other creative careers and pursuits illuminate world experiences and provoke action for change. 

From where do these focal points originate? An OSU press release examples the anthology of Orion essays “The Future of Nature” by poet Barry Lopez, who in his introduction, wrote how writers, like birds – also photographers and other creative producers – “represent a visible, coherent trajectory through a confusing wood. They illuminate and provoke.”

Friday’s keynote speaker is scheduled to be photographer Richard Misrach, ‘71 Berkeley graduate and winner of the Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts in the U.S. and Canada in 1978. Misrach will comment on the sanctity of photography in our time of social and political turmoil, for its ability to portray honest and insightful world conditions as a lens for change and understanding. Other photographers, writers, social scientists, and photo-historians are urged to harness these powers and contribute to the global picture.

Other featured speakers will include Nicole Jean Hill, Alexis Pike, Christopher Russell, and Rafael Soldi. Honored Educator will be Garth Amundson.

The SPENW 2017 conference kicks off Friday, Oct 20 at 1 p.m., with a 3 hour period of in-depth workshops, followed by meetings of the LGBTQ caucus and high school and community college instructors. A reception will ensue with artists Nicole Jean Hill and Alexis Pike, followed by  keynote speaker, Richard Misrach. 

Saturday’s events include sixteen lectures and artistic presentations for the picking, an evening conversation with Christopher Russell and Rafael Soldi at the Corvallis The Arts Center, and pop-up galleries featuring works by Natalie Krick, Joan Truckenbrod, and Mazdak Shadkam.

For more info, visit

By Stevie Beisswanger