Third Annual 4×5 Photo Fest Coming to San Antonio’s East Side

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Courtesy / Eli Reed

USA. 1987. New York City. Harlem street scene. By Eli Reed.

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Hosting some of the biggest names in photography to up-and-coming photographers, 4x5 Photo Fest enters its third year with a day-long celebration of all things photography. The fest consists of a full day of inspiring photography keynotes and workshops geared toward professional photographers, enthusiasts, and the creative class. Whether you're a freelancer, seasoned professional, emerging photographer, or business owner looking to connect with photographers, 4x5 Photo Fest is an experience you don't want to miss.

What began with the simple intent of creating an event where photographers could network has since blossomed and prospered into an annual event that has raised San Antonio’s reputation in the arts world. From artists talks and print swaps to workshops, film screenings, and keynote speakers, attendees may leave feeling inspired to start their next project.

This year, 4x5 Photo Fest will kick things off with an an exhibit of work by Texas-based photojournalist Ilana Panich-Linsman. The exhibit is on display now through the end of September at Indy Coffee Club, with a kick-off party scheduled for Friday, Sept. 14 from 8-10 p.m. The exhibition, titled Notes From The Border, presents Panich-Linsman’s photographs and videos made in collaboration with The New York Times and TIME Magazine.

Her work highlights the recent uptick in issues resulting from Central Americans fleeing violence and economic despair in search of hope. Facing hardship due to administrative policies, these men, women, and children often have to wait in sweltering heat at official ports of entry, are denied asylum, detained, turned away, or separated from their families – a far cry from the American Dream they yearned for. For Texans, these stories hit closer to home than other issues occurring across the country, and that’s where Panich-Linsman’s impressive work comes in. She is also a speaker on the Women in Photography panel discussion scheduled for Saturday’s festivities.

If you are unable to attend Friday's opening night, brace yourself for Saturday when the festival kicks into gear. The festivities, which begin at 11 a.m. at East Crossing in historic Dignowity Hill area on the East Side, will come alive with an artist talk from Mark Sobhani on the main stage at noon.

The afternoon continues with multiple breakout sessions such as Printing with Impact Demo from Digital Pro Lab, an Intro to Diana F and Lomography Workshop, a Copyright & Law Workshop with Alicia Calzada, and 4x5’s signature Print Swap Happy Hour where attendees who submitted photos can trade their favorite prints and curate a truly unique collection of photos from the fest.

The photo festivities continue well into the evening with a film screening of Tia Chuck: A Portrait Chuck Ramirez and a Women In Photography panel featuring Panich-Linsman, Lisa Krantz, Julia Robinson, and Isabel Castro.

4x5 Photo Fest will end with keynote speaker Eli Reed and a book signing. Reed is the first and only staff newspaper photographer to be taken from a staff position directly to Magnum Photos. He’s a Sony Artisans Ambassador and clinical professor of photojournalism at the University of Texas at Austin, where he continues to work on assorted documentary projects.

Reed’s photo of late rapper Tupac Shakur was included in the “American Cool” catalogue and exhibition held at the Smithsonian in 2014. He has received the Mark Twain Associated Press Award and the Overseas Press Club Award, is a 1981 Pulitzer Prize nominee, and holds a host of other honors for his impressive work over the past few decades.

So, clear your calendar and get ready to revel in San Antonio’s one-day photo festival, housed in an old train depot that has been transformed into a beautiful open floor plan. The free event runs 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15, at East Crossing in historic Dignowity Hill.  For more information visit www.4x5photofest.com.

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