Converging Cultures works by Latino Artists at Ridderhof Martin Gallery Opening & Lecture

I’m in a group exhibit with a bunch of good folks at the University of Mary Washington’s  lovely Ridderhof Martin Gallery opening on Thursday September 5, if you happen to be in Fredericksburg, VA, which I do highly recommend. V. dog friendly, nice downtown, lots of antiquing.

Lecture in conjunction with Converging Cultures: Works by Latino Artists

“On Identity in the Arts: What it Means to be ‘Latino’”
F. Lennox Campello, independent artist and art critic
2 PM, Sunday, September 29, 2013
Ridderhof Martin Gallery

Artist and art critic F. Lennox Campello delivers an illustrated and sometimes irreverent discussion on the history and evolution of the Latino ethnic label while raising important questions on the issue.

I will have two images from Cholita in the exhibit and will be attending the Sunday lecture.  More info available here.

ImageExhibiting Artists are:

Exhibiting Artists:

Consumed in the Oxford American

OxfordAmericancoverSerpent, West Palm Beach, FloridaWas delighted that a photograph from my series Consumed was featured in the Oxford American, illustrating  a story by Harrison Scott Key, who almost wrote the Star-Spangled Banner, but instead wrote an article on his Greyhound travels.  I love the use of allegory in my work.  If there is a snake in it, I am often thinking about Flannery O’Connor and the nature of evil and temptation.

Consumed will also be in a group exhibit at Central Michigan University this October with Mark Menjiver, Paho Mann, Jason DeMarte, Hillerbrand & Magsamen, and David Welch.  Road Trip!

Recent Clips: American Lawyer and Garden & Gun

Joan Claybrook of Public Citizen

Joan Claybrook and Clarence Ditlow of Public Citizen


Received a few recent clips to paper the blog with.  Had a fun shoot for American Lawyer photographing the formidable Joan Claybrook of Public Citizen.  Joan seems like a pretty capable woman, interested in comandeering any task, in this case the art direction of our shoot.  Luckily, I won her over with my self-deprecating humor, and readers, she acquiesced.  This is why there is not a lamp coming out of her head in this photograph.  Take your victories where you can.

Maggie Kennedy of the delightful Southern lifestyle magazine, Garden & Gun, contacted me a few months back to run some images I shot of William Faulkner’s home, Rowan Oak, from my personal project, Sense of Place.  I was delighted to be able to oblige her with some photos of the entrance way to his house and the typewriter.  Is there anything more satisfying than republishing personal work? Ok there is, but it still makes me happy.



Corridor at the Art Museum of the Americas

Corridor at the Art Museum of the Americas

Just a few scant days (June 25) to acquaint yourself with the jewel-box of an art museum, the Art Museum of the America‘s just off Constitution Ave on Our National Mall, before Corridor, the 12-person exhibit I have been honored to be a part of closes.  It’s really a lovely exhibit curated by Laura Roulet and Irene Hoffmann, featuring photographs by Sofia Silva , Phil Nesmith, Bernhard Hildebrandt. Video, printmaking, sculptural and mixed media work are represented by Martha Jackson Jarvis, Brandon Morse, Michael PlattJeff Spaulding, Oletha DeVane, John Ruppert, Soledad Salamé, and Joyce J. Scott.  It is an I-95 talent pool and the results are eclectic, interesting, and beautiful. But don’t take my word for it, go check it out yourself!  Here’s some install shots of my wall.

Eva, left, next to two Miraflores urban scenes in Lima Eva, left, next to two Miraflores urban scenes in LimaEva, left, next to two Miraflores urban scenes in Lima from the series, Cholita, at the Art Museum of the Americas.


Paola and her Nanny; Girlfriends, Mancora; and Perdido from the series Cholita at the Art Museum of the Americas, DC

Cholita at the Art Museum of the Americas

Cholita at the Art Museum of the Americas

Cholita at the Art Museum of the Americas



Not for Teetotalers: The Columbia Room – A Commercial Break

Derek Brown of the Columbia Room for the Wall Street Journal

Just wanted to let you DMVers and visitors to our nation’s capital aware  that if you are in need of more than the middle-of-the-road libation you must thither yourself to the Columbia Room, it only seats 17, and is a secret garden of delights! Brothers Brown opened the Columbia Room inside the Passenger which is right across from the Convention Center and it is based a bit on the speak-easy model. You don’t need a password, but you do need a reservation before 10 pm.  It’s only open Thurs-Saturday.  Having had the chance to watch the master mixologist Derek Brown himself prepare drinks for the shoot, I was reminded of a quote from the Robert Olen Butler story, “A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain.” I paraphrase and mangle here:

His kitchen was full of such smells that he knew he had to understand them all or be incomplete forever.

I sampled a bit of a Manhattanesque beverage and gin gimlet, and both were club top-drawer.  As Doogie MacArthur would say: “I shall return!” Here are a few others from the shoot that I liked, and will give you a feel for the Columbia Room.

Always Start with a Handsome Subject © Susana Raab 2010

Clean Implements are Also Helpful © Susana Raab 2010

Crazy Aromatic Ingredients © Susana Raab 2010

A Classy Joint © Susana Raab 2010

GUP Portfolio Issue: Cholita

Peru ya me voy! In my heart I am already slurping down some conchas a la parmesana with good friends on the beach, well off the beach, apparently some people have prejudices against eating seafood alfresco.  I just received in the mail the latest issue of GUP magazine, the guide to unique photography brought to you from the Netherlands, which for their anniversary issue featured the portfolios of some of their favorite photographers.  I am happy to say that my work in progress, Cholita, was included among other portfolios by Erwin Olaf, Bieke Depoorter, Kadir van Lohuizen, Otto Snoek, Machiel Botman, Albert Watson, Pieter Hugo, Francesco Giusti, Stephan Vanfleteren, and Sohrab Hura. WOW.

Swamped with cookie-making, menu-planning, invoicing, website updates (or not), marketing, etc, I have relegated to the back-burner my upcoming trip to Peru in January. Thank you Erik, and all at GUP for fortifying and refocusing me so that I may keep up the long-distance race which ends (or does it begin again?) when I land at Jorge Chavez.

Cholita will be featured in various iterations this winter and spring:
SATURNALIA, Irvine Contemporary, Washington, DC, January 08 – February 12, 2011

THE CORRIDOR, Art Museum of the Americas, Washington, DC March 2011

ENFOCO 2011 PHOTO FELLOWSHIP SHOW, Brooklyn, New York, March 2011

Happy holidays to all!


The Way We Live Now

It’s always nice when your long term ouevre finds new homes in magical places.  Dream clips would be the New Yorker fiction illustration, anything topical in Harper’s which is really for me the utmost of the utmost of found image illustration to concept. And I consistently love the art that goes with The New York Times magazine “The Way We Live Now,” front of the book piece.  Really that could be the title of a lot of our books and missions, the analyzing and processing of how we live now is really my raison d’être .  So I was thrilled to have an image from my Consumed series illustrate their piece, “Junking Junk Food.”

I love to see these treasure hunts come to life on the printed page.  For me, this is too-often more compelling than the literal transcription of events that occur on other pages.  But having recently discovered that my “N” status in the Myers Briggs personality test makes me one of 20 percent of the population that sees connections in things that 80 percent cannot correlate (thanks Lisa Hunter!) I am now understanding why so often the most banal picture (for me) wins.

I’m actually borderline INTJ and INFJ, either way, both have a habit of making connections, and I feel comfortable with both characterizations.

Seek meaning and connection in ideas, relationships, and material possessions. Want to understand what motivates people and are insightful about others. Conscientious and committed to their firm values. Develop a clear vision about how best to serve the common good. Organized and decisive in implementing their vision.

Have original minds and great drive for implementing their ideas and achieving their goals. Quickly see patterns in external events and develop long-range explanatory perspectives. When committed, organize a job and carry it through. Skeptical and independent, have high standards of competence and performance – for themselves and others.

If I had to hazard a guess, I’d say that the Ns rule the house at the NYT Magazine, Harper’s, and The New Yorker.  Thanks Luise! and also to the VERY charming Marvin O.

Flak Photo

Monday Night, Sonic Drive-In, Oxford, Mississippi

I crossed a milestone today. Andy Adams (twitter handle: FlakPhoto) published an image from Consumed in today’s Flak Photo (No not the one above).  I cannot but imagine that any of my readers are already aware of Flak, but in case you’ve been living in a cave (and if you are my hat is off to you), you can check out this great site here. Or become a facebook friend of Andy’s here. His might be the only case of where I became a bricks and mortar acquaintance prior to being a facebook friend, when I shared a delish deli sandwich with him in Madison prior to my bacchanal in the Wisconsin Dells last year.

And for those of  you who are wondering is Susana ever going to have new work?  As I am sure many of you obsessively ask yourselves several times a day, the answer is:  Yes, yes I do have new work.  I’ve got a new project percolating proudly sponsored by the ever patient Kodak film, the BEST color negative film for me.  Film, being the operative word here, I’m taking my time, editing, scanning, dusting.  I hope to share some images with you in the next month or so.  I am NOT a one-trick pony.  I have at least two tricks. Which is more than my dog has.

A Triple Crown!

Since coming back from Fotofest life has been a bit of whirlwind.  My show, “American Vernacular” opened (and since closed) at Irvine Contemporary in DC, and received good notices.  On the plane coming home from Houston I found out that Consumed won an Honorable Mention in Center’s Project Competition.  Then, when I landed, I found out that my work in progress, Cholita, made PDN’s Photo Annual, and received the Chosen nod from American Photography.  I didn’t push my luck and enter Communication Arts,(writing ALL those checks gets to be so dull, you know).

Playa Agua Dulce, Lima, Peru © Susana Raab from the series, Cholita

The week before Fotofest I closed on a studio in my very own apt. building, AND I got a part-time job as a photographer at the Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum, beating out over 400 applicants. I think that it will be a very exciting opportunity to work with a museum with quite a unique mission, to focus on communities, not the least of which will be the Anacostia community, that part of DC bifurcated from the rest of the city by the river. I cannot help but think of Langston Hughes, and hope that I am deserving of all this good fortune and that my soul will grow deep.

Reeling from all this wonderfulness, I am upping the ante on my karmic contributions to the world because goodness must be shared with all. This is a good time to ask me a favor, fyi.

I am also hoping that this will take the pressure off the commercial work a bit (though I always appreciate the interesting assignment), so I can focus on new projects. Not the least of which is my foundling little premie of a project, The District, which seeks perhaps to ambitiously, in retrospect,  to deconstruct DC, and which is generously sponsored by a very patient and wonderful Kodak films!

I am still floundering finding my way through this work, and I think that a sign has been given to me, and I may focus on the Anacostia community, this East of the River area, which boasts the highest unemployment rate in the District, but had/s a real soul to it, and is in itself a microcosm of America, for several reasons which I will illuminate at a later date and with photographs.

Thank you PDN, American Photography, Kodak films (makers of the oh so lovely Portra NC, how I adore you!), Center, the Smithsonian Institution, Irvine Contemporary, and Mitch Story (my real estate agent)! I have actually never had huge repositories of high self-worth (functioning for the most part out of terror, to paraphrase Mary Ellen Mark), but damnit, you just might make a millennial out of me!

PS Regular non-promotional programming resumes next week.

Happy Presidents’ Day Wknd

Mt. Vernon © Susana Raab 2009

I was honored last summer to photograph the reopening of George Washington’s study.  Under the careful supervision of two nervous curators and one talented PR lady (public relations when applied correctly is not unlike diplomacy), I succeeding in setting up my tripod and photographing en holga several frames of George Washington’s study which includes a chest from his Revolutionary War campaign, his spectacles, desk, and a host of other treasures that would make Antiques Roadshow go gaga.

Sitting unscanned in my to scan notebook for far too long, the blizzard and the impending day of honor have moved me to action.  While you are sitting there with your loved ones Lady and the Tramping it over piles of chocolate covered strawberries, don’t forget our founding father, he who refused the term, your excellency, and chose humility.  True he was human too, not resolving the slavery question but leaving that for a later president at a future date.  It is inescapable that.  Yet we must all strive to be better, learn from the past, and create a better future.  In spite of everything, I wish more of our elected officials had a little more George Washington and Abe Lincoln in them.  I say term limit them all! Oh, I digress.  Happy President’s Day Weekend!

George Washington's Study © Susana Raab 2009