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Paula Chamlee returned to college in the 1980s majoring in the visual arts to finish a degree she had begun in the 1960s in the performing arts. She earned a B.F.A. in painting in 1988. During this latter part of her college career, she discovered photography and quickly found direct involvement with the world outside the studio to be irresistible. In the twenty-six years since, she has traveled extensively, making photographs both in the United States and abroad. Chamlee has been the recipient of several grants, including one from the Leeway Foundation for “Excellence in Photography.” Her photographs have been widely exhibited in museums and galleries, most recently at Gallery 291 in San Francisco and at the James A. Michener Art Museum, Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Her photographs are in numerous collections, both public and private in the United States and abroad. She is collected in thirty museums in the United States, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Cleveland Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, and Library of Congress. She has taught workshops in photography in the United States, Austria, Germany, Tuscany, England, France, Iceland, and Australia. She has had six monographs of her work published.

Her first book, Natural Connections: Photographs by Paula Chamlee, consisting of photographs and writing about the natural landscape, and with an essay by Estelle Jussim, was published in 1994 and established her reputation as a highly original artist working within the classical tradition of straight photography.

In Chamlee’s second book, High Plains Farm, published in 1996, she looked to her roots and photographed and wrote about the farm where she grew up on the High Plains of the Texas Panhandle. One critic called High Plains Farm “one of the genuinely significant contributions to photography and landscape study in many a year,” while another described it as “epic in its vision and intimate in its humanity.”

Her third book, San Francisco: Twenty Corner Markets and One in the Middle of the Block, published in 1997, takes a look at the uniqueness of small, family-owned markets amidst the larger, faster-paced commerce of a big city.

In 2004 she published two books of photographs from Tuscany: Tuscany: Wandering the Back Roads—Volume I, with an essay by Robert Sobieszek, and Madonnina with an essay by Steven Maklansky.

In 2008 she was commissioned to photograph Chicago, and a book of her Chicago photographs, diptychs, triptychs, and quartets combined with her drawings, collages, and assemblages was published in Chicago: Lake in December of 2009.

Chamlee photographed in Iceland in 2004, 2006, and 2010 and her next book, Iceland: A Personal View, Volume I, with an essay by Jens Rasmussen will be published in 2013.

More recently Chamlee is working on a series of photographs of the Texas Panhandle from the air and a series of studio still lifes. In addition to her still photography, Chamlee made her first film, Flow, while in Iceland in 2006, and from footage made in 2010 is currently working on new films from Iceland.

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Michael A. Smith, born in Philadelphia in 1942, has been working in photography since 1966. Less than a year later, in 1967, he began photographing exclusively with an 8x10-inch view camera, committing himself to the contact print. Later he added both an 8x20 and an 18x22-inch view camera.

During his second year as a photographer, he began teaching his own seminars and workshops, but after seven and a half years, he stopped teaching to dedicate himself solely to the making of his photographs.

His photographic journeys during the past 46 years have taken him to every state in the continental United States, western Canada, Mexico, and Europe. The results of these remarkable odysseys are included in the permanent collections of over 125 museums in the United States, Europe, and Asia, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Art Institute of Chicago, Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

His commitment to the medium has resulted in over 200 exhibitions. In addition, he has twice received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, and he has been the recipient of major commissions to photograph five American cities. In 1981, Smith’s first book, the two-volume monograph, Landscapes 1975–1979, was awarded Le Grand Prix du Livre at the Rencontres Internationale de la Photographie in Arles, France. At that time, the Swiss publication Print Letter commented, “For the first time in the 11 years of the Rencontres, a deserving book has won the book prize.” 

In 1992, Smith was honored with a 25-year retrospective exhibition at the International Museum of Photography at the Eastman House in Rochester, New York. To mark the occasion, Michael A Smith: A Visual Journey—Photographs from Twenty-Five Years was published.

His first book of portraits, The Students of Deep Springs College, was published in the fall of 2000. His next book, Tuscany: Wandering the Back Roads—Volume II was published in the fall of 2004.

In 2008 he was commissioned to photograph Chicago, and a book of his Chicago photographs was published in December of 2009, Chicago: Loop.

Smith photographed in Iceland in 2004, 2006, and 2010 and his next book, Iceland: A Personal View, Volume II, with an essay by Jens Rasmussen will be published in 2013. A second book, Ocean Variations, will also be published in 2013.
He is currently working on a series of portraits made at Sheriff Joe’s 4th Avenue Maricopa County Jail in Phoenix, Arizona.

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