Stringfellow awarded Theo Westenberger Award for Artistic Excellence

29 Sep Stringfellow awarded Theo Westenberger Award for Artistic Excellence

The Autry National Center announces it has selected Kim Stringfellow as its second recipient of the Theo Westenberger Award for Artistic Excellence, made possible by the Westenberger estate. The award honors the achievements of contemporary women whose work in photography, film, and new media transforms how we see the American West. The award is part of a series of ongoing related programs and awards following the acquisition of the Theo Westenberger Archive in 2011.

“The Autry is proud to preserve and honor Theo Westenberger’s legacy as a ground-breaking female photographer through awards and programs that recognize and support contemporary women artists like Kim Stringfellow, whose innovative, multimedia work inspires us to look at Western land use in new ways,” said Carolyn Brucken, Chief Curator, Autry National Center.

In 2014, Stringfellow will showcase her work in the Autry’s new changing exhibition space, as part of the Irene Helen Jones Parks Gallery of Art, which is scheduled to open in June 2013. The exhibition will focus on the multimedia nature of her work, which encompasses photography, digital media, and often found objects in dynamic installations that explore our relationship to specific landscapes as we move across them. The hybrid documentary forms that result from Stringfellow’s interdisciplinary approach focuses on important environmental and ecological issues. The majority of her projects address land use practices and the repercussions of human development within the western United States. Each project evolved from a researched area of interest on a particular subject, community, or region to discuss complex, interrelated issues of the chosen sites. Each project has an accompanying web site to provide remote access, interaction, and a way for the viewer to contribute directly to the piece.

“With my research, I try to expose the human values and political agendas that form our understanding of these places,” said Stringfellow. “Regardless of the media I choose, I am interested in creating experiences that generate awareness, educate, and promote a rich dialogue to encourage debate and inspire my audience to investigate the subject further or take action to affect change within their own communities.”

“Kim’s work represents a new approach to a long-established medium in western art, the landscape photograph,” said Amy Scott, Marilyn B. and Calvin B. Gross Curator of Visual Arts at the Autry. “Her interest in how we experience landscape through movement, maps, and other visual means of navigation connects her to the tradition of survey photography in the West, yet her interest in the three-dimensional and the interactive also make her a very contemporary artist, one intimately involved with the West of today.”

An exhibition of Stringfellow’s work and a gallery talk with the artist will be scheduled for spring/summer of 2014.

About the Theo Westenberger Archive at the Autry

The Theo Westenberger Archive is a comprehensive collection of more than 9,500 photographs, along with thousands of negatives, transparencies, contact sheets, and studio materials, from the estate of trailblazing feminist photographer Theo Westenberger (1950–2008), whose versatility in portraiture and travel images made her a leading magazine and advertising photographer and a respected artist.   In keeping with its mission to explore the experiences and perceptions of the diverse peoples of the American West, the Autry created the Theo Westenberger Archive to honor and build on the legacy of this important woman artist of the West. Plans for the archive include exhibitions, digitization of the collection to create online databases, licensing of the artist’s most iconic works, and the establishment of a series of programs and awards around the Westenberger name and collection.

Click here for the Autry’s press release announcement: