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A Matter of Wit exhibit, FotoFest Headquarters
Artist Talk with Colin Blakely (l.)




A Platform for Art and Ideas

FotoFest® created the first international Biennial of Photography and Photo-related Art in the United States. FotoFest® is an international non-profit photographic arts and education organization based in Houston, Texas.

FotoFest's purpose is to promote the exchange of art and ideas through international programs and the presentation of photographic art. Our programs work globally and locally, bringing together an international vision of art and cross-cultural exchange with a commitment to community involvement and the enrichment of Houston's cultural resources.

In addition to its internationally known Biennial, FotoFest sponsors Inter-Biennial programs - exhibitions, international exchange programs, and publications. In grades 3-12, FotoFest operates a year-round classroom education program, Literacy Through Photography, using photography to strengthen writing skills, visual literacy, and cognitive learning.

FotoFest is committed to making its programs accessible to as many individuals as possible. FotoFest's Main Gallery and Headquarters at Vine Street Studios is housed in an historic warehouse. Wheelchair accessible parking and a ramp, elevator and restroom are available in compliace with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Other spaces, used temporarily during the FotoFest Biennial and at other times may not be fully accessible. If you require special assistance, please contact Marianne Stavenhagen, 713.223.5522 ext 19 or in advance so we may accommodate you fully.


FotoFest was founded in 1983 by documentary photographers and journalists, Frederick Baldwin and Wendy Watriss, and European gallery director, Petra Benteler. The first biennial, citywide Month of Photography was held in 1986 in Houston, Texas. The FotoFest 2012 Biennial will be the Fourteenth International Biennial.

In 1990, FotoFest created its year-round education program, Literacy Through Photography, in collaboration with photographer-educator, Wendy Ewald.

FotoFest - History and Achievements presentation at the Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, Moscow

Also that year, FotoFest began a program of inter-Biennial traveling photography shows, international exchange programs, and publications. In 1999, FotoFest moved its office-gallery site to a restored downtown warehouse, Vine Street Studios, with permanent exhibition space.

The FotoFest Biennial and art programs are known as platforms for ideas and discovery, combining museum-quality art with important social and aesthetic issues. The Biennial exhibitions curated by FotoFest give priority to the works of important but little-known photographic artists from the U.S. and around the world.

In addition to exhibitions, the FotoFest Biennial features a large portfolio review program for photographic artists, a film and video series, conferences, multi-media installations, a Fine Print Auction, and four-color exhibition catalogue.

FotoFest's Sponsors include private foundations; corporations; local, national and international government agencies; and individual contributors. Earned revenues come from Biennial programs, education fees, and fundraising events.


Highlights of FotoFest 1983-2005 (PDF 118K)
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