FotoFest Home

Taking the time to participate in the portfolio reviews for the first time has proven vital for my career and I'm very grateful to FotoFest.
- Jennifer Schlesinger, Santa Fe, NM
2010 Meeting Place Registrant

The Meeting Place was energizing, motivating, enlightening and inspiring. Between what I learned and who I met, I can feed off the experience and use it to advance my current projects.
- Arthur Drooker, Los Angeles, CA
2010 Meeting Place Registrant

The Meeting Place remains a premier place to present work to a wide range of decision-makers and a wonderful spot to visit with old friends.
- Candace Plummer Gaudiani,
Menlo Park, CA
2010 Meeting Place Registrant

The Meeting Place is an exciting forum for meeting with and reviewing the work of photo-based artists. While the artist might consider it solely as an opportunity to promote his or her own work, the arts professional curators, gallerists, and publishers alike- is offered that same, unique occasion, one in which he/she has a chance to view photographic work from around the world.
- Charles Guice,
Charles Guice Contemporary,
Katonah, NY
2010 Meeting Place Reviewer

The International Meeting Place

Portfolio Review Program for Artists

A History of FotoFest's Meeting Place: 1986-2010

Artist speaking to reviewer during the formal portfolio review at the
FotoFest 2004 Biennial.

The Meeting Place portfolio reviews have taken place with every FotoFest Biennial since the beginning of the Biennial in 1986. In contrast to FotoFest’s exhibitions, which are curated, the portfolio reviews were designed to be an open program for artists, without pre-selection. The program is designed to make it possible for artists to individually meet and show their work to influential people in the field of photography and art - individuals who can help the development of artists’ work and their careers in the art world.

The international Meeting Place Portfolio Reviews have become a major entry point for many mid-career and younger artists looking for careers in the professional art world, gallery exhibitions and representation, sales of work to museum collections and collectors, publication of portfolios and books, artist residencies, and commercial commissions.  Some of these sucess stories are chronicled on the Successes of the Meeting Place Page.

FotoFest pioneered this portfolio review program for artists. The Meeting Place was created and developed in 1986 by FotoFest co-founders Frederick Baldwin and Wendy Watriss, who are photographers themselves. The program has been refined over the last two decades by the FotoFest staff, founders and Art Board in response to the needs and requests of artists and curators. At the FotoFest 2008 Biennial, the Meeting Place was expanded to accommodate the number of artists wanting to register.
As the model for almost all other portfolio review programs around the world, FotoFest’s biennial Meeting Place continues to be the largest and the most international of these events.

Artist speaking to reviewer during the formal portfolio review at the FotoFest 2006 Biennial.

The idea of inviting top museum curators, gallery owners, book publishers, magazine editors, photo agency representatives, and collectors to review artist portfolios has proved immensely popular, useful to both artists and curators. It has created a network of photographic arts professionals around the world and launched the careers of hundreds of international and U.S. photographic artists.

 In the past ten years, FotoFest Meeting Place has been replicated in Europe. Asia, Latin America, Canada, Africa and Australia. In 2006, FotoFest was asked to help organize a portfolio review in Beijing. The Meeting Place FotoFest Beijing was limited to Chinese artists and over one thousand Chinese photographers registered for the reviews with thirty-two invited reviewers from Europe, Canada, Australia, China and the United States. In November 2010, in conjunction with Lens Culture and Paris Photo, FotoFest organized the three day Lens Culture FotoFest Paris in France. The event was a tremendous success.

Chinese Artist speaking to translator and reviewers Pedro Mayer and Nadia Baram (Zone Zero, Mexico City, Mexico) during the formal portfolio review at the FotoFest 2006 Biennial.

In 1996, FotoFest inaugurated the Biennial Discoveries of the Meeting Place exhibition to provide an exhibition showcase for ten Meeting Place artists, whose work is chosen as a particularly interesting “discovery” by one of ten selected portfolio reviewers.  There have been eight consecutive Discoveries of the Meeting Place exhibitions, one at each Biennial since 1996. These shows have been very popular, and FotoFest has traveled them to Russia, Mexico, Brazil and different parts of the United States.

The FotoFest Meeting Place is a place and a happening charged with creative energy. Networking, the sharing of ideas and the presentation of art work are continuous and intense inside and outside the formal portfolio meeting room. Professional connections and life-long friendships are made during the course of the Meeting Place.

The Meeting Place has become an increasingly important launching pad for talented people seeking new opportunities to show and expand their artwork. Like the Biennial itself, it is about creative energy and about building communities of people for whom creative energy is an important part of their lives.