PHOTOPLACE GALLERY: Black and White 2016 Juror: Dean Brierly

Gallery exhibition: August 10 to September 2, 2016

Juror’s Statement:

In my capacity as editor of Black & White magazine, I am constantly judging images, not only for publication in our regular issues, but also for our Portfolio and Single Image Contest issues. One thing I’ve noticed over time is the tendency (unconscious or not) on the part of many photographers to follow visual templates laid down by others. Happily, this was not the case when I sat down to consider the photographs submitted for this exhibition. I was, in fact, greatly impressed with the originality and quality on display.

From the beginning of my involvement with photography, both as practitioner and editor, I have been drawn to the work of those who go against the status quo, who avidly experiment with the medium, who pioneer their own creative themes and visual parameters. People like Barbara Crane, Mario Giacomelli, James Fee, to name but three. When I look at a photograph in any context—as a judge or simply as a viewer in a gallery—what I look for above all is something that takes me by surprise, that puts me off balance, even upsets me. The cardinal sin in my book is to be boring. This holds true when I look at other types of artwork, listen to music or watch films. It’s always harder to do the unexpected, but invariably it’s more rewarding and meaningful.

I was delighted at how often I found myself surprised while judging these images. It was obvious that a great deal of thought went into their creation, as well as originality, sensitivity and craftsmanship. It’s one thing for a photograph to attract attention, another thing entirely to hold it. The majority of these images, while striking on first glance, also resonated with emotional and thematic depth that revealed additional nuances with repeated views. All of which made it an honor and a pleasure to have been chosen to play a curatorial role with work of such quality.

Dean Brierly

About the Juror:

Detroit native Dean Brierly is a writer, editor and photographer living in Los Angeles. He is the Editor of Black & White magazine and was formerly associated with Camera & Darkroom, PhotoWork and B&W+COLOR.

Dean has written extensively on photography for those publications as well as Photo Metro, Photo Central, Photovision, Color, Far Out, Outré and Cinema Retro. Many of his interviews can be found at his blog Photographers Speak.

Brierly’s fine art photography explores the borderland between representation and abstraction. He works in an analog darkroom using traditional photographic materials in untraditional, experimental fashion. His imagery has been featured in print and numerous exhibitions, and can be viewed online at

About Us

Our mission. PhotoPlace Gallery’s mission is to support contemporary fine art photography as a means of creative expression and cultural insight. PhotoPlace Gallery sponsors exhibition opportunities through international juried exhibits in Middlebury, Vermont, through our published exhibition catalogs, and on this website.