'From Smartphones to Museum Walls' by Rena Silverman, NY Times

Photo by Rob DePaolo

Photo by Rob DePaolo

“'One of the things the Photo Leaguers did is during their time they went out and gave each other assignments on a Saturday,' said Jennifer Poleon, who organized mobile photography initiatives, such as biweekly Photo Hunts — a Photo League concept — during that Columbus exhibition. 'They gave themselves a word or a phrase and they would come back, develop the pictures and have a pop-up exhibition to go along with it. So we took that concept and modernized it.'

During that time, they received hundreds of submissions and had five small shows. Then in late 2013, Kevin Kuster, a former Playboy senior photo editor who helps head the #JJ Community, noticed on his Instagram feed that the Columbus Museum of Art had participated in an Instameet. 'I was like, wow, that is fabulous,' he said. “Here is this major museum who gets it, that it’s not just about hanging pictures on a wall, it’s about engagement and it’s about community.'

He approached the museum with the idea of producing a large-scale exhibition, which he said would be 'the largest mobile photo exhibition in a major museum in United States history.' They were in.

While some professional photographers might grow nervous at the idea of Instagram users taking over a museum, Mr. Kuster said people should embrace it. 'There is an amazing movement that’s happening in photography,' he said. 'There are so many great and talented people who are finding their voice.'

To submit images, participants had to use the hashtag #mobilephotonowcma in addition to the themed #JJ hashtag. There were four themes spaced out over four weeks announced on the #JJ community feed:  #jj_cma_street, #jj_cma_portrait, #jj_cma_community and #jj_cma_blackandwhite. Mr. Kuster and Josh Johnson sifted through some 45,000 and narrowed it to 650."

 

Exhibition information here.

Read full article here.