APG is pleased to announce Brett Abbott, Keough Family Curator of Photography and Head of Collections of the High Museum of Art, selected Atlanta-based artist Laura Noel as the 2014-15 recipient of the APG/High Museum of Art Purchase Award. APG will host a special celebration on Tuesday, September 1st at 6pm in the Gallery. Abbott will be on hand to speak briefly and present the Award to Noel. This event is free and open to the public. Five of Noel’s prints from her project, Smoke Break, were exhibited in APG’s Portfolio 2014 exhibition juried by Richard McCabe, Curator of Photography at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans from a national call for entries. From the eight photographers shown in the exhibition, Abbott selected Noel’s photographs for the museum’s permanent collection.
Each year, in conjunction with its Portfolio Exhibition, APG offers a purchase award to fund potential acquisition of photographs for the High Museum, the leading art museum in the Southeastern United States. All participating artists are eligible and Abbott may select one of them to receive this highly regarded award. Many arts organizations grant monetary awards, but APG is unique in that they also offer one of the most important and prestigious accomplishments an aspiring artist can achieve: inclusion in a major museum collection.
In a talk at the inaugural exhibition and award, Paul Martineau, Associate Curator of Photography at the J. Paul Getty Museum said, "[APG] serves a very important purpose in the Atlanta community. When Brett chooses the work and it goes on to the High, that is proof of the importance of the gallery as a channel for artists to make their way into the big time." Karen Irvine, Curator and Assistant Director at the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago and juror of the 2013 exhibition said, "The APG Purchase Award is an effective way of connecting artists to each other, the city of Atlanta, and its institutions. It provides photographers with a major opportunity."