FotoFest founders Wendy Watriss and Frederick Baldwin will receive this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Founded in 1983, FotoFest promotes the exchange of art and ideas through international programs and the presentation of photographic art. Watriss and Baldwin created the first international Biennial of Photography and Photo-related Art in the United States. Interview by MFAH’s Photography Curator, Anne Tucker.
Wendy Watriss co-founded FotoFest in 1983 and has served as artistic director and principal curator since 1991. Watriss has worked as a photographer, journalist, curator and writer. Watriss covered major political events during her tenure as a journalist including the religious conflict in Sub-Saharan Africa and Vietnam veterans and Agent Orange. She worked as a professional photographer from 1970 to 1992 and then in 1998 produced the award-winning book IMAGE AND MEMORY, Photography from Latin America 1866-1994. Watriss has developed over 60 international exhibits for FotoFest..
Frederick Baldwin co-founded FotoFest in 1983 and served as president from 1984-2001 when he became Chairman of the Board of Directors. Baldwin has been commissioned by many international publications including LIFE, National Geographic and the New York Times covering topics spanning from Civil Rights Movement in Georgia to the Peace Corps volunteers in India throughout his career as a professional photographer. He was a professor of documentary photography in the School of Communications at the University of Texas in Austin and directed the Photojournalism Program at the University of Houston Central Campus.
FotoFest Founders Wendy Watriss and Frederick Baldwin have been influential players in the photography world throughout their careers, leading them to create the First International Biennial of Photography and Photo-related Art in the US. While the Biennial is the major event, FotoFest is made up of many different programs including exhibitions and special events for collectors and Meeting Place Portfolio Review for Artists, which creates an opportunity for artists to meet and show work to influential curators, publishers, editors and collectors. The FotoFest 2014 Biennial, the Fifteenth International Biennial of Photography and Photo-related Art, will take place March 15 through April 27, 2014 in Houston, Texas and will focus on Contemporary Arab Photographic Art.