Critical Mass: More New Jurors Join the Team

Every year, many new faces join the Critical Mass jurying team. Our primary goal is to maximize exposure for participating photographers. The more jurors see the work, the more career-building connections happen. Many photographers are offered exhibitions, publications, and more after sharing their work in Critical Mass. Jurors look to Critical Mass as a resource for finding engaging new work. This is part of the magic of Critical Mass. If you’re a photographer looking to gain new exposure for your work, entering Critical Mass can be a helpful step in the right direction.

The 2015 Critical Mass jury is a force to be reckoned with. It includes 200+ museum curators, gallerists, photo book and magazine publishers, photo editors, collectors, and media producers. We thought we’d take the time to introduce a few more of the new faces on the Critical Mass jury.

Ready to enter? The entry deadline is July 28th at noon Pacific Time – less than two weeks away. Don’t miss it!
Learn more.

David Birkitt
Owner & Founder, DMB Represents

Having studied photography and photographic history in the UK, David Birkitt embarked on a career in photographer representation with the London-based agency Penny Rich in 1996, representing photographers including Lee Strickland and Jane Hilton. Working alongside Penny he managed various commercial photography projects producing shoots in Europe for brands such as Ben Sherman, Psfer, and British GQ. During the next seven years he worked with some of the most renowned photographic artists including Nadav Kander, Stephen Shore, Larry Sultan, Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin, Joel Sternfeld, Koto Bolofo, and Mitch Epstein. He worked on projects with international scope, delivering both photography and production services for clients such as Nike, Adidas, Samsung, The British Gold Council, Intercontinental Hotels, GE, VW, Mercedes Benz, Orange Communications, Vodafone, British Vogue, and British Airways. During this time David also worked with Magnum Photos photographers including Martin Parr, Alec Soth, Peter Marlow, and Stuart Franklin. Wanting to combine his knowledge and experience along with his own vision for the future of the photographic industry as a whole, he founded DMB Media in London in 2008. The vision was to bring together the most exciting and challenging lens-based artists committed to pushing the boundaries of the creative process, along with the new possibilities provided by digital platforms and new ways to produce imagery and content. He now leads DMB, representing leading image makers such as Martin Parr, Mark Mattock, Nadia Lee Cohen, and Finn Taylor. The agency has offices in London and Paris, and specializes in creating visual conversations.

Nancy Richards Farese
Founder & Board Chair, CatchLight

Nancy Richards Farese is Founder and Board Chair of CatchLight, formerly know as PhotoPhilanthropy, a  San Francisco-based nonprofit that curates, distributes, and rewards excellence for visual images used to promote awareness of critical global issues. Nancy is from Carrollton, Georgia and is now living between the Bay Area and Boston. She is also a documentary photographer known for creating evocative and dignified images of nonprofit work for use in social awareness and storytelling. She travels extensively shooting on behalf of NGOs such as The Carter Center, Mercy Corps, The International Rescue Committee, and most recently the UNHCR and RefugePoint. Her work has been featured in Time, The San Francisco Chronicle, and The Financial Times, and as the book cover on Creating Room To Read, by John Wood. Nancy frequently lectures and blogs on the evolving role of visual media in non-profit storytelling.

Haley Jane Samuelson
Exhibitions Chair, Colorado Photographic Arts Center

Haley Jane Samuelson is the Chair of the Exhibitions Committee at the Colorado Photographic Arts Center. She has served as a visiting online editor to various art websites such as and has given lectures and presentations at various institutions including FIT and the New York Photo Salon. As Assistant Director of Keith de Lellis Gallery she helped coordinate exhibitions, worked with individual artists on more extensive projects, and acted as a liaison for the gallery. She also taught at the New York City College of Technology and Jersey City Art School. Her own work has been shown at art fairs across the globe, including Photo LA, Photo Miami, and Art Basel. In June 2009, she had her first NYC Solo Show, “Another Room” which was well-received, gaining some publicity, most notably a short review in The New Yorker by Vince Aletti. A second solo show followed at Housprojects Gallery in 2012. Her work has been published in several international magazines including Zoom Magazine, Oxford American Photo France, and Korea Photo+ among others.

Melanie Craven
Owner & Director, Tilt Gallery

In 2004, Melanie and her twin sister Michelle founded Tilt Gallery, which has now been open for over a decade. Tilt was first conceived of as a studio and darkroom space showcasing work during First Friday Art Walks in the reviving Grand Avenue Arts District in downtown Phoenix. Nourished with support and devotion, the intimate gallery quickly evolved and filled a niche for representing and exhibiting leading image makers using historical techniques and hand-applied processes within contemporary photography. Currently located in Old Town Scottsdale, Tilt continues to offer individual artist exhibitions, juried and group shows, and programs to serve the local art community. In 2014, Melanie served as juror for The Kiernan Gallery Fact and Fantasy exhibition. She also served as a juror with her twin Michelle for The Mills Pond House Gallery’s 34th Annual Juried Photography Exhibition. Melanie has exhibited her own photographic work both in the United States and abroad. She has a Bachelor’s of Fine Art in photography specializing in the collotype photomechanical printing process. Along with her sister Michelle, she has produced an ongoing photographic series called Identical Otherness, which was first published in Hayen’s Ferry Review in 2003. In 2006, Melanie’s work was included in Collotype Past, Present and Future in conjunction with the exhibition at The Foyer Gallery at the Center for Fine Print Research in Bristol, England. Recently, her work was included in artist Jill Enfield’s Guide to Photographic Alternative Processes.

Wesley Hogan
Director, Duke Center for Documentary Studies

Wesley Hogan is the Director of the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. She teaches the history of youth social movements, African American history, women’s history, and oral history. Her book on SNCC, Many Minds, One Heart: SNCC and the Dream for a New America (2007), won the Lillian Smith Book Award, the Scott-Bills Memorial Prize for best work in peace history, and the Library of Virginia nonfiction literary award. She was the co-director of the Institute for the Study of Race Relations at Virginia State University from 2006-2009, whose mission is to bring together community organizers, researchers, and young leaders to promote healthy communities. Between 2004-2008, she was active with the project bringing together the Algebra Project, the Young People’s Project and the Petersburg City Public Schools, and coordinated an oral history project of the civil rights movement in Petersburg. She is currently working on a post-1960s history of young people organizing in the spirit of Ella Baker. She also co-facilitates a partnership between the SNCC Legacy Project and Duke, “One Person, One Vote-The Legacy of SNCC and the Fight for Voting Rights”. Its purpose is to bring the grassroots stories of the civil rights movement to a much wider public through a web portal, K12 initiative, and set of critical oral histories. Signature programs at the Center for Documentary Studies have included Indivisible: Stories of American Community, a national photography and audio initiative funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts; The Jazz Loft Project, based on photographs and tapes made by W. Eugene Smith in New York City; the Dorothea Lange–Paul Taylor Prize, supporting writers and photographers in fieldwork projects; and the CDS/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography, for accomplished American and Canadian photographers who have not yet published a book.