Instagrammers Respond to Social Media Call for Contemporary Photographs Inspired by Berenice Abbott

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Fifteen winning submissions through #JJ Community’s Instagram forum
to be installed in the Wolfsonian lobby for Summer 2017 in
The Long Road to Now: Digital Photos Inspired by Berenice Abbott’s Road Trip

Project coincides with major exhibition on the work of Berenice Abbott (June 9–October 8, 2017),
featuring images of the artist’s 1954 road trip from Key West to northern Maine

MIAMI BEACH (May 11, 2017) — The Wolfsonian–Florida International University and #JJ Community have partnered to launch a social media challenge and installation of photography that takes its cues from the work of noted 20th-century artist Berenice Abbott. From over 7,000 entries submitted via Instagram, fifteen finalists have been chosen to be featured in The Long Road to Now: Digital Photos Inspired by Berenice Abbott’s Road Trip, on view in the Wolfsonian lobby from June 9 through October 8, 2017. The installation is presented in tandem with North and South: Berenice Abbott’s U.S. Route 1, organized by the Syracuse University Art Collection. Both the contemporary installation and the historic exhibition—the first major photography display at The Wolfsonian in over ten years—are grounded in a shared interest in documenting everyday scenes, and capture a spirit of adventurous exploration.

#JJ Community brings together professional and amateur photographers to foster collaboration under the mission to “create to connect.” Through daily themed Instagram posts on their handle @jjcommunity, #JJ ignites creativity and fuels the next generation of emerging photographic artists. This will be the team’s second museum partnership, having co-organized #MobilePhotoNow with the Columbus Museum of Art in 2015.

“Visual storytelling has become democratized through smartphones and new digital tools,” said #JJ Community CEO Kevin Kuster. “Because of this, we’re now experiencing a renaissance in photography and witnessing an incredible standard of quality in our images unlike ever before. Any one of us can now open doors to our inner artistic voice in unprecedented ways—no longer limited by technology, but only by our imagination.”

Added Tim Rodgers, Wolfsonian director: “In this day and age, with so many millions of images shared, consumed, and quickly forgotten online, we’re excited to extend these ephemeral moments for the chance at deeper reflection. The fifteen stunning works, each so carefully considered and skillfully executed, are right at home when seen in conversation with Abbott’s iconic images.”

The winning submissions fall under three themes: Signage, Classic, and Road Trip, each derived from motifs found in North and South, which chronicles Abbott’s 1954 journey along U.S. Route 1. While Abbott’s black-and-white photography depicted a changing America—at a moment when one major East Coast highway system was bypassing another—her contemporary counterpoints portray visions of daily life around the globe, most in full color. Artists from Lisbon, Paris, Yekaterinburg, Milan, Chicago, New York, and beyond all demonstrate a keen eye for composition, style, and artfulness similar to their mid-century muse. From nighttime car window snapshots, mirror reflections, and views of international landmarks to poignant candids and epic landscapes, these photographers have left their mark on social media’s visual dialogue about the world we live in today.

For the full list of winners and their work, visit wolfsonian.org.

To celebrate the installation, #JJ Community followers will join Wolfsonian members and special guests for an exclusive VIP Preview Party for both The Long Road to Now and North and South on Thursday, June 8, 2017, 7–9pm, in advance of the public opening. #JJ Community founder Josh Johnson and Kuster will then lead a Miami #JJ photowalk on Friday, June 9, 2017. Details will be posted at wolfsonian.org/calendar.

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Installation Support
The Long Road to Now: Digital Photos Inspired by Berenice Abbott’s Road Trip is made possible by the Washington Park Hotel.

About The Wolfsonian–Florida International University
The Wolfsonian–FIU is a museum, library, and research center that uses objects to illustrate the persuasive power of art and design, to explore what it means to be modern, and to tell the story of social, historical, and technological changes that have transformed our world. The collection comprises approximately 180,000 objects dating from 1850 to 1950—the height of the Industrial Revolution through the aftermath of the Second World War—in a variety of media including furniture; industrial-design objects; works in glass, ceramics, and metal; rare books; periodicals; ephemera; works on paper; paintings; textiles; and medals.

The Wolfsonian is located at 1001 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL. Admission is $10 for adults; $5 for seniors, students, and children age 6–12; and free for Wolfsonian members, State University System of Florida staff and students with ID, and children under six. The museum is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, 10am–6pm; Friday, 10am–9pm; Sunday, noon–6pm; and is closed on Wednesday. Contact us at 305.531.1001 or visit us online at wolfsonian.org for further information.

The Wolfsonian receives generous and ongoing support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners; State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture; and City of Miami Beach, Cultural Affairs Program, Cultural Arts Council.

About Florida International University
Florida International University is classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as R1: Doctoral Universities – Highest Research Activity and recognized as a Carnegie engaged university. It is a public research university with colleges and schools that offers 196 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs in fields such as engineering, computer science, international relations, architecture, law and medicine. As one of South Florida’s anchor institutions, FIU contributes almost $9 billion each year to the local economy. FIU is Worlds Ahead in finding solutions to the most challenging problems of our time. FIU emphasizes research as a major component of its mission. FIU has awarded more than 220,000 degrees and enrolls more than 54,000 students in two campuses and three centers including FIU Downtown on Brickell, FIU@I-75, and the Miami Beach Urban Studios. FIU’s Medina Aquarius Program houses the Aquarius Reef Base, a unique underwater research facility in the Florida Keys. FIU also supports artistic and cultural engagement through its three museums: Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, The Wolfsonian–FIU, and The Jewish Museum of Florida–FIU. FIU is a member of Conference USA and more than 400 student-athletes participating in 18 sports. For more information about FIU, visit fiu.edu.

About #JJ Community
The #JJ COMMUNITY is comprised of the most active group of photographers, creatives, Instagram influencers, hobbyists and storytellers in the world. With over 43 million images submitted to more than 400 events per year, we have found that documenting and sharing the story of our lives through a creative, collaborative process allows people to develop deep and powerful friendships. Through daily themes, contests and events, we “create to connect” every day. instagram.com/jjcommunity (IG: @jjcommunity)

About the SUArt Galleries Traveling Exhibition Program
The Syracuse University Art Galleries Traveling Exhibition Program has provided affordable exhibitions to small and medium museums and university art galleries for nearly two decades. The SUArt Galleries staff generates exhibitions from Syracuse University’s permanent art collection. The focus of the collection is works of art on paper, demonstrating exceptional strength in pieces from the 20th century. Print shows have examined the work of James McNeill Whistler, Georges Rouault, and the German Expressionist movement. Other exhibitions have studied artist portraits and self-portraits, early 20th century images of New York City subways and skyscrapers and 19th century hand-colored Japanese photographs. More information on the Syracuse University Traveling Exhibition Program can be found at travex.syr.edu.

The SUArt Galleries is the largest exhibition venue at Syracuse University for the visual arts. Located in the Shaffer Art Building, SUArt Galleries was established in 2006 and hosts a variety of temporary and permanent exhibitions throughout the year in its nearly 10,000 square feet of exhibition space. The department’s mission is to enhance the cultural environment of the University and the Syracuse area through meaningful educational experiences and encounters with the University’s permanent collection and temporary exhibitions.

Images
Left to right: details of winning submissions by artists Toby Baldinger (IG: @tobyb_nyc | Signage category), Frank Orrico (IG: @franko68 | Classic category), and Susie Nishio (IG: @loggerhead55 | Road Trip category).

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