LOOK3's Appointment of Mary Virginia Swanson as Executive Director.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE            CONTACT: Lisa M. Draine, Festival Manager Charlottesville, Virginia                     (434) 977-3687 or
September 8, 2015


The Board of Directors of LOOK3 is pleased to announce Mary Virginia Swanson’s appointment as Executive Director of the LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph.  She begins her position September 15th.  

“I have spent my career helping photographers be the best they can be, and to serve LOOK3 as Executive Director brings together my expertise and my passion”, says Ms. Swanson.
Michael “Nick” Nichols, a co-founder of LOOK3 shares, “We are thrilled and honored that such a well respected long-time member of the photographic community will be calling LOOK3 home.  Given her 30 plus years working with photographers, I am confident she will take LOOK3 to new heights.”

2016 is the 10th year anniversary of the founding of LOOK3. We look forward to the next decade with excited anticipation as Mary Virginia Swanson takes the helm.

LOOK3’ mission is to celebrate the vision of extraordinary photographers, ignite conversations about critical issues, and foster the next generation of artists.   

The next LOOK3 Festival will take place the week of June 13th 2016; programming will be announced on the website in the coming months:                                
After receiving her MFA in Photography at Arizona State University, Swanson directed educational programs for The Friends of Photography in Carmel, California, headed Special Projects at Magnum Photos, and subsequently founded SWANSTOCK, an innovative photo agency.  Swanson has worked as a consultant and advisor to artists and arts organizations around the world, including Blue Earth Alliance, the ASMP Foundation, the New Orleans Photo Alliance, En Foco, Houston Center for Photography, and Texas Photographic Society.  She serves on the Director’s Visiting Committee of the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, Arizona.

Ms. Swanson has received numerous honors including the Honored Educator Award from the Society for Photographic Education (2015), the Susan Carr Award for Education from the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) (2014) and the Lifetime Achievement FOCUS Award from the Griffin Museum of Photography (2013).  


HISTORY:  LOOK3 was born out of the long-held backyard slide shows hosted by Michael “Nick” Nichols, the last one taking place in 2005.  The next year, the LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph was established as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation in Charlottesville, which hosted its first Festival, dubbed “3 days of peace, love, and photography", in 2007.

TODAY: LOOK3 has grown into an internationally recognized venue for photographic excellence, transforming the historic pedestrian center of downtown Charlottesville, Virginia into a vibrant, dynamic cultural zone with exhibitions, artist presentations, workshops, and projections curated by leaders in the photographic field. William Albert Allard, Larry Fink, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Josef Koudelka, Tim Laman, Tom Mangelsen, Sally Mann, Mary Ellen Mark, Richard Misrach, Zanele Muholi, Martin Parr, Sylvia Plachy, Eugene Richards, Alec Soth, Hank Willis Thomas, and Carrie Mae Weems are among the talented artists who have been celebrated at LOOK3.

For more information & images contact
Lisa M. Draine, Festival Manager at (434) 977-3687 or
Mary Virginia Swanson at Santa Fe Photo Workshops 2015. ©Steven St. John
Michael "Nick" Nichols' Artist Talk 2013. ©Mark Makela
The Paramount Theater 2015.
©Tiffany L. Clark
Piotr Naskrecki 2015 TREES Artist talks about his work with High School students. ©Tiffany L. Clark
Copyright © 2015 LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph, All rights reserved.

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