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November 4, 5, 6
PIE = Photography + Ideas + Experience
An artistic development retreat for all media
Sunset Center, Carmel CA

“The Artist is no other than he who unlearns what he has learned, in order to know himself”
—E.E. Cummings

Evolving as Artists

We live in an era when the future of fine art photography is wide open. We believe that as artists, what we learn travels from our heads to our hearts through our hands and is revealed in our art. Are you ready to explore new concepts that could lead to new insights that transform your art? The path to innovation does not follow a straight line. Creative breakthroughs happen when we allow space to look at ourselves and become immersed in diverse ideas. PIE Labs provides the time and space to engage with compelling mentors and their inspiring ideas. At the PIE Labs we don’t want to give you new crayons with which to color. We want to give you new motivation to color!

Why PIE?

1. Engage in the freedom of taking creative risks.
2. Explore your artistic purpose.
3. Consider your personal story and how best to express it.
4. Combine photography with different media in pursuit of new meaning.
5. Think differently about how you see.
6. Join a creative family and enjoy exceptional pie!

“I came away with enough ideas to last multiple lifetimes.” —2016 PIE Tech! Participant

2016 PIE Labs Daily Schedule


8:00–8:30am Registration, Coffee &
Conversation (CPA Gallery)
8:30–9:00am (Carpenter Hall)
Welcome and Orientation

9:00—12:30pm (Carpenter Hall)
PIE Lab 1: Frank DeLuca
You and Your Art. In and Out.
What gives life to your art? You. In the midst of trying to be creative, it is easy to get lost in ideas of uniqueness, flights of fancy, innovation that is clever but says nothing new. Where are you in all of this? In this lab, we will use “back-door” methods to discover not only what you would like to say in your art, but what you have been saying and noodling over all along. What is the story that has been following you? Using discovery processes in small groups, you will learn about the subconscious messages you are drawn to express.

12:30–1:30pm Catered Buffet Lunch and Gizdich Ranch Pie

1:30pm–5:00pm (Carpenter Hall)
PIE Lab 2: Deanne Fitzmaurice
Storytelling From the Heart
Storytelling lies at the heart of human interactions and is most often conveyed verbally  or in writing. Join us as Deanne Fitzmaurice presents an overview of her intense Pulitzer Prize-winning photography, demonstrating how photojournalism and documentary approaches are powerful strategies for communicating a story and a narrative. In-class exercises will help participants develop a clear and strong connection between their images and their audience. An emphasis will be placed on building trust with a subject, utilizing the strength of honesty, and developing an authentic voice toward creating your most meaningful story through your images.

5:30–6:30pm (Carpenter Hall)
KEYNOTE: Aline Smithson


8:00–9:00am Coffee & Conversation

9:00—12:30pm (Carpenter Hall)
PIE Lab 3: Aline Smithson
The Big Picture: Creating Meaningful Work and Presenting it to The Fine Art Market
Aline will present current trends and genres in fine art photography that will help spark new ideas and inspire you to not simply take photographs, but to conceive projects based on your ideas, your personal experiences, as well as the world around you. As both a practicing fine artist and recognized editor, Aline will present her unique perspective from sitting on both sides of the reviewing table.

12:30–1:30pm Catered Buffet Lunch and Gizdich Ranch Pie

1:30–5:00pm (Carpenter Hall)
PIE Lab 4: Jody Alexander
The Importance of Play
We all know that play is important for the development of children but it is also important for adults, especially creative adults. Play and experimentation leads to discovery whether it comes in the form of success or failure. Play helps us guide our next move. Jody Alexander will share her own artwork, much of which was the result of allowing herself to play and experiment in her studio. Following the lecture, participants will be invited to engage in creative play which will incorporate surface design, printing techniques, cutting and tearing paper, stitching paper and fabric, combining images and words, and incorporating all of these experiments in an accordion book. Unexpected juxtapositions and layers will lead to creative discoveries that just might become a new series or body of work!

5:00–6:30pm (Babcock Room)

6:30–8:30pm (Carpenter Hall)


8:00–9:00am Coffee & Conversation

9:00am–12:30pm (Carpenter Hall)
PIE Lab 5: Ann Jastrab
Preparing For Your Most Successful Portfolio Review
Drawing on her extensive experience as a gallery director and popular portfolio reviewer, Ann Jastrab will offer an understanding of the ins and outs of participating in portfolio reviews. She will also cover the presentation of your artwork to galleries, museums and publications. Ann will lay the foundation with an informational slide overview. She will also use several students’ portfolios to moderate a discussion on how to create a compelling body of work for submission for exhibition or publication. Small discussion groups will provide an opportunity for further review and refinement of students’ portfolios. Individual attention will be given to as many students as time allows.

12:30–1:30pm Catered Buffet Lunch and Gizdich Ranch Pie

1:30–5:30pm (Carpenter Hall)
PIE Lab 6: Holly Roberts
Making Unique Images with the Photograph
In this age of the ubiquitous photographic image, the unique print has become a rare and precious thing. By focusing on marrying different elements with the photograph, we will make images that are one of a kind—clearly made by hand. Students will experiment with several approaches to creating compelling backgrounds for their photographs. Using a few quick and easy techniques, Holly will show participants how to combine their photographs with the mixed media panels they’ve prepared to make a final image that is truly their own. This process will create a final image that is truly unique.

5:30–6:30pm (Carpenter Hall)

2016 PIE Labs Facilitators

jody_alexanderJody Alexander is a bookmaker and mixed media artist who lives and works in Santa Cruz, California. She binds books with found and discarded papers and fabric. She incorporates a number of historical and modern binding styles. She also rescues discarded books and gives them new life as scrolls, wall pieces, sculptural objects, and installations. Jody is the 2015 recipient of the Rydell Visual Arts Fellowship and her work appears in a number of publications including Masters: Book Arts: Major Works by Leading Artists; 500 Handmade Books; and 1000 Artists’ Books: Exploring the Book as Art.  Jody leads many textile and book workshops and has given private instruction as well.


2016-frank-delucaFrank De Luca, Ph.D., MFT, has been facilitating workshops in personal and professional development since 1978. As a psychotherapist, consultant and coach he has helped hundreds of people uncover and zero in on their unique talents and strengths. Through the use of group processes, the Enneagram personality system and in-depth dialogues, people develop greater access to their authentic selves and find more avenues of self-expression in all of their life pursuits. Frank’s own creative writing will be published next year in Two Windows, a collaboration with his partner, photographer Kenneth Gregg.


deanne_fitzmauriceDeanne Fitzmaurice, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer, is known for her unique ability to explore her subject’s physical and emotional layers that reveal the human connection we all crave to understand. She is an assignment photographer for publications including Sports Illustrated and National Geographic. She has a diverse commercial and nonprofit clientele such as Apple, Microsoft and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She has received awards from American Photography and Pictures of the Year International. She is a popular workshop leader at the Santa Fe Workshops, PDN/PhotoPlus (NYC) and, most recently, the Visa Pour L’Image, Perpignan, France. She is a co-founder of Think Tank Photo, is a Nikon Ambassador and is represented by National Geographic Creative.

jastrabAnn M. Jastrab, MFA, is the gallery director at RayKo Photo Center, San Francisco, and is responsible for furthering the appreciation of photography by facilitating opportunities for regional, national and international artists to create and present their work. Ann has curated many exhibitions for RayKo and has juried and organized numerous exhibitions for other national and international venues. She is a highly sought-after portfolio reviewer and has participated in Fotofest, Photolucida, Review Santa Fe, the Seoul International Photography Festival, and the Lishui International Photography Festival in China. In addition to curating, Ann is also a fine art photographer, master printer, and has been teaching courses at the Maine Media Workshops since 1994.

holly_robertsHolly Roberts, born in Boulder, Colorado, earned an MFA from Arizona State University, Tempe, in 1981. Her artworks, mixing photography and painting, along with other media, are found in over thirty-five corporate and public collections; have been exhibited nationally and internationally; and have been published in three major monographs. Twice she has received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. Holly currently lives and works in Corrales, New Mexico, with her husband, Robert Wilson.

alinesmithson-by-dudikAline Smithson is a photographic artist, educator, and the founder of the acclaimed daily blog, Lenscratch. She curates and juries exhibitions for a number of galleries, organizations, and on-line magazines and is a reviewer and workshop instructor at photo festivals across the United States. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the Excellence in Teaching Award by CENTER. For her contributions to the photographic community, she received the Rising Star Award which is given through the Griffin Museum of Photography. Her work was selected for the Critical Mass Top 50 Portfolios, Review Santa Fe, and the PDN Photo Annual. Aline is represented by galleries in the U.S. and Europe. Her work is held in a number of public collections and has been featured in respected publications including PDN, The New Yorker, Communication Arts, Diffusion, Lenswork, and Shots and Silvershotz. In 2015, she released a retrospective monograph, Self and Others, published by the Magenta Foundation. Aline lives and works in Los Angeles.

Personal Growth = Artistic Growth

Photography is Autobiographical

Another way to say that is, all photographs are “self-portraits.” The artist consciously or intuitively decides to make an image. Without the artist’s intent—her vision, her knowing, her feeling—she risks being relegated to irrelevant tripod status. We thrive on work that exhibits courage and vulnerability—artists willing to take a risk to say something important and personal. They not only reflect and interpret life, they also inform and shape it. They help bring attention to different ways of seeing and understanding. Photography is the art medium of the 21st century and we rely on its special perspective more than ever. When we see freedom in someone’s work, we become a little more open; when we see intelligence in someone’s work, we become a little smarter; and when we see vulnerability in someone’s work, we become more human. At CPA, we aim to deliver programs that foster these ideals and support artists in making their best and most important work.

Form & Content

Form gives shape to content. Through form photographers can learn to take advantage of the
tools, techniques and markets available to all artists. Our spring PIE Tech! is about looking outside at the intersection of art and science, expanding your literacy of tools and techniques that can shape your story. On the other hand, content originates from your authentic voice. The fall PIE Labs are about looking inside to elevate your authenticity and heighten your inherent creativity, thereby supporting work that only you can make.

A mastery of technique falls short without creativity, but when authenticity combines with mastery, meaningful art emerges. We invite you to join us at the 2016 PIE Labs to explore the role “self” plays in re-examining photography’s traditional paradigm while working to strengthen the creative content imperative to today’s artists.

Jerry Takigawa
PIE Maker

PIE Labs 2016 Registration

Space is limited! We encourage early registration to guarantee your place at PIE Labs 2016. Registration fee includes catered buffet lunches by Michael’s Catering and Wild Thyme Deli, Saturday pizza and salad dinner and, of course, ample slices of Gizdich Ranch pie.

All events and activities are subject to change without notice

“Thank you for providing such a fabulous weekend. I am so honored to be guided by insightful, intelligent and such creative people who did not hold back on “secrets” of the creative process.”
—2015 PIE Labs Participant