Our Contributors

Bull City Summer is made possible by a team of talented writers, photographers and visual artists.

Visual Artists

Alex Harris

Alex HarrisAlex Harris was born in Atlanta, Georgia and grew up in the South. Harris has photographed for extended periods in Cuba, the Inuit villages of Alaska, the Hispanic villages of northern New Mexico, and across the American South. He has taught at Duke University for more than three decades and is a founder there of the Center for Documentary Photography and the Center for Documentary Studies. Harris’s awards include a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in Photography, a Rockefeller Foundation Humanities Fellowship, and a Lyndhurst Prize. His book, River of Traps, with William deBuys (1990) was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in general non-fiction. Harris’s work is represented in major photographic collections, including The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, and The North Carolina Museum of Art. His photographs have been exhibited in numerous museums, including two solo exhibitions at the International Center of Photography in New York City. As a photographer and editor, Harris has published fifteen books, including in 2012 with co-author Edward O. Wilson, Why We Are Here: Mobile and the Spirit of A Southern City (Norton).

Frank Hunter

Frank Hunter 2012Frank Hunter, a native of El Paso, Texas, grew up in the desert Southwest. Hunter, who received an MA in communications from the University of Colorado and an MFA in photography from Ohio University, teaches the fundamentals of photography and courses in 19th-century photographic processes in Art and Documentary Studies at Duke University. His hand-coated platinum/palladium photographs, made with an 8 x 10 view camera, portray the cultural landscape with a singular lyricism.

Kate Joyce

KateJoyce_HeadShotKate Joyce is a visual artist based in Chicago. She was born and raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She studied photojournalism and sociology at San Francisco State University; Spanish in Guatemala and Chile; and documentary photography at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. Between 2006-2009 she worked for the renowned architectural photography studio, Hedrich Blessing, as an apprentice, web designer and staff photographer. In 2010 she started Kate Joyce Studios and continues to work with clients on architectural and design projects.

In 2000, Joyce collaborated with Rebecca Solnit and Susan Schwartzenberg on their book, Hollow City: The Siege of San Francisco and the Crisis of American Urbanism. Joyce also received a Lewis Hine Documentary Initiative Fellowship in 2003 and spent a year in Bloemfontein, South Africa working on documentary projects with a local NGO.

Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review Daily, The Chicagoan, Architect Magazine and The New York Times. Her work also appears in the collections of The Museum of New Mexico and Duke University Perkins Library Special Collections & Rare Archive.

Elizabeth Matheson

DSC_7178A native of Hillsborough, North Carolina, Elizabeth Matheson earned her BA from Sweet Briar College and later studied at the Penland School of Crafts with John Menapace.

One-person exhibitions of her work include Hollins University, the Virginia Polytechnic Institute, the North Carolina Museum of Art, Duke University, Western Carolina University, the National Humanities Center and the Gregg Museum at North Carolina State University. Her work is in the collections of Duke University, the Ackland Museum and the North Carolina Museum of Art, among many others.

Among her publications are To See, poems by Michael McFee, North Carolina Wesleyan Press, 1991; Blithe Air: Photographs of England, Wales, and Ireland, Jargon  Society, 1995; and Shell Castle, Portrait of a North Carolina House, Safe Harbor Books, 2008.

In 2004, Elizabeth Matheson was awarded the North Carolina Award for Excellence in the Arts, the state`s highest civilian honor.

Leah Sobsey

leah photo bcsLeah Sobsey is an artist and educator raised in Chapel Hill and Durham, North Carolina. She works in traditional, digital and alternative-process photography, mixed media installations and public art. Sobsey has exhibited nationally in galleries, museums and public spaces, and her work is held in private and public collections across the country. Co-founder of the Visual History Collaborative, she received an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and a BA in Anthropology and Sociology from Guilford College. She has taught at the San Francisco Art Institute and the Maine Photographic Workshops, and now teaches at the Center for Documentary Studies and UNC-Greensboro. Her current work includes Collections, a photographic series on endangered specimens from the National Parks Museum collections.

Alec Soth

alecsoth_smAlec Soth (b. 1969) is a photographer born and based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His photographs have been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions, including the 2004 Whitney and São Paulo Biennials. In 2008, a large survey exhibition of Soth’s work was exhibited at Jeu de Paume in Paris and Fotomuseum Winterthur in Switzerland. In 2010, the Walker Art produced a large survey exhibition of Soth’s work entitled From Here To There. Soth’s first monograph, Sleeping by the Mississippi, was published by Steidl in 2004 to critical acclaim. Since then Soth has published NIAGARA (2006); Fashion Magazine (2007); Dog Days, Bogotá (2007); The Last Days of W (2008); and Broken Manual (2010). Soth has been the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards, including the Guggenheim Fellowship (2013). In 2008, Soth started his own publishing company, Little Brown Mushroom. Soth is represented by Sean Kelly in New York and Weinstein Gallery in Minneapolis. He is a member of Magnum Photos.

Hank Willis Thomas

Hank Willis ThomasHank Willis Thomas is a photo conceptual artist working with themes related to identity, history and popular culture. He received his BFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and his MFA in photography, along with an MA in visual criticism, from California College of the Arts (CCA) in San Francisco. Thomas has acted as a visiting professor at CCA and in the MFA programs at Maryland Institute College of Art and ICP/Bard and has lectured at Yale University, Princeton University, the Birmingham Museum of Art and the Musee du Quai Branly in Paris. His work has been featured in several publications including 25 under 25: Up-and-Coming American Photographers (CDS, 2003) and 30 Americans (RFC, 2008), as well as his monograph Pitch Blackness (Aperture, 2008). He received a new media fellowship through the Tribeca Film Institute and was an artist in residence at Johns Hopkins University, as well as a 2011 fellow at the W.E.B DuBois Institute at Harvard University. He has exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the United States and abroad, and his work is displayed in numerous public collections including the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Brooklyn Museum and the Museum of Modern Art.

Hiroshi Watanabe

Hiroshi WatanabeHiroshi Watanabe was born in Sapporo, Japan. He graduated from the Department of Photography, College of Art, at Nihon University in 1975. After graduation, he moved to Los Angeles and became involved in the production of TV commercials, eventually working as a producer. He later established his own production company and produced numerous commercials. He received an MBA degree from UCLA Business School in 1993. In 1995, his passion for photography rekindled, and since then he has traveled worldwide extensively, photographing what he finds intriguing at that moment and place. In 2000, he closed his production company in order to devote himself entirely to art and became a full-time photographer. Watanabe’s work has been published around the world and has been exhibited in many galleries across the United States and Japan.

Ivan Weiss

imageIvan Weiss is a documentary filmmaker living in Durham, North Carolina. He currently studies in the MA in Mass Communication program at UNC-Chapel Hill. Before returning to school, he served as a producer at Film@11 Media. Previously, he worked as a journalist covering the oil industry in Russia. As an undergraduate at Haverford College, he double majored in English and Russian. Despite his Russian-sounding name, Weiss in fact grew up in the suburbs of Indianapolis.


Adam Sobsey

Adam SobseyAdam Sobsey began covering the Durham Bulls as a beat writer in 2009 for INDY Week (formerly the Independent Weekly). He writes a weekly column for Baseball Prospectus and wrote the Tampa Bay Rays chapter for the 2013 Baseball Prospectus Annual. He is also a playwright, with work seen in New York, California, Texas and North Carolina.


Sam Stephenson

Sam StephensonSam Stephenson serves as director of Bull City Summer. A North Carolina native and longtime Triangle resident, Stephenson spent a decade directing The Jazz Loft Project, which concerned a building in New York City obsessively documented by photographer W. Eugene Smith between 1957 and 1965. The Jazz Loft Project won an ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award in 2010 and included a book called by New York Times book critic Dwight Garner “a singularly vital and thrumming American document.” Bull City Summer is the inaugural project of Stephenson’s Rock Fish Stew Institute of Literature and Materials.

Howard L. Craft

Howard L. CraftHoward L. Craft is a father, husband, poet, playwright and arts educator. He is the author of a book of poems, Across the Blue Chasm. His poetry also appears in Home is Where: An Anthology of African-American Poets from the Carolinas, edited by Kwame Dawes. He is the author of several plays including Caleb Calypso and the Midnight Marauders and The Jade City Chronicles Vol. 1: The Super Spectacular Bad Ass Herald M.F. Jones. Craft is the creator of the first African-American Super Hero Radio Serial: The Jade City Pharaoh. He teaches creative writing in public and private schools and also to adults through the North Carolina Writers Network.

Frances O’Roark Dowell

Frances O'Roark DowellFrances O’Roark Dowell is the author of twelve books for young adults and children, including the Edgar-winning Dovey Coe, Ten Miles Past Normal, and The Sound of Your Voice, Only Really Far Away. A long-time Durham Bulls fan who remembers Chipper Jones from his Single-A days, Dowell throws and bats left. She recently received a new glove for Mother’s Day, which goes to show she’s raised her children right.


Emma D. Miller

Emma D. MillerEmma D. Miller is a writer, radio producer and actress. She studied cultural anthropology at Duke University as a Robertson Scholar and earned a certificate from the Center for Documentary Studies. Miller is a regular contributor to INDY Week, the Triangle’s award-winning alternative-weekly newspaper. In the past, she has written about documentary, theatre and the arts for NPR, PBS’s POV and WNYC’s Studio 360, and her audio work has been broadcast on public radio stations around the country.

In addition to contributing writing for Bull City Summer, Miller serves as project coordinator and web producer.