/ 2010 / Book /

The Downs at Albuquerque

  • Prize
    Gold in Book Proposal (Series Only)/Documentary, 1st Place winner in Book Proposal (Series Only)
  • Photographer
    Ellen Rennard, United States
  • Website

This book focuses on the people, horses, and trappings of ordinary life at The Downs at Albuquerque, a thoroughbred and quarter horse racetrack in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Black and white film and silver gelatin prints suggest the look of photographs from forty years ago, when horseracing was the most popular spectator sport in America.

Born on the island of Guam, Ellen Rennard majored in Independent Studies at Princeton University, where she wrote her thesis on images of Native Americans. After earning an MA in English from Middlebury in 1987, she studied photography with Eugene Richards, Shelby Lee Adams, Douglas Kent Hall, and others. In 2001 Rennard was the still photographer for the documentary film, The True Meaning of Pictures. She has been a photo assistant to Shelby Lee Adams in eastern Kentucky and on assignment for various magazines.

In 2009 the unpublished book on Rennardâ??s long-term project on The Downs at Albuquerque was nominated for a New York Photo book award. Solo exhibitions of images from this project opened at the Griffin Museum of Photography's Atelier Gallery in Stoneham, MA in January of 2010 and appeared on Women in Photograph (wipnyc.org). Images from The Downs will be also be shown on the Silver Eye Center for Photographyâ??s New Works Gallery Online in August 2010. A portfolio of work from The Downs is featured in Issue 10 of Fraction Magazine and was selected for The Center for Fine Art Photographyâ??s Portfolio Showcase 4, juried by Katherine Ware. In January 2010 the UK edition of Black and White Magazine ran an article about Rennardâ??s Griffin Museum exhibition, and VISION magazine (China) included a six-page feature on The Downs in 2008. In 2009 Rennardâ??s photographs were selected for the Griffin Museumâ??s 15th Juried Exhibition, for Project Bashoâ??s Onward 09, for the Center for Fine Art Photographyâ??s Black and White Exhibition, and for the Houston Center for Photography Members Only Exhibition, where Rennard received a jurorâ??s commendation; she also received honorable mention in the Camera Club of New Yorkâ??s National Competition. Rennard was in Photolucidaâ??s Critical Mass Top 50 in 2009 and in 2008 was a Critical Mass Finalist. Her photographs have appeared in numerous publications including Oxford American, Rangefinder, Black and White Magazine, and JPG. She currently teaches at Groton School in Groton, Massachusetts.