From the moment Watkins announced its Visiting Artist Series back in 2011, I have been anxiously counting down the weeks and now just mere days to what is, in my mind, its grand finale: a lecture by Alec Soth. This Minnesota-based photographer (whose last name rhymes with “both”) is one of the coolest camera-wielding artists in the country today. His photographs, which have been exhibited around the world for over a decade, depict contemporary America at its most poetic and least corny. If you are a fan of offbeat, tell-it-like-it-is photographers like William Eggleston and Stephen Shore, you are sure to love Soth’s work. He’s brave, he’s young, and from what I’ve seen on YouTube, he’s a very charismatic public speaker — which is often rare among artist-types. A tip from a regular at these Watkins lectures: Get there super-early if you want a seat for this one. It’s going to be a packed house.