Photo Show 35
Mystic Museum of Art’s annual juried photography exhibition open to all artists with an emphasis on original imagery.
Photo Show 35 is sponsored by ABC PhotoLab and the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development.
Opening Reception – Thursday, October 10, 5:30pm – 7pm
Nick Benson, For the Workforce, Drowning.
Catherine W. Singer, Nature’s Mystery, Balkhash.
Dennis Murphy, Sandy Hollow Road.
George Fellner, Pele Awakens on Kilauea.
John Herring, Picnic’s End, Balkhash.
Eileen McCarney Muldoon, Da Ya Na.
Sally Perreten, Grand Central.
First Prize: Nick Benson, For the Workforce, Drowning.
Second Prize: Catherine W. Singer, Nature’s Mystery.
Honorable Mention: Gerge Fellner, Pele Awakens on Kilauea.
Honorable Mention: John Herring, Picnic’s End, Balkhash.
Honorable Mention: Sally Perreten, Grand Central.
First off, I would like to thank Karin Whittemore for taking that leap of faith in recommending me to Karen Barthelson. Many thanks to Karen and her staff for making me feel welcome throughout the whole process of being the chosen juror for the Mystic Museum of Art Photo Show 35. What a great space to walk into filled to the brim with photographs, 248 of them to be exact. Wow! That shows an incredibly active and robust photography community, which is great to see. Also great is the fact that you all support Mystic Museum of Art.
So how does one step into a gallery full of photographs, covering a wide range of subjects, styles and execution, all on the floor leaning against the walls, spread out across 5 rooms and hallways? Knowing that the task before me will be daunting, editing your work down to a manageable number for exhibition? For me, that’s easy, I walk in with an open mind. I want to see what you’ve been working on. I want to get an idea of how you see and interpret the world before you. I want to feel that you are serious about what you do. I want to be impressed. And I was impressed with the overall high caliber of work submitted. You made my job hard to do but that is what I wanted from you. I want to agonize over my choices. And believe me, I did, as Karen will attest.
Every juror has a method to their editing madness. Mine is to give each of you and your photograph some time to convince me to stick around for another round. I literally hold up each photo against the wall, under good light, and study it. Round after round after round. The normal rules apply: good lighting, composition, color, tonal range, contrast, focus, execution, presentation, etc. For those of you who are in the show, your picture(s) held my interest through 5 rounds, which took 5 hours and probably added more than a few unwanted gray hairs. When the dust cleared, there were 114 fine photographs left standing.
Out of those 114, I had selected 12 as candidates for awards. I’ve never been big on choosing a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place for artwork because it gives the feeling that one is better than the other. I don’t see it that way. All of the top seven (including the honorable mentions) are outstanding photographs. They are all well seen, executed and beautifully presented. I feel the same for the other five candidates too: Syl Pauley, Jr., Hanalei Pier, Hanalei, Kauai. Eric Hovermale, A Rapture. Paul Murray, Antarctica Portal. Linda A. Casey, Another World. Susan Higgins, Dolorosa.
For those of you who made it into the show, congratulations are in order. For those whose pictures were not selected, don’t despair. You need to continue to work hard on your image making. Edit your work ruthlessly and enter only your very best photographs. Understand how to better use the tools at your disposal, such as your camera and your imaging software. Don’t forget that how you chose to print your picture is very important. There is a very wide range of paper choices to choose from. Surface and size are key ingredients that need to be considered. Try buying a sample pack of paper, then print the same picture on different papers and see which print makes that image come alive. Make sure that you clean up and optimize your digital image in post-production. Your print, glass, mat and frame need to be clean and dust free.
Unfortunately, I have a class on Thursday evenings and will not be able to attend your opening reception on the 10th. I will be making the trip down and I’m looking forward to seeing the exhibit. Have fun and enjoy your reception. Wishing you all continued success with all of your photographic adventures.
Warwick, Rhode Island
October 3, 2013
Shane Gutierrez works and lives in Warwick. He has been working, studying and playing with photography for over 30 years. His business, Shane Photography, opened shop in 1988, specializing in corporate, product and architectural photography. For the past ten years, he has been an instructor for the RISD CE Digital Photography Certificate Program, the Barrington Community School, the Wickford Art Association and the South County Art Association. He has experience as a curator and juror and has participated in both solo and group exhibits over the years.