GAYLORD — The Gaylord Area Council for the Arts is calling for entries for the organization’s annual Juried Photography Exhibit.
Digital entries are due by email ([email protected]) no later than Feb. 20 and the competition is open to any Michigan photographer over the age of 16.
Jan Kellogg, the former arts manager for the council (GACA), said the photo exhibit came into existence in 2010. Before that it was held within GACA’s Juried Fine Art Exhibit.
“The visual arts committee decided it would be a good idea to split fine art away from photography because there were a lot of photographers,” Kellogg said.
Kellogg said 74 photos were entered in last year’s event and 31 were accepted into the exhibit. A photo must make it into the exhibit to compete for prizes. This year, GACA will be giving awards in the categories of traditional and hybrid photography.
Traditional includes all photos, black and white or color, Kellogg said. Hybrid is any art work that combines photographs into an image (either digitally or physically) and/or combines photography with another media (painting, drawing, collage, etc.). All photographs in the image must have been taken by the artist.
Cash prizes of $125 for first place, $100 for second place and $75 for third place will be offered in each category.
A “People Choice” award will also be given, based on the public’s choice. Photos included in this exhibit will be available for sale through GACA’s on-line Art Market.
The juror for this year’s exhibit is Bill Schwab of Harbor Springs. Schwab is a professional photographer and publisher, with over 30 years experience in the field. He hosts workshops on photographic processes at the annual “Photostock” gathering which takes place in Harbor Springs.
COVID-19 has dominated in the last year. Sandra Hines, GACA’s visual arts committee chairman, said there may be virus-related photos in this year’s competition.
“I would think people might be thinking (in terms of) COVID because it’s so intense and new. This could be a way to communicate what people are experiencing and maybe even how they are coping,” Hines said.
Lisa Marie Tobin is the executive director of the arts council and while she concedes that the coronavirus has been challenging, “there has been an opportunity for GACA to broaden our reach to assist artists by taking advantage of technology. People are using their creativity as a way of coping with the stress and isolation that is associated with COVID,” added Tobin.
She noted that he arts have been hit hard from an income and revenue standpoint.
“I would think that anything we can do to support our local artists is very important,” Tobin said.
Kellogg noted that last year’s photo exhibit occurred right when the statewide shutdown began.
“We did everything virtually including the exhibit and the reception. People seemed to be pleased with it,” she said.
This year’s Juried Photography Exhibit opens April 7 and runs through May 29. The opening reception and award ceremony will take place from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. on April 10 at the Art Center which is located at 125 E. Main St. in Gaylord. Due to potential COVID-19 restrictions, the reception may be held virtually. More information will be available on GACA’s website.
For more information or a copy of the “Call for Entries”, go to GACA’s website (https://www.gaylordarts.org/). Photographers can also pick up an entry form at the Art Center or they can call (989)-732-3242 to have one mailed.
GACA’s gallery is open 1-4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and noon-2 p.m. on Saturday, or by appointment.