In the gallery…


16th Annual Photo Competition Exhibition

Juror: Karen Irvine, Curator, MoCP
August 5th – October 12th, 2011

Artists’ Reception & Awards: August 5th, 8:00 – 9:45 PM
Lecture: Karen Irvine, Friday, August 5th, 7 PM at the Seattle Art Museum

AGROUND: 16th Annual Photo Competition Exhibition was juried by Karen Irvine, Curator of the Museum of Contemporary Photography. This annual juried show remains amongst the most popular in Photo Center’s gallery program. This year 366 photographers from around the globe entered the competition with over 2500 images. Irvine selected 37 photographers displaying a variety of images focused on land and water.

Concepts ranged from man’s imprint on the land to atmospheric nuances throughout the seasons. Photographing from the sky, Sarah Christianson’s aerial photographs document her family’s gradual departure from their North Dakota farmstead. John Stanley’s photographs depict quiet clearings and paths within New York City parks. Some pictures show traces of a human presence, while others depict a so-called natural environment. These scenes, whether exploited or natural, evoke a sense of an improvised domestic space, one that questions the nature of what a habitation could be. Physically altering her enlarged prints, Laura Plageman, then re-photographs the results. She creates work that oscillates between image and object, photography and sculpture, landscape and still life. Picture elements interact and merge in unpredictable and expressive ways. For two years Don Shanley has photographed Putnam Lake in New York, from the same place at different times of day and in different times of the year, to play with the concepts of time and space. Jennifer Little’s images of the underside of roadway bridges, offer a framed view depicting nature’s containment within the urban landscape, the watery reflections imply that the natural and the manmade coexist in a tense but fluid equilibrium.

JUROR BIO: Karen Irvine is Curator and Manager of Publications of the Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College Chicago. She has organized over thirty five exhibitions at the MoCP and other institutions and written essays for numerous artist monographs and publications including Art on Paper and Contemporary. Irvine is a part time instructor of photography at Columbia College Chicago. She received an MFA in photography from FAMU, Prague, Czech Republic, and an MA in art history from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Exhibiting Artists: Nick Albertson, Collin Avery, Jesse Morgan Barnett, Brian Barr, Deb Casso, Sarah Christianson, Michael Clements, Bryan Colombo, Jennifer Colten, Jeff Downer, Suzanna Finley, Tim Gruber, Don Jacobson, Kevin Kunstadt, Michael Lane, Larry Larsen, Marci LeBrun,  Jennifer Little, Joshua MacCracken, Alia Malley, Norah Mays, Jen Minnich, Andreas Oetker-Kast, Laura Plageman, Shawn Records, Jerry Redfern, Jenny Reed, Tom Reese, Dawn Roe, William Rugen, Gregory Schaffer, Don Shanley, John Stanley, Sonja Thomsen, Donna J. Wan, Anderson Wrangle


1st Place: Laura Plageman (Oakland, CA)
2nd Place: Donna J. Wan (Menlo Park, CA)
3rd Place: Dawn Roe (Winter Park, FL)


Nick Albertson (Chicago, IL)
Brian Barr (Seattle, WA)
Joshua MacCracken (Seattle, WA)
Shawn Records (Portland, OR)
William Rugen (Seattle, WA)
Gregory Schaffer (Seattle, WA)

AWARDS: First, second, and third prize winners will take home $1000, $500, and $250 as well as a $75 Blurb Inc. Scrip Certificate for each winner. Photo Center gratefully acknowledges Blurb Inc., Glazer’s Camera, and Panda Lab respectively for their award sponsorships.