Like most every other emerging and mid-career artist, I enter competitions; one of my favorites is PhotoSpiva, one that is right in my own backyard in Joplin, MIssouri. From the website:
“PhotoSpiva is a national competition hosted annually by Spiva Center for the Arts. Founded in 1977, PhotoSpiva has become the longest-running photographic competition of its kind in the U.S. As stated by the founders, the objective of PhotoSpiva is to ‘present an exhibition of excellence in photography, celebrating the scope and vigorous activity of today’s contemporary photographers.’
Co-Founder Jim Mueller stated, ‘We have intentionally avoided any categorization of either photographers or their work in setting forth the criteria for this competitive.’ PhotoSpiva welcomes any photographic process as long as it is original artwork and has not been previously exhibited at Spiva Center for the Arts. This philosophy has created an unbiased forum for exhibiting and educating photographers."
I was actually the juror in 1987, back in the day when I wore my gallery owner hat. Other jurors over the years have included Mary Virginia Swanson, Jack Welpott, Sally Gall, Elizabeth Opalenik, Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison and Keith Carter. I have entered the competition a few times during the last decade and have always been pleased to figure into the show. This year, two of my new Uganda pictures landed the 2nd place prize. Tom Chambers took the first prize, deservedly so! (This is one competition that does give fairly generous cash prizes.)
I didn’t make it to the opening reception, but I did swipe this picture from PhotoSpiva’s Facebook page. In it you can see my two images that were accepted.
The judges always seem to enjoy working on this show. The juror this year was Deborah Klochko, Director of the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego, California.
Here’s what Keith Carter had to say about the exhibit when he juried it in 2006:
“At the end of the day when all is said and done, I tell you unashamedly that I love exhibitions such as this. It shows the magnificent democratic tradition of image making is alive and well!”