Spiva Art Center, located in Joplin, Missouri, is host to the longest-running photographic competition of its kind in the United States: “PhotoSpiva." Founded in 1977, the objective of “PhotoSpiva," as stated by its founders is to “present an exhibition of excellence in photography, celebrating the scope and vigorous activity of today’s contemporary photographers.”
I’ve had a relationship with this competition for many years. In 1987 I was actually the juror! (That was when I wore my gallery owner hat.) Other jurors since the show’s inception have included: Keith F. Davis, Ted Hartwell, Mary Virginia Swanson, George Tice, Keith Carter, Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison and Elizabeth Opalenik. This year’s juror was Natasha Egan, the Director of the Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College.
I have entered my work in the competition five or six times over the past few years. I like supporting “PhotoSpiva”. I like the grass roots feel of it, and I love that it has continued to support budding photographers for such a long time. The folks there even managed to mount the show the year of the devastating hurricane in 2011. I like the unpretentious nature of everything they do and stand for.
I have gotten a couple honorable mentions. In 2007 I received the third place award, and in 2010 I received the second place award.
I’m really honored to report that I received an email late last night from Linda Kyger, office manager at Spiva Center for the Arts, congratulating me on receiving the first place award this year!
Here are the images Natasha Egan chose.