In 2021, 60 artists were selected for inclusion in the competition - congratulations to each of them!
While studying advertising and design at Pratt Institute, Aldrich’s coursework also introduced him to photography. Upon graduating with a BFA in 1975, he embarked on a career in graphic design. During this time, his interest in photography continued and eventually became the medium of choice for his personal work. In exploring subjects ranging from urban and industrial to rural backroads communities, Aldrich generally works in a thematic approach. The combination of exploration and discovery is at the core of what inspires his photography.
Exhibiting internationally, Charles Anselmo has presented numerous shows on social themes. Developing collaborations with Cuban arts organizations, he curates U.S. shows of work by famous Cuban analog photographers, and is visiting lecturer at the Havana School of Creative Photography as well as the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes San Alejandro, Cuba’s oldest art school. He operates Anselmo Image Works, a photographic art digital printing studio, and continues to photographically explore urban sites which compellingly demonstrate the nascent beauty of forgotten places.
Aragones was born in San Francisco, California. As a young person, he learned how important art was in his life. He was sickly throughout much of his childhood. Thus, he was put in a position where he learned to use his imagination continuously and it fueled his creativity in art. He studied various academic subjects closely throughout high school, college, and graduate school and he found himself examining those ideas presented in classes and meshing them with his artistic endeavors. Currently, he is experimenting with numerous photographic theories and techniques in an attempt to find unique ways to express ideas and emotions in a meaningful way visually.
Paul Atkinson frequently frames in his lens an unpopulated (or depopulated) landscape, and enjoys the challenge not just to record, but to create, crafting the unexpected from the commonplace in more imaginative works. His work has been exhibited nationally, and is held in private collections.
Bell is most happy when he’s off the beaten path, exploring remote locations throughout North America. He will often sit for hours in one location – observing the world around him. During this time his mind is considering how to interpret what he sees, and how best to compose his photographs. Bell’s photos represent an opportunity to consider the subject – almost apart from its meaning or function – in terms of the beauty of its form. He focuses on an intimate view, narrowing the scope and allowing his audience to see only chosen elements of the whole. To Bell, black and white photography reduces the distractions associated with color imagery. The world presents itself in color on a daily basis. When that is removed from a photograph, it changes how one interprets an image. It’s no longer simply a snapshot of the world; it becomes an abstraction of the world.
McCormick Brubaker has followed a path that blends his talents as a large format commercial and exhibiting fine art photographer with the technical skill of a master photographic printmaker. After managing the largest professional photographic trade show laboratory in the Midwest, he moved to New York to work in a boutique digital photography studio developing a new printing process to create “3D touchable art" for the blind.
Sally Canzoneri is an artist who captures images with a digital camera to create works on paper. These include “tabula scalata” style lenticular pictures made with folded paper. Viewers see one image from one side and a second image from the other side of these pictures. Walking by, they see a transition from one image to the other. Many of Canzoneri’s lenticulars combine historic and present day images, inviting viewers to make links between the two pictures. Canzoneri’s art has been shown in numerous group and solo exhibitions. Her work is in the DC Commission on Arts & Humanities Art Bank Collection, the Montgomery County Contemporary Works on Paper Collection, and private collections.
Tim Christensen finds inspiration in the small bits of nature that surround him on his walks through North Carolina. This deep passion has compelled him since childhood, and drove him to get his Ph.D. in Genetics from Cornell and become a biology professor at East Carolina University. To share his inspiration more broadly, he balances the preciseness of his scientific training with the handmade qualities of historical photographic techniques to create compelling images of the small things we often overlook.
Born and raised in Washington County, Maryland, Margaret Clingan has been focusing her lens on scenes that are close to home—capturing the rural beauty of Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. She has seen the landscapes she knew as a child changing over the years, giving way to housing developments and shopping centers. She hopes to capture what is left of the rural way of life before it is gone forever. Clingan’s work displays true respect for crumbling old homes, farms and barns; and the vibrant beauty of our parks, wildlife and rural communities.
Bonnie B. Collier graduated from Radford College, and received her Master of Fine Arts from The George Washington University. She was an instructor of art at the University of Maryland, Hood College, and Montgomery County Public Schools. Her art has ranged from ceramic sculpture that included photographic images to pure photography, which has evolved from the darkroom to the digital format. Collier’s work has been published in The Washington Post and The New York Times. Her work is in numerous collections including the Smithsonian Museum of American History, the Edward Orton Jr. Ceramic Foundation, and the Montgomery County Public Art Trust.
Ron Cooper is a travel, documentary, and portrait photographer. While his photographs document the many differences in appearance, dress, culture, faith and way of life, his hope is that they also convey the fact that our similarities and connectedness as humans far outweigh those superficial differences. Since 2015, Cooper’s work has been exhibited in more than 40 juried group shows in the United States and Europe receiving Best in Show, Best Portrait, Director's Choice, Artistic Excellence, and Honorable Mention awards. He has presented five solo exhibitions and his photographs have been published in consumer magazines, newspapers and photography journals.
Jeanette Darnauer’s artistic talents range from photography to music and writing. Her passion for photography started at age eight, when she won “champion” ribbons at the county fair. She loves exploring the intricate world of nature close-up, examining and capturing its textures, angles, colors, reflections, light and shadows. She is also an accomplished flutist and choral/ensemble singer. Raised on a large farm and ranch in Kansas, Darnauer moved to Aspen, Colorado with her family in 1976 where she was a journalist before founding her strategic communications firm in 1991.
Since his retirement several years ago, Charles Dozer has enjoyed working on his photographic and digital enhancement practices. He previously has been juried and ribboned in the San Diego Fair, International photo competition, and locally at the North Coastal Art Gallery, Carlsbad, California, a not-for-profit, fine arts gallery where he serves as president. Early on, he concentrated on flowers and floral art, but has more recently expanded to include still life.
Award-winning photographer Emily Neville Fisher received her bachelor’s degree in Fine Art at James Madison University, her master's in Arts Administration from New York University, and her certificate for the Track program at the International Center for Photography in New York City. She has worked in painting, drawing, jewelry and pottery but has been concentrating on photography for the past decade. Emily has been in many juried photography exhibitions including in Colorado, Delaware, California, Florida and the Head On Photo Festival in Australia.
Bryan Florentin’s work has been exhibited at various venues nationally. He is an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas at Arlington where he teaches courses in photography, photo history, and the history of LGBTQ art. He holds an M.F.A. in photography from the University of North Texas and a B.A. in art and performance from the University of Texas at Dallas. He is represented by Kirk Hopper Fine Art in Dallas.
Rheana Gardner is an Associate Professor of Photography at Southern Utah University. She received an MFA in Photography from the Academy of Art University in 2009. Her work has been showcased in The Greater Taipei Biennial of Contemporary Art exhibition at You·Zhang Art Museum and the Worldwide Photography Biennial Exhibition in Argentina. Additionally, her work has been exhibited at the Center for Fine Art Photography, Southern Utah Museum of Art, Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, SE Center for Photography, Rochester Contemporary Art Center, MPLS Photo Center, Kiernan Gallery, Soho Photo Gallery, PhotoPlace Gallery, Image Flow Gallery, and Renmin University of China among others.
Michael Hart has been an award winning commercial photographer for over 40 years, working with corporations, design firms and advertising agencies. His personal work draws upon his extensive travels around the world, and reflects his passion for sharing his visual discoveries and impressions of these many locations with others. His most recent honors include Black & White Magazine's "Looking Back-Looking Forward” Competition, Plastic& Pinhole Camera Category; “Light” at The A Smith Gallery, Johnson City, TX.; “Light” and “Family” at The SECenter for Photography, Greenville, SC.; and a Juror’s Selection in “Patterns & Shadows” at The New York Center for Photographic Art.
Heavner has exhibited his photographs at the Maryland State House, Maryland Governor’s Mansion, Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, and galleries throughout the region. In addition, his work has been published in magazines, calendars and electronic greeting cards. He enjoys photographing all subjects, but he favors landscapes, cityscapes, vintage cars and machinery, and abstracts of architectural and industrial scenes. He also loves capturing outdoor scenes with cameras modified for infrared photography. Heavner frequently judges photography competitions. He also helped to curate an April 2018 exhibit of A. Aubrey Bodine’s classic black-and-white images of Western Maryland.
Brandon Hirt is a fine art photographer that currently resides in Ebensburg, PA. He boomeranged back to the area after living the dream in both Colorado and Oregon. Brandon uses the power of photography to inspire adventure and protect our great outdoors.
As a photographer by passion and not trade, Elizabeth Kayl is intrigued by both the ordinary and extraordinary. She enjoys traveling and never explores without her camera. She is particularly fond of creating works in abstraction and monochromes and has an affinity for the subject matter of trees, skies, and architecture. Kayl has had her work included in juried gallery shows in 20 different U.S. states and three countries in 2020 and 2021 alone, and has been awarded numerous distinctions including First Place and a Visitor’s Choice in two galleries in the U.S. By day, she is employed as the director of parks and recreation for the City of Loveland, Colorado.
Kim Keller is an amateur photographer who has been taking pictures of urban areas and wild landscapes for 15+ years. Kim’s photos have been selected for several competitions, including the 15th Annual Exposed DC Contest, Hindsight is 2020: Street Photography in a Tumultuous Year, and the Washington Gardener 15th Annual Photo Contest.
With a cross between fine art and documentary perspectives, Kelley uses various processes of photography to reflect his subject matter: black and white, Polaroid transfers, hand tinting, cyanotypes, gum printing, and digital. His work has been displayed in more than 70 exhibitions, and is part of the permanent collections at the Pickens County Museum of Art and History and the Spartanburg County Art in the Library Collection.
Karen Klinedinst uses photography to explore themes of place, nature and the environment. Inspired by the 19th century landscape paintings of the Hudson River School, she creates richly layered landscapes that combine the real with the imagined. Her work has been exhibited at Maryland Art Place, University of Maryland Global College, Center for Fine Art Photography, Center for Photographic Art, Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, and the Biggs Museum of American Art. In 2018, her series, The Emotional Landscape, was exhibited at the Griffin Museum of Photography. She is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art.
Trish Kozola has been taking pictures since she snagged her mother's Kodak Instamatic. Due to a misguided high school art teacher, she didn't discover her artistic voice until decades later, but better late than never! Her body of work is diverse. She is currently focusing on still life and conceptual composite imagery.
Steven Kratka has been an avid wildlife and nature photographer for over 40 years. He has traveled the country photographing wildlife and landscapes from Everglades National Park in southern Florida to Katmai National Park in the Alaskan wilderness capturing grizzly bears feasting on salmon. Kratka’s work has been on the cover of several magazines, has been included in college textbooks and calendars, and has won numerous awards.
Originally from Germany, Christianna Kreiss lived in various parts of Europe before coming to New York City in 1996 and Pittsburgh in 1999, where she completed a Certificate of Photography at Pittsburgh Filmmakers. She brings these experiences to her work as an artist and feels that visual art is way of communication, exploration and interaction. Kreiss is a member of the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Society of Artists and AgWorks, a photographic artist’s collective.
Initially, Patricia Littlefield was involved with music but drifted into art while in college and ended up with a BA in Art. Since the 1970s, she and her husband have earned their livings as professional artists in various media showing in galleries and retail shows. Currently, she is working on using imaging software and her photos to create images that never existed except in her mind.
In his photography, Harry Longstreet tries to capture the truth about diverse people and how they live and reflect their respective spaces. He doesn’t set-up or pose any shot and never employs anything but available light.
Street photography has always appealed to Jim Lustenader because of its special cinematic character, combining photojournalism, documentary and pure surprise — and catching unguarded bits of life’s theatrical business. He believes that what makes a street photo truly memorable is visual tension, even a measure of incongruity, between a subject and their surroundings. Lustenader shoots Tri-X or TMax 3200 film and uses a Contax G2 rangefinder with 28mm Zeiss lens.
Kelly Lynd holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art with specialization in Photography from Pennsylvania College of Art and Design in Lancaster, PA. She has a soft spot for any kind of experimental photography, especially Van Dyke process. Her chosen camera is a Canon 5 d Mark II and she loves working on her photographs in Photoshop after completing them. Kelly’s artwork has been displayed in several galleries and will soon be published in Artistonish Contemporary Art Magazine. She has won 1st place in Women in the Arts Showing and 2nd place in Gloucester County College Digital Photography competition. She is currently an Art Teacher at St Anne’s Episcopal School in Middletown, Delaware.
Jamie McGreevy is a movement artist and educator with a Master of Fine Arts in Choreography from Jacksonville University. Her passion for photography grew from desire to capture fleeting moments of movement in her dance works, and has expanded to preserving life as it happens around us.
Natalie McGuire’s photography is many things, depending on her environment when capturing the image. Shooting infrared brings an other-worldly look to her photographs. For her color images, she aims to grab the vibrancy that Mother Nature’s glory offers. In all her work, she strives to create images that make the viewer feel as if they are there with her in the scene.
Jon Meyer’s work has been juried into shows locally, nationally, and internationally. He had a 2020 solo show in Durham, NC, and has one currently in Boston, MA. He is featured in the March 2021 issue of FotoNostrum Magazine and two of his images are scheduled to hang in FotoNostrum Gallery in Barcelona later this spring. Two of his images have been selected for Spotlight Awards by Black & White Magazine. In 2019, he was named amateur photographer of the year by the International Color Awards. A psychoanalyst by profession, he is a past-president of the American Psychoanalytic Association.
Bridget Murphy Milligan’s work explores the relationship between photography and storytelling. Living in rural Ohio, homesteading, and raising her three nature-loving children, Milligan’s latest series celebrates the complexities of childhood and features her own children as its subjects. Her photography has been exhibited throughout the U.S. and Europe, featured in over one-hundred exhibitions, housed in several permanent collections, and published extensively. She is a recipient of the Jacob K. Javits Fellowship from the U.S. Department of Education and three Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowships. An Associate Professor of Art at The College of Wooster, she teaches courses in photography and digital imaging.
Janelle Mulétz focuses on landscape and farm animal photography. She is a passionate advocate for animal rights and veganism. Her goal is to spread awareness of the cruelties that farm animals endure that our society would never tolerate for companion animals.
James Mullen received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture from the University of New Hampshire, and completed a Master of Fine Arts in Painting at Indiana University. He has taught at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia, the University of Evansville in Indiana, and since 1999 has taught at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, ME. He has received over 25 different awards, residencies and fellowships, had over 20 solo exhibitions, and participated in over 80 juried exhibitions since 2006.
Jenny Nordstrom a fine art photographer who is obsessed with color. She is inspired by practically everything — whether it is a special door, a beautiful landscape, an abstraction, an old car, or a small detail. She firmly believes that even "ugly" can be fascinating and beautiful if you look at it the right way. While Nordstrom personally is an extrovert and loves people — when it comes to her art, she is more fascinated with the artifacts of humanity than with the people themselves. Her favorite thing to do is to go to neighborhoods where there are no tourists and people think she is lost.
After graduating from Michigan State University, Robert Oehl moved to New York City, eventually receiving his MFA in Photography and Printmaking from Pratt Institute. Robert has shown his work in group and solo exhibitions at venues including The John Davis Gallery, Hudson, NY; The National Science and Media Museum in Bradford, UK; New Mexico History Museum, Santa Fe, New Mexico; The Holland Tunnel Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; The Visual Studies Workshop, Rochester NY; The Woodstock Artists Association and Museum, Woodstock, NY; The Ely Center of Contemporary Art, New Haven, CT, and The Gallery at Marygrove College, Detroit MI.
An academic and early career fine-art photographer, Pardos' recent works depict dense urban architecture and remote landscapes in East Asia, seeking common resonance in juxtaposed concepts. Pieces from this series have been shown at LA Artcore’s 4th Annual Photographic Competition and Exhibit, Axis Gallery’s Portraits Without People Exhibit, and Art League Rhode Island’s On The Edge Exhibit, where a piece received honorable mention.
In his previous life teaching photography and art history survey, John Puffer lead summer tours of students and others, often to Italy. It was in Pompeii that his passion for photography and art history came together in images made over a span of 20+ years. He was always limited in the amount of time he could devote to personal work during those trips, and hoped that at some future time he would be able to come back to Pompeii alone and concentrate his attention on making more photographs. During the summers of 2017 and 2018, he was finally able to do that.
Joseph Rossbach showcases wild, beautiful, and unique natural locations and uses his creative vision to capture those landscapes in high quality and evocative images that inspire awe, respect for the natural world, and a greater appreciation of wilderness and wilderness preservation. He has co-authored two books on nature photography: The Ultimate Guide to Digital Nature Photography & 50 Amazing Things You Must See and Do in the Greater D.C. Area: The Ultimate Outdoor Adventure Guide. His photography has been published in publications such as Outdoor Photographer, Popular Photography, The Nature Conservancy, The Smithsonian Natural History Museum, Wild & Wonderful West Virginia, Backpacker magazine, and more. He spends on average 180 days a year in the field chasing the light and leading photography workshops and tours in the U.S. and abroad. He teaches online classes on the art of nature and landscape photography and conducts monthly webinars on photography processing techniques in the digital darkroom.
Carmen Schaefer holds an MA in Art History and an MFA in Photography and Drawing. Her work is influenced by her Navy upbringing of constant travel near water. Growth, isolation, and memories of times past are evoked by inanimate objects, which have a bittersweet presence. She has exhibited drawings and photographs at many venues and galleries, winning awards for drawing at the 33rd Bradley Print & Drawing Exhibition and 29th International Drawing & Print Competitive Exhibition at Gormley Gallery Notre Dame of Maryland University; 53rd annual Drawing and Small Sculpture show in Corpus Christie, Texas; and for photography at the Central New York Art Open, DeWitt, NY; and the Plymouth Center for the Arts, Plymouth Massachusetts.
Jill Schwartz is drawn to the interconnection between humans and trees. For her, the perfect positioning of sunlight, coupled with the trees’ sturdy trunks and sinuous textures, morph the woody plants into anthropomorphic statues. Her photographs are a keyhole into the abstract, a metamorphosis of reality.
David Shuster earned a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Lighting Design and subsequently made an abrupt turn to pursue a career in higher education and non-profit social enterprise. As such, he identifies as an amateur photographer who works mostly by happenstance, prepared to capture moments when the light, composition, and subject are compelling and likely to be otherwise missed. He believes that by capturing and sharing these images we are able to contemplate and broaden our understanding of the world in which we live.
Cerrina Smith always has been drawn more to the emotional and storytelling impact of a photo than its technical intricacies. She wants the viewer to feel something when they look at her photographs—happiness, longing, amusement, desire. She is easily distracted by the tiniest of flowers growing in the cracks of sidewalks, the mesmerizing eyes of strangers on the street, or the colorful graffitied walls of back alleys…all lovely possibilities. She is also inspired by the West and all its wild, rugged, untainted, and rebellious beauty.
Ursula Sokolowska studied photography at Columbia College and completed her BFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2001. Although her work is deeply personal, her images are also a reflection of separation of the body from consciousness and objectification. Her photographs can be found in many public and private collections, including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Photography, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Tanqueray. Selected exhibitions include The Travelling Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland, Saatchi Gallery, Zoo Art Fair, the Royal Academy of Arts, London, United Kingdom, Minnesota Center for Photography, and Schneider Gallery, Chicago, IL. Her work has appeared in CameraArts magazine, Light & Lens: Photography in the Digital Age, LENSCRATCH, Art Photo Index, and featured in People’s Photography China.
William Mark Sommer is a film photographer. He earned his BFA in Photography from Arizona State University and has exhibited both throughout the United States and internationally. Sommer utilizes a long-term documentary mode of storytelling to explore themes of human nature, preservation, and empathy. He photographs to further his understanding of a diversity of human experiences, exploring what we hold dear and how our actions shape our environments.
Jack Straton is a photographer whose creative expression also extends to quantum scattering theory and music. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Photography from the University of Oregon in 1977, worked as a professional jazz drummer for three years, and returned to the University of Oregon to earn a doctorate in Physics in 1986. His artistic focus has evolved from abstract large-format color photographs, to large-format black and white landscape photography, to a recent return to abstraction utilizing the viewpoints given by lenses associated with the smaller formats.
Alexa Telano is an analog driven photographer with a BFA in Photography from the Pratt Institute. Her work focuses on the human condition. She uses image making as a way to process and to find a state of healing. A majority of her work is shot analog and then ultimately exists as digital imagery. The process in which she shoots these images, in contrast, is a much more tactile process. She uses nature in her work and daily life as a way to heal, to show resistance and to embody strength.
Michael Hunter Thompson has a BA from Frostburg State University in Graphic Design. He began experimenting with photography in 2011 using layering, texturing, and other manipulation techniques. His style has evolved, now mainly shooting at dusk/nightfall using a more cinematic approach. Thompson’s work has achieved acclaim at the local, state and national level.
Between 1969 and 1975, Raphael Warshaw worked as a news, editorial, and advertising photographer and had one-man photo shows in New York. In 1976, faced with the need to support a new family, he became a medical researcher and for the next 40 years used photography primarily for record-keeping. In 2011, Warshaw was admitted to George Mason University as an MFA candidate. He graduated in 2015, and once again considers himself a photographer.
Sandra Chen Weinstein’s work explores cultural, social, and political changes and connections to the human condition. In 2009, she was chosen as the only American photographer for Magnum Masterclasses in The Netherlands and in London. Her photography has received many National and International Awards including First Place Director Choice Award for CENTER 2020, First Place KLPA Portraits Prize Award, and the National Geographic Magazine International Contest and Conservation Award Runner Up for Culture. Her work has been exhibited in the Annenberg Space of Photography, Florida Museum of Photographic Art, Griffin Museum of Photography, and Museum of Fine Arts Washington County, and in several private collections.
C.T. Weiss is an Associate Professor of Graphic Communications at Clemson University. Photography has always been his passion, as he grew up with a father who always took photos. He still shoots on a medium format camera that his dad received as a kid. These days he shoots with film and digital, but his love has always been with the magic of the darkroom and capturing the single moment in time that a photo is able to capture.
West’s passion for travel, aimless wandering, and cultural photography rose to the fore in 2019 after she retired from a full-time career in dance, teaching, and arts grantmaking. Her favorite images, including landscapes, buildings, people, and animals, capture the cultural essence of a country or region and tell a compelling story about a place or a person. As an emerging photographer, West has been selected for one solo and three juried group shows during the past year, as well as six online-only exhibitions; her work is included in private collections; and five of her photos were selected for permanent display in the State of Delaware building in Wilmington.
Wilson has been an avid photographer his entire life. He is always looking for new subjects and trying new techniques. He appreciates the strength of simple compositions. Capturing the essence of a scene, a moment, or a feeling is what motivates him.
An award winning photographer, Beamie Young has been creating photographs for the past 40 years. In the past, she shot on film and worked in the darkroom. Today, she loves using her digital camera and Adobe Photoshop. She enjoys capturing unique colors, patterns, textures, reflections, and light.
Fred Zafran is a documentary photographer of ordinary things, a storyteller exploring the urban environment as metaphor and map of our inner human landscape. Photographing at the boundaries of illumination and darkness, Zafran’s work is a gentle observation of the city, its streets, and a few of us as we wander through the day and unanticipated moments of quiet and solitude. He is a juried artist of the Torpedo Factory Art Center, a member of Multiple Exposures Gallery in Alexandria, Virginia, and exhibits his work throughout the DC metro area.