'Photography as an art form' draws people to Washington Co. Museum of Fine Arts

January 28, 2013|By DAVE McMILLION |
  • Norman Naylor of Hampstead, Md., took a close look at several entries on display at the Cumberland Valley Photographic Salon Sunday afternoon at the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts.
By Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer

Proving the “validity of photography as an art form,” more than 250 people attended an awards ceremony for the 80th annual Cumberland Valley Photographic Salon at the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts Sunday afternoon.

Landscapes, people, objects and abstract designs were among the images captured in the photographs in the contest, which attracted more than 400 entries this year.

Kristin Camitta Zimet of Winchester, Va., one of the photographers who received awards, said the contest helps prove the “validity of photography as an art form.”

Rebecca Massie Lane, director of the museum, said the contest’s long-running record points to its rich legacy. To put it in perspective, Massie Lane said the contest started a year after the museum opened.

Seven people received awards, including Bruce Wilder of Keedysville, who won Best Photograph by a Washington County Photographer. Wilder won the award for a nighttime shot he captured in September along a road between Frisco and Hatteras in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Wilder used a sealed beam light to “paint in” areas he wanted to show up in the extended-exposure picture, a process he learned at a seminar he attended.

“I have some ideas for some other light-painting projects. It’s just a matter for the weather to get a little bit warmer,” Wilder said after Sunday’s awards.

Photographers who enter works must have them matted to 16 inches by 20 inches. This year, they were judged by Regina DeLuise, chairwoman of photography at Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. DeLuise said through a statement read at Sunday’s ceremony that “all the work in this exhibition appeals to my sense of curiosity and contains an expression of visual poetry.”

Mark Muse of Shepherdstown, W.Va., was one of five winners who went home with a Juror’s Choice Award. Muse, who works at the National Park Service’s Harpers Ferry Center, won his award for his “Red Cedar — North Fork.”

Muse said he often walks and captures images on his camera at a farm across the road from where he lives. Much of the farm is fallow and “it makes for some pretty interesting textures,” he said.

“Red Cedar — North Fork” is a black-and-white photograph that captures the image of a cedar tree, a branch from which snapped off in a snowstorm. Muse said after he took the photo, he “teased out” what he needed to frame the picture and liked the sense of motion that appeared.

Zimet won a Juror’s Choice Award for her “Creative Tension” photograph of a torso. Zimet said the torso was being worked on in an artist’s studio. She said it was a “very gritty” scene, but on the other side of the torso was a glass through which an art lover would view the image.

“This was the picture that my husband told me not to enter in the contest,” said Zimet, adding that her husband stated that what she was trying to project in the picture would be “too hard to see” among viewers.

The other four winners were Hunter Strauch of Martinsburg, W.Va., who won a Juror’s Choice Award for “Float Away”; Teressa Blickenstaff-Kitts of Shepherdstown, who won a Juror’s Choice Award for “Hush”; Sami Sharkey of Boalsburg, Pa., who won Best of Show for “Melting Ice Sculpture”; and Don Johnson of Gaithersburg, Md., who won a Juror’s Choice Award for “Boston Bridge Abstract.”

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