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Arts council sponsors photo competition for area amateur photographers


Special to The Dispatch



WEST POINT -- A photo competition began Oct. 1 in West Point, inviting area amateur photographers to get "in focus." 


"West Point: In Focus" is a new photo competition sponsored by the West Point/Clay County Arts Council. Slated to run until Oct. 30, the contest is open to anyone of any age, who lives, works or attends school in West Point or Clay County.  


Entrants can win as much as $250 for submitting their pictorial ideas of what West Point means to them. According to competition organizers, photography can range from people to critters, to landscapes or naturescapes, to photos of architecture or landmarks to pictures of inspiration or courage. Competition shots can be action photography or still, black and white, color or a combination. 


"Our categories are based on age," said Souzen Deavers Steelhammer, co-chair of the event. "We are offering a first prize of $50 and a second prize of $25 in each of three age groupings: youth, which runs to age 12; teens, to include 13- to 17-year olds, and adults. We will also have a grand prize of $250 for the Best of Show photograph. Winners will be announced at the second annual Authors and Artists Showcase to be held in the McClure Building on Sunday, Nov. 15." 


"Photography is a form of artistic expression, and as cameras have improved, this is an art form that is accessible to so many of us," said Elizabeth Cooper, event co-chair. "We did not want to limit creativity by asking for specific types of shots; we all have our own opinions about what we hold dear and love in our town and county. We look forward to a large variety of entries." 


A panel of three area photographers -- Caroline Atkins, Megan Bean and Mike Gammill -- will review all entries and select the winners in each category. Judging criteria will be based upon composition, originality/creativity, drama/impact and technical quality. 


Entrants may submit as many as three photos, each individually mounted on foam or mat board and at least 5-by-7, but no larger than 8-by-10 in size. Photos must have been taken in West Point or Clay County in 2009. All entries must be submitted with an entry form, available at the local schools, Bryan Public Library, City Hall, Petal Pushers, Culin-Arts or download the form and complete rules from 


Photos can be mailed to the West Point/Clay County Arts Council, P.O. Box 105, in West Point, and must be postmarked by Oct. 30. An Arts Council representative will be at the library between 3-5 p.m. on Oct. 30 to take entries. No late entries will be accepted. 


Contest coordinators hope this will be the first in a yearly competition and plan to display the entries at venues around town as they are submitted.




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