2020 Open Regional Photography Exhibit

Select any image to start the slide show.


Tara Graves: Rocky Mountain Munchies

“I appreciate the layering of surfaces and information in this photograph, as well as the muted, largely harmonious tonal range. I am curious about Rocky Mountain Munchies–when was that placed on the wall, and how long ago was the lathe and plaster assembled, the bones of the building formed? Photographs of residue build up that alludes to time and change (paint layers, wallpaper, broadsides on walls, flyers on telephone polls) are an established photographic subject. Making this type of photograph stand out today means crafting a solid image and composition. I believe this photograph achieves that.”

Jill Johnson: Sleepwalker

“Whenever I curate an exhibition or select works for a competition, I cannot separate my personal self from my professional self. I know I am drawn to this photograph partially because of where we are in the nation at this time. Death and pain surround us, whether from pandemic realities or from the outcry over injustice and racism. This photograph is well composed and meaningful apart from these realities, but I saw this photograph through the lens of this collective moment in our history, and that adds deep and poignant meaning for me.”

Lawrence Hathaway: Window on 2nd Avenue

“As with Jill Johnson’s photograph, this image feels very timely. The composition is lovely, the tonal range is attractive, and I appreciate the sense of depth that lends mystery and visual confusion to the work. Am I looking at a bullet hole and its resulting splintered glass? If so, why was a weapon fired? What was the bullet intended to do? Broken windows indicate a breach of the membrane between inside and outside. What is or was inside that warranted the breach? And is this damage repairable?”

Brian Purnell: A Slice of Round Up

“I appreciate the community aspect of this photograph–it was made during and at the Pendleton Roundup and it’s important that community arts centers, whether large museums or small grassroots-based organizations, pay attention to their immediate communities. The Roundup is specific to the community and should be explored and documented in many ways. I love the very flat, cropped nature of this image. It feels as if I’m trapped in a crowd and am physically linked to this stranger next to me, and I am very uncomfortable. I do not mind photographs that make me uncomfortable! I am often drawn to photographs of people, and I love photographs of crowds and spectacles, although I do not like to be part of large crowds in person.”

Naomi Travis

“I love the exploration of light, color, perspective, and framing in this photograph. I’m so interested in the shape that presents itself to me so boldly and luminously. Until I get a better sense of its surroundings it feels very abstract. Once I understand that it is something water-related (I believe it’s some type of shell but I don’t feel the need to know exactly what it is because I’m enjoying its form too much), I marvel at the translucence and patterning. Many photographs allow the viewer to move in and around the composition. This shell prevents that, although we can peek behind it a bit. I like photographs that meet me with this kind of force and presence, and the title hints at this feeling. Beautiful hues, too!”

Katie Kelm

“I love the depth of field and cropping in this photograph. The most in-focus part of the image, the foreground, does not offer me a full view of the subject. I appreciate that, it makes me feel as if I’m standing next to this in person and am focusing primarily on the wisp of long hair that flutters with the wind. From there I move to the next figure, who steadfastly gazes outward. I do not see what this person sees, and although I’d like to, I’m happy to focus on their intense gaze. I appreciate the softened background, which suggests domesticity. The inclusion of the utility pole as a compositional device is also very strong.”

Lucy Oyoma

“Ah, nature. It can be so soothing! Photography of the American West has a long and important history, and it’s great to see that tradition continuing. I love that the photographer is positioned IN the water, not beside or around it. It’s a wonderful compositional device–the water’s edges lead our eye to the middle- and background. I appreciate that the vanishing point seems centered but the water’s flow moves our eye to the left and away from the center toward the distance. I also appreciate the muted tones of the photograph. Although there are a few colors that stand out, the overall color is unifying.”