Perkins Center for the Arts in Moorestown will host its Photography 42 exhibition through Friday, Feb. 24, with “seen” as this year’s theme.
Sharon Kiefer, Perkins’ curator of exhibitions, explained how she saw photographers take the show’s theme in different directions.
“We had some submissions that were a photograph of an eye because of the word ‘seen,’ or a photograph of a sunset because that’s what they (the artists) had seen,” she explained.
“It wasn’t until you dove a little deeper into the meanings of the word, and perhaps what all of this means in our changing world these days, and the fight for equal rights and equality, that you really understood the deeper meaning of this theme.”
Fine arts photographer Michael Paras juried 125 pieces down to 23. He awarded first place for B. Proud’s “Shane and Anne, Transgender Couple.” Second place went to Joan Wheeler for “Eva in Black and White.” Third place also went to B. Proud for “Homage to Roe, 2022.” Honorable mentions went to Maria Papadopoulos for “LaLoba” and Richard McGovern for “Friends.”
“The (works) that really impacted (Paras) in terms of following the theme, in terms of a clean, professional photograph that was framed well and printed well, was what he was looking for,” Kiefer said.
Both this year and last, she decided to switch things up at the exhibit’s annual awards reception.
“When I made the announcement of the awards, each artist … took a few minutes to talk about their work and what their inspiration was, and how they captured the shot,” Kiefer recalled. “So it really connected the audience with the photographer.”
Kiefer believes the main difference between a photo exhibition and a show that features paintings or handmade objects is the artist pool.
“Photography is so specialized that you really get to incorporate a vast majority of groups, photo clubs, professional photographers …” she noted. “And we do a reach to the Philadelphia area, the New York area, all through New Jersey. We really try to expand our invitation to include as many photographers as possible.”
Kiefer is proud to see the exhibition continue every year and draw residents in, specifically when they can make a connection to the pieces.
“ … When you have the jury process where the judge comes in and chooses the best of the best, it’s really a high-quality show,” she pointed out. “Then you attach a theme, and it really starts to make sense, and the entire exhibition creates a story.”
For photographers interested in entering next year’s exhibition, Kiefer advises checking out other artists’ shows and work on their craft.
“You really have to see what’s going on around you, and do your homework,” she said.
For information on Perkins’ upcoming exhibits, visit https://perkinsarts.org.