By Joel Hall
Every year, Arts Clayton calls upon photographers from around the state to participate in its annual Juried Photography Competition. The Jonesboro-based art gallery is now accepting entries for what will be the competition's sixth year.
Entries for the Juried Photography Competition are being accepted until Aug. 22. In September, Arts Clayton will announce the pieces to be included in the Juried Photography Show, which will be on display at the gallery Oct. 6-30.
Karen Powers, Arts Clayton gallery manager, said the annual art show and competition takes place in conjunction with the Atlanta Celebrates Photography Festival. The festival, as well as the competition, are meant to cultivate and increase the awareness of photography in the metro Atlanta area, she said.
"We are always excited to participate in the festival," Powers said. "The rest of our exhibits show two- and three-dimensional art, but this is a chance for us to focus specifically on photography. There is no theme for the show, so it is truly their best work and the subject matter is very diverse."
Powers said prior to last year's show, Arts Clayton received about 175 entries from as far as Albany, Ga., and used 90 pieces from 40 different photographers. She said in this year's competition, monetary awards of $100, $75, and $50 will be handed out for the first-, second-, and third-place winners, respectively, and the grand-prize winner will have their work purchased by the gallery - for up to $500 - as part of its permanent collection.
Any Georgia photographer 16 or older may enter the exhibit and traditional, digital, or "digitally-enhanced" photos are accepted, Powers said.
Courtney Fort, Arts Clayton gallery assistant, said the competition brings more attention to photography, which she believes is just as important as other two- and three-dimensional art forms.
"I think that it [photography] deserve a lot of credit because you have to take the picture at the perfect angle with good lighting," she said. "You also get happy accidents, just like in painting. There are a lot of things that go into a good picture.
"As well as being an art form, you are documenting things," Fort said. "These are moments that you capture that aren't there again. It's a good medium that I think more people should explore."
Powers said the competition provides an excellent opportunity for emerging photographers, as well as professionals, to exhibit their work and get paid for it. All of the entries reaching the Juried Photography Show will be for sale at the gallery during the month of October.
"It's a great opportunity not only to see incredible photography, but for a photographer to receive cash and other recognition," Powers said.
For contest rules and presentation guidelines, visit www.artsclayton.org/gallery or call (770) 473-5457.