About the artist: 61 photographers from across America! http://jillkerwick.com/
About this exhibit: Spiva patrons are experiencing an exhibition representing photographic excellence from across America: PhotoSpiva 2015 is running now through May 3 in the Main Gallery.
The 39th annual edition of the competition, the longest running the the U.S., drew entries from 153 photographers nationwide. The competition was open to all U.S. photographers, and any type of photo-based process—from traditional to digital to photo-based mixed media—was eligible, as long as it resulted in a two-dimensional print that had never been shown at Spiva.
The juror, Shannon Thomas Perich, curator of the Photographic History Collection at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, had the challenge of reviewing each of the entries en route to developing an exhibit representing the latest in contemporary photography.
She viewed the entries digitally and had no knowledge of the entrants or their status as amateurs or professionals, and no categories to distinguish photographic processes. Perich simply received a cache of 809 photos that she had to narrow down for the exhibition. She chose just 85, and selected winners after the exhibit was installed to give her the chance to see each print in the Main Gallery setting.
In a competition that attracted entries from photographers in 30 states, the 2015 exhibit is a record year for area talent: 17 images by 14 southwest Missouri photographers made the final cut.
Perich traveled to Joplin to select winners, conduct one-on-one portfolio reviews, and present awards and her Juror's Lecture on Friday, March 13.
PhotoSpiva includes not only the competition, national exhibition and juror's appearances, but also exhibits of youth photographs, PhotoSpiva Kids, for youngsters ages four through eight, and PhotoSpiva Tweens for nine- to 13-year-olds. Both of these exhibits are the result of classes that introduce youngsters to the techniques and art of taking photographs.
PhotoSpiva is sponsored by Freeman Health System with additional financial support from the Joplin Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Freeman R. Johnson Trust, and the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency. PhotoSpiva Kids is sponsored by the Law Office of Sarah Luce Reeder and Associates, LLC, and PhotoSpiva Tweens is sponsored by John and Joy Cragin.