By Stacey Bomser
The Arts Council of Greater Weston received a record number of entries in its second annual Summer Instagram Photo Contest.
The contest theme was “Perspectives” and participants were invited to submit an original photograph, in black and white or color, illustrating an interesting perspective or angle of a place, building or thing. Ninety-nine photographers submitted pictures taken in the greater Weston area or during their travels.
“We were very excited to see such diversity in this year’s entries,” stated Arts Council President Jami Nix Rahn. “There were so many amazing entries that it was a difficult task for myself and the other judges to select the winners.”
In addition to Nix Rahn, who is a professional artist with paintings and sculptures in public and private collections around the world, the other judges were Lisa Botto Lee, an award-winning fine artist whose work is currently included in the Allied Artist of America’s annual show at the prestigious Salmagundi Club in New York, as well as professional photographer Steve L. Romero. All three judges are Weston residents.
“It was a true honor to be a judge of such quality photographic work,” shared Romero. “The entries were inspiring to me as photographer and I want to congratulate all the participants for their great work.”
Each of the 99 photo submissions was scored using a detailed rubric of criteria in the areas of technical skills, visual and aesthetic, content and general characteristics.
First place was awarded to Barbara Abels for “Home Court Weston”. She received a $100 prize. Kiana Kidder received second place and $75 for her untitled piece. Third place, and a $50 prize, went to Patricia Pedraza for “My Monet.”
Pedraza suffers from a rare eye disease, Retinitis Pigmentosa, that in most cases leads to blindness. She shared that she has always loved art, but never had the chance to pursue it professionally. She says winning this award has been very special to her and she encourages everyone to do what they love in life. Her picture was taken at Markham Park and the people seen in reflection are her family.
The Arts Council also awarded a $50 prize to the photograph which received the most Likes on Instagram. That went to Pearse Koch for “Under the Moon.” Three Honorable Mention certificates were also presented.
An exhibition of the winning photographs, along with a selection of the top entries, is currently on display at the Weston Branch Library, through the end of the month. You can see all 99 of the entries on Instagram at #artscouncilweston.