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N.Y. Photo Curator Call for Entry
Theme: 'The Journey'  curated by Susan Spiritus. 
 
twitter: @susanspiritus
 
Note from Spiritus to Entrants:
"To all of the entrants who submitted work to the NY Photo Curator competition “The JOURNEY”, I thank you sincerely for doing so!

Thank you Laurie Freitag for giving me the opportunity to serve as the judge for this competition for N.Y. Photo Curator. I thoroughly enjoyed ’seeing’ all of the entries! As an aside to all of the entrants, I apologize for the delay in being able to review this competition in a timely manner, but I had to have cataract surgery early in December and now with it behind me, I can see clearly now…..

It was my intention to give you a word to work with that had many possibilities and indeed you stepped to the plate and gave me your interpretations while expressing your personal talent! 
 
I have been looking at photographs for more than four decades and while It’s never easy to eliminate work when given the task to find the “best of the competition”, I find it an easy task to do which ultimately brings you to the “bests”.
 
As I originally expressed, “Life is a journey. We’re all on it. Everyone’s journey is different, complex and exciting, some more so or less than others, but nevertheless, it will chart your path.” 
Your journey has just begun….Enjoy everyday of it and Happy New Year to everyone!"
 
Thank you,
Susan Spiritus
Susan Spiritus Gallery
January 2019

Spiritus' Choices & Comments:
 
First Place Winner: Sylvia de Swaan, “Baltic Express”
There wasn’t a better single image that was submitted to the “JOURNEY” competition that expressed the overall theme than this photograph by Sylvia de Swaan! The three exhausted people riding together in the train cabin, asleep and obviously unaware that their picture was being taken, perhaps by a stranger, or maybe not. It is clear that they have been asleep for quite some time – their journey being a long one with much travel ahead. It is also apparent to me that these people are sharing the car; a second-class cabin with several others and each has a limited amount of personal space. While I am not sure of the relationship of the couple – husband/wife or mother/son; it is clear that they are sharing their space together, while the person on the end with his coat over his head wants to shut out everything around him and have his space to himself. It is obvious that they are all in for the long haul journey ahead.
 
Second Place Winner: Crystal Tursich, “Things We've Saved”
Crystal Tursich’s photograph, “Things We've Saved” has a bare emptiness to it, but it brought me back time and again. Although we only see a small part of a room, we are left to question things about the house. Have they moved out or are they moving in? I chose to believe the former.
It appears empty – the people have moved out – or moved on and its starkness was evident to me. Was the photographer the child who played with the bear? Is the photographer the daughter whose parent sat in that chair? While the photo does not give us many answers it is one I returned to several times to think about – but still did not get my questions answered. It left me thinking that the journey began years ago in this house with a child whose favorite toy was the stuffed Pooh bear and the books were his/her favorites that were read on a daily basis…. by whom? I think it was the grandparent’s home for many years and the grandchild made frequent visits. It was probably the ‘favorite’ chair and was used everyday and each time stories were read. Surely a photograph of this arrangement is a way to remember the past – the journey. 
 
Third Place Winner: Deborah Sfez: “Crossroads I”
I loved the confusion in Deborah Sfez’s photograph, “Crossroads I” as it clearly spoke to the confusion in life along ones path, the journey. We come and we go; we drive, we walk, we ride – from place to place. The journey, our life, is in flux, at times, clear and sometimes blurry, like the photograph, but we continue on into the light as our eye is directed into the lower right corner of brightness and we continue onward and out of the photograph.
 
Best Series: Virginia Hines
The 3 photographs submitted by Virginia Hines clearly speak to the theme of the JOURNEY and are my choices for the Best Series.
 
The photograph of “Girl and Motorscooter” was such a powerfully moving image for me – as I looked at it and thought about that toddler bundled up and ready to ride.  She clearly had been on this motor scooter before and was appropriately dressed for the ride. Most children of her age range wouldn’t stand for being so wrapped up – from head to toe and especially with a mask over her mouth!
Is this her mode of life and transportation? It certainly seems commonplace and acceptable to her. She is ready to roll and is waiting for her mom or driver whomever that might be. The pink bag attached to the front of the vehicle has some food items in it. I wonder, did they just come from the market or are these items from within that will be needed along the way or at their final destination? While you cannot make out what most of those items are, I can see a lime and a lemon, which tell me that they will be used shortly. 
 
“Man Climbing Stairs” also speaks to the JOURNEY as I see this old man persevering onward and not allowing anything to stop him or get in the way. It is obvious from his wrinkled hands and posture that he has had a difficult and hard life, but is one who is still is motivated to more onward in spite of his incapacity.
It is hard not to feel empathy for this man and we do not know if he is in pain as he ascends the stairs, but he does not let that impede his need to continue onward on his journey.
 
The photograph of “Three Generations” also speaks to the JOURNEY but in a different manner; as it shows us that the journey has progressed through many decades from mother to daughter and now to the granddaughter. 
 
Honorable Mention: Artist Name, Title of the photograph, and thoughts…
1.    Janet Milhomme: Left Behind (you are NOT leaving me behind, are you?)
2.    Marsha Guggenheim: Summer in SF 8 (the journey is just beginning…)
3.    Allison Roberts: Indicant III (the frayed ends and edges along the journey…)
4.    Howard Lewis: Through the Valley (the journey’s path)
5.    Eric Renard: Alone in Seattle (having just arrived…
 
 
10% of artist entry fees goes to the curator's choice of charity. Spiritus has chosen The Race To Erase MS
www.erasems.org
Another 10% will go to the first place winner Sylvia de Swaan's choice of charity,
The Southern Poverty Law Center https://www.splcenter.org/

ALL entrants work is shown on their own page with their artist statement, website info, bio and parts of their CV in Exhibition #1-3
 
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