Best of Show: Mark Hoelscher
Honorable Mentions: Dan Wetmore, Allison Milligan, Matthew Pevear, Lauren Comly, Andrew Frost, Victor Rivera, and Kendra Ward
Light Work is pleased to announce the award recipients for the 2013 Light Work Student Invitational exhibition: Mark Hoelscher, Best of Show; and Honorable Mention award recipients Dan Wetmore, Allison Milligan, Matthew Pevear, Lauren Comly, Andrew Frost, Victor Rivera, and Kendra Ward. The award recipients were chosen by guest juror Claire O’Neill (Editor, NPR’s The Picture Show).
Exhibiting artists include Sarah Anthony, Ellie Brown, Allen Chiu, Lauren Comly, Leah Edelman-Brier, Julia Ferrier, Andrew Frost, Erin Geideman, Mark Hoelscher, Manuela Marin Salcedo, Allison Milligan, Yevgeniya Muravyova, Sarah O’Connell, Prarthana Pant, Matthew Pevear, Nicholas Pray, Victor Rivera, Beatrice Schachenmayr, Kacper Stolorz, Jessica Suarez, Christina Tainter, Kendra Ward, Dan Wetmore, and Nils Wiklund.
In situations like these I always brood over the question, “Who am I to judge?” All of the Student Invitational photographers exhibit such promise and talent, and I’m grateful to have had the chance to review their work.
Having to pare it down was painful, and the process got me thinking—about originality and what makes a great photo. I remembered a quote I once read in an e-mail update from photographer Rodney Smith: “If it looks effortless you know it’s difficult. If it looks difficult it’s probably pretentious.”
I’m no expert, but here’s some advice I’ve gleaned from industry vets: Find your voice and your story in that order. Always ask yourself: Is this original? Use your artist statement to your advantage. Articulating what you’re doing—and why—will help you refine your vision. And the only person who should know how hard you work is you.
The photo selected as Best in Show, taken by Mark Hoelscher, came with a brief explanation—that he’s searching “for the relationship between humans and nature.” A little statement for a big idea, but the photo holds up. It left me wanting to see more. And that, I think, is a sign of a great photo.
Claire O’Neill is a multimedia producer/reporter at NPR, where she also edits NPR’s photoblog, The Picture Show.
This exhibition received support from Syracuse University’s Division of Student Affairs Co-curricular Fund.