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It was an enriching and anguishing adventure to winnow down the inspired photographs for the Trees exhibit. I was transported to alternate worlds as I visited each entry multiple times. Seeking various interpretations of species, seasons, processes, and feelings, I was often faced with tough choices – not only between the artist’s own submissions, but with similar visions of other entrants. I included work from those displaying a strong voice throughout their entries, and also from those with more varied submissions, perhaps offering a path for future exploration. Ultimately, I returned to those that most resonated with a poetic eloquence. Admirable work was omitted with regret, and some chosen images moved back and forth from Gallery to Online to create a diverse and cohesive exhibition.
Narrowing down the award winners was difficult, as there were others worthy of honors. It was especially challenging to separate the Juror’s and Director’s Awards as the images touched me deeply in different ways. Both elicited sighs upon first and subsequent viewings.
The Juror’s Award goes to Geoffrey Agrons for Hospice (The Eastern Light), a tender and evocative image of an ailing woman, ostensibly gazing at trees through her windows. Offered with sensitivity and exquisite tonality, the photograph inspired musings of her momentary respite from confinement, her wandering mind of memories, and hopes for the grace she may have found there.
The Director’s Award goes to Richard Ashmore for Adrift, an ethereal, lush and mysterious reflection of trees interspersed with rich, scattered autumn leaves. It’s a stunning composition with subtly woven focus and color that beautifully represents the whole of the exhibit.
Honorable mentions go to Karen Klinedinst, Dale Niles, and Rowene Weems for their imaginative articulations.
I’m deeply honored to have been chosen to jury this exhibition and for the privilege of viewing the large number of submissions. Keenly aware of the vulnerability of having work juried, I’m grateful to have been entrusted with your achievements and hope to see where your hearts take you in the future.
— Wendi Schneider