I have devoted my life to photographing animals and am often asked why I do it. Is it because of their otherness or their sameness? For me, it’s both, as it seems to be for many of you. Jurying Animalia was a beautiful experience, one that made me feel part of a kindred community of artists who all share a profound admiration for non-human animals.
Photography is a powerful tool that can teach, influence, and inspire and I feel that Animalia, does all those things. The images are beautiful, astonishing, and brutal, much like the animal kingdom. They reveal the tenderness, curiosity, character, and unique abilities of species ranging from insects to primates. Some of my favorite images also explore how we relate to and treat animals, be it compassionately or cruelly.
It was a difficult task selecting the images for this exhibit. In some cases, it simply came down to how many photos of species X were reasonable to include. When there were two equally compelling and well composed images, technical components were necessarily the tie breakers. A handful of photographers submitted so many extraordinary images it was heartbreaking to have to exclude any.
I gave the Juror’s Award to the image of the hyena at the watering hole, because it is exceptional on many levels. The capture alone is an achievement, but this image wows both as a wildlife and fine art image, a very rare feat. If you knew absolutely nothing about a hyena, you could look at this photo and immediately sense the animal’s mystery and ferocity.
In almost complete opposition, the Director’s award was given to an image where the animal is noticeably absent. But here, the wet outline of a dog leaves behind so much information, such a rich story. This image, presumably made in the fleeting moment between when the dog got up and the water dried, embodies the true goal of photography: to capture an ephemeral yet timeless moment.
Every photo is a capsule, a story told in one frame. Thank you for sharing your stories with me.
— Traer Scott
Call for Entries
Reveal the essence of a member of the animal kingdom: its intrinsic nature, its motion, its vulnerability, its power, or the way it relates to humans. All capture methods and processes are welcome
We are very pleased that Traer Scott will jury the exhibit. She will select approximately 35 images for exhibition in the Middlebury gallery, and up to 40 for our Online gallery. All 75 selected images will be promoted on social media, reproduced in the exhibition print catalog, and remain permanently on our website, with links to photographer’s URL.
Information about our printing service and free matting and framing here.
Banner and thumbnail image: Traer Scott
click to enlarge image
About the Juror
Traer Scott is an award-winning fine art and commercial photographer and author of fourteen books including her bestseller Shelter Dogs and Finding Home: Shelter Dogs and Their Stories. Her work is exhibited around the world and is regularly featured in national and international print and online publications.
Her series Natural History has been the subject of three museum exhibits: University of Maine Museum of Art in 2015, the Griffin Museum of Photography in 2018 and the American Museum of the Americas in 2019 and numerous gallery exhibits. Her work has also been seen in the leading outdoor exhibitions, “The Fence” and “Photoville”.
She is a past recipient of the Rhode Island State Council for the Arts Photography Fellowship Grant and the Helen Woodward Humane Award for animal welfare activism. She lives in Providence, Rhode Island with her husband, daughter and menagerie.
See her portfolios at http://www.traerscott.com/