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The Poetry of the Ordinary

Deadline for submissions: Feb 08, 2021
Prints due: Mar 11, 2021
Exhibition: March 26 - April 16, 2021

Prints of most of these images are available for purchase. Please inquire.
All photographs are the copyright of the individual artists and may not be reproduced without their permission.

Juror's Statement

With the wonderful theme The Poetry of the Ordinary I knew I was in for a treat in seeing what submissions came in, and I was not disappointed. This selection by no means represents all of the excellent images submitted. There just wasn't room to include so many wonderful choices and it really hurt to lose some from the final edit!

In my Juror’s Award selection the photographer is showing me a whole new way of looking at an ordinary household object, turning it into a still-life that became for me a mandala-like offering for spiritual contemplation. My Director’s Award choice shows the most mundane subject matter in such a dramatic way. Even the bold structure of the photo intentionally breaks traditional compositional rules in a manner that demands attention.  

In jurying exhibits, I look for photos that speak to me, that have something to say beyond technical excellence or a good facsimile of a classic theme. I want to see images that move beyond the trite and familiar into the region of self-expression, if not self-exploration. This, of course, is completely subjective and it’s important to realize that my choices are only my opinion and not fact. It does not mean one photo is better than another, it means that these are the images that I reacted most strongly and positively to. I do try and recognize excellence in styles that are not my own or even in styles I am not fond of. My personal prejudice is that I look for a strong personal point of view rather than a lucky shot or great timing. I want to feel the photographer had a personal connection on some level to their chosen subject rather than finding a random pretty subject or interesting scene. To me the best photographs show not only what the photographer saw but how they interpreted what they saw. And that is highly subjective and open to interpretation…

     - Douglas Beasley


Call for Entries

The world is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.
– W.B. Yeats

As photographers, we are adept at seeing beneath the surface of our subjects, and often find in them the beauty, poignancy, and poetry that exist in ordinary moments. For this exhibition, we seek the simple poetic elegance of the ordinary. All captures and processes are welcome.

We are very pleased that Douglas Beasley will jury the exhibit.He will select approximately 40 images for exhibition in the Middlebury gallery, and 40 for our Online gallery. All selected images will be published in the exhibit catalog.

Find complete information about submitting images here.

Banner image: Gretchen Plotkin
Click to enlarge image.

REI75364 35775 David Reinfeld
David Reinfeld
Erin Borzellino BOR89796 93144 juror
Erin Borzellino
Dale Niles easels
Dale Niles

About the Juror

Douglas Beasley’s personal vision explores the spiritual and emotional aspects of people and place and is concerned with how the sacred is recognized and expressed in everyday life. 

Much of Doug’s personal work is supported by grants and commissions and is widely exhibited and collected. He has been published internationally and featured in numerous photo magazines such as Zoom, The Sun, B&W, PDN, Shots and PhotoVision. Doug has published three books: Japan: A Nisei’s First Encounter; Earth Meets Spirit; and Zen & the Art of Photography, a collection of his writing.

As founder and director of Vision Quest Photo Workshops, Doug provides workshops that emphasize personal expression and creative vision over the mechanics of camera use.  His workshops are held at art and cultural centers across the US and around the world as well as Private Workshops at the Trade River Retreat Center, his cabin/retreat center in Northwest Wisconsin.

Doug is the owner and publisher of Shots magazine, a quarterly independent journal of fine-art photography, now in its 32nd year of publication.

Doug Beasley’s website
Vision Quest Photo Workshops
Trade River Retreat Center
Shots magazine
Read Doug’s complete bio here

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