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Water: Element of Change

Deadline for submissions: Apr 13, 2020
Now closed to submissions
Prints due: Jun 18, 2020
Exhibition: July 2 - July 25, 2020

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

Early seafaring diaries tell of endless adventures while exploring the vast oceans. They reminisce about the abundance of fish, the mystery, the beauty, but also the dangers and hardships of taking to the sea. Across time and civilizations, water has lost little of its mesmerizing hold on us, inspiring countless paintings, novels and accounts of daring action. The photographers in this exhibition marvel at the magnificence of water in its many manifestations from microscopic ice crystal to endless expanse beyond the horizon, life-sustaining or threatening, gentle and generous, or savagely volatile. When people are present, they are usually submerged for a refreshing swim, as if mere observation from the shores is not enough. Water calls to us with a sweet and irresistible siren’s call. In most image water and nature are shown in harmony, though there are also suggestions of civilization encroaching. Humans, it seems, are called to nature to take in its grandeur, while also becoming its greatest threat.

The exhibition drew an abundance of images that stretched to far corners of the world, yet also discovered adventures in photographers’ backyards. The images celebrate, glorify, immerse and connect. Image after image, we are enticed by nature’s wholesome beauty. While styles and viewpoints stretch the full gamut of highest quality, it is worthwhile to highlight a few of the submissions.  The photographs by Juror’s Award recipient Carlos Causo are breathtakingly beautiful. Image after image, the perfect place coincides with the perfect breeze, the perfect sun and the most dramatic sky pattern. The photographs convey a freshness in perspective combined with an overall sense of discovery. It is all too easy to imagine that we too could frolic at these beaches, lazily drift on our floating cushions in the pool, or take our raft into these gentle waves. On the other hand, the photograph by Director’s Award recipient Teresa Meier is one of the few constructed images that has created rather than discovered its vista. This fantastical interpretation suggests mankind’s fraught relationship to nature. A man lies submerged on a scaly seabed, seemingly enjoying the view through a stereo viewfinder. A goldfish, freshly escaped from its glass cage, is compelled toward the lure of another one of steel, suspended tantalizingly by a woman. A storm is brewing, human civilization may be at its end, and yet the sun breaks through the clouds promising a continuation of life.

Call for Entries

Water is a powerful element of change. It washes mountains to the sea, and is now drowning major cities. Water itself is capable of change: liquid, solid, vapor. A peaceful source of beauty and joy, or a raging torrent.

For this exhibition, we would like to show the many moods of water, its role in human uses, and its impact on the earth.  All capture methods and processing are welcome. 

Click image to enlarge. 

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© Bonnie Levinson
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© Sandra Chen Weinstein
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© Olaf Otto Becker
We are delighted to welcome Hannah Frieser as juror for Water 2020. She will select 35 images for exhibition in our Middlebury, Vermont gallery and another 35 for our Online Gallery. All 70 images will be reproduced in the exhibition catalog. The recipients of the Juror’s Award and the Director’s Award will each be entitled to an online  portfolio review by the juror. 

Information about our printing service and free matting and framing here

About the Juror

Hannah Frieser is the Executive Director of The Center for Photography at Woodstock. She has curated and organized exhibitions with leading contemporary photographers such as Pipo Nguyen-duy, Angelika Rinnhofer, Alexander Gronsky and Shen Wei, as well as expanded exhibition projects for Barry Anderson, Adam Magyar and Suzanne Opton. Her essays have been featured in publications such as Contact Sheet, Exposure, Daylight, and Nueva Luz, and in monographs for Susan kae Grant, David Taylor, Ferit Kuyas and more.

Prior to The Center for Photography at Woodstock, Hannah was Director of Light Work, a photographic arts organization and artist residency program in Syracuse, New York, and served in various positions for the Society of Photographic Education (SPE) for more than a decade. Hannah has reviewed portfolios and juried exhibitions worldwide for FotoFest, Rhubarb Rhubarb, Photolucida, PhotoVisa, folioPORT and, among others, and is a frequent lecturer on photography and contemporary photographic practices. 

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