Results from the 42nd Annual Photo Regionals

It’s Saturday afternoon, and I just received an e-mail from Albany Center Gallery.

I can feel my heart pounding right now.  It’s been three years since my neon dancing artwork Step and Pivot made the cut for the then-39th edition of the prestigious Capital District Photo Regionals.  And through all the craziness that’s gone on with COVID, the Photo Regionals took the time to reinvent itself, allowing for a one-week salon at Albany Center Gallery, and then a more formal show in about two weeks.

I submitted three entries – my beloved dandelion-teardrop shot After the Rain, my Grateful Dead VW Brokedown on Maggie’s Farm, and my Instamatic / Verichrome experiment, Five Tickets to Ride Day and Night.

It’s Saturday afternoon, and I just received an e-mail from Albany Center Gallery.  The curator for this year’s Photo Regionals has made her selection.  48 photos, from 42 photographers, made the final cut.

There’s a video attached to the e-mail.

I should really look at it.  it might have some clues as to which images were selected.

I read the juror’s statement.  The juror is Karen Davis, the curator and co-founder of Davis Orton Gallery in Hudson.

A message from the juror:

“Thank you (Albany Center Gallery) for the opportunity to jury the 42nd Annual Photography Regional at the Albany Center Gallery. I am honored to have been invited.  Having a gallery in Hudson where we exhibit photography and mixed media—often from regional artists—this show not only reinforced my sense of the artistry and talent in our area, but expanded it, introducing me to several amazing photo-based artists I had yet to encounter.

You (ACG) managed to use the “salon” approach to hang a daunting number of pieces in a very thoughtful way, allowing the public to examine and appreciate each piece in isolation and in context.

Before describing my process, l will state the obvious. An “open” competition such as this, where the range of processes and approaches is so diverse, may predispose a juror toward certain favored themes/genres and methods of image making, quite distinct from the selections of another juror. Personal aesthetics cannot be avoided.

I walked through the exhibit several times, looking at, evaluating, and appreciating the entries. One cannot view these images without recognizing the unsettling times we’re in and sensing the artists’ emotional responses to them. I noticed, with pleasure, a broad range of approaches, including the current trends of experimenting with alternative processes, constructed images and staging scenes, as well as unusual and compelling works in portraiture, still life and landscape.

Then I went to work. Armed with yellow sticky notes, I proceeded to identify works I’d want to see in the Juror Select Show. After making these selections, I walked about again and added a handful more that were slower to settle into my consciousness.

The next step was more challenging: to identify those works to be singled out for additional recognition. Here I selected works that for a range of reasons – creativity, humanism, composition, technique, my emotional response – remained in my mind’s eye.  Having the opportunity to select recipients for cash awards, I am grateful to the gallery for allowing me to make those determinations without the traditional hierarchy of first, second, third, etc.

Given the necessary time restriction for exhibition of the Juror Select Show, I will be arranging with Albany Center Gallery for our Davis Orton Gallery website to link to its “gallery view” online exhibit and also recognize those pieces designated as award and honorable mention winners.  

Once again, thank you (ACG) for the honor of jurying this show.” Karen Davis, of Davis Orton Gallery

There’s a video attached to the e-mail.

Why the hell am I so nervous?  Click the button and see who got selected, Chuck.

Okay.  Deep breath.

Oh my God.

Oh my God oh my God oh my God.

In my wildest hopes, I thought that maybe one of my images might make it through.

But two of them???

I’ve got two photos that made the Photo Regionals cut???

Wowie… my stacked-focus experiment with a drenched dandelion, and my attempt to line up vintage Kodak Instamatic film with vintage-ier Kodak Verichrome Pan film … they’re now Photo Regionals inductees, and Honorable Mention inductees as well!  They join three other images of mine – Step and Pivot, Vivaldi’s Pond and The Jumbuck as Photo Regionals honorees.

Yeah, your man is dancing right now.  What, you’re going to stop me?

My sincere thanks to Karen Davis and Davis Orton Gallery for their selections.

And as for the destitute Deadhead vehicle, Brokedown on Maggie’s Farm, that didn’t make the Photo Regionals … there’s no shame or blame, because  that photo is still eligible for (if we have one) Competition Season 2021.

Scuse me, I’m going to dance again.