Award-Winning High School Photography on View at Tacoma Art Museum
Experience the work of Washington’s talented high school photographers, on view Wednesday, Aug. 27 through Sunday, Sept. 28 in the Community Art Space at Tacoma Art Museum.
The 2014 Washington State High School Photography Competition received more than 4,100 entries, submitted by 1,524 students from 70 Washington schools. Finalists from each of the 12 competition categories are included in the exhibition, featuring 36 photographs in black and white and in color.
The creativity and technical quality of the photographs is as impressive as the subject matter is varied. Georgia Gray’s ghost-like bird footprints in snow is a unique portrayal in the Animal category; Laurel Heater’s photo of a gentleman holding a large, glowing-white goose presents an unexpected juxtaposition of subjects in the Portrait category; playful bubbles with rainbow reflections dance above a carpet of lush green grass in Alexandra McGraw’s landscape; a powerful waterfall backed by swirling storm clouds rendered in sepia-like tones creates an air of mystery to Joshua Kahn’s Camera Phone entry. Each photo demonstrates thoughtful work on the part of these motivated young photographers.
“It is such an exciting opportunity for students to have their work shown in an art museum exhibition," says Samantha Kelly, Tacoma Art Museum's director of education. "We hope the experience will inspire these young artists toward further creativity and provide them deeper exposure to careers in the arts.”
The annual High School Photography Competition was initiated in the 1980s by a group of high school photography teachers as a mechanism for celebrating student work. By the 1990s, the event had grown enough to attract sponsorship, media coverage and increased public interest. Now, the competition elicits broad student participation and garners attention from the state’s top elected officials who present the winners at a prestigious awards ceremony. Professional photographers and others from the community volunteer time to review and judge the entries.
The annual competition is open to all 9th through 12th grade students in Washington’s public, private and alternative high schools. In addition to being recognized by the judges, teachers and peers, students may win prizes: one award-winner will receive a scholarship for a course at Photography Center Northwest; category winners receive $100 cash prizes; six images will be pictured on a run of Jones Soda bottles; and another lucky student will have the opportunity to photograph a match on the field with the Seattle Sounders FC soccer club’s team photographer. The top three photos in each category are included in exhibitions at both Tacoma Art Museum and Seattle Art Museum.