Midwest Contemporary | Juried by Natasha Egan & Karen Irvine: Jun 7 – Jul 14
Midwest Contemporary | Juried by Natasha Egan & Karen Irvine
Working at a photography museum, scores of images cross our desks every day. Experience has taught us that a photographer has just a few moments to grab a viewer's attention using purposeful composition and skilled technique. Beyond that, the photographer has to then keep the viewer's attention by having something to say. Compelling images usually have a sense of mystery, layers of meaning, and ask more questions than they answer. In other words, they often go beyond what they literally depict and incite our imaginations.
For this exhibition, Lillstreet awards two prizes, a winner and an honorable mention. Both of this year's award winners make works that feature a strong idea supported by effective technique. We chose two very different artists for the awards. The first place winner, Daniel Farnum, makes portraits of adolescents from cities in Michigan that are economically depressed, creating a compelling study of place. The runner up, Jessica Harvey, creates spectacular images of the unique landscape of Iceland that hint at the fragility of the planet.
All of the artists included in this exhibition share not only a common occupation, but also, in their artwork, an engagement with humanity. They all seem to fundamentally understand that art is able to communicate in a way that no other medium can. At its best, art can awaken a sense of wonder in the view, and activate his or her intellect. We congratulate everyone who submitted work to Lillstreet for making skilled and engaging photographs. It was a privilege for us to see so much good work in one place.
Natasha Egan, Director
Karen Irvine, Curator and Associate Director
Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College Chicago