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Wednesday, July 1, 2009


This is a new experience for me. My first entry on my blog site. Had anyone told me that I would have been doing something like this a few years ago, I would have said they were nuts.

Let's go back to the fall of 1972 when I entered my first juried multi-meda art show. I was in the midst of my documentary of the Appalachian Mountain People and and the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, and I was ready to pit my work against other media: painters, sculptors, mixed media, and so on.

Problem number one: The jury committee would not allow me to apply because photography was then considered"An unacceptable medium." In other words, photography was not considered as an art form. Needless to say, that ticked me off, and I took my issue directly to the art committee and the press and after considerable efforts to make my case, including some bad publicity for the art committee, photographers were allowed to exhibit in the show. However, the prize money was still half of what it was for other media.

There were artists exhibiting from Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, DC and beyond. The show was being judged by two fine judges who were artists; one of which wrote the weekly art column for the Richmond-Times Dispatch. The second was a well known painter who was a guest artist and teacher at the University of Virginia. Both were well qualified.

During the awards ceremony, I was awarded best-in-show. I was shocked! A major feature appeared in the Richmond Times-Dispatch stating that: IT FINALLY HAPPENED; A PHOTOGRAPH WAS AWARDED BEST IN SHOW. This was a major breakthrough for photography and from then on art shows began opening their doors to photography. Of course, the media was also a great help in raising the level of photography to fine-art status.

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