From now through February, visitors to the Visual Arts Alliance of McPherson Gallery will have the opportunity to see McPherson through the eyes of area residents.
“What McPherson Means to Me” is the second annual community photography show of the gallery, sponsored by the McPherson Arts Alliance. About 50 entries are now on display at 223 S. Main St. and cover a broad range of interpretation of the theme.
The entries were judged by Jim Turner, a professional photographer from Lindsborg, earlier this month. Turner awarded first, second and third-place awards, who received $100, $75 and $50, respectively.
Nine honorable mentions also were given.
Turner judged the entries by composition, lighting, uniqueness and other qualities.
First place was “Mystified” by Elaine Yates. This photograph captures a young boy looking out over the bridge at Lakeside Park.
“I just thought it was one of those photos where it was contemplative,” Turner said. “It was more of a candid moment than a posed moment.”
Second place was “It’s always something” by Casey Mason. The black and white frame captured an older car model on a dirt road.
“I really liked that one,” he said. “I’m more attracted to black and white than I am to color.”
Turner thought the dirt road setting was good for the model of the vehicle.
“It all came together quite nicely, I thought. It was simply a nice photograph.”
Third place was “Out for a Spin” by Robert W. Dell, which shows a young boy and girl sitting in a small toy car.
“I thought it represented youth and it was kind of one of those really nice family photographs that will be enduring over time,” Turner said. “I thought it would be a special photograph for those children in future years.”
The contest was organized by VAAM members David Brock and Leanne Kilmer. Elizabeth Liljegren, VAAM board member, said the show was a way the McPherson Arts Alliance could provide an opportunity for local photographers.
“Our idea was to give people in the community a chance to shine and show off a little bit,” she said. “Sometimes people in the community don’t have a venue for showing what they do.”
Liljegren said the exhibit allows viewers to see McPherson from an alternative perspective via the eyes of the photographers.
“It’s always good for people to look at the way artists view the world,” she said. “It expands our perspective. It opens our eyes to new ways of seeing.”
Page 2 of 2 - Liljegren noted the photographs range in interpretation, from close up faces, to events, to landscapes.
“I love that about it,” she said. “It makes it more interesting.”
People's vote remains open
The public is invited to vote for the people’s choice award.
Voting will close Feb. 24, and there will be a reception on that day from 2 to 4 p.m.
The reception, to be at the VAAM Gallery, will honor contest participants and Del Gray, whose photos are displayed at the McPherson Opera House Heritage Gallery. Turner also will be present to speak about the contest entries and explain how to take award-winning photos.
Contact Jenae Pauls at email@example.com and follow her on Twitter @PaulsSentinel