Otter eating a crawfish.

Otter eating a crawfish.

Photopia urges shutterbugs to ‘push the boundaries’

The top-quality big screens are lined up, the prizes committed and the entry deadline approaches.

“This should be our edgiest Photopia to date,” said organizer Jamie Bowman. “The theme ‘Pushing the Boundaries’ steps above ordinary pretty pictures.”

The contest features hundreds of images rotating on big-screen televisions in the Courtenay Library, as part of Elevate arts festival in downtown Courtenay June 4.

And this year there are two new ways to enter – ‘Extreme Selfies’, which will run as part of Comox Valley Art Gallery’s self-portraiture show, and a live-feed of images people take during the Elevate arts festival and submit via social media or email.

Entry deadline for Photopia’s digital-image contest is 6 p.m. May 20.

Entries are submitted online and details are at www.elevatethearts.com/photopia  Images can also be burned to a CD or DVD or loaded onto a thumb drive and dropped to the Comox Valley Art Gallery reception desk, clearly marked ‘Photopia entry.’

McKays Electronics and London Drugs have stepped up to provide six top-of-the-line, big-screen digital televisions for the show. One of the promised screens is a 60-inch 4K set with a suggested retail value of $8,000.

Both McKays and London Drugs are also contributing to the pot of prizes, totalling hundreds of dollars in value.

Other sponsors include Sure Copy, Staples, Best Buy, Affordable Framing, Horne Lake Caves and Backdoor Gallery.

Youth will have their own separate submission category, but all ages are invited to enter the open category.  Manipulated/enhanced photos will have their own sub-categories in both youth and open. All categories are under the overall theme “Pushing the Boundaries.”

Winners will be chosen by a jury of photography experts.  The panel includes pro photographer Lisa Graham, London Drugs photolab manager MaryAnne Kuzma, NIC fine arts department head Linda Perron and Bob Bell of the Comox Valley Camera Club.

“The judges will be looking for how the image pushes boundaries, for thinking and emotion, and for a ‘wow’ factor, along with composition and technical value,” said Bowman.  “We are expecting images with impact.”

Details of the prizes up for grabs will be announced soon.

“While winning is always great, just participating in this digital art event is very sweet,” said Bowman.

The ‘Pushing Boundaries’ theme is not limited to Photopia; the whole Elevate festival focuses on “boundary pushing and community-building initiatives that break down the barriers between culture creators and culture consumers,” according to Elevate spokesperson Meaghan Cursons.

“Elevate uses art and culture as a vehicle to explore our relationship with the ‘commons’ and to animate spaces we hold in common for the benefit of the broadest community.

“We are interested experimentation, innovation, exploration and radical and respectful collaboration between organizations, business, individuals, venues and others.”

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