An unprecedented deluge of images submitted to Photopia 2015 made selecting winners a challenge for judges in the annual image competition.
More than half of the 79 entrants were to the new, Under-18 section. Organized by the CV Community Arts Council as part of Elevate The Arts festival, the exhibition Saturday in the Courtenay Library featured nearly 800 images shown on top-end, big-screen TVs loaned by McKay’s Electronics and Best Buy.
Kristy Knowlan’s creative chops were well recognized; she was chosen as the winner in both the ‘Self-Reflection’ and ‘Manipulated’ categories.
Debra Rolston won for her submission to ‘Mirrors’ and Sarah Seads won in the ‘Shadows’ category. Dave Ingram’s entry in ‘Remembering’ brought him honour while Dennis McLaughlin’s work took top spot in ‘Opposites’.
Among the Under-18s, Aislynn Bush won in ‘Self-Reflection’, Joycelyn Poulton in ‘Mirrors’, Maya von Schilling in ‘Shadows.’ Daarien Kunz won in ‘Opposites’, Samantha Rae Harriss in ‘Remembering’ and Lizzie Gummer in ‘Manipulated’.
The Photopia 2015 theme was ‘Reflection’, in keeping with Elevate’s overall theme this year.
Photopia offered an opportunity for photographers to look at the world in varied and different ways, noted Linda Perron, one of the judges and in her day job the chair of the fine arts department at North Island College.
The submissions demonstrated “a vast range of interpretations” of each of the categories, she said.
She and fellow judges Gordon Ross and Lisa Graham found the work strong all around, while “the most inspiring images came from the youth category where young photographers challenged themselves with the theme and explored the categories,” she said.
Sponsors stepped up to help in a big way. McKay’s brought some of the finest televisions available on the market in Canada, including a 79-inch curved 4k screen worth $12,000 and a 10-bit colour unit worth $7,250.
Affordable Framing, Sure Copy Centre, Staples, London Drugs, Best Buy and Backdoor Gallery all contributed to the prize packages that totalled over $800 in value.
“Big ups to everyone who took courage to participate,” said organizer Jamie Bowman. “As an open exhibition, everyone’s images were shown. The diversity and range was phenomenal, a true reflection of who we are as cultural people.”