I'm honored to be one of the 2016 Critical Mass Finalists for my new series "Decoding the Infinite Forest." Many thanks to Photolucida who conducts this annual event and congrats to all on this distinguished list. Sometimes we just need a little assurance that we are on the right track...I'm grateful for the recognition.
Many of you who may not be familiar with this competition or what fine art photographers go through to promote their work. There are several international competitions held throughout the year by various organizations, often based on categories or themes. Artists submit a project (images + artist statement) and a juror (or jury) selects finalists or winners. These jurors are well known photographers, gallerists, curators, consultants, and publishers from all over the world.
Critical Mass is an annual online program conducted by Photolucida based in Portland OR. From over 800 submissions, 200 Finalists are selected. Then, a detailed review by over 200 jurors narrows the field to a Top 50 and a few top awards. Their biannual companion program is the Portfolio Reviews Festival, which I attended in 2015.
Why do we do this? There are few opportunities for an artist, say in Jacksonville FL, to have a New York gallery owner, Nat Geographic Photo Editor, or a museum curator, look at your project. Exposure and relationships are key elements in getting your work (and yourself) into the photographic community at large. In addition to having good work, you need to show up and participate to have even a remote chance of playing the game outside of your neighborhood.
What is very clear at this point in my career is that there is a lot of work left to do. Judging from the quality of the work I see in these competitions, I am inspired to keep going at it!
More information about my new series "Decoding the Infinite Forest" is in the works. I have taken the elements of my Forest re:Framed project and expanded it. More to come!