The 2013 Photo Issue

Who won the Visions photo contest?

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click to enlarge "Crosstown Expressway" - Rob Bovarnick
Rob Bovarnick
"Crosstown Expressway"

UPDATE: The winners of the 2013 CL Visions photo contest were announced at a reception at the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts on Thurs. Mar. 21. The Readers' Choice winner was "Natural Beauty" by Kevin Coates. The Judges' Prize went to James Luedde for "Break in the Streets." Both winners will receive a $300 prize from Creative Loafing; all of the finalists receive family memberships to FMOPA, where their photos will be on display in the museum's community gallery until May 15.

Close to 300 local photographers entered the 2013 CL Visions contest, all with their own interpretions of this year’s theme: Local.

There were trends, of course: beaches, sunsets, minarets, Curtis Hixon Park. But the photos that impressed our five judges the most were the ones that gave the “Local” theme a particularly resonant spin.

For Florida Museum of Photographic Arts (FMOPA) curator Joanne Milani, James Luedde’s “Break in the Streets” combined “youth and energy” with a glimpse ofTampa’s history — “all without seeming hokey. After all, it IS a storm sewer!”

CL Creative Director Todd Bates admired Eric Seibert’s photo of Haslam’s Book Store and Rob Bovarnick’s shot of an unfinished Crosstown Expressway, saying, “If there is one thing that truly represents local in the Tampa Bay area, it’s roads. … I love the feel of this image, expanding our reach (which is already so ingrained we must reach skyward).”

Tampa Photographer Laureate Ric Savid found himself unexpectedly drawn to Heather Fenzau’s “Soft Visions”: “I shoot strictly black and white, seeking images that have a strong human emotion in them. Nevertheless, this softened image of flowers with its limited palette of muted colors and gentle, humble shape seemed to have a mysterious romanticism that captivated me.”

Ken Hannon of Dunedin Fine Art Center decided his top 10 by imagining he was curating his own mini-exhibition. Several of his choices jibed with those of the other judges: Seibert’s bookstore, Bovarnick’s under-construction overpass, the “mid-air flip” of Luedde’s street performer. He was also drawn to the “gracefulness of the palm leaves” in L. Patarroyo’s “Winter Foliage,” and his top choice, “Dog at Beach” by George Fuller, “seemed to get better and better each time I looked at it.”

Finally, CL Visual Art Critic Megan Voeller correctly guessed (all entries were judged without photographers’ names attached) that both “Crosstown Expressway” and “Homeless Downtown Tampa” were by the same artist — “someone with a real taste for that sort of cognitive dissonance — the beautiful fused with the tragic … We have a real problem with homelessness in downtown, and can we please stop building ginormous fucking roads instead of mass transit? It’s not all paradise.”

You’ll find the judges’ top choices, as well as the top three vote-getters in the Readers’ Choice contest, in the slideshow above. The judges’ and readers’ winners will be announced at a public reception on Thurs. March 21 from 6-8 p.m. at FMOPA, where all 13 photos will be on display through May 15 in the museum’s community gallery.

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