Cara Longo, a senior photography major, looked at her collection of photographs, all potential entries for the Juried Show. As she made her final four selections, she noticed one photo was marked with dirt. Longo rejected it.
Her fifth choice, a black and white photo she used for a class project, became her last choice for the competition.
The photo, “Strikes Twice,” taken of old industrial plants in Alton, Illinois during a thunderstorm, won Longo the Best of Show award at the annual Juried Show. “It feels great to win,” Longo said. “I’m quite proud of it.”
Longo’s piece will hang in the upper level of Sverdrup’s west wing. “Strikes Twice” is an addition to the Nancy Bell Underwood foundation Best of Show Purchase Award photographs. The foundation has awarded Webster students since 1987.
“Because it was my fifth choice doesn’t mean it shouldn’t hang on the wall forever,” Longo said. “Different people see different things in a photo.”
“(‘Strikes Twice’) said something about the past,” Natalie Pelafos said. “It’s a ghostly image that speaks about lost jobs. It was one moment in time. That’s what I was mainly drawn to.”
Jurors Ray Kersting and Pelafos, both St. Louis professional photographers, chose photographs for the Juried Show then selected the four award winning pieces.
As Pelafos announced the Best of Show award and why it was chosen, she pointed out to Longo that her image was surprising, but subtle.
“Technically you just hit the nail on the head,” Pelafos said to Longo. “And, the lightning was just the icing on the cake.” The Juried Show, a student photography competition on Jan. 21 in the May Gallery, showed off 78 photographs. Undergraduate photography majors, students studying abroad, non-photography majors and a graduate student submitted work.
Allison Knotts, a senior photography major and web design minor, was awarded first prize for her photo of a sunrise behind a rooftop at Coney Island.
“It’s simple and elegant,” Pelafos said. “It’s a meditative piece.”
Second prize went to David Nash, a junior photography major. His diptych photograph (two photographs set side-by-side) featured broken Ray-Ban glasses and a shredded twenty-dollar bill.
“It’s beautiful,” Pelafos said. “They are simple images but together make a statement about loss in a way.”
Christopher Freese, an art major, won third place for his set of photographs taken of homeless American veterans.
“It’s well done in terms of the technology,” Pelafos said. “It was what it needed to be, and he had to approach people he didn’t know.”
Although 78 photographs were chosen for the competition, many photographs students submitted, were not selected for the Juried Show.
“If your work is on the wall you should be really proud,” Bill Barrett, photography professor, said.
Each place holder won a cash prize. Monetary awards ranged from $75 to $250.