Create a ‘SPARK’ in Local Photo Competition

Photo festival invites shutterbugs to submit work, be seen

Randall Romano "Street Chat"

Area amateur and professional photographers alike can bring their work into focus by entering an upcoming photo competition and exhibit.

The 2020 SPARK Photo Festival opens April 1 and runs through to April 30. Registration for the Open Call Exhibits and the Juried Exhibit Photo Competition are now open.

The registration deadline for Open Call Exhibits is Jan. 22.

Steve Brittain, IMAGES B4, “Moon Abby,UK”

The deadline for the Juried Photography Contest, themed Motion, is Feb. 2.

Jennifer MacKenzie, SPARK festival director, speaks with Electric City Magazine about the opportunity the event presents for shutterbugs and the community.

“The SPARK Photo Festival gives a collective voice to individual photographers bringing awareness to the talent that flourishes in our community and introduces the community to art in unexpected places — shops, cafés, offices, theatres, libraries and even laundromats, as well as traditional galleries,” Jennifer says.

“SPARK is the only regional festival of its kind in Canada and now in its eighth year of operation, the festival has grown to become a cultural staple within Peterborough and the surrounding region.”

The festival celebrates photography and the artists, dreamers, storytellers and professionals behind the camera lenses. The event hosts hundreds of artists displaying their work in more than 50 venues and draws 50,000 visitors.

Garry Barker, IMAGES B4, “Carlos’ House of Spice”

“SPARK prides itself on merging community, local businesses and the arts. While there are a huge number of venues to exhibit art of other media, there are fewer forums to shine the light on photography,” Jennifer notes.

“Not only does the SPARK Photo Festival bring attention to the photography within our community but reaches far beyond as visitors take home their experiences around the world.”

Ontario’s Tourism Regional Economic Impact Model estimates that the SPARK festival generates more than $1 million for the Peterborough region each year.

Tim Corner, The Group of Five, “Butterfly”

For participants, there are many advantages of being involved in SPARK.

“From a photographer’s perspective, exhibiting in SPARK, perhaps as their first-ever exhibit, provides an audience for work that is often solitary and without a venue to showcase images the photographer captures. That first exhibit, while nerve-wracking, gives rise to confidence to pursue their art and the satisfaction of bringing enjoyment and even a new way of viewing the world to audiences,” Jennifer says.

All photographers are eligible to register for Open Call Exhibits. Those interested can participate as an individual, a small group of two to five people, a group of six people or more or as a community group. Special registration rates are available for students and community groups.

For those keen on competition, the Juried Exhibit Photo Competition is an option. All submissions will be judged by a panel of photography and art professionals, Wayne Eardley, Darcie Kennedy and Brian Tyson.

Jim Babbage “Prismatic Sunrise”

The top 25 images will be exhibited at The Monaghan Café in Peterborough for the month of April.

The photographer with the Best Photograph of the Show will take home $300. The photographer in second place will receive $150 and the person who places third will receive $100. In addition, an honourable mention may be selected and the recipient would be awarded $50. The top three winners will receive plaques.

All of the 25 selected juried photographers will also be invited to SPARK Photo Festival award festivities. The cost of entry is $30.

For more details on the theme and the submission process, as well as the open call, visit the SPARK festival website.

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