PhotoPlace Gallery: In Celebration of Trees

Juror’s Statement:

My selections for In Celebration of Trees represent a very high diversity of tree species, settings and styles. Foremost among my criteria, each image reveals the centrality of tree-as-subject, supported by composition and legibility. Even the shortest narrative must roll from the tongue of the photo, to tell of the tree’s vitality, adaptability, steadfastness, or vulnerability and awkwardness.

In some images, the intellect and calculations of the photographer can be noticed, and in others a simple spontaneous elation from seeing light on leaves carries the message that this tree is important. These higher levels of Tree Consciousness speak well for all who participated. By nature, I tend to stay away from the infrared filtration and color enhancements, but I found the representations of apparent early photo techniques generally intriguing.

Trees are a challenging photographic subject. There are days when none appear worthy of exposure, but even so the search can be good mental conditioning for the right opportunity to appear.

Tom Zetterstrom

About the Juror:

Tom Zetterstrom’s Portraits of Trees represents the diversity and beauty of America’s forest resources. His 35-year dedication to trees imbues this endeavor with a unified artistic vision, sharpened by his very personal commitment to issues of local and global sustainability. Tom’s photographic career spans 45 years. His work as a freelance photojournalist in the ’70s and ’80s ranged from the New York Times Magazine and op-ed pages to A Day in the Life of America. His photographic eye has repeatedly responded to environmental issues over the decades. Zetterstrom’s documentary portfolios include White Russia, 1973 (in the Library of Congress archive); Faces of China, 1981(sponsored and toured by the Yale-China Association); and Man and Machine, 1973-1976. Photographs from Zettertrom’s various portfolios are represented in 40 museum collections throughout the United States.


PhotoPlace Gallery: Stories and Secrets

Juror’s Statement:

Photographers most often use the camera to record the facts of the real world as seen at the moment of exposure. And the camera is a wonderful device for doing this. But when those facts are aligned to narratives or fantasies, the potential for deeper meaning is expanded. The photographs submitted for PhotoPlace Gallery’s exhibition, “Stories and Secrets,” offered an amazing variety of ways in which stories can be told with photographs. In some cases, texts were included as part of the images, but in most of the work the images themselves carried the narratives alone, sometimes in quite obvious ways, in other instances through enigmatic and mysterious suggestions.

As jurors we were faced with the difficult task of selecting work from a large body of exceptional work, and there were many deserving photographs that we wished we could have included. Alas, our job was to choose a finite number for exhibition and publication, and in the end we found ourselves most drawn to tantalizing images that told stories or whispered secrets in ways that made us want to know more. We gravitated toward images that were thoughtfully and skillfully conceived to tell subtle stories that hover on the edge of suggestiveness. Our congratulations to all of the artists who were selected, and our thanks to everyone for submitting such fascinating work.

Emma Powell and Kirsten Hoving

About the Jurors:

Mother and daughter Kirsten Hoving and Emma Powell have been working together for many years. Their most recent collaboration is Svala’s Saga, realized after extensive travel to Iceland together.

Emma Powell is an assistant professor of art at Colorado College. Powell graduated from the College of Wooster, and received her MFA in photography from Rochester Institute of Technology. Her work often examines photography’s history while incorporating historic processes and other devices within the imagery.

Kirsten Hoving is a Charles A. Dana Professor of Art History at Middlebury College. In between writing books and articles and teaching courses about modern art and the history of photography at Middlebury College, she makes photographs. She is co-founder of PhotoPlace Gallery.