Radford University announces second Southwest Virginia Juried Student Photography Competition


When undergraduate students from 12 college photography programs participated in the first Southwest Virginia Juried Student Photography Competition, Radford University organizers knew turning this into a regular event was worth pursuing.

“Photography students at any level can really benefit from seeing the work of their peers, especially from outside their own schools and classes,” said Assistant Professor of Art Andrew Ross, who conceived and organizes the competition. “My hope is that this photography competition can provide a venue for the region’s photo students to all come together to look at and talk about their photographs.”

After the positive reception the first competition received, Ross has made a few changes. This year the competition invites high school students from the New River Valley to participate, in addition to undergraduate students from the many universities, colleges and community colleges in Southwest Virginia. And with this, there will be three categories for students to enter: High School Photography, College Analog Prints (for darkroom or alternative process works), and College Digital Prints (for any photographic prints made on a digital photo printer).

To enter, high school students must attend a public or private high school, or are home-schooled in the New River Valley, specifically Floyd County, Giles County, Montgomery County, Pulaski County, and City of Radford.

Those eligible for the two college categories need to be current undergraduate students who have taken a photography course from Bluefield College, Central Virginia Community College, Danville Community College, Emory and Henry College, Ferrum College, Hollins University, Liberty University, Longwood University, Lynchburg College, Mary Baldwin College, New River Community College, Patrick Henry Community College, Radford University, Randolph College, Roanoke College, Southside Virginia Community College, Southwest Virginia Community College, Sweet Briar College, UVA Wise, Virginia Tech, Virginia Western Community College, Washington and Lee University, and Wytheville Community College.

The competition is open-themed and the first two entries by each photographer are free. If entering more than two works, the cost is $5 per additional entry. Each student may enter up to 9 total pieces.

Awards include a Best in Show with a prize of a 128GB Microsoft Surface 3 tablet, as well as First Place: $100, Second Place: $50, Third Place: $25 in each of the three categories. Awards may also include Honorable Mentions.

This year’s juror is Heather Evans Smith, a fine-art photographer based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

“I discovered Heather Evans Smith’s work when one of my students a few years back gave an in-class presentation on her photography,” Ross said. “Not only was I awed by the beauty and poetry of her images, but I was also pleasantly surprised to learn she lives and works nearby.”

As part of the events scheduled around the competition, Evans Smith will give a guest artist talk Feb. 6, 2017, at 7:30 p.m. This free talk is open to the public, with the student community and competition applicants encouraged to attend. After the presentation, there will be a reception with food where the audience will have the opportunity to meet Evans Smith as well as to drop off works accepted for the exhibition. The free guest artist talk and reception will take place in Radford University’s Performance Hall in the Covington Center. For a preview of Evans Smith’s work, visit www.heatherevanssmith.com.

Evans Smith will also be on hand to talk about the student works and present awards during the opening reception of the Southwest Virginia Juried Student Photography Competition. The opening is at the Radford University Art Museum Downtown, Feb. 17 at 5 p.m., with the exhibition remaining on display through March 1.

To enter the competition, students can email their submissions prior to the deadline of midnight, Jan. 20. For more information and instructions on how to enter, visit www.radford.edu/photo-competition.

Jan 9, 2017