Photography exhibition attracts national attention

For the past seven years, the Allegany National Photography Competition and Exhibition — sponsored by the Allegany Arts Council — has attracted entries from top photographers nationwide. This year’s show, which runs April 3-24, drew 827 entries from 42 states.

Of those entries, 70 have been selected for display by juror Karen Irvine, chief curator of the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago. Irvine will announce the show’s prize winners in a virtual awards ceremony Saturday, beginning at 6 p.m.

This nationally recognized exhibit grew from modest beginnings. Led by downtown resident and businessman Dave Romero, a group of local photographers had a vision to elevate and enlarge a small community show produced by the arts council. To get the attention of national photographers, the group decided to offer a large awards purse and invite jurors from respected institutions throughout the U.S.

The group’s bold vision has been realized thanks to generous financial support from a wide and growing array of Allegany County families, individuals, institutions and businesses. Another important factor has been the art council’s photography committee, who meet regularly (by Zoom during the past year) with arts council staff.

As a result, the show’s national reputation has grown each year — even after the pandemic compelled the show to go online last year. This year, you can enjoy the show two ways: online at www.AlleganyPhotoShow.org and in-person at the art council’s galleries at 9 N. Centre St.

The ANPCE is another home-grown example of what our community can achieve when visionary leadership is backed by people working hard to make Allegany County a national showcase for all kinds of artistic expression. Enjoy the ANPCE!

Martin Heavner

Ijamsville

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