AWARDS 2014

“HER” ART+DESIGN JOE AWARD

Jan Cummings Good, Cummings & Good

Jan Cummings Good is a designer, illustrator, painter and printmaker. Ms. Cummings’s artwork has been featured in solo exhibits and group invitationals for decades, and is featured in “The Art of Seeing” by Paul Zelanski and Mary Pat Fisher. With her husband Peter Good, Ms. Cummings is a principal in the graphic design studio, Cummings & Good, which, along with their gallery and boutique, is housed in their landmark Greek Revival building in Chester Center.

“Average Joe is impressive and delightful! And I feel honored to have been invited to play a small part. From concept to organization to display to the wide and diverse range of photographers and photos, it is wonderfully collaborative and inclusive. From personal experience I have some idea of what it takes to initiate and follow through with such an exhaustive undertaking. Kudos and thanks to Lori and Rebecca!”

WINNER:
Sarah Lightfoot Brundage  “Falling Into Her First Book of the Summer

As Peter Good has already stated, both of us were especially drawn to several photographs and were surprised and delighted to see that they were all by the same person, Sarah Lightfoot Brundage. My favorite is “Falling Into Her First Book of the Summer.” This photo doesn’t necessarily have the unusual juxtapositioning of some of her other images, however, its perspective made me feel that I had just happened upon this idyllic scene. Sarah’s use of the word “falling” in the title suggests that I too could fall into this idyllic world. That it could be me there, falling into an endless summer of warmth and books, while the faded hues enhance a feeling of times past. Surely that could have been me, long ago, and it could have been others whom I have loved and lost.

 

“HIS” ART+DESIGN JOE AWARD

Peter Good,  Cummings & Good

Peter Good – Graphic designer and artist well known in Connecticut for the powerful images he has created for countless corporations, museums and arts organizations. Mr. Good’s work has consistently received awards from the major graphic design institutions in the United States, and he is published in design periodicals throughout the world. In 2009, Mr. Good received the AIGA Fellowship Award.

“I applaud the concept and execution of the Average Joe Photo project; its inclusiveness and belief that any sentient human being, at least anyone who has a smart phone or a camera, can express a quality on a subject based on their understanding, sensitivity and expressiveness – that creativity is not bestowed on a chosen few but is available to those who seek it’s rewards.”

WINNER:
Sarah Lightfoot Brundage  “Captain of my Soul

Alexy Brodavitch, the eminent Art Director and mentor to many renowned professional photographers once advised; “When you look through the lens of a camera and see something that you’ve seen before, don’t click the shutter!”

This mandate surely applies to my selected photo, “Captain Of My Soul,” by Sarah Lightfoot Brundage. The image is compelling in several ways. It is a perfect balance between the flat compositional elements, the design, and the content/subject of the photo. From a distance, say 6 or 7, feet the image is somewhat ambiguous, because of the unorthodox perspective, and the strong architectural elements, namely the contrasty bottom of the photo supporting the top rectangle of the picture with it’s moody amorphous tones. Upon a closer viewpoint one realizes that it’s a dock and you are seeing a reflection which includes a subtle image of the photographer. It is that very juxtaposition that plays with perception and stimulates the senses that enhances the mystery of our visual experience. Brilliant!

It is somewhat significant that Jan Cummings and I were impressed by several other of Sarah’s photos — Semester’s EndApril Showers and Falling Into Her First Book of the Summer.

 

AVERAGE JOE AWARD

Anonymous Gallery Visitor
(our randomly selected “average joe”…)

“I think the Average Joe Photo Show is a wonderful project. It’s always interesting to see what people are photographing (everything these days!). It’s also a really nice community project, since everyone and anyone can be involved. I like the water.org connection. It makes you think about how precious water is to life.”

My favorite photo is “Baby Beach, Aruba” by Jill Corr
This photograph stood out because of the strong composition. I love the way the diagonals of the clouds and the cloud shadows lead you to the figures. I also like that the photographer chose to show it in black and white. Sometimes color isn’t necessary. Sometimes it’s distracting.

 

COLLECTOR JOE AWARD

Harley “Inspector Collector” Spiller
Deputy Director, Franklin Furnace Archive, Inc. Educator, Collector, Photographer

WINNER:
Sarah Rand  “Nectarine
How on earth did the photographer make a half chawed fruit appealing? She must have an “in” with Mother Nature – Ms. Rand has sent me off to the fruit market and its only 7 am. We need water for much more than just drinking !!!

1st RUNNER UP:
Jason Block  “A Ruby Princess in Mid-Laugh
Not every “Joe” is a Boy – Florida family fun on the ocean, oh yeah !

2nd RUNNER UP:
Catherine Mastroianni  “Infusion
A topic that hits close to my heart ….

3rd RUNNER UP:
Stephen Bogdan “Skimmers
Great timing !

 

HUSKY JOE AWARD

Nancy Stula,
Director, William Benton Museum of Art, University of Connecticut (Storrs)
&
Suzanne Zack, Marketing & Communications Specialist,
University of Connecticut Libraries (Storrs)

The Husky Joe Award was the culmination of a special Average Joe photo contest held in conjunction with the Average Joe Photo Show installation in the Norman D. Stevens Gallery, Homer Babbidge Library at the University of Connecticut, Storrs from July 14 – October 24, 2014.

WINNER:
Jaymine Patel  “Happiness”
The spontaneity of composition matches the subject matter, and beautifully conveys the feeling of happiness. The choice of filter/color palette works especially well with the image.

RUNNERS UP:
Becca Allen  “Heading Towards the Capital”
The composition of this photograph leads the viewer, along with the kayaker (our surrogate), into the composition. There is a nice juxtaposition of the vibrant colors of the kayak against the natural marine colors of the seascape.

Prajakta Nair  ”Contemplation”
This landscape dwarfs the figure standing by the lake and emphasizes the grandness – or power – of nature. The composition recalls the picturesque landscape paintings of the 19th century Hudson River School.

Caroline Enright  “Brac Island”
A simple summer tableau: the crystal blue Adriatic and luminescent sky surround a fisherman and others enjoying the sun’s warmth. Brilliant white clouds and soft limestone hills frame this scene. While such leisurely activities may be common worldwide, this image is almost dreamlike in its mood.

 

PHOTOGRAPHER JOE AWARD

Adrien Broom, Adrien Broom Photography

Ms. Broom is a storyteller and self-taught photographer. Her work was recently included in the prestigious American Dreamers exhibit at the Palazzo Strozzi Museum in Florence, Italy. She is currently preparing for an upcoming solo exhibition at the Hudson River Museum in June 2015.

“I am honored to be a part of the Average Joe Photo Show. Even with all the equipment we have to capture the perfect image, some of the most intimate and beautiful are those captured in unplanned, private moments with the camera that has basically become an extension of ourselves. So many beautiful moments were submitted. As a visual storyteller myself, I was drawn to images which made me linger more on the story behind this moment, and the beauty of the capture.”

WINNER:
Lori Warner  “Fog

RUNNERS UP:
Joe Papagoda  “Winter Hand
Liza Sharp  “Ducklings

 

PROFESSOR JOE AWARD

Karen Gonzalez Rice
Sue & Eugene Mercy Assistant Professor of Art History, Connecticut College

“For me, the Average Joe Photo Show represents a continuation and revitalization of Connecticut’s tradition of American Impressionist painters. In the nineteenth century, influenced by the French Impressionists, Connecticut painters took their brushes, palettes, and easels outside to make art en plein air, out in the open.  In meadows and on beaches and dunes, in public spaces and private lawns throughout the state (but particularly around Old Lyme), the American Impressionists performed an inclusive form of art-making.  They modeled an approach to painting accessible to men and women, to amateurs and experts regardless of age or experience.  Today, the legacy of the Connecticut American Impressionists is visible wherever you see someone painting outside – on the lawn of the Florence Griswold Art Museum on Sundays, at a public park, or on the roadside – and in the inclusive, “open air” ethos of the Average Joe Photo Show.”

WINNER:
Sarah Lightfoot Brundage  “Break of Day”

In this photograph, three chicken gather as a single hand directs the flow of water from a jug into a bowl. In contrast to most submissions, which associate water with leisure activities, this image visualizes water in the context of human responsibilities to other living beings.  Rather than a destination, a part of the landscape, or a commodity, water here becomes a material manifestation of cross-species networks of care, and the title, “Break of Day” suggests the daily, cyclical nature of this simple but essential task.

 

TRAVELER JOE AWARD

Belinda Lush
Currently EVP, Client Solutions & Strategy, LeapMedia Solutions (a national marketing agency that works with publishers); previously Commercial Director, Digital at Lonely Planet (the worlds leading travel publisher). Ms Lush has travelled to over 40 countries.

“The ease of use and quality of the cell phone camera (combined with easy editing functions) has really helped to make photography one of the things I find most satisfying about traveling – the ability to capture the essence of a place and (through social media) share it with others so they too can appreciate the magical moment or place you have the privilege to enjoy. Travel has also been a great education for me, and through my experiences in many developing countries I have witnessed first-hand the great need that exists for the skills & resources of nations that are more fortunate.  I am thrilled to play a small part in this great initiative. It is a fantastic way to encourage budding photographers to explore & showcase their talent using a medium that is now so ubiquitous – the cell phone camera – while at the same time raising awareness for some of the great challenges we face as citizens of this global village.”

WINNER:
Leighton Gleicher  “The Boy and His Bubble”
I have chosen this photo as my ‘winner’.  As ‘traveler joe’ I looked for the kind of images that I have found really capture the essence of a place.

More often than not, my favorite photograph from a destination isn’t the famous sights, but an unexpected moment captured with only a moments thought. This image really fits that bill for me, it has nothing really distinct to identify it is taken in Paris, and yet it clearly captures a perfectly Parisian moment.

SPECIAL MENTION:
Holly Ridgway  “A Good Morning’s Catch
For all of the reasons outlined above, there is something very raw about this image that really transports you to the day to day life of these Islanders.

Leighton Gleicher  “Red Parapluie … Paris
Another great ‘ordinary’ moment that gets right to the heart of life in Paris, France.

Gabriella Geida  “Ice Bucket Challenge
And finally, while this photo has absolutely nothing at all to do with travel, it is just a really iconic image of 2014. As social media continues to pervade our lives, this is definitely a symbol of the good things that can come from this medium. Who didn’t have their Facebook & Instagram newsfeeds flooded with these short videos of the ‘Ice Bucket challenge’ which went viral and spread across borders raising over $100M for a number of different charities but primarily the ALS Association.

VIEWERS’ CHOICE AWARD

Tabulated from votes cast for the favorite photograph among gallery visitors to the Lori Warner Studio/Gallery in Chester, Connecticut from 1 February – 3 May 2015 (extended dates)

FIRST PLACE:
Maddy Richardson  “View of a Child

SECOND PLACE (equal votes):
Jill Corr  “Baby Beach, Aruba
Lori Warner  “Fog

THIRD PLACE:
Lisa Reneson  “Eye of the Beholder

FOURTH PLACE:
Stephen Bogdan  “Skimmers

HONORABLE MENTION:
Anita Gangi Balkun  “Thunderstruck”  
Kristin Brady  “Summer Fun” 
Mandy Carroll-Leiva  “Swimming with Sunny” 
Greg Cook  “The Complete Beach Stroll
Erica Edwards  “The Hunt”  
Maureen Evans  “Last Day of Summer Vacation …” 
Leighton Gleicher  “Jane and Barry Before His Afternoon Swim