Anthony P. Graesch, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, Connecticut College

Mara Fischer “33 ft.”
Bearing semblance to a 1980s-era, Polaroid-style picture, Fischer’s image evokes a futuristic dreamscape in which we glimpse ever powerful erosional forces – water, wind, forests – reclaiming the monuments of failed 20th century nation states.  In the aftermath of inevitable decline and collapse, we see the juxtaposition of ancient industrial artifact and youthful play, a testimony to the persistence and adaptability of humans.

Gabriella Geida “Bubbles”


Gae Melford, a second-time visitor to Chester
(our randomly selected gallery visitor (an everyday “average joe”…)

“I have been involved with photography (both professionally and personally) for many years, and have loved how it has evolved into a true art
“of the people”. The Average Joe Photo Show is a perfect example of this idea: inclusive, imaginative and open to whatever interpretation inspires
the contributor. To see the diversity of ideas shown by this group of photographers was a pleasure.  It truly reveals how photography is a medium that allows for individual freedom of expression: one concept, but so many different and creative interpretations of that concept.”

Tom Crisp, “Rowing for the Cure”
It was very difficult to select a favorite as I loved a number of the photographs, but I felt that everything about this particular photo was quietly perfect. The perspective, the light, the layers, the depth of field – all are wonderfully aligned.  As an aside, I am a big fan of Wes Anderson and this photo has the same quality as many of his extraordinary frames: seemingly effortless, magical and timeless.

David Boyle “Jump!”
I also loved #19 Jump! Concept, color, angle, humor – all are there. 
And very original. Would love to see this image much larger.

Kyra Steiner “Jaws in a Jar”  &  Kyra Steiner “Summer of George (a la Tom Wesselmann)”
Wonderful interpretations – completely different from any other submissions. These two images show great originality and creativity.
Another reason why the Average Joe Photo Show gets kudos for inspiring such individual and unique ideas.


Sosse and Jack Baker
Chester Gallery, Chester, Connecticut

Barbara Winters “Student Car Wash”
This photo represents an active engagement between humans and water that is very “average” in real life.


Joe Standart
Joe Standart Photography, New York City & Lyme, Connecticut

“I am honored to be asked to be ‘Joe the Judge’ for this inspired project and exhibition, the Average Joe Photo Show. The concepts behind the show are wide ranging, complex, and compelling: create an exhibit that brings community together in a fun and engaging way, that ignites our creative and artistic spirit, and at the same time makes us think about one of the more challenging social issues of our time — the lack of drinking water for 1 billion people. Big challenge? Not for those that submitted over 220 images offering insights into the endless associations we have with water. Creativity, composition, originality, content and meaning all weighed in my choice for best in show.  The difficulty of the task suggested that there should be a “runners up” category in addition to a winner. Thus choices for “runners up” are included below as well.”

Joe Papagoda “Hand in Sink”
For elegance, simplicity and power of messaging: highlighting something most exhibition viewers take for granted.

Tom Crisp “Rowing for the Cure”
For design, composition and beauty.

Kyra Steiner “Jaws in a Jar”
For creativity, concept and execution.

Leighton Gleicher “Daasanecht Girl with Jerrycan Full of Water”
For visual power and messaging.


Joseph (aka Joe) D. Alchermes
Director, Architectural Studies Program, Connecticut College

The envelope please …. the “Professor Joe Award” goes to …. Tom Crisp “Rowing for the Cure”!

“I found many of the photos submitted by “average joes” very well done – visually and conceptually interesting. “Rowing for The Cure” appealed most to me perhaps because my main academic field is the history of architecture. Tom uses the simple, powerful forms of the bridge pylons and arches to great effect, providing a grand, symmetrical frame for the heroicized action of the crew. I hope that the precise placement of the central rower (and the yellow thing above her), barely off-axis, is intentional since I really like such subtle, symmetry-breaking details. I also like the contrast between the warm, vital pinks of the jerseys (and their reflections) and sepulchral tones of the architecture and water. College teacher that I am, I have no problem going on but … I do have a question, though: what possessed Tom to venture down under the bridge ?!!!

An “average joe” myself, I enthusiastically endorse projects like this that are “accessible” in so many ways – including:
1) No restrictions on participants
2) Required use of nearly universally available “equipment,” the cellphone camera
3) Posting the images on the gallery website, so they can be viewed anywhere, anytime, by anybody!”


Katy Hyland
Graduate of Southern Connecticut State University

“With the evolution of technology, photography is used worldwide to capture fleeting, everyday moments. People can use this medium to create a permanent, visual accumulation of their average daily life. And I think this embodies the spirit behind the Average Joe Photo Show. This project is meant to be for the “average joe,” and the result of everyone’s participation is absolutely stunning.”

Drew Knowlton “Sunday by the Pool”
It was hard to pick a favorite, but from the moment I saw this particular photograph I couldn’t stop looking at it. Not only is it technically well done, but the subject is the most interesting and eye catching part for me. We are allowed to glimpse into a particular moment in this person’s life, and that moment was just captured so well. It’s so entertaining! The dogs, the little boy, the woman on the phone, the hot tub. It’s just perfect. It is the perfect “average” moment, and I love it.

Adam Verhoeff “The Decision”
I just thought this photo was really amusing.  The man’s position, facial expression and posture seem to show how content he is in life and so he can just quietly hang out on a guardrail by the water.


Tabulated from votes cast for the favorite photograph among gallery visitors to the Lori Warner Studio/Gallery in Chester, Connecticut from 2 February – 29 April 2014 (extended dates)

Tom Crisp “Rowing for the Cure”

Jennifer Kolosky “Summer Days”

THIRD PLACE (equal votes):
David Boyle “Peekaboo”
David Boyle “Splash”
Leighton Gleicher “Daasanecht Girl with Jerrycan Full of Water”

HONORABLE MENTION (equal votes):
David Boyle “Jump!”
Charlene Rex-Waller “Playtime”