October 10, 2014 to December 31, 2014

Contact: Karin Leuthy, kleuthy@mainemedia.edu, 207.236,8581, ext. 335 

CHARACTER CONTEST WINNERS ANNOUNCED

Maine Media Workshops + College showcases talented photographers, filmmakers and writers in latest competition

Rockport, Maine—October 10, 2014—Maine Media Workshops + College (MMW+C) is pleased to announce the winners of their latest competition, Character: Portraits and Stories that Reveal the Human Condition. Character winners include 18 professional and recreational artists who comprise a group hailing from as far away as Brazil and Portugal to as close as Rockport, Maine. All together, more than 1,000 photos, videos, and writing entries were submitted from 20 different countries, and 38 states and the District of Columbia within the U.S.

“Getting below the surface of a subject is what lies at the heart of great portraiture work,” described Meg Weston, president of MMW+C. “With this year’s Character contest, we hoped to inspire our worldwide artistic community to create diverse work in various media that provided a window into the deeper dimensions of being human. It’s what has motivated photographers and storytellers alike for centuries, and continues to do so.”

Several Character winners have taken workshops at Maine Media Workshops + College, including Jack Montgomery, a professional photographer living on the coast of Maine. Montgomery won the Grand Prize for the Photo-Single Image category for an entry entitled Eilidh & Iona, a coming-of-age portrait of two sisters living on the border of Maine and New Hampshire. Montgomery’s photographs appear in several museum collections, including the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Paris, and have graced many book covers such as To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Collins, 2001).

“My interest in portraiture began about 20 years ago, but the crystallizing moment was a Maine Media workshop in Tuscany with Jock Sturges in 1997,” Montgomery reminisced. “Since that time I have taken several other workshops in Rockport. I am blessed to have found this passion and forever grateful to the Workshops for having helped me nurture it.”

This year, many of the submitted images used alternative process techniques, including those by Jaime Johnson from Poplarville Mississippi, who won the Grand Prize for the Photo-Portfolio category with a series of eight tea-stained cyanotypes. With titles such as Bone Dress, She Rests in Flowers, and Animal Tracking, Johnson’s earth-toned images capture a feral woman—a collector and constructor—who embodies the importance of our connection to wilderness.

Additional Grand Prize winners include Max Good, who won the Video category for his entry Perpetual Ed, the story of a 57-year-old eccentric musician, whose dry humor and wise cynicism keep him going despite living under a terminal diagnosis from Hepatitis C and liver cancer. Sarah Sousa won the Writing category for her poem Black Woman Stands for the Itinerant Photographer, inspired by a late 19th- to early-20th century photograph entitled Visit New York State. The image of an African American woman standing in front of a crude shack with a walking stick in one hand and a worn look depicting the difficult life of a homesteader compelled Sousa to imagine this woman's voice and story through words.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE COMPLETE LIST OF AWARD WINNERS. 

Character jurors included a stellar collection of award-winning authors, artists, and editors, such as David Brommer, photographer and director of B&H Photo Event Space; Emily Schiffer, award-winning documentary photographer; David Turner, internationally renowned fashion photographer; Joe Grifasi, film, television and stage actor, as well as teacher and director; Alan Myerson, Emmy-nominated television series and movie director; Gibson Fay-LeBlanc, award-winning poet and educator; and Michael Steere, editorial director for Down East Books.

MMW+C’s 2014 Character contest presented artists with a chance to win over $13,000 in prizes, including cash, merchandise from B&H Photo Video Pro Audio and workshops at Maine Media. Grand prizes and honorable mentions were awarded in each of the following categories: photography, video, and writing. Award winners are also invited to attend a recognition event to be held in New York City, on October 29, 2014, which will take place at the Annual B&H Maine Media Workshops Alumni, Faculty and Friends Party during PDN PhotoPlus Conference + Expo. The contest was sponsored by B&H Photo | Video | Pro Audio and Longfellow Books and ran from June 27 through September 7, 2014. Winning entries are posted online at www.mainemedia.edu/contest.

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Background: Maine Media Workshops + College (mainemedia.edu): Founded in 1973, Maine Media Workshops + College is a non-profit, non-traditional school that provides experiential education for students of all skill levels in film, photography, writing, multimedia and design. From one and two-day skill-building workshops to one-week and multi-week immersions, Maine Media’s workshops spark creativity and lead to self-discovery through intense, hands-on learning with top-of-the-line gear. Its long-term programs—including 12-week intensives, one-year professional certificates and three-year MFA degrees for graduate students—fully prepare attendees to work and succeed in their fields.