The Brigham City Museum of Art & History is delighted to honor the winners for its 2020 Photography Competition on Tuesday, October 13 at 6:00 PM during a virtual awards ceremony broadcasted via Facebook Live. Anita Earlie Schley’s Dementia took first place, followed by Loni Odenthal Newby’s Progression in second place, and Cindy McConkie’s Metamorphosis taking third place. Merit awards were given to Randy Rapp’s Lauren 2020, Michael Goats’ Creatively Studying, and Brent Lindsay’s Restless Landscape. Derek Mellus, Utah Film Commission Project Manager, served as jurist.
Artists of all skill levels were invited to share their personal expressions of change for the competition. “When we first chose the theme "Changes" for this competition, we at the Brigham City Museum did not imagine the extent of change the world had in store” said Alana Blumenthal, Museum Director. “We originally spoke of the cyclical nature of change, but now our thoughts center on the abrupt, transformative changes that shape our lives. It is pleasing to see the theme reflected back to us by each artist.”
With nearly 50 entries from 20 artists, Mellus had much to consider. “I was, first of all, honored to be asked to serve as a juror,” he said. “The range of the work was what most impressed me- the macro, cosmic, landscape, portrait, architecture and even socio-political styles were all represented well. It was very difficult to choose winners-all of the entries were strong and worthy of recognition in their own right".
Anita Earlie Schley is a professional artist from Springville, Utah. She employs photography, painting, and mixed media as outlets for her artistic vision. The photography competition encouraged her to explore her fears. Dementia is a black and white multi-exposure photo depicting blurred family members and caregivers surrounding a single person in focus. Its subject’s condition is laid to bear and tells a striking story. “Dementia runs in my family,” said Schley. “It is a frightening thing to see someone you love seemingly suddenly not remember someone or something significant and then to see that disease continue to take its toll. It’s also terrible to see that person recognize that something is wrong or that this person is someone they should remember but don’t. The older I get the more this disease hangs over my head”.
Loni Odenthal Newby, a born-and-raised Brigham City local, detailed her experience living through the coronavirus lock-down with her entries. Progression is a magical photo that captures the visceral feeling of self-exploration through music. “I pushed myself to flex my skills with my guitar and photography during quarantine,” said Newby. “This in-camera multiple exposure photo is a love story to making music and learning to appreciate individual elements that combine into sound”.
Many Brigham City locals know Cindy McConkie as a prolific photographer and teacher. A long-time supporter of the Museum, Cindy looks forward to participating in its competitions. Metamorphosis is an ethereal self-portrait expressed beautifully through a sepia-toned multi-exposure. “In our deepest, most soul searching moments, we find strength and light and we become who we are meant to be”, said McConkie. “This piece reflects a very personal journey,”.
The virtual awards ceremony will include a panel discussion with the competition’s top winners and jurist. Access to the live broadcast and event updates will be available on the Museum’s Facebook page, and the recording will be uploaded to its YouTube after the event.