Times are definitely unique and often uncertain and many organizations have had to cancel annual exhibitions and projects. . . however, the Hays Arts Council is indeed going forward with the 37th Annual Five State Photography Competition and Exhibition!
In light of the current (and perhaps ongoing) COVID chaos, we are switching things up a bit with our Five State this year. To address concerns of travel - whether for those delivering works from great distances or our juror who conducts the judging on site, shipping expenses in this time of financial uncertainty for some, this year's project will be simplified, and in some ways, more accessible for those who want to participate. Overall, our timeline will remain the same, as will our cash awards.
This year's exhibition will feature 100 photographs. The Hays Arts Council is going to purchase 100 11x14" black wood frames with white mats for 8”x10" photographs.
Those who enter will send/bring us just 8”x10" photographs (vertical or horizontal) on paper (NO canvas or metal). Photos will be placed in individual clear sleeves and organized in binders for each category: Nature, People, and Open. Binders will then be sent to our judge, who will select the 100 works for exhibition and determine the traditional cash & juror's merit awards - all without having to consider or be at the mercy of COVID travel & lodging concerns or restrictions.
After photographs are returned, we will mount the accepted 8"x10" photos in our frames & mats. The exhibition itself will open and run like other years.
After confirming the selected works, photographers will be asked to send the digital file for their accepted photograph(s) so that we can share the entire 100 piece collection (not just award winners) in an album on our website and Facebook page. So, should we not be able to hold the Winter Art Walk and/or in-person gallery attendance is light, the entire exhibition will be available to anyone that wants to see it – in the gallery or online.
We know that with this 8”x10” format (again, vertical or horizontal) some photographers may have to creatively rethink which images to submit. But, the Five State is such an important project for us and we'd hate to see it derailed or poorly responded to should the pandemic continue to impact programs as we enter the fall season. So, we have decided to be proactive, just in case. Without the need to frame or ship works (and for those who don't want to drive 3 - 7 hours to deliver), time and expense-wise, we hope to attract and engage some who might otherwise dismiss the competition altogether this year.
The Five State's traditional diversity of size, framing, and print surface have always been one of its most unique features, but we are intrigued by the idea of a sleek and uniform gallery installation this year. We can handle a change-up in the format and process for one year. What we can't handle is the idea of not presenting the 37th Annual Five State in some way so, it's on!
For more, visit the info and entry form links below. For printing, files are formatted for 8.5x11” (standard) paper, and the entry form can be filled out online and then printed out.