Photographers challenged in 2010 Juried Exhibition
By Kristi Kates 9/28/09
Northern Michigan waters truly define the character of our region and our residents way of life and that, despite their beauty, these waters are actually quite fragile, points out Gail DeMeyere, Crooked Tree Arts Center Visual Arts Director.
The future of our waters depends on what we do today to protect and restore them, DeMeyere says.
Watershed awareness is the theme for the Crooked Tree Art Centers 29th Annual Photography Exhibition, showing January through April 2010 in Petoskey.
As DeMeyere explains it, a watershed is
the area of the lands surface that drains to a particular water body. The Tip of the Mitt
website goes on to explain that watershed boundaries are generally based on high elevations; for instance, the continental divide is North Americas most famous watershed boundary. On the east side of the continental divide, the rivers and other water bodies, including the Great Lakes, all drain to the Atlantic Ocean. On the west side of the continental divide, all of
the waters drain to the Pacific.
The 2010 Juried Exhibition is open to all Michigan photographers age 18 and older and/or members of Petoskeys Crooked Tree Arts Center. The CTAC is working with Petoskeys Tip of the Mitt Council, the Watershed Center of Grand Traverse Bay, and the Leelanau Conservancy to create an exhibition of images shot solely on watershed lands. Exhibition work will be accepted in early Janurary, but if youre interested, its best to get started now or start sorting through files of past works, as DeMeyere is hoping to acquire images from all four seasons, whether theyre images already shot, or images created this fall/winter.
Also, just because the photographs need to be created on watershed land does not mean that all images have to have water in them, DeMeyere explains. This is merely a reference point from which to spring forward.
I hope that the photographers will create images that challenge themselves, she continues. The seasons here are what make living in this area so exceptional; the fact that the consistency is change, and that water and the beauty of the environment is so much a part of our lives.
There are plenty of resources for the photographers to take on that challenge; the Grand Traverse Bay watershed alone encompasses 973 square miles, while, a little closer to CTACs Petoskey hometown, Lake Charlevoix, Mullett Lake, Walloon Lake, and the Little Traverse Bay region all hold watershed status.
Little Traverse Bay itself (Petoskey/Harbor Springs) is actually Lake Michigans fourth largest bay, with a diverse shoreline that includes sand ecosystems, cobble (rock) beach, and exposed limestone bedrock. The bay is 3.5 miles wide between Petoskey and Harbor Springs, and eight miles wide at its far end.
Thats a lot of opportunity for great photos. But DeMeyere isnt putting any limits on the photographers with the exception of having them shoot on watershed land (or water.)
The content of the images are up to the imaginations of the photographers, she says, I never go into a juried exhibition with a preconceived concept as to what work will be in the show, this is what makes juried exhibitions so exciting. There are always surprises!
The best among this particular session of photography work will be rewarded with, of course, public display of the photographers works at CTAC, plus cash awards for first, second, and third places, as well as non-cash honorable mention awards. But the real reward, as DeMeyere says, is in helping these delicate waterscapes and the lands surrounding them.
By bringing attention to the cause of these watershed councils and focusing on the beauty, as well as the fragility of the area in which we live, this exhibition hopes to honor and preserve our resources.
To obtain more information on the three watershed councils and view maps that highlight the regions in the exhibition, you can go online to: the Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council www.watershedcouncil.org the Leelanau Conservancy www.theconservancy.com or the Watershed Center www.gtbay.org. More information about the photography exhibition is on CTACs website at www.crookedtree.org, or you may telephone them at 231-347-5552 for art drop-off times and other details.