Photography student has work accepted into ‘Spirit of Place’ competition

March 21st, 2013 Comments Off on Photography student has work accepted into ‘Spirit of Place’ competition

Darrious and Jay | Whitten Sabbatini

Tim and Timothy | Whitten Sabbatini

Mississippi State Department of Art student Whitten Sabbatini had two photographs accepted into the Spirit of Place photo and video competition hosted by Maine Media Workshops + College. Sabbatini is a senior concentrating in photography.

More than 3,800 images and videos were submitted to 11 competition categories from image makers around the world. More than $25,000 in prizes will be awarded in a special ceremony on June 7 at Maine Media Workshops + College, along with an exhibition in the Maine Media Gallery in Rockport Village.

Two of Sabbatini’s images received Honorable Mention by the jurors.”Tim and Timothy” is an image of two young men sitting on the front of a car with its hood up. The two look as if they were working on jumping the battery as the car sits in the drive. The other image, “Darrious and Jay,” is of two older boys standing on a unpaved driveway. One boy holds a basketball. Deep in the background is an American flag.

“In both cases, Whitten saw the image and stopped to talk to the individuals. The photographs in this series are taken while Whitten converses with his subjects,” said Professor Maria Gootee, area coordinator for photography in the Department of Art. “There lies the mixture of the staged and unstaged. For a moment the viewer is invited in to visit, but there is also a feeling that this visit is only temporary. It is this duality that makes Whitten’s work so interesting.”

“We are very pleased with the response to this contest from people all over the U.S. and many other countries around the world and impressed by the quality of images and videos selected by our jurors,” said Meg Weston, president of Maine Media Workshops + College.

An esteemed panel of nine jurors representing the fine art, documentary, film and television professions selected winners.

“I was struck by the versatility and expansive points of view that suffused the work I reviewed,” said Norton Museum of Art curator Tim Wride.

Ben Fowlie, founder and director of the Camden International Film Festival, noted “the quality of the work was exceptional, and provided a glimpse inside both local and global communities.”

“Whitten’s work is a way for him to explore his surroundings and understand the people residing in this area. The images speak on many levels and seem to slow down the viewer’s sense of time, allowing the audience to explore all of the details in these temporary moments,” said Assistant Professor Dominic Lippillo.

The jurors were Stacey Baker, associate photo editor, New York Times Magazine; Roger Dell, director of education, Farnsworth Art Museum; Charlotte Dixon, artist and educator; Edward Earle, curator of collections, International Center of Photography; Ben Fowlie, founder and director, Camden International Film Festival; Patricia Luchsinger, producer, NBC Today; Jessica May, curator of contemporary & modern art, Portland Museum of Art; Laura Ozment Schenck, executive producer of television and special projects, Maine Public Broadcasting Network; and Tim B. Wride, William and Sarah Ross Soter Curator of Photography, Norton Museum of Art.

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