Members' Online Gallery's Portfolio Competition October 2010
Selections made by Kenda North, Head of Photography at the University of Texas at Arlington.

Emerging Artist

Susan Barnett from New York, NY
Not In Your Face
To view a gallery of the Exhibit.

In the series "Not In Your Face" the t-shirt is starkly evident but the photographs are not about the shirts per say. They are about identity, validation and perception. Each person reveals a part of themselves that advertises their hopes, ideals, likes, dislikes, political views, and personal mantras. They wear a kind of badge of honor that says "yes, I belong to this group not the other."
By photographing from the back these pictures challenge the tradition of a portrait being of the face and tests whether body type, dress and demeanor can tell us just as much as a facial expression might. The back view would seemingly make these people anonymous but upon closer inspection we see their individuality emerge.
The diverse types uncovered attempt to be democratic with the only criteria being that there is a message on their back and their willingness to pose. The compiled images document a diverse range of cultural typologies, not only in the messages on the shirts, but in hairstyles, accessories, tattoos and personal stances. More importantly, they expose our own biases and prejudices. Are we judging them unconsciously?
This is an attempt to define a generation with a portrait that engages the viewer in a dialog about how these individuals want to be seen, and how we in fact see them.

Mid-Career Artist

Ellen Jantzen from St. Louis, MO
Reality of Place
To view a gallery of the Exhibit.

I am intrigued with how a person adapts to their environment; how they are absorbed and changed. I set about to address this through a photographic photosynthesis in this body of work.
Having recently moved to the Midwest after living in Southern California for 20 years I was, at first, unimpressed with my new surroundings. But this move has changed me and impacted my work by forcing me to deal with the reality of a given place. It has helped me pay attention to and appreciate the details of diverse environments.
Having always been intrigued with various aspects of reality, I chose photography as the medium to help me reveal/obscure truths. Traditionally, photography was viewed as an honest replication of the real world. But, as we all know, even from its inception, photographers used their medium to alter, accentuate and eliminate aspects of the "authentic". As I deal with these issues, I've come to realize it is all about the landscape, the environment…. fitting-in, disappearing, blending-in, and perhaps, ultimately embracing.
In this new work, I have placed my husband (Michael) in various landscapes and in various poses to both highlight and obscure his presence while celebrating the reality of place.

All photos were taken in 2010 with a Nikon digital camera then manipulated.