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Kingsport Spring Spectacular photography contest, exhibition opens at Renaissance Center

Jessica Fischer • Jun 3, 2014 at 9:17 AM

In addition to getting a new name this year, the Kingsport Spring Spectacular Photography Contest and Exhibition also moved dates — from October to May — and locations, switching from the gallery of the former Main Art Center to the Kingsport Renaissance Center.One thing that hasn't changed, however, is the caliber of the entries — all 315 of them."The quality of the photos just keeps getting better every year," said founder Ann Fortney.Sixty-two entrants — many of them first-timers — submitted photographs for this year's 12th annual competition, which will hang in the Renaissance Center's second-floor Main Gallery and Atrium Gallery through June 26.Admission is free.Youth-, amateur- and proficient-level photographers were invited to submit their color or black-and-white photographs in any of three categories: Nature, Pictorial and the Carrie Penley Themed category, named in memory of Fortney's late mother. This year's theme was "Motherly Love." Next year's theme will be announced at Sunday's reception.Judging this year's contest were York Cooter, Ken Perry, Paul Pope, Richard Siggins, Bill McKee and Lester Duncan.Jim Rigsby won Best of Show for the second year in a row, and Belinda Bridwell was a repeat winner of the Jerry Penley "I Love the Blue Ridge/Appalachians" Award, given to the photograph that best depicts the Blue Ridge/Appalachian region."This award honors my father, Jerry Penley," Fortney said. "He lived his life in this area and loved photographing the Blue Ridge/Appalachian region."In the Carrie Penley Theme category, Christie Dulaney took home top honors. Second and third place went to Christy Potter and Erin Reid, respectively.McKayla Dulaney won first place in the youth category; the second- and third-place awards went to Dawson Arnold.In the amateur pictorial color category, Linda Leonard took home first place, with second and third place going to Angela Gabriel and Debbie Ramey, respectively.In the amateur pictorial monochrome category, winners were Chris Calton, Debbie Dillard and Robert Soyars Sr.Larry Falin won first place in the amateur nature color category. Owen Franklin placed second, and Debbie Dillard won third.Winners in the amateur pictorial black and white category were Linda Leonard, who placed first, and LeAnne Harrington, who captured both the second- and third-place awards.In both the proficient nature color and proficient pictorial color categories, Jim Rigsby swept first and second place, and David Grace earned a third-place finish.Tonia Peters won top honors in the proficient nature monochrome category. Belinda Bridwell placed second, and Gwen Patton came in third.In the proficient pictorial monochrome category, Matt Barr won first and second places, and Steve Teague picked up a third-place finish.Those who visit the exhibit are encouraged to cast their vote for the show's People's Choice Award, which will be presented after voting closes at 4 p.m., June 21.For more information about the exhibit or next year's competition, call Fortney at (423) 914-5453.

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