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Photo finish: Kingsport Spring Spectacular is underway

Carmen Musick • Jun 5, 2020 at 10:26 PM

Where there’s a will there’s a way. The 2020 Kingsport Spring Spectacular Photography Exhibition is proof of that.

The award reception for the 18th annual show takes place from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday in the Main and Atrium galleries at the Kingsport Renaissance Center. The exhibit is on display through June 29 during regular business hours. There are 314 photos from 52 photographers in the show, which some doubted would ever make it to the exhibit phase.

Organizer Ann Fortney faced a ton of uncertainty in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic: Should she postpone or cancel the show? Would people enter? Would the venue be open? What changes would need to be made? Her mission with the show has always been “to promote interest and fun in the ever-growing art of photography. To provide a quality competition for amateur and professional, young and young at heart in the region and beyond.”

If it was within her power, she wasn’t about to let anything (including a pandemic) get in the way of something she and her parents during their lives had worked so hard to create and preserve. So, pretty early on, she decided the show must go on — if at all possible.

“It was easier for me to set it up, accept entries and keep on going than it would be to call it off and then think, ‘Maybe I could have done it.’ You can’t do a show like this in a short period of time, so I decided I’d work it and if I had to cancel it because I didn’t have a place to display it, then I could call it off,” said Fortney, who admits she pushed every deadline she set for herself to the absolute limit in the process.

Her persistence paid off. A few days before the deadline, she got the news she needed: the Kingsport Renaissance Center would open in time for the show.

“Everything started rolling into place and here we are,” Fortney said. “It worked out and I’m so appreciative of everybody. It was a blessing all the way around.”

Entries were judged in mid-May by a panel of experts, including Richard Siggins, David Grace, Jeffrey Stoner, Brian Castle, Dave Taylor and Cindy Williams. The exhibit opened June 3, and most of the awards will be presented at Saturday’s reception. Voting for the People’s Choice Award will continue until 2 p.m., June 20; it will be awarded later that afternoon. Visitors to the reception and exhibit are encouraged to wear masks and observe proper social distancing.

“I have two galleries for everyone to roam through, so I believe everything will be fine,” Fortney said. “If you are someone at high risk, not comfortable attending the reception, or if you’re sick, then please, I encourage you to wait and see the exhibit during the week when there will be fewer people.”

Photographer Mark Roberts captured Best of Show with “Beach Bones.” The Jerry Penley “I Love the Blue Ridge/Appalachian Region Award,” named for Fortney’s dad, went to Terri Campbell for “Tumblin’ Creek.”

Other winners and honorable mentions include:

YOUTH: 1st, “Alps Sunrise” by Owen Hoover; 2nd, “Brooklyn Bridge at Night” by Owen Hoover; 3rd, “Beauty of the Sunset” by Lilly Vance. Honorable mentions: Evelyn Bodenhorn, Lilly Vance, Owen Hoover and Violet Hoover.

AMATEUR PICTORIAL COLOR: 1st, “NYC at Twilight” by Scott Newton; 2nd, “St.Thomas, USVI” by Bryan Phillips; 3rd, “Catching the Sunset” by Rene Roberts. Honorable mentions: Bryan Phillips, Carson Lakes, Lynn Crumley, Nancy Crumley, Beverly Willis, Preston Compton, Debbie Edmonds, Deborah A. Ramey, Catrina Fletcher, Jeff Bobo, Jeff Carter, Larry Edens, Steve Hanor, Wanda Eaton, Steven Jarrett, Rene Roberts, Brian Campbell and Rebekah Hunt.

AMATEUR NATURE COLOR: 1st, “Arizona Oasis” by Steven Jarrett; 2nd, “Coming at You” by Carson Lakes; 3rd, “Hummingbird-Kingsport,” by Bryan Phillips. Honorable mentions: Bryan Phillips, Carson Lakes, Lynn Olberding, Beverly Willis, Preston Compton, Debbie Edmonds, Chester Bayko, Kim Mickow, Steve Hanor, Wanda Eaton, Deborah A. Ramey and Steven Jarrett.

AMATEUR NATURE MONOCHROME: 1st, “Reflection” by Carson Lakes; 2nd, “Just a Light Snack” by Deborah A. Ramey; 3rd, “Where's Dinner Pray Tell” by Deborah A. Ramey. Honorable mentions: Carson Lakes, Lynn Crumley and Deborah A. Ramey.

AMATEUR PICTORIAL MONOCHROME: 1st, “Budding Rockettes” by Deborah A. Ramey; 2nd, “The Fisherman” by Jeff Carter; 3rd, “Frosted” by Deborah A. Ramey. Honorable mentions: Deborah A. Ramey and Larry Edens.

PROFICIENT PICTORIAL COLOR: 1st, “Ecola Beach” by Jim Rigsby; 2nd, “Bass Harbor Light” by Rick Currie; 3rd, “Crossing” by Mark Roberts. Honorable mentions:  Charles Edwards, Rick Currie, Tina Graham, Belinda Bridwell, Chip Michel, Jim Rigsby, Michelle Harless, Mark Roberts and Terri Campbell.

PROFICIENT NATURE COLOR: 1st, “Hawaiian Sunrise” by Terri Campbell; 2nd, “Keeper of the Falls” by Terri Campbell; 3rd, “An Island to Itself” by Mark Roberts. Honorable mentions: Charles Edwards, Rick Currie, Belinda Bridwell, Chip Michel, Jim Rigsby, Randy Hoover, Mark Roberts and Terri Campbell.

PROFICIENT NATURE MONOCHROME: 1st, “Beach Bones” by Mark Roberts; 2nd, “English Falls” by Terri Campbell; 3rd, “Tumblin' Creek” by Terri Campbell. Honorable mentions: Charles Edwards, Rick Currie, Belinda Bridwell and Terri Campbell.

PROFICIENT PICTORIAL MONOCHROME: 1st, “Life Without Parole” by Charles Edwards; 2nd, “Standing Strong” by Jim Rigsby; 3rd, “Eastman at Night” by Rick Currie. Honorable mentions: Chip Michel, Mark Roberts and Terri Campbell.

AMATEUR/PROFICIENT SPECIAL “SPOOKY/EERIE” THEME: 1st, “Craggy Tree by Night” by Mark Roberts and “RIP Margaret” by Terri Campbell; 3rd, “In the Shadows” by Terri Campbell. Honorable Mentions: Deborah A. Ramey, Catrina Fletcher, Steven Jarrett, Shaun Whitson, Jim Rigsby, Terri Campbell and Pam Conley.

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