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Steve Layman’s photograph “Dead Horse Point” was 2020’s Best in Show winner in The 5th Annual “Stand in Ansel Adams Footsteps” Juried Competition and Exhibition. The 6th Annual event opens Feb. 20 at the Hudgens Center for the Arts in Duluth and runs through April 17.

Ansel Adams, the great American photographer, would celebrate his 119th birthday on Feb. 20. It seems appropriate that Duluth’s Hudgens Center for the Arts is celebrating Adams by throwing him a “party.”

The sixth annual “Stand in Ansel Adams’ Footsteps” juried competition and exhibition” opens Saturday and continues through April 17. The competition is presented by the Georgia Nature Photographers Association, and it is the second year in a row that the competition is being held in the Hudgens Center.

Adams is such an American arts icon that his name is familiar to people beyond the arts world, making this exhibition a destination to be enjoyed by a wide range of folks.

“The goal of the competition is for participants to emulate the style of the legendary photographer. So naturally, all the photos will be in black and white,” Hudgens’ curator Kate Driscoll ssaid.

There were an impressive number of entries vying for acceptance into the show.

“Three hundred pieces were submitted from 58 individual artists, and 135 were accepted in this year’s exhibition. Just to be selected to compete is an honor,” Driscoll said. “The person tasked with making these tough calls is this year’s juror, Charlotte Gibb, a renowned nature photographer.”

There are three categories in the competition: landscape, macro and open categories. “Macro” describes images that are close-up shots which focus on details. Participants can compete in the three categories in one of two divisions — novice or enthusiast.

Awards will be granted in each category among the novice and enthusiast divisions. One piece will be awarded “Best of Show” overall.

“Personally, I love the landscape category,” Driscoll said. “But there isn’t a piece that I don’t love. One piece I particularly like was shot by Neil Williams, ‘Clouds Over Pike’s Peak.’”

“The Georgia Nature Photographers Association is proud to acknowledge and thank Hunt’s Photo & Video for their generous support in providing a gift valued at $1,200. This gift will be awarded to the ‘Stand in Ansel Adams Footsteps’ winning photographers,” Georgia Nature Photographers Association Chapter Coordinator Stewart Woodard said.

“There are eight chapters of the Nature Photographers Association in the state of Georgia. We are very proud that all eight chapters are represented in this exhibition.”

Woodard said the idea is to produce a photo that has the look and feel of Ansel Adams’ work.

“This competition has grown and gotten better every year. The first year, 2016, we only had 32 entries,” Woodard said.

The Hudgens Center for the Arts is located at 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway in Duluth. For more information, go to www.thehudgens.org

Holley Calmes is a freelance writer and public relations consultant specializing in the arts. Email her at hcalmes@ mindspring.com.

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