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Treasure Photo Contest
The A Smith Gallery presents the Treasure Photo Contest: treas – ure : precious, valuable, hoard, gold, abundance, fortune, riches, cache, adore, endear, beloved, rarity, stash, garner, conglomeration, sweetheart, beloved, cherish, prize, hold dear, special, memories……
“The boys walked barefoot and shirtless to the dead sculptor’s home and studio. One Anglo, tow-headed and pug-nosed, the other Hispanic, dark-eyed and brown. The castle-like limestone building was built around the turn of the last century, just up from the tortured banks of Waller creek. The Anglo boy’s grandfather had protested the University bulldozing of the creek when he was a student; chaining himself to a tree. A photo of him being taken away by two campus police officers sits on the fireplace mantle next to a framed letter from the great folklorist, J. Frank Dobie, and a battered, tarnished spoon that was supposed to have been used by the Custer family. The deamonic saint of the Little Big Horn had been stationed briefly in Austin after the Civil War – both he and Dobie had lived on the banks of the creek.
The boy’s Grandfather was raised in this same house, a few blocks from Waller creek, it reigned supreme in his imagination and consequently, the boy’s. The boy imagined himself, his buddy, Custer, his Grandfather and Dobie smoking big cigars and panning for gold in the creek. The boys panned for “gold” many times after a rain, scraping the hard gravely bottom with his grandmother’s pirated pie tins: finding tumbled blue bottle glass, various gastropod fossils, brass 22 cartridges, marbles, a drowned lizard scull and a prized zippo lighter commemorating the 1969 Cotton Bowl. The boy kept the zippo on the mantle next to Custer’s spoon.
“Look Mama at what we found!” said the excited Hispanic boy.
“Oh, mi hijo, oh what Tesoro you have found!” said the woman from Michoacán, her coal black hair in decorated braids, wound proudly and defiantly on top of her head; reminiscent of a young, powerful Frida Kahlo.* She repeated this again, pulling the little blond boy to herself, he sticking his tongue out at his buddy, hugging the mother back hard.
The day the boys panned the zippo out of the creek, behind the dead sculptors house, was the same day the courts gave the Anglo boy’s grandparent’s legal custody of him – his parent’s lost to the low hanging pharmaceutical fruits of the local music scene…”
From the story, “Custer’s Spoon” by Franklin Cincinnatus
* Mi hijo is Spanish for my son.
Tesoro is the Spanish word for treasure.
THOUGHTS FROM THE DIRECTOR | I especially like this excerpt from the story as a pin prick or thought provoker for this call for entry, “treasure,” because it directly and indirectly evokes all manner of personal and collective treasure (a zippo, the creek, a mother, a friend, a moment etc.). Treasure has been on my list of potential themes for a long time. The camera has the unique ability to capture things and situations that are precious to us and through our imaginations, memories and creativity we, photographers, can present them to our audience in manifold ways. I hope you too have found as many treasures on your photographic journey as I have.
Contest Prize & TERMS
Jurors Award – $325.00
Directors Award – $250.00 and an exhibition catalogue
Five Honorable Mentions – an exhibition catalogue
Visitors Award – $100.00 ELIGIBILITY: Open to All
Digital images should 1000 pixels on the longest side saved in JPEG format at 72 ppi Not eligible to enter? - Find contest where you are.
COPYRIGHT: Photographers retain full rights to their own images USAGE RIGHTS: The gallery will use the photographer’s images for publicity purposes as well as in the Blurb exhibition catalogue.
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