By Joe Hadsall
Globe Features Editor
JOPLIN, Mo. —
A house wadded into a large ball.
A person falling up -- or sideways, depending on your perspective.
A behind-the-shoulder shot of a hairless figure staring at an empty room.
A hand brushing back the hair of an old woman.
The images in this year's PhotoSpiva contest and exhibit are as varied and mixed as the entrants.
"For me, a picture needs to be able to create a complex story, with irony, humor or formal complexity," wrote Natasha Egan, executive director of the Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College, in Chicago. "Every photograph in this exhibition has a story and captured my attention."
Almost 200 photographers from 33 states submitted more than 1,000 images for this year's contest at Spiva Center for the Arts, and 78 were selected for the exhibit. Winners will be announced at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 15, preceding a juror's lecture by Egan.
"I was struck by the range in photographic style, technique, subject matter and ideas in the works," Egan wrote. "The photographs chosen for this exhibition reveal this diversity."
The works will be open for public viewing Saturday. A members-only opening reception will be held today.
In addition, the center will open PhotoSpiva Kids, an exhibition featuring the photography of kids ages 4 to 8. The photos were compiled after students attended a class taught by Globe photographers T. Rob Brown, Roger Nomer and Curtis Almeter.
Financial assistance for the exhibit was provided by Freeman Health System, Joplin Convention and Visitor's Bureau, Freeman R. Johnson Trust and the Missouri Arts Council. In its 37th year, PhotoSpiva is called the center's signature event by officials and is the longest continuously running competition of its kind.