JOPLIN, Mo. —
When curators at Spiva Center for the Arts put together an exhibit, they have complete control over it, said Director Jo Mueller. They review the work, choose selections and make display decisions.
But for one exhibit every year, they have no control.
"We never know what we are going to get," Mueller said. "It's the juror that selects every piece."
The 38th annual PhotoSpiva exhibit opens at 5:30 today with a members' reception and Saturday for the public during normal viewing hours. Featuring more than 80 pictures from photographers around the country, the exhibit features everything from monochromatic portraits to vivid landscapes.
Juror Dornith Doherty selected the works from more than 1,000 submissions. They represent a wide swath of photographic disciplines, Mueller said.
"The contest is open to every U.S. citizen," Mueller said. "Amateurs, students, professionals. And we don't have categories, either. It's all a blind judging. The juror sees the images online and selects what they want."
Doherty is a 2012 Guggenheim Foundation Fellow with degrees from Rice and Yale universities. The professor of photography at the University of North Texas has had her work featured around the world and has lectured for a TEDx event in Monterrey and the National Photography Symposium at Liverpool, England.
She will announce contest winners and give a juror's lecture at 7 p.m. Friday, March 14. Cash prizes totalling $2,000 will be awarded during the session.
Her lecture will feature information about her project "Archiving Eden," which involved working with biologists around the world to archive seed banks.
Doherty will also conduct portfolio reviews during a visit to Joplin next weekend.
The reviews, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, March 14, allow any photographer to get professional feedback on how to improve. Reviews cost $25 ($15 for students and Spiva members).
The exhibit will run until May 4.
A reception for children who participated in PhotoSpiva Kids has been rescheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday. The event was canceled last Sunday because of winter weather.
The exhibit will feature work produced during PhotoSpiva Kids and PhotoSpiva Tweens. The work of children 4 to 13 years old will be displayed.