– UMSL students, faculty and staff submitted photos of international subjects, taken in countries ranging from China to Hungary, featuring subject matter from people to architecture to nature.PHOTO: A crowd filled Gallery Visio for the opening of the 2014 UMSL International Photo Contest on April 24, 2014. Photo by Ryan Brooks for The Current 2014 ©
By Cate Marquis, A&E Editor for The Current
The International Photo Contest is an annual gem at University of Missouri-St. Louis. UMSL students, faculty and staff submit photos of international subjects, taken in countries ranging from China to Hungary, featuring subject matter from people to architecture to nature.
Gallery Visio, the student-run gallery in the lower level of the Millennium Student Center, unveiled these photographic beauties with a gallery opening on April 24 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. The exhibit runs through May 15.
This is the ninth annual International Photo Contest, which is sponsored by University of Missouri-St. Louis’ Office of International Studies and Programs and by Gallery Visio. The contest is open to students, faculty, and staff at UMSL. The exhibit at Gallery Visio displays the best photos submitted for the contest, those winning honorable mention as well as first, second and third place winners.
There are twenty-two first-rate photos of international subjects and locations in this show. Countries represented in photos include France, Italy, Japan, China, Hungary, Thailand, Czech Republic, Saudi Arabia, Laos and Bolivia.
Although the first, second and third place winners are labeled as such and placed together, the exhibit treats all the works equally, displaying the same size print and uniform height. The high quality of the “honorable mention” photos suggests that picking winners was a tough decision to make, but this is a contest, so naturally there are winners.
The first place winner was “Facing the Sun,” a photo by Johanna Frost, freshman, business administration, in Paris, with the silhouette of a woman looking through an ornate iron gateway, at what might be the glass pyramid that serves as the entrance to the Louvre. Slanting light fills the courtyard seen through the shadowed doorway, with the iron gate dividing the brilliant light.
The second place winner, “Blue Boats” by Kevin Hill, senior, accounting, is an image of a row of small, bright-blue boats tied up and floating in a harbor in Venice. The blue color dominates the image and draws the eye even from across the room.
The third place winner was a photo by Rachelle Brandel, senior, modern languages, “Past Meets Present,” a photo in Kyoto of a Japanese woman, in a small wooden room and dressed in a pink kimono, image suffused with tradition, except she is looking at her equally-pink smart phone. The sense of surprise one gets upon realizing what is in her hand gives the photo a pleasantly amusing aura.
Touches of humor and contrast like that run through the whole exhibit. Sometimes the humor is in the title, such as a wide-angle shot of the top of the Great Wall of China called “Where’s the Elevator?”
Some examples are “Women Wash, Men Fish,” which shows a river where a pair of women in the foreground tend to washing, while a pair of men on a pier in the middle distance fish. In the background, a picaresque grand building, perhaps a palace, is reflected in the water and the whole scene is framed with trees and greenery leaning in. In “Three Italian Chairs,” three metal chairs, each painted a single bright color, are lined up against a stone wall in Florence, Italy. The image is both simple and striking.
The International Photo Contest exhibit is worth the trip to Gallery Visio for a quick glimpse of other lands through some fine photography.
© The Current 2014