Pace Photography Students Win Three Portfolio Awards in Scholastic Art Competition

“Who’s to say that dreams and nightmares aren’t as real as the here and now?” mused one of the world’s most famous dreamers, John Lennon. This subject matter is the basis of senior Maggie Swain’s photography portfolio. Her surreal, ethereal, and even nightmarish photos express the concept of reality being a “waking dream” and explores how dreams can feel so real while we’re experiencing them. Her portfolio won eight Gold Keys in the Scholastic Art Award competition. Maggie’s photos were taken with both film and digital cameras. She used a double exposure technique, and hand-painted a few of the black and white ones to add a hazy and unique touch.

Mr. Dorman described Maggie’s photography skills as “innate.” He added, “She has a tremendous eye for photography, and she does things instinctively. There are two ways of taking a picture; finding something naturally occurring in front of the camera, or making something happen in front of the camera. Maggie makes something happen in front of the camera.” Maggie’s portfolio is also very interpretive. Maggie said, “I wanted to leave the pictures untitled and without a description because I want people who look at them to interpret them for themselves. I think this makes looking at a portfolio a much more compelling and personal experience for the looker.”

Senior Frances Fuqua was also a Scholastic Art Award winner, receiving a Silver Key for her photography portfolio.  Frances’ portfolio was centered around kitchen apparatus, and seeing the subtle beauty in the things we see everyday. Her photos were all salt prints, meaning the paper the photos were printed on were actually watercolor paper with the image projected onto it and silver nitrate laid on top to give the photos a reddish-brown tinge. Frances took all of her photos with a Holga camera, which is a plastic camera created by Lomo. Mr. Dorman described her portfolio as “amazing,” adding, “I am very proud of this portfolio and how all of the photos relate to make the whole thing come together.”

The third photography portfolio award winner in this year’s competition was senior Erin Blasberg, who won an honorable mention. Erin’s photos were all taken on her trip out West to Yellowstone National Park. They were all taken with a digital camera, and the pictures included geysers, waterfalls, and other beautiful scenery that Yellowstone has to offer. In addition, junior Annie Kate Pottle won two honorable mention awards for individual photographs. These photos and the works of all the Scholastic Art Award winners will be on display in the FAC for everyone to see later this year.

By Annie Armstrong, Staff Writer ’13

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