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The State of America

Deadline for submissions: Nov 13, 2017
Prints due: Dec 22, 2017
Exhibition: January 3 - January 27, 2018

Prints of most of these images are available for purchase. Please inquire.
All photographs are the copyright of the individual artists and may not be reproduced without their permission.



Jurors' Statement

Photographing the State of America is more challenge than assignment. Beyond attempting to record any part of America at a given time, it asks the photographer to delve into another realm of understanding, one where photographs capture essence, where moments speak of enduring time, where icons become the inquisitors of our shared identity. Many photographers have attempted this alchemy, most notably Robert Frank, of course. To seek that quintessence in this diverse gathering of photographs was my honor and challenge. 

I sought something beyond recording, aiming at a collection of images that, taken together, would express something of how we Americans see ourselves, collectively, here in 2017. Technique varied. Included are many genres, from straight documentary to created theatrical scenes, from disturbing portraits to introspective scenes of domestic solitude. What emerges is a disquieting sense of a country not at ease with itself, not sure how or where to see that longed-for rectitude of our national spirit, now slipping away like the half-remembered face of a departed loved one. It seemed significant, for instance, that in an image awash in patriotic fervor a sea of flags served only to fracture the scene into shards like broken glass. And that a street scene of holiday spirit, floating in bubbles (perhaps the happiest picture of the show) should also contain a bomb squad truck. 

Whether this is who we really are, or just who we think we are, the effort to see the truth and gather it into collective statement is deeply rewarding. Thank you for letting me be part of this vision.

- Jim Richardson

About the Juror

Jim Richardson is a photographer for National Geographic Magazine and a contributing editor for its sister publication, TRAVELER Magazine.  His work takes him around the world, from the tops of volcanic  peaks to below the surface of swamps and wetlands. He has photographed more than 30 stories for National Geographic.

In addition to his color photography, Richardson has built a distinguished body of black-and-white documentary work about rural Kansas life.  Richardson speaks nationally and internationally.  He lives in Lindsborg, Kansas, where his work is featured at his gallery, Small World.

Call for Entries

What images reflect your feelings about America today? Some of us are worried about America’s place in the world. The changing climate. The fading reality of the American dream for our family.

Others of us remain awed by the vast beauty of America. The strength and independence of its people. Americans’ willingness to step up to help neighbors in times of crisis.

Regardless of your opinions or your nationality, we welcome images that evoke the broad range of emotions and events of this extraordinary period in United States history. They need not be political — just let your images tell us how you feel about the state of America today.

All capture methods and processes are welcome.

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