Hattiesburg Arts Council hosts annual amateur photo contest

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) – Amateur artists of all ages were able to show off their talents Saturday at the Hattiesburg Cultural Center.

It was all part of the Hattiesburg Art Council’s annual amateur photo contest.

“People come and they’re so proud because the level playing field is level,” said Alehandro Wooten, executive director of the Hattiesburg Arts Council. “If you have a phone, you have a camera, and you actually have a nice camera on your phone. So people don’t feel intimidated to participate.

The competition had two divisions – adults and children. Each artist could submit up to five photos each to be placed in the nature, animals, people, landscape and design categories.

During this year’s competition, 124 photos were submitted…which is a delight for the organizers.

“It’s growing every year,” said Steve Coleman, professor of photography, graphics and multimedia at USM. “We’ve had well over 100 entries every year we’ve had it. So the community is interested in it, they want to see it and we always have a good turnout when we have it.

First, second and third place ribbons are awarded for each category along with an honorable mention. Two artists even left with the title of “Best in Show”.

But for Coleman, competition isn’t just about winning a ribbon.

“It’s something that I revived years ago because when I was a student at Southern, they had this competition at the Saegner Theater…” Coleman said. “I participated and actually won first place in one of the awards at that time. So when they didn’t have it for a while, I said it was time to bring him back.

The amateur photo competition takes place once a year.

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