Well, it's happened again. Coming in under the wire, I just finished judging the latest round of Critical Mass finalists. A bit about the competition: Critical Mass is organized by the non-profit, Photolucida, which also hosts a biennial portfolio review in Portland, Oregon. Critical Mass is an annual online program that makes connections within the photography community.Photographers at any level, from anywhere in the world, submit a portfolio of 10 images. Through a pre-screening process, the field is narrowed to a group of 200 finalists who go on to have their work viewed and voted on by over 200 esteemed international photography professionals. I'm lucky to be one of these 200 jurors as it means I get the chance to view 200 projects that may potentially fit in with the programming in my gallery.
From the finalist group, the Top 50 photographers are named and a series of awards are given, including at least one monograph each year. Photolucida publishes and distributes the award winner's publication, giving copies of the books to all participating photographers and jurors. I've been honored to exhibit the Critical Mass Top 50 show in past years as well as give solo exhibitions to some of the artists I've discovered while judging the competition.
As I've just wrapped up looking at the 200 portfolios and while the images are fresh in my mind, I'd like to give a shout out to some of my highlights and surprises.