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Thursday, April 4, 2013 11:04 am

Photo contest winners: Images of Illinois

Prairie Art Alliance contest yields impressive regional talent


Images of Illinois Best in Show, “Little Wabash,” by professional photographer Tytia Habing of Effingham.

Digital cameras that are affordable and easy-to-use, including those cameras and image-sharing apps in our smartphones, have sparked a photo craze. Who could have predicted that so many Americans would have a camera in hand today

Prairie Art Alliance might have. Often ahead of others in town with innovative programs highlighting what's popular in contemporary culture, PAA offers the chance for Illinoisans to share their enthusiasm for this creative outlet. Folks were invited to submit their photographs shot in Illinois during the last two years to the Images of Illinois photography contest, sponsored by Illinois Times. The annual competition, now in its sophomore year, grew and once again yielded impressive talent from throughout the Prairie State.

Nearly 600 submissions from 127 photographers poured in, an increase from last year that left PAA Gallery II manager and contest director Jennifer Snopko extremely busy processing entries. A professional category was added this year, alongside returning amateur and children's (12 and under) categories.

From these three groups of photographers, a panel of three professional photographers judged the lot. Within the professional and amateur groups, judges awarded a first, second and third-place winner in three categories  people, places and things.

Each participant who placed, besides having their work published here in the paper and at illinoistimes.com, will receive a PAA gift certificate and have their work on display in the gallery for a month. Best in Show will also receive a 24-inch by 36-inch wrapped canvas print of the winning photograph from Frye-Williamson Press, Inc.

The Best in Show honor was awarded to Little Wabash (above) by professional photographer Tytia Habing of Effingham. Our cover image took first place in the Professional People category. Richard Falzone of Glenarm shot "The Winner" in Springfield at the Prairie Capital Convention Center of a mixed martial arts fight champion.

Other Images of Illinois winners in the professional category include: People  Richard Falzone, second; Tyler Lee Casson, third. Places  Gil Lebois, first; Tytia Habing, second; Bryan Campbell, third. Things  Adam Smith, first; Steven Hinrichs, second, Tyler Lee Casson, third.

Amateur category winners are: People  Mark Flotow, first; Eric Johnson, second; Brianna Skeels, third. Places   William Richards, first; Liz Drake, second; Brian D. MacKenzie, third. Things  Kevin Willis, first; Clarissa Colletti, second; Tom Ala, third.

Children category winners: People  Ellie Krehbiel, first; Ty Dyson, honorable mention. Places  Ellie Krehbiel, first; Amanda Wayman, honorable mention. Things  Ty Dyson, first; Chase Juster, honorable mention.

The public is invited to see these amazing photographs at the contest reception and exhibit opening, Thursday, April 4, from 5 to 7 p.m., at PAA Gallery II, 2 Old State Capitol Plaza. All received submissions will be projected digitally onto the wall of the gallery  that's nearly 600 images. The winning 25 entries will be hanging as the newest PAA exhibit. Live music by The Old Fashioneds (Lorin Devine and Ryan Bishop), hors d'oeuvres and drinks add to the evening's festivities.

PAA is a nonprofit visual arts organization committed to supporting emerging and established artists of all ages. Besides offering classes, they operate two galleries with exhibits every six weeks the H.D. Smith Gallery in the Hoolgand Center for the Arts and Gallery II at 2 South Old State Capitol Plaza. Galleries are open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Images of Illinois will be on display through May 9. For more information about this year's contest or if you'd like to know where to enter your work in next year's contest, visit praireart.org.

Contact Anita Stienstra at calendar@illinoistimes.com.

Professional - subject matter: People

1st place (Professional, People), “The Winner,” by Richard Falzone of Glenarm. Flazone captured an image of a mixed martial arts fighter after taking a fight at the Prairie Capital Convention Center.

2nd place (Professional, People), “Ride,” by Richard Falzone taken at the Illinois State Fair.

3rd place (Professional, People), "Easy on the Eyes," by Tyler Lee Casson.

Professional - subject matter: Places

1st place (Professional, Places), “Frozen Barn,” by Gil Lebois was shot between Deland and Leroy, Ill.

2nd place (Professional, Places), “Memorial Day Fireworks,” by Tytia Habing. This shot was taken near Watson, Ill.

3rd place (Professional, Places), “Cheese Curds,” by Bryan Campbell is another shot from the Illinois State Fair.

Professional - subject matter: Things

1st place (Professional, Things), Adam Smith’s image titled “Alligator Heads” was taken at Lincoln Memorial Garden of a tree where two knots look like eyes and two dark lines in the wood look like mouths.

2nd place (Professional, Things), “Crocus” by Steven Hinrichs.

3rd place (Professional, Things), “Dude” by Tyler Lee Casson of a boxer looking through a fence.

Amateur - subject matter: People

1st place (Amateur, People), Mark Flotow of Springfield took “Period Ball” using time exposure at the Old State Capitol 2012 First Night 1850s period ball.

2nd place (Amateur, People), “Summer Son” by Eric Johnson. Johnson took this photo of his son standing in a field at sunset.

3rd place (Amateur, People), Brianna Skeels created this photo of herself, titled “Words are Like Scars,” as a comment on anti-bullying.

Amateur - subject matter: Places

1st place (Amateur, Places), “Another Day Given” by William Richards was shot at Marine Point on Lake Springfield.

2nd place (Amateur, Places), “Light in the Window” by Liz Drake of Springfield.

3rd place (Amateur, Places), “New Year” by Brian D. MacKenzie features First Night Springfield celebration fireworks.

Amateur - subject matter: Things

1st place (Amateur, Things), Kevin Willis used a slow shutter speed to capture a person spinning ignited steel wool in “Light Painting.”

2nd place (Amateur, Things), Clarissa Colletti took the photograph, “Strawberry Patch” in the fall of dewy strawberry leaves as they were going dormant for the winter.

3rd place (Amateur, Things), Tom Ala’s “13-year Cicada” was taken near Lake Springfield in May of 2011 of a cicada just as it emerged.


1. 1st place (Children, People), “Gabby,” by 10-year-old Ellie Krehbiel, is a portrait of a teenager named Gabby.

2. 1st place (Children, Places), Ellie Krehbiel’s “Galena Tracks” of animal tracks in the snow.

3. 1st place (Children, Things), “Reflecting” by 6-year-old Ty Dyson was taken at the Route 66 Mother Road Festival.


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