Santa Fe Prize:
2011 Jurors Statements
2011 Juror Statement
JUROR: Maggie Blanchard, Director, Twin Palms Publishers
Our brains are wired to filter and summarize a constant deluge of images and information. In order to function, we draw conclusions. As a necessity, we see what we are conditioned to see. To overcome this natural tendency, photographers often employ simple techniques to help them actively notice the contents of their frame. Jessica Ingram understands that people need a tool to become aware of the history around them, to see what would otherwise go unobserved. The discord created by her subtle photographs paired with revealing text does the trick of forcing the viewer to see the commonplace in a different light. And once the viewer sees the metaphorical “telephone pole behind a head”, it is impossible to see the portrait any other way.
Jessica creates a portrait of civil rights atrocities that conveys more meaning than an historical placard could begin to suggest. The exhibition and multi-media website she proposes could spark a new way of connecting to history. Through her gifted observation, we don’t need an actual picture of the event to see what went on there. For these reasons and more, I am happy to select Jessica for the 2011 Santa Fe Prize.
When reviewing the submissions I had to remind myself that this award is not a competition. The directive given by Center was to “judge the work on the strength of the entire submission and consider who would most wisely invest the prize and benefit from the exposure the award will offer.” The submissions I selected satisfied these requirements by first and foremost presenting a strong and consistent body of work, one where each image was needed, clearly conveying the intent of the project in the artist statement, and proposing a use of the funds that furthers the work.
I hope it is stating the obvious to say that because each artist was nominated by a picture professional, each submission is deserving of recognition. I urge you to look at the list of nominees; you will see these names again. Visit their websites or seek out their work; you will be affected. I am thankful to Center for bringing this work to light.
// 2011 Santa Fe Prize Winner