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Spiva Center for the Arts Joplin MO


March 23 – May 18, 2019

PhotoSpiva 2019

Sponsored by Freeman Health System and the Freeman R. Johnson Trust


First of all, thank you to Spiva Art Center for continuing to host this photography competition and celebrate regional photography in all its forms. It was an honor to view so many lovely photographs. Congratulations to everyone who submitted. I can honestly say there was not a bad photograph in the entire group of submissions. The issue of these competitions is not just to compare ourselves to the next guy, but really to link and join like-minded people who love the medium.

We are all at various stages in our own development of personal vision and capabilities with all photographic means; cameras, printing, editing, viewing etc. which changes as we grow. As photographers, we have a special relationship to the outer world, whether we document, manipulate or play with it. We see things that others do not. We find details and moments that pass by the average person. We take note of the effect of light and color in ordinary situations, and transform them into wonder and magic. The more we practice our skills, the more the world opens up to us.

My first class in photography was with a 4x5” view camera. Then I studied with Garry Winogrand and trained as a black and white street photographer. I wanted to learn lighting, so tried the studio. I have photographed at night with a tripod, walked with my camera in bright sunlight looking for the absurd or colorful, snuck into places I should never have gone, asked to see the insides of homes and special places, painted friends for the camera, dabbled with cyanotypes, ripped up photographs and re-pasted them together. The list actually goes on and on, but after all that experimenting, I somehow wandered back into the studio to comment on my life and other women. In other words, I came back to my roots, and photography allowed me to express myself in so many ways.

I hope everyone who entered this competition has as much enjoyment, commitment and grit to keep going and follow where photography can lead. If I ever have any advice, it would be: you are unique, find that voice and vision to express who you are, not the guy next to you. I wish you all well in your adventures with photography.


-Patty Carroll





“Celebrate the creative experience – be a community catalyst.”