National Photographic Competition & Exhibition

Sponsored by Freeman Health System

Exhibits March 18 – May 13, 2023

Hosted annually by Spiva Center for the Arts, the competition is open to all amateur and professional US photographers.

Established in 1977, PhotoSpiva is the longest-running competition of its kind.

Online entry is from

October 31, 2022 – January 1, 2023 at 11:59pm.

*Background photo by Jennifer Thoreson


PhotoSpiva 2023 Juror

Jennifer Thoreson

Jennifer B. Thoreson is a multidisciplinary artist, teacher, lecturer, and mother of two boys who lives and works in Albuquerque, NM. She holds an MFA from the University of New Mexico. Her work is heavily metaphorical, and delves into the nuances of human relationships, human fragility, and the ephemeral, temporary nature of human life. Through her exploration of questions surrounding faith and religious practices, she critically conceptualizes different themes to produce images rich in allegory, engaging with her viewers as they question and explore the themes for themselves. The complexity of her work is rooted in her practice. She carefully orchestrates each image by manipulating symbolic materials, constructing site specific installations and sculptures, and meticulously staging every scene to imbue each element, from the smallest to the largest, with meaning and significance. The elements and spaces she fabricates and captures in her images play as important a role in her art as the finished photographs themselves.

Jennifer’s work has gained an international audience through inclusion in museum and gallery exhibitions, spanning the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, China, Russia, Australia, France, Switzerland, Lithuania, and the United Kingdom. Her work is held in museum collections at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and has been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions, including at the Houston Center for Photography, the Blue Sky Gallery, Portland, OR, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Jacksonville, FL, and the Musee de l’Elysee, Lausanne, Switzerland. In addition, her work has been published worldwide in well-known publications, including Black and White Magazine, Diffusion Magazine, and Installation Magazine. In 2011, a monograph of her work, entitled Medic, was published. Awards include Photo Star Award (Kaunas, Lithuania); International Center of Photography (ICP) Leadership Medallion; Photolucida Book Prize, Residency at the Santa Fe Art Institute, and the Howard Franks Memorial Grant.

Learn more about Jennifer at



Begin entering on October 31, 2022

You’ll be Able to Enter Online

Deadline is Jan 1, 2023


$40 fee is required to enter five (5) photos. You must enter 5 photos and no less. If you wish to submit more than five images, each additional entry is $10


The images need to be JPEG formatted and in RGB color mode. You aren’t required to give us a specifically sized image, but a good guideline is to make either the width or the height about 1600 pixels and maintain the aspect ratio.


Place | Value

1ST | $1,000

2ND | $750

3RD | $500

Merit Award (3) | $150

Honorable Mention (3) | $100


PhotoSpiva is open to any amateur or professional photographer in the United States or its territories. Submitted images must be the photographer’s own work, and it is the sole responsibility of the photographer to obtain written releases from any recognizable person(s) depicted. Two-dimensional work derived from any photographic process — traditional, digital, or photo-based mixed media — is eligible as long as the work is original and has never been exhibited at George A. Spiva Center for the Arts. Three–dimensional work is not eligible for this competition and exhibition.

2023 Competition Results

Juror: Jennifer Thoreson


Alex and Zoe




Archival Inkjet Print

1st Place Award
Emily Fisher | Bedford, NY





Archival Inkjet Print


Through the Other Side

Archival inkjet print



Ice Fisherman, North Salem, NY



Great Serpent Mound, OH



I Am That I Am


2nd Place Award
Tom Stoffregen | Saint Paul, MN

Great Mound, Anderson, IN


Divine Faith Temple


Earthworks, Shawnee Lookout, OH



Trinity Fellowship Church


Avilla Post Office

digital photography

3rd Place Award
Curtis Almeter | Baxter Springs, KS



digital photography

Centraal Station, Amsterdam

Lambda print

Merit Award
Juliane Backmann | Los Angeles, CA

Guadalajara Crossing

Lambda print

Merit Award
Shirley Harryman | Kansas City, MO

In Lake Como




Archival print


The Baptism

Archival digital print

Merit Award
Michael Potts | Phoenix, AZ


Archival print


Purification 2

Archival digital print


Saturday Afternoon

Archival print



Along Came a Spider

Analog photography



American Honey

Analog photography

Honorable Mention
Jeren Kent | Los Angeles, CA


Analog film



Midnight Mass

Analog photography



Water Levels Rising/Zhang Huan’s Legacy

Analog film



Rosenwald School, Charleston, Arkansas

Medium-format color film photography

Honorable Mention
Sabine Schmidt | Fayetteville, AR



Sidewalk, Joplin, Missouri

medium-format color film photography




120mm film




120mm film

Honorable Mention
Collin Yung | Bolivar, MO




Digital photography




120mm film

All photographic content is protected under Copyright law. Use is prohibited unless permission is obtained.

All non-photographic content Copyright © 2012 George A. Spiva Center for the Arts.

Read the full terms and conditions.

PhotoSpiva is presented by Freeman Health System with additional support from the Joplin Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.
PhotoSpiva Competition
George A. Spiva Center for the Arts

212 W. 7th Street

JoplinMO 64801

Office | (417) 623-0183
Hours | Tuesday-Saturday | 10 AM-5 PM

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