N.Y. Photo Curator Results

Theme: ‘Connection'
Curated by Adam Finkelston

Owner, Publisher, Co-editor

Note from Finkelston:
Dear entrants,
Thank you for the outstanding submissions to this call for entries. Little did I know how poignant the topic would be considering how disconnected we have been forced to become. Since distributing this call, the idea of “social distancing”, has become common parlance. Some introverts have joked that they’ve been prepared for this all their lives, while extroverts react anxiously and, in some cases, angrily. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Our lives, our society, and the way we interact may forever be altered. The viral scare has clearly and perhaps permanently defined the ways in which we interact and connect with one another. Whether introvert or extrovert, it is interesting to note that in many ways being compelled to distance ourselves from one another has brought a new appreciation for being able to see friends and loved ones, students, teachers, colleagues, and those familiar neighborhood faces we didn’t know we would miss. We didn’t know what we had until it was gone.

I am interested in the topic of connectivity because of what I experience with my students and my own children. In constantly assessing how I can connect to them better, I am curious to know how they see things versus how I see things versus how my parents see things. In some ways, though our livelihoods are more connected, there nevertheless seems to be a greater disconnection between people, their surroundings, the various systems that govern our lives, and even within themselves. It’s as if our physical proximity has engendered a psychic distance. There is a tendency to have blinders on, to feel disconnected and myopic within our own lives. The humor and perspective of younger generations (from my experiences both as a father and a teacher) seem to be based on a lack of connection – a “random”ness or lack of logic – that feels counter to what I understand about human nature. But it says a lot about their optimism, their prospects for the future, and their social intuitions. It makes sense that everything from movies to television, to memes, fashion, humor, social media, and literature are marked by an aesthetic of purposeful chaos, nonsense, irony, and paradox. I don’t know if I’m right or wrong. It’s just interesting to think about.
I am not sure what ages you all are, but looking at your images, I can see two primary things that give you a sense of connectivity. Nature was a common thread. There is nothing like the awesome natural world, without any other human beings around, to give one a sense of grounding, to make you feel part of a whole. There were beautiful images of pastures, green forests, flowers, and even facsimiles of nature placed in unnatural surroundings. Another common thread was people. Specifically, I got the feeling that you feel connected to a unique, tight-knit community. Perhaps this is a result of identity culture, where feelings of belonging are tied to a specific identity marker. In any case, it was moving and very interesting to see how you responded. Thank you for sharing your images with me. I wish you all good luck, good health, and good times ahead."
First place: Ellen Friedlander, Union Station
Second place: Corey Durbin, Paradise
Honorable Mentions:
  - Bradley Wicklander, Forest
  - Kim Steve, Cutting Edge
  - Barbara Dombach, Adrift
Best Series
  - Gerard Stübing, Bio Haiku

10% of artist entry fees goes to the charity of the curator. 
Finkleston says, "I would like to help a local organization that provides art space and opportunities for adults with developmental and physical disabilities. It's called, "ImagineThatKC!" It's a great organization with great people doing great things with the arts. Here is a link to their website: 
Another 10% will go to the first place winner's choice of charity. Ellen Friedlander has chosen City Harvest.