Work of local and regional photographers will hang in Biggs Shot 2009, which opens March 4. A First Look Party will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, March 6.


    The Biggs Museum of American Art is stocked with paintings, furniture, silver and more. Photography is harder to come by.

    That niche will temporarily be filled with the opening of Biggs Shot 2009, a juried photography exhibit of 82 images culled from more than 500 submitted.

    Biggs Shot 2009 opens Wednesday, March 4. To celebrate that opening, the museum is hosting a free First Look Party from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, March 6.

    This is the second Biggs Shot competition; the first was in 2005.

    “We are using these competitions to dabble, to include photography in the fine art pantheon, to show our sincere interest in the medium,” Curator Ryan Grover said.

    The exhibition’s images are diverse, as diverse as the photographers who took them.

    Biggs Shot was open to professional and amateur photographers in the region. Although some professionals did win top billing in the competition, many local amateurs will find their work hanging side-by-side with the pros.

    “We really want to be viewed as a service to all artists within our reach,” Grover said.

    Photography has been a hobby of Andrew Taylor’s for approximately 30 years. The Camden resident and senior manager of IT at Delaware Solid Waste Authority is a private pilot who never leaves the ground without his camera.

    “Any time it’s the changing of colors with the fall coming in, I’ll just fly over the Appalachian Mountains and take pictures,” he said.

    None of his aerial shots were chosen, but “Air Show” was.

    “I just thought it was very unusual because I shot directly into the sun, which is a no-no,” he said. “It just caught me.”

    It caught judge Stephen Perloff, too.

    Perloff, editor of The Photo Review and The Photograph Collector, had this to say about Taylor’s photo in the juror’s statement: “Likewise, there was one remarkable image of an air show. Rather than just freeze a close-up image of a plane, the photographer broke the rules by shooting into the sun and capturing the feeling of what it must have been like to have been there, watching the excitement of planes loop through a clear blue sky. (Usually all I can think about these air shows or flyovers at sporting events is how many tens of thousands of our tax dollars are being poured down the drain for bread and circuses, so any image that can make me think about something else must work pretty well.)”

    Taylor is thrilled about being chosen for the exhibition and is looking forward to seeing what else won kudos.

    Locals will recognize the work of Pam Zink of Clayton, even though it’s her first display in a museum.

    Her photo, “Walkway Over Dam,” was shot during a snowy day in Dover’s Silver Lake Park.

    “I enjoy the black and white only because there are certain times of year they just look better,” she said.

    Zink, like Taylor, is an amateur looking forward to seeing what other photos made the cut.

    Another newcomer to the Biggs is Alyson Felton of Wyoming.

    The 21-year-old junior at Messiah College is hoping to work in advertising after graduation. While traveling, though, it’s photography that keeps her busy. She took her selected print, “EAT,” at a café near Windsor Castle.

    “I like to take pictures of things that are aesthetically pleasing,” she said.

    Other local photographers whose work will be displayed include Will DiMondi, Dick Flihse, Paul Silverman and R. Eric Young, all of Dover; and Rachael Kozielec of Magnolia.

    Felton was surprised the museum drew photographers from such a distance.

    Grover said for the first competition, the museum was focused on the greater Delmarva Peninsula. This time, they purposefully expanded that reach to the mid-Atlantic region, so the show includes work from photographers in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

    Best in show went to “Entrance to the Topiary Garden, Longwood Gardens” by Lisa Tyson Ennis of West Chester, Pa. First-, second- and third-place winners were all from eastern Pennsylvania, and five honorable mentions went to photographers from Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

    Biggs Shot 2009 will include numerous educational components for adults and children, including workshops on digital photography and printmaking and an art at lunch discussion with photographer Kevin Fleming.

    The exhibition also will be the museum’s first available online.

    For more information on the contest, exhibition or programs, or to see the photos (starting Wednesday, March 4), visit www.biggsmuseum.org.

If  You Go...
What: Biggs Shot 2009
When: Wednesday, March 4, through Sunday, June 28; museum hours are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday
Where: Biggs Museum of American Art, 314 S. State St., Dover
Admission: Free
Information: Call 674-2111 or visit www.biggsmuseum.org