35th annual Photo Salon winners announced

The 35th annual Photo Salon Awards winners were announced Thursday night during the ceremony held at the Pierce College Art Gallery.

“Metamorphosis,” Erin Stone’s personal piece that graced 2011’s Spring/Summer issue of The Bull, won the Best in Show award.

“I’m just grateful,” said Stone, 28. “It feels very good when people recognize something that I put a lot of heart into.”

Erin Stone is no stranger to the photography world, stating that she shows her work regularly around the Los Angeles area and that her winning photo also won two nation-wide awards.

As well as earning the top award, Stone’s “Floating Man” piece was also recognized for the Best Creative award.

The Best Portrait award went to newcomer Veronica Garcia for her untitled piece featuring a young boy with prominently bright eyes and sweat rolling down his face.

“I agree completely with the choice, the boy’s eyes in this photo are beautiful,” said Louise Kalisch, the runner-up winner for Best Portrait for her “Misty Dreams” piece.

This was not Kalisch’s first time participating in the event, but she stressed how exciting it is to have her work be admired along with the rest.

“It’s such a rewarding feeling. People work really hard to have their work displayed like this, so the excitement is there,” said Kalisch.

In the Photojournalism category, Josh Cowan took first place for his “Protestor” entry along with Joyce Sindel’s “Three Women in Saris at the Ganges River” following in second place.

The award for Best Studio went to Lauryn Spielvogel’s photo, “Backlit Girl.”

Winner of the award for Best Landscape, Lynn Levitt mentioned that she was in Maui to take her photo, “Haleakala Volcano, Maui”, while on a family gathering trip.

“Landscapes are my favorite kind of photos,” Levitt said. “I entered and won second place for the same category last year, as well.”

All entrants in the competition are students enrolled among the various photography classes offered at Pierce College.

While the winners’ prizes weren’t detailed during the ceremony, Sean McDonald, who announced the winners, mentioned a cash prize from Associated Students Organization (ASO).

The judges for the event are kept anonymous, but McDonald mentioned professionals from outside of the school, alumni and photojournalists alike, are involved in the deciding process.

The Photo Salon Awards ceremony is a Pierce College tradition that originally roots back into the 1970’s and has since changed over the years.

Originally, the contest was held more publicly in the more open areas of the campus, allowing all students to enter, but occasional lack of interest shifted the focus of the event over the years.

However, the importance of showcases like these is expressed through the photographers and admirers, which is a driving factor that keeps the appreciation for such art alive.

“Taking a picture is like marking a piece of history,” Levitt said. “It’s very meaningful, especially to me.”