1st place: Norma Straw
Straw was born in Scotland, has dual U.S. and British citizenship, and grew up in Bremerton. She went to Evergreen and studied political economy and social change. She now lives on Capital Hill and works as the vice president for VAIN and as an occasional freelance writer and photographer.
Her winning photo was taken in Westport, on a late summer day last year. She said (and the judges agreed), "It not only captures the relaxed and glowing good time of a weekend at the beach, it gets at the essence of a 15-year relationship between two women."
2nd place: Shannon Currier
Currier has BFAs in both sculpture and photography from the Maine College of Art. She says about her entry, "When it comes to gender, I rarely think of myself as being a girl or a boy. The self-portraits I create help me to understand my state of mind. They give me an outside look into my own self."
3rd place: Jimmy Malecki
Malecki's winning photo, "She Jesus," started with an idea by Lana Lokteff, a model, and Leif Knyper, a makeup artist. He says, "The idea was to create an image that conveys the feminine aspect of religion. We selected eastern Washington as the location to give an appearance of the Middle East. Lana made her own cross to carry, and Leif applied makeup that is smudged to emphasize the mysticism and pain sometimes associated with caring and nurturing. Instead of having Lana carrying the cross as a burden, I directed her to walk tall to convey the hope and courage of a nurturing and caring nature. I told her to think of Joan of Arc, walking to the flames with resolve and determination to stand up for her beliefs."
Malecki has photographed for a wide range of clients, from Stephen King to MTV, from Microsoft leadership to universities, rock concerts to the symphony. His work has been shown through exhibitions at museums and galleries, and he has been published in many national and local publications. He volunteers his time to worthy causes, including co-creating the Northwest Photographic Exhibition of Environmental Photography.
Honorable mention: Stephanie Costa
Black & White
1st place: Lance Muresan
Muresan has been a photographer for 30 years, with works in The New York Times, Newsweek, and Village Voice, among others. He currently resides in Seattle with his wife and 17-year-old son. The photo "KKK Lady with Cigarette" was taken in rural Maryland in 1982. He says, "I worked for about a year documenting the KKK for the Oslo, Norway, daily Dagbladet. Believe it or not, this was not hard to capture. All I had to do was become invisible, keep my mouth shut, follow them around, and click the shutter. The images fell right into place. For that short time in my photography career the world opened up and everything was in perfect harmony."
2nd place: Dean Wong
Wong has been photographing the Asian-American community in the Pacific Northwest for over 20 years. He has worked on a number of oral history exhibits and books for the Wing Luke Asian Museum. His winning photograph is entitled "Basic Evolves." It was commissioned by a grant from the Seattle Arts Commission in 1991 and is one of 14 images taken in San Francisco's Chinatown that is in the City of Seattle Portable Works Collection. He currently does freelance photography and works as a staff writer and photographer for Robinson newspapers in their Ballard News Tribune office.
3rd place: Edye Colello-Morton
Colello-Morton was born in Seattle and now resides in Bellingham.
Honorable mention: Anna Mia Davidson
Davidson is an internationally published freelance photographer and is also a Blue Earth-sponsored photographer for her documentary on Cuba. Her Cuban photographs have been chosen to hang in a number of exhibitions.
Honorable mention: Robert Contreras
Photographer/artist Contreras lives in Seattle. He specializes in black-and-white infrared fashion photography. He airbrushes directly on models then photographs them.
Seattle Weekly design director Karen Steichen
Seattle Weekly staff photographer Robin Laananen
Seattle Weekly visual arts critic Anna Fahey
freelance photographer Rick Dahms
Contest organizer: Jenn Wynne