Once a private home on 26th and Jackson, the Eccles Community Art Center now hosts a multitude of cultural events (Photo by: )
Once a private home on 26th Street and Jefferson Avenue, the Eccles Community Art Center now hosts a multitude of cultural events. (The Signpost )

The Eccles Community Art Center’s Statewide Photographic Competition has returned for its 19th biannual exhibit, showcasing 118 images taken by Utah photographers.

The competition is hosting the artwork of Utah photographers from Iron County to Tremonton. Both color and black and white photographs of various sizes were accepted into the competition.

“We’ve received everything from amber types and silver prints, to digitally manipulated images,” ECAC’s Assistant Director Debra Muller said. “The only requirement we have is that they need to fit through the door.”

At the competition’s opening reception on Feb. 6, juror Ryne Hazen, founder of Hazen Studios, awarded 13 entries for Best of Show, Honorable Mentions, Awards of Excellence and Juror’s Recognition awards.

Salt Lake City photographer Rodger Newbold was awarded Best of Show in the competition for his photograph of the West Mitten Butte formed in Monument Valley, Arizona.

This is Newbold’s first time entering the Statewide Photographic Competition, although he has entered a number of worldwide competitions.

“This just happened to be the first one I’ve won here in Ogden,” Newbold said about his winning piece “West Mitten, Sunset – Monument Valley.”

The photograph of the geographical formation is one that Newbold worked on while exploring impressionistic photography. He found beauty in the landscape from the quality, lighting and expression of the land.

Newbold arranged to meet his granddaughter at the competition’s opening ceremony. It was there when she announced to Newbold the success of his work.

“I walked in and she said, ‘Papa! Papa! You won!’ and I about melted,” Newbold said. “It was really cool and I was able to share that with my granddaughter.”

Newbold has been involved with photography for over 40 years. His interest began around age 11 when his father bought him a Brownie Starflash 127 camera. Since that moment, Newbold’s passion for photography was “all go from there.”

“I love the expression of showing somebody what I see and what I feel,” Newbold said.

Newbold ties his emotion into his craft. His love for photography continually grows even in recent days.

“I’ve always loved it and it’s even stronger today,” Newbold said. “Now that I’m retired, this gives me every opportunity to be with my friends and my wife, and to be out in God’s earth.”

Newbold recently visited Capitol Reef, Utah where he was reminded of his love for photography and being surrounded by nature. The landscape was so still Newbold said he could hear the rhythmic flap of a raven’s wings.

“I can’t find anything better,” Newbold said. “A bad day of photography is better than a good day at work.”

Weber State University junior Chakell Wardleigh was drawn to Newbold’s photo because of its colors. She was most intrigued by the reds and oranges of the landscape against the blue sky.

“It’s almost like a vintage photo, but I feel like I am standing in that very spot just absorbing the whole landscape just from looking at this picture,” Wardleigh said.

Wardleigh said Newbold’s winning photo is inspiring and makes her want to visit the formation in person.

“It looks breathtaking,” Wardleigh said. “Mr. Newbold definitely conveyed this monument’s majestic personality.”

For students interested in submitting artwork for the next Statewide Photographic Competition, Muller suggests to have simple framing and simple matting for the entries.

“The jurors like to have the work that stand on its own. They don’t want you to try and overshadow it with a fancy frame,” Muller said.

The 19th Statewide Photographic Competition’s entries and winners will be on display at the Eccles Community Art Center at 26th Street and Jefferson Avenue until March 28.

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