Capturing Clifton's Beauty - Photo Contest Winners Announced
The Clifton Arts Center hosted an awards reception on Saturday, January 13th for the ten finalists in the Capture Clifton photo contest fundraiser. The contest, open to Clifton’s amateur photographers, invited shutterbugs to submit their best pictures of Clifton architecture or landscapes. Photo submissions came with a small $10 donation, as the contest was established as a fundraiser for the non-profit Clifton Arts Center, Inc. that supports the Arts Center.
The Arts Center received more than 40 photos from the city’s amateur photographers, and the top ten finalists were showcased in a slideshow at the reception.
The ten finalists were: Nick Annunziata, Anthony Hahn-Galioto, JoAnne MacBeth, Jim Malloy, Conya Marrone, Kathryn McDonnell Edel, Wendy Richmond, Juan Ruiz, John Tauber, and David Wyka. Their photos included a gorgeous sunrise over Mt. Prospect Park, and a morning shot of Main Memorial Park. You can see all ten for yourself in the photo gallery online at the Clifton Arts Center website.
MaryAnn Baskinger, Chair of the nonprofit Clifton Arts Center, Inc. Board announced the Finalists and Winners.
The winners, and their prize-winning photos, were:
Tauber and Edel each received a prize of $100 and the honor of being one of the best to “Capture Clifton.” Jim Malloy and Juan Ruiz tied as the last two winners and will receive $50 each, after an original winner was disqualified for not meeting contest rules. As of this article, all winners have been notified.
“Clifton has so many beautiful places to photograph throughout our city,” said one of the winners, Kathryn McDonnell Edel. “I’m especially fond of Weasel Brook Park, Morris Canal Park, and Garret Mountain Reservation. Nowadays, I never have to worry about having a camera with me – my iPhone is always there,” McDonnell Edel added.
Lifelong resident and top ten finalist-turned-winner Jim Malloy wrote, “Not to be overdramatic, but I do believe photography saved my spirit. 14 years ago my mom died and a month after, my job of fifteen years let me go. Wandering to the park on a morning I couldn't sleep, I saw for the first time a glorious sunrise at Mt. Prospect Park, just seven houses from my childhood home. And it did something to me that I almost can't put into words. I look forward to this daily now. And if it wasn't for the kind reactions to my daily posts in the Facebook group Clifton News and Community, I might not have had the confidence to enter this contest.”
Finalist JoAnne MacBeth said that she hoped to see all of the submitted photos in a display at the Arts Center in the future. “Some of the [finalists’] photos,” she said, “were delightful and highlighted some lovely aspects of Clifton…I think this was a great contest, and I hope to see future events.”
Mayor Ray Grabowski, Councilman Joe Kolodziej, and Councilman Tony Latona also attended the reception. The Clifton Arts Center thanked the five judges who volunteered their time and expertise:
MaryAnn Baskinger, Board Chair, Clifton Arts Center Inc., Former Clifton Public Schools district Arts Supervisor and teacher.
Mike Bertelli, President, Clifton Arts Center Advisory Board, Sculpture Park Curator
Julie Chrobak, CHS Art Teacher, United Scenic Artist 829, IATSE Scenic Artist
Tom Hawrylko, Editor & Publisher, Clifton Merchant Magazine
Beth Slanina, CHS Art Teacher, Digital Photography, Instructor, HS Yearbook Advisor
The contest, which helped raise money for this local art gem, challenged residents to find and capture the beauty of our city. In our busy, often stressful lives, it’s easy to miss noticing the natural gifts all around us or the stunning lines and shapes of some of our historic buildings.
Capture Clifton was more than a fundraising contest; it was a call to action - stop for a moment and see the beauty that exists. It’s everywhere if you look for it.