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Awards for the 11th Annual Appalachian Mountain Photography Competitions Announced March 29

by Madison V. Fisler

CJ Autumn Leaves by Charles Johnson
Best in Show winner Autumn Leaves by Charles Johnson

March 31, 2014. The winners of the 11th annual Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition were officially announced on March 29, with winners for 8 different and unique categories. 

The “Best in Show” award, along with the $1,000 cash award went to “Autumn Leaves” by Charles Johnson. 

The winners of each award are as follows:

  • Eric Heistand’s “Overlooked” took home the $500 cash award provided by the Blue Ridge Parkway for the Blue Ridge Parkway Category.
  • Lynn Willis took home the People’s Choice award and $350 in cash provided by Footsloggers for her photograph “Table Rock Fire.”
  • The Environment Category was won by Daniel Burleson with his photograph “Forest Ghosts” with the $250 cash prize provided by Appalachian Voices and a $250 gift card from the Mast General Store. 

Each of the following category winners were provided with a $250 gift card to the Mast General Store:

  • Adventure: “Blue Ridge Summer” by Collin Waldron
  • Culture: “Boilin’ Sorghum Down” by Lou Murrey
  • Landscape: “Lifting the Veil” by Sharon Canter
  • Flora/Fauna: “Moss, Rocks & Vines” by Sarah L. Ernst

From March 7 to June 7, the Turchin Center will host the pieces from the competition that represent the landscapes, people and more of Appalachia in the Mezzanine Gallery. 

Of almost 800 submissions this year, the 49 finalists are being displayed in the Turchin Center until summer.

A partnership program between the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts, Appalachian State University’s Outdoor Programs and the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, the Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition showcases photographers from all over the nation with the aim to celebrate the Appalachian mountains along with its people, places and scenery that make it unique. 

With almost 800 submissions, jurors worked long and hard to choose the finalists to be displayed. The jurors for this year’s competition include John Latimer, coordinator of the Commercial Photography Program at ASU; Kristin Espinosa, natural light photographer; and Carl Galie, NC photographer. 

The Turchin Center hosted a private reception for the photographers and for Our State Magazine. 

“It was amazing,” said Rich Campbell, Associate Director of Outdoor Programs. 

“There were a ton of people. I think we had more people than we have ever had before. I think we probably had easily 150 people when it was all said and done. It is great to see this event keep growing.”

Photographers came from all over to see the photographs being displayed in the Turchin Center in Boone. 

“There was one photographer that was there that was also in a competition in SOHO in New York,” Campbell said. “He said that the exhibit in the Turchin Center was just as impressive as the ones in SOHO with the way it was curated, that our food was better, and he said that our live music was better. This was a great example of the community coming together, and that is what is so cool about our community.”

A public reception for the competition will be held during April’s First Friday Art Crawl on Friday, April 4 at the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts. The reception will be open to the public and will include live music and refreshments.

Check out photos from the competition’s private reception at the Turchin Center on March 29. 

Photos by Ken Ketchie

More than 150 attended the private reception at the Turchin Center


Talia Freeman of Beech Mountain Resort presents the beer from the Brewery


Jeff Collins of Peabody’s


Jeff Collins of Peabody’s


Live music was provided by Andy Ferrell and the Oncoming Train


More than 150 people came to view the finalists for the competition


Finalists of the juried exhibition are displayed in the Turchin Center


Refreshments were provided by the community for guests


Rich Campbell of Appalachian State University Outdoor Programs


This event had the largest attendance of the private receptions held for the competition