Call for Entries: Present Tense, 15th Annual Photo Competition Exhibition, Photographic Center Northwest

Present Tense: 15th Annual Photographic Competition Exhibition

The Photo Center is pleased to announce our 15th Annual Photo Competition Exhibition, Present Tense and our esteemed juror, Denise Wolff, of Aperture. Selected entries will be exhibited in Seattle, WA at the Photo Center during the months of August and September 2010. The exhibition title, Present Tense, refers to state of the medium today. In recent times, we have heard intense debate about the direction of photography: questions about the future of the medium, fears surrounding the decrease in magazine production and funding for content, the threat of potential extinction of the physical book, cynical commentaries that originality is a thing of the past…now is the time for photographers to take stock of their work and their vision, to take risks, rather than play it safe. We are calling out to you to inspire the medium! Show us your perspective and vision of these changing times. Ms. Wolff will select projects in an effort to curate an exhibition that makes a statement about contemporary photography. We invite you to be a part of this statement. The theme is open. The juror is looking for work that represents a larger, cohesive body of work and will be selecting a series from each photographer chosen. All photo processes welcome. Artists will be responsible for shipping their framed work.

DENISE WOLFF is a photo book editor, known for her work with both contemporary and historic photography. Prior to joining Aperture last year, she worked at Phaidon Press. Throughout her career, she has had the opportunity to work on many beautiful books with some of the world’s top photographers, including Mary Ellen Mark, Martin Parr, Eugene Richards, and Stephen Shore to name a few. See to learn more about Aperture books & programs.

AWARDS: First, second, and third prize winners will take home $1000, $500, and $250 respectively as well as a $75 Blurb Inc. Scrip Certificate for each winner. PCNW gratefully acknowledges Blurb Inc., Glazer’s Camera & Panda Lab for their award sponsorships.


ELIGIBILITY: International. The competition is open to all photographers.


1. Print out the entry form from our website and fill it out legibly.
2. Burn 10-12 jpg images on a CD – not DVD, and include a PDF file on the CD that has your Artist Statement & Print Sizes & Print Types and Your Name. (The juror will view this PDF).
3. Put everything in an envelope and mail with your payment to Photo Center NW, 15th Annual Contest, 900 12th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122. Materials will not be returned.

Mandatory details below…

* Submissions accepted via CD only (not DVD).
* Must be readable on a PC.
* Jpegs only. Must submit a minimum of 10 jpgs from a related body of work.
* Resolution 72 ppi and no larger than 1280 pixels at in the longest dimension.
* Jpgs must be titled in this order: The photographer’s name, correlating letter to match the printed out entry form & the title of the image. (for example: JohnDoe _A_Untitled.jpg)
* Required PDF file on the CD that includes your name, artist statement or project statement. This statement should be no longer than 4 paragraphs. After the statement, list the image size of your work and print type. (for example: 16 x 20, Silver Gelatin Prints). Do not send a hard copy of the statement-it won’t be used.
* The CD and CD case must be labeled with the photographer’s name.
* Images submitted may not have been previously exhibited at the Photographic Center Northwest Gallery.

DEADLINE: All entries must be received by Saturday, June 12, 2010 at 4:00 PM.

ENTRY FEE: There is a flat entry fee of $75 for a series of 10-12 jpgs. You must submit a minimum of 10 images to be reviewed from a cohesive body of work. The juror will select a series from each photographer chosen. Payment must be in U.S. Dollars. Entry fees are non-refundable. This juried show is our gallery program’s annual fundraiser and the entry fees help to support our gallery program offerings throughout the year.

A list of accepted artists will be posted on our website in early July 2010. We will post a link on the Photo Center NW homepage when the list is ready. The list will be in the gallery section of the website. Selected artists will be notified by email and telephone. Framed series must be shipped by the artist to the Photo Center NW by the end of July.

Download & print out the entry form. If you have trouble reading the entry form, you may need to download a current version of Acrobat Reader from Adobe.

Plexiglas, rather than glass, should be used for all pieces requiring shipping. A wire or some other hanging device must be on the back of the piece. Although PCNW staff will handle your work delicately, we will not be responsible for the damage of any work. All works selected for exhibition must be offered for sale at a price determined by the artist. Artists will receive fifty percent of the sale price. The photographer agrees to provide for shipping of the work to and from the Photo Center, including adequate provisions for shipping and insurance. All artwork and shipping materials must be clearly identified with the photographer’s name. Please write your Name on the outside of the box so that it’s easy to identify in a room full of boxes. (in addition to your shipping label)

Contact Ann Pallesen, Gallery Director, (206) 720-7222 ext. 11 or

June 12 Deadline for receipt of all entries, 4pm
Early July Accepted artists are notified by email and posted at
July 31 All artwork for the 15th Annual must be received by 5 pm
August – September TBA Present Tense: 15th Annual Photographic Competition Exhibition

1995 – Duane Michals
1996 – Joyce Tenneson
1997 – Jock Sturges (with Trevor Fairbrother)
1998 – Keith Carter
1999 – Linda Connor
2001 – Chien-Chi Chang
2002 – Michael Kenna
2003 – Anne Wilkes Tucker
2004 – Roy Flukinger
2005 – Mary Virginia Swanson
2006 – Paul Kopeikin
2007 – Charlotte Cotton
2008 – Rod Slemmons
2009 – Jen Bekman

1995 – James Soe Nyun
1996 – Phil Borges
1997 – Trina Kyounghui Yi-Weston
1998 – Lisa Hohlfeld
1999 – Frank Noelker
2001 – Sarah Oehl
2002 – Nanette Vinson
2003 – (tie) Cat Gwynn & Patricia Sandler
2004 – Dennis Chamberlin
2005 – Peter de Lory
2006 – Joelle Jensen
2007 – Sung Jin Park
2008 – Sally Ketcham
2009- James Luckett


Through the competition and exhibition at PCNW, it was great chance for me to expose my works widely at people. Not only PCNW has good gallery, but many famous jurors, critics, and gallerists come around and see my works. Also, it was a good step to start to exhibit my works in USA, and I got the cover photo of The Stranger newspaper in Seattle!
– JeongMee Yoon, NY

Last year I had the good fortune to learn about PCNW’s Annual Photographic Competition Exhibition, titled “Please Ring Bell” juried by Rod Slemmons. The high quality of the resulting exhibit, and the professional manner in which all details were handled by PCNW personnel was very high. My only regret was that I was not able to attend Mr. Slemmons’ lecture.
– David Paul Bayles, Corvallis, OR

Being selected for first place by Paul Kopeikin helped me gain greater exposure for my work, particularly on the West coast. I am proud to have the exhibition and award on my resume. I had a chance to visit PCNW last April and was very impressed with the staff and the high quality exhibitions they consistently host.
– Joelle Jensen, Brooklyn, NY

I was in the “Resonances” show juried by Paul Kopeikin in July of 2006. Having three of my animal photographs from my March 2006 trip to Oaxaca with Mary Ellen Mark chosen by such a renowned gallery director confirmed the importance of taking that photographic seminar with her. Just this month (February 2009), I received a request to send six photos to her from that trip for possible inclusion in a traveling show in Mexico as well as in a permanent collection in Oaxaca.
– Toni Bennett, Seattle, WA

I was honored to be chosen by Paul Kopeikin to take part in the 11th annual Photographic Center Northwest juried show. He selected three pieces from my Domesticated series, two of which were sold during the show. I went on to become a represented artist at the Kopeikin Gallery. The entire experience was overwhelmingly positive and led to some very nice opportunities.
– Amy Stein, New York City

I was chosen by Charlotte Cotton for UP & NOW! ”07. To have the work recognized by someone like Ms. Cotton have helped generate additional awareness about the plight of the women and children in my project Brothels and Fundamentalism.
– Kate Orne, NY, NY

Having my work juried into a show last summer by Rod Slemmons meant a great deal to me. Working in social and political satire is probably the most unpopular genre to work in, yet Mr. Slemmons selected my work for this important show. His encouragement helped me to continue working in a genre that rarely pays off financially, yet is rewarding on many other levels.
– Diane Bush, Nevada

Having had the opportunity to once again place my work in front of juror, Mary Virginia Swanson through Focused, the 10th Annual Photographic Center Northwest juried show has resulted in a very productive business relationship with her. This has led to a smart promotion strategy that has really moved my career forward. Further, the show has made me realize what a great venue the PCNW is for exhibition and I look forward to the possibility of showing more of my work there one day.
– John Chervinsky, Somerville , MA

As I am working on building up my resume with new shows, I was proud to be included in the 10th Annual Photographic Center Northwest Competition, Focused, by the incredible eyes of Mary Virginia Swanson, who selected my work for the show. This became an asset to my CV.
– Marc Yankus, New York City

Having been awarded 1st place (tie) in the 2003 PCNW Annual Photographic Competition by Anne Tucker was a high point in my artistic career to this point, and was certainly enhanced by her then having purchased the winning piece. Being able to include these things on my resume, I believe, has greatly contributed to how others view my work. Ms. Tucker’s esteemed reputation in the photography world means that her opinions are highly regarded. Her genuine interest was conveyed both in a personal note I received from her in response to my thank you, and when I had the opportunity to meet her at Photo L.A. Many thanks to PCNW for the consistently high caliber of jurors and exhibits.
– Patricia Sandler, Los Angeles, CA

The show curated by Mr. Flukinger helped me gain greater exposure and lead to my being offered other shows around the country.
– John Milisenda, Brooklyn, NY

I was chosen by Anne Tucker to be in the PCNW annual contest and was given an Honorary mention and met her at the opening of the show. I then saw her again at Fotofest in 2004 and The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas has now 2 of my prints in their permanent collection.
– Michelle Sank, Devon, UK