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Personal Viewfinder photography show a success
Pers. View pic 1
Students, family members and mentors review the photos of this year's Personal Viewfinder photography exhibition at the Bowen Center for the Arts. Personal Viewfinder is held by the Dawson County Mentoring Program each year. Students test their skills at taking pictures using only disposable cameras. - photo by Photo/Submitted

The fifth annual student photography show conducted through the Dawson County Mentoring Program was kicked off Oct. 18 at a reception held at the Bowen Center for the Arts. 


The reception saw numerous students and family members join area photographers and mentors as they viewed the works of students from the second grade up through high school. 


The show titled, “Personal Viewfinder,” showcases the students’ talents using only simple disposable cameras.


“The fact they are using very simple cameras allows their talent and energy to come through,” said Bindy Auvermann, executive director of the Dawson County Mentoring Program.  “These images were not created through high tech lenses or fancy cameras, but through creativity and imagination.”


New this year was a field trip for the older students to various scenic locations around the county.  The students also had the opportunity to learn from photographer Jeanne Thompkins whose works were also featured in the professional judged exhibit held at the Bowen Center during October.


“I think the students did a wonderful job.  The photographs are very creative,” Thompkins remarked during the reception.


The students’ efforts were judged by a host of noted area judges that included; Jeff Defoor, Jim Bodkin, Linn Bowmann - Southern Catholic College art instructor, John Seibel of John Seibel Photography, Paul Dunlap - North Georgia College and State University Assistant Professor of Art, Lassie Dye, Big Canoe Women’s Guild, Paula Hochradel and Duane Fisher, Nordson Corporation, Deven Mattheus, Dawson Student Films and Peggy King, Dawson County Branch of the Chestatee Library System. 


The judges reviewed all of the high school and middle school photos for place and prizes.  The younger students received participation awards.


“This effort gets better every year,” noted Mattheus.  “Judging the student’s work is not easy.”


Auvermann stated as she announced this year’s winners that the points difference between the top three was very slim, and that several of the top finishers were return winners from previous years.


“I am very proud of all the students, but some did just phenomenal work this year,” Auvermann said.


Personal Viewfinder was sponsored by Big Canoe Chapel Women’s Guild, Nordson Corporation, Bowen Center for the Arts, A Better Picture: Vicki & Jeff Jones and Engraving Plus: Greg Papenhausen, who provided the high school first place winners with their winning photo beautifully framed with an engraved plaque and John Seibel Photography: John & Mimi Seibel who provided the grand prize.


Auvermann also noted that the entire project would not have been possible without the extensive help of the photography staff at CVS Pharmacy. 


This year’s winners were; High School color - 3rd place Zach Adams, 2nd place D.J. Jones,1st place April Callahan. High School black & white- 3rd place Ashley Forehand, 2nd place Beth Simpson, 1st place Rose Samples. High School Digital - 3rd place, Marielle Reed, 2nd place, Cassey Everett, 1st place, Katie Pritchard. Grand Prize Winner - Katie Pritchard for her shot entitled “Illusion.”

  Middle School winners: 3rd place winners, Katie Hall, Tristan Broad, Ashley Grant; 2nd place winners, Abigail Jesperson, Brent Landry, Beth Gibbs; 1st place winners, Alexis Morgan, Kaitlin Clark and Grace Brown.