Photographers from age 9 to adult were honored Saturday, Nov. 3, at the opening reception of a new joint art and photography exhibit at the Hannibal Arts Council. The exhibit will continue until Friday, Nov. 16.
The photography contest included the work of both local amateur and professional photographers from youth to adult.
In the Youth Division, the Best of Show award went to Anna Henley, 16, for “A Blast in the Past,” her photo of a Civil War re-enactment in Palmyra.
“I’ve been taking pictures since fourth grade with my Dad (award-winning Courier-Post photojournalist Danny Henley),” Anna explained. “He was taking photographs, and I wanted to take some, too.”
Anna, now in 11th grade, is home schooled and also taking classes at Hannibal-LaGrange University.
Anna said her photography “is for fun.” This was her first photography award - and first contest.
A young photographer won two awards. Keri Schindler, 9, won an Achievement Award for her photo of a yellow flower. It is titled “Mist In the Morning.” Keri also won an Honorable Mention award for “Hoptastick.”
Austin Hawes, 14, won a Merit Award for his photo titled “Train Tunnel Overlook, Mississippi River.”
An Honorable Mention also went to Charles Robertson, 11, for “Barn Eagle.”
In the Adult Division, Benita Hardy of New London won the Best of Show award for a photo of a girl looking through a broken window. It is titled “Broken Glass Thoughts.”
The Achievement Award was presented to Susan Osterhout for “Another Adventure on Main.”
J.B. Wright received the Merit Award for “Low End.”
Honorable Mention awards were presented to Michelle Murfin for “Smart Reflections,” Michelle A. Huseman (two awards) for “Autumn Beauty” and “Street Music,” Debra K. Scoggin/Myers for “October on the Fabius,” Lisa Wigoda for “On the Line 1,” and Terri Jo Harrison for “Father and his Daughter.”
Harrison explained her picture of a father holding the hand of his newborn child. “We had twin nieces born in April,” she said. The one in the picture weighed one pound, three ounces, and “it was truly a gift from God I was able to capture” this picture before the infant died.
Best of Show winner Hardy operates a licensed day care and does weddings and other photography on weekends from April to November. She explained the background for her winning picture, “Broken Glass Thoughts.”
“About three years ago I was out photographing that family and taking individual pictures,” she said. One photo was of Rachel Whitley in this same pose, Hardy said, and “I always thought it was really striking. ... I loved it so much I asked her if we could go back to the family farm and re-enact it. I wanted to enter it in this contest.”
Page 2 of 2 - Reporting that “my passion is photography and my favorite is families,” Hardy said “I just love capturing the personality of the person. I believe a really great photo should stir up some emotion when they look at it.
“I enjoy watching families interact with one another and just love to capture the love and bond that unites the family together. It is priceless.”
She added that “to see the smiles on their faces when they come to pick up their pictures gives me so much pleasure, knowing that I am giving them something that they can treasure for a lifetime, and sometimes for generations to come, is very rewarding.”
This is Hardy’s fourth photography award. Two were local contests, but one was a nation-wide Hellmann’s mayonnaise contest. The top prize was $100,000, but Hardy was happy to be among the 12 finalists. She received a picnic basket of goodies and a camera from Hellmann’s.
The HAC exhibit that is continuing until Nov. 16 is a joint show including the art work of four men who attended Hannibal High School about the same time and have combined professional careers with their artistic endeavors. They are Andrew Buckwalter, Scott Haycraft, Bradley Pipkin and Nick Willett.
HAC gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. It is closed on Tuesdays and Sundays.
For more photos, see photo gallery.