The annual Focus photography exhibits presented by the Wilton Arts Council have the distinction of being judged by a panel of three notable area photographers. Open to people of any age regardless of town of residence, they regularly attract photographers and viewers from some 30 towns and cities in CT and NY. They are open to the public and are on view each year during the month of March at the Wilton Library. Focus ‘18, with its large field of photographers across its three divisions, is a testament to the growing interest in this powerful form that blends art/expression and reality/reportage in ways that are being tested in the digital age.
A Brief Timeline of Focus…
- Mid 1990s: The exhibit is started by local photojournalist Alex von Kleydorff, initially with two divisions: professional and amateur. The High School division is added a few years later at the request of the art teacher at Wilton High School.
- Early exhibits: Initially are not scheduled for the same month each year. Put on hold when construction begins on the Library’s expansion, the exhibits are afterward rescheduled to March and the maximum size limitation for entries is removed.
- FOCUS ’07: The Youth division is introduced in memory of Lenwood Freas, a visionary former Wilton Arts Council officer who traced his start in the arts back to a community art show in his youth.
- FOCUS ‘08: The professional-vs-amateur distinction is eliminated; the March snowstorms of 2006 and 2007 trigger the move to an April 2008 time slot.
- FOCUS’ 09: The Judges’ Wall is introduced to exhibit the style of each judge’s work.
- FOCUS ‘11: The tradition begins of inviting the prior year’s Best of Show winning photographer to be on the judges’ panel.
- FOCUS ‘14: The exhibit returns to March due to recurrent scheduling conflicts in April.
- FOCUS ’17: Photographer Sandy Gennrich is awarded Best of Show for the second time, a singular accomplishment in Focus history; her first win was in Focus ‘14.
- FOCUS ’18: Is the 20th installment in the series; at this point, the Focus exhibits have shown a total of 4,240 photographic works taken by area photographers.
Below, Focus’17’s Best Of Show winning photograph: Sandy Gennrich, “Stata Center”
January 18, 2018 – FOCUS ’18 planning is underway. Our sponsors and judges have been contacted, have accepted and are very pleased to participate. And we cordially invite you to take part as a photographer entrant, a Focus team volunteer, an exhibit attendee … or as all three!
The Focus ’18 exhibit will be on view at the Wilton Library from Saturday, March 3rd through Thursday, March 29th, 2018. This year’s exhibit represents the 20th year of our annual Focus photography exhibits presented by the Wilton Arts Council. Please note that the annual Focus photo exhibits:
- Are open to everyone regardless of town of residence, and we regularly attract photographers and viewers of all ages from 25 or more towns and cities in CT and NY.
- Are open to three age-based divisions of photographers: Adults; High School (9th through 12th grade); and Youths (old enough to hold a camera through 8th grade).
- Have the distinction of being judged by a panel of three notable area photographers.
Photographers, if you’d like your photographic work to be seen and thoughtfully appreciated by a large audience of people of all ages who love the arts, this is your show!
And if you have an interest in volunteering, the Focus ’18 Planning Committee needs your help and we would love to have you on board to make this year’s exhibit great! You may already know that we are an all-volunteer committee who organizes this show with the goal of fostering an appreciation of the arts in the community. It’s a fun, rewarding experience to volunteer together as a team with other great people who appreciate the importance of art in our lives. All are welcome to volunteer for any or all activities.
We are very interested in your ideas for Focus – and for WAC – and hope you’ll be able to take part in Focus ‘18. Please contact us with your questions and/or ideas, or to be one of the wonderful people willing to volunteer for our Focus ’18 team activities, or to receive email reminders for each of the Focus ’18 events. Our email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please spread the word to your family and friends – and don’t forget to encourage youths and high school students to participate!
We’re looking forward to Focus ’18 being a resounding success for the community and for all who join in as volunteers, photographers, and exhibit-goers in this annual celebration of photography. With you on board, it will be.