DANVILLE — The local art center had its 4th Annual Juried Photography Exhibit award show to kick off March.


On March 1, several local artists gathered for the opening reception and award show at Dansville ArtWorks.


Dansville ArtWorks Juror Bob Oswald said that he was very impressed with everyone’s photographs, and that everyone in the exhibit is a winner.


The award show winners this year were: Nicole Alioto, third place; John Adamski, second place; Tom Kredo, first place; and Nicole Walker for People’s Choice Award.


“It was very difficult to choose among all of these great images. I was overwhelmed with the quality and vision of the photos,” Oswald said. “Many of these images reminded me of classic photos. When I looked at some of these images all I could think was it reminded me of Robert Frank. He was a photographer in the 1950s who traveled across America.”


Oswald said that it was his job to crawl inside of the photographer's head, and see the story behind the photos.


“At the end of the day I had to go with the three I liked the most,” he said. “Everything you see hanging in this exhibit deserves to be in a gallery. It all belongs here to be viewed by the public.”


Oswald has been doing photography for four decades, and he knows how to look for the story in the image.


“I know who a lot of these photographers are, and I have followed their work for years,” he said. “When I was judging the photos I wasn’t given the names of the photographers. I didn’t know who took the photos until the award show. When you are asked to be a juror it pushes you out of your comfort zone. You have to look at all of the images objectively.”


Nicole Walker, People’s Choice winner, said that she loved being part of the exhibit again this year.


“Last year I really pushed myself out of my comfort zone. I wanted to try putting myself out there again this year,” she said. “It is amazing to be on a local gallery wall. I like to follow the work of other artists too.”


Walker said she had a hard time choosing which photos to submit this year, but her American Classic and Rochester Skyline are award winning.


“I like the barn photo and how it all comes together with the American Flag. I found out a lot of people take photos of this barn, because it is so beautiful. The owner of the barn reached out to me after seeing it in the paper, and asked if I could send him a copy. I sent him a framed photo, and it makes me feel good he has it hanging on his wall,” she said. “The other photo is of the Blue Cross Arena bridge. It was my first time taking a photo at nighttime. I really like how you see the lights of the city in this image.”


John Adamski, second prize winner, said that he has enjoyed getting back into photography since his health has been better.


“Mostly I focus on my wildlife photos, but I like taking some good landscapes too,” he said. “I took the one with the double sided ax about a month ago, and was asked to have it in this exhibit. That ax has been stuck in that tree stump for many years now, and it is a big mystery as to why it was left there.”


Leanne Brewer, photographer, said she loves taking photos of her hometown in Ossian. This is her first time being in the juried photography show.


“My photo is of a sunset behind a tree, and it represents the first sunny day we had in two months,” she said. “I really like the colors of the sunset in this photo. It is soul searching for me to go out with my camera and take photos. I have driven to places I have never been before, and see things from a different light.”


Caleb Miller, photographer, is following in his father and sister’s footsteps by taking part in the art gallery.


“I am excited for everyone here. I am excited to see how well I do in this exhibit,” he said. “I am usually doing video photography, but I decided to try and do photography. The candle one is from a music video I was filming, and I just liked how it showed hope through the dark.  The other one is of the ice sculpture in the Winter in the Village.”


Miller first got interested in photography by watching his father work with the digital camera at the newspaper. At that time he only had a throw away camera himself.


“When I was 11 years old I bought my own Nikon digital camera to use,” he said. “I have since updated to a better digital camera, and I gave dad my old Nikon.”


Mark Sager, photographer, said that he has been doing photography at college for about three decades now.


“I like how black and white photography can enhance the story of the image. Certain images say more in black and white than they do in color,” he said. “My favorite kind of photography is abstract images. I enjoy taking photos of nature. With nature you need to be at the right place at the right time.”


“I got interested in photography when I was a young teen. I liked seeing the teacher put the blank photo in liquid and watch an image merge,” he said. “We have lost that in the digital world. This craft used to be all about film, processing, and the dark room.”


Ron Cook, photographer, said this is a great place for local artists to be noticed.


“It is great for local artists to have their own art gallery,” he said. “I am always impressed by everyone else's work. There are some really amazing pieces in this exhibit.”


Juried Photography Exhibit runs from now until April 27. The photographers include; Deb Betts, Jeanne Gridley, John Adamski, Kyle Benjamin, Scott Hooker, Leanne Brewer, Caleb Miller, Nicole Walker, Tom Kredo, Mark Sager, Ron Cook, Emily Stauring, Christine Ferrigno, and Nicole Alioto.