The Mike Goheen Memorial Fund for Photographers
The Mike Goheen Memorial Fund for Photographers honors longtime Member, Mike Goheen’s legacy and passion for photography.
The Fund was established in 2017 by Mike’s partner and The Contemporary Dayton supporter, Craig Schrolucke, and will provide a $500 annual prize to an artist in the Annual Members’ Show. The award is one of the largest in the region and will be given every year to a photographer who demonstrates experimental photographic methods.
Mike’s family, friends and colleagues who have contributed are listed below. Donations to the Fund will continue to be collected in Mike’s honor and can be made by clicking on the link to the left, or by visiting the gallery in Downtown Dayton.
Thank You to our Generous Donors
|Amanda & Jason Burks|
|Amelia Hounshell & Brian Albrecht|
|Amy & Kevin Deal|
|Anthony Poly & Kenny Moore|
|Arthur John Reetz|
|Bernard L. Smith|
|Carla H Carlton|
|Cathy & Craig Hall|
|Christopher Dennis Caneles|
|Chuck & Dona Vella|
|David Seyer & Keith Wyatt|
|Deborah & Gordon Goheen|
|Gene & Patricia Schrolucke|
|George B Shaw|
|Jason Pierce & Emily Werlein|
|Jill Oakley Jeppe|
|John & Diane Farrell|
|Karin and Mark Manovich|
|Larry & Marilyn Klaben|
|Mark Brewer & Kevin Tunstall|
|Mary E. Younger|
|Mary Ellen Nelson|
|Megan Cooper & Scott Murphy|
|Michael B McLaughlin|
|Randy Scott Davis|
|Robert Sweeney & Michael Edwards|
|Ron & Amy Rollins|
|Sara Skinner Cole|
|Shayna V. McConville|
|Timothy Daniel Burke|
|Vicky & Edward Forrest|
|Warren Riffle & Kurt Fleagle|
2018 Winner: Francis Schanberger
Francis Schanberger, Thighs and Sunlight, 2018 gelatin silver print with Sabatier Effect, 14 x 11 in., courtesy of the artist
2018 Prize Juror's Statement & Bio
Juror Statement from Todd Birdsong
Elliott Erwitt has a wonderful quote about the nature of reacting to photographs: “What can you say about pictures? You’ve got to look at pictures and react to them. You can’t just dissect pictures. I mean, a picture has got to be a picture to begin with. It should have some kind of content and emotion, and it should appeal to you in some way, and it should be out of the ordinary if possible. And then it’s a picture, whether it’s of hands, feet, ears, noses or whatever.” One could argue that creating reactions is the “art”; not the actual photographic print. Reacting to images is at the foundation of this selection of regional photographers and their works.
When selecting the winner for the Mike Goheen Memorial Fund For Photographer’s Award, I took careful consideration when viewing the work submitted for the exhibit. After viewing the 26 collected images, I was faced with the difficult decision of selecting a single photograph from a powerful and talented group of photographs and photographers. I based my selection on the following criteria: composition; the over-all visual effect and the use of line, form, color and visual balance; next I took into consideration the printing process, digital, traditional and non-traditional means of printing. The uniqueness of the subject matter was also a consideration. It was difficult to select the one photograph. The goal was to select an image that worked visually and was thought provoking while presenting a wide latitude of understanding of the history, process and what it means to use photography as an expressive media. All of the photographs submitted represents some kind of genre whether it is a landscape, a still life, an abstraction, or documentary photography. Together they carry a common thread, one of strong visual composition and form.
Photographers, like no other contemporary visual artists, have a wealth of opportunities to showcase their work across a variety of platforms — the ‘juried exhibition’ is one such platform. When presented by a respected institution, such as the Dayton Visual Arts Center, juried shows can make a real and lasting impression to the career of an aspiring professional artist, or the pursuits of an amateur that is chasing a passion of visual interrogation. Remarkably, they can also prove to be an interesting barometer of an overall vision of what contemporary photography is or could be. That being said, a basic question still lingers for many photographers: What makes a great photograph?
Of course, there are as many answers for this question as there are photographs being created, but one possible response is the ability of an image to evoke a sensation that resonates through the viewer’s being. As Erwitt says, “You’ve got to look at pictures and react to them.” It isn’t the subject matter or the elements of technical or aesthetic practice that matter. It can be rendered expertly or accidentally. It is the unique and magical marriage of those principles of shaping light and time transcendentally that offer the most rewards to both the photographer and the viewer.
In the end, my award selection was also guided by my deep and personal connection to its namesake. Having been his friend for most of our lives, I would dare say that I belong to a very small group that understood his visual sensibilities and the emotion contained within each image he discovered. My selection resonated with me in a similar way and I appreciate artist’s works that have a powerful sense of vision and concept regardless of their training or technical mastery. Those artist who are creating spirited works are not only growing personally, but professionally.
Congratulations to all who entered and put their work forward. Congratulations to those who are in the exhibition and who intrigued me in some way. Congratulations to the award winner for being notable
in this artist’s eyes. Thank you to Eva Buttacavoli and Patrick Mauk and the DVAC staff and volunteers for their hospitality and professional and personal assistance. The job was a pleasure. Thank you for sharing.
Todd Birdsong received his MFA from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale in Mass Communication and Media Arts. He is an interdisciplinary artist who works with both analog and digital processes within photography, sound and transmission art, time-based media and instrument making using found objects and electronics. Execution of his work takes the form of conceptual installations and performances. Concepts of indeterminacy and randomness are used to examine the ideas of mindfulness and being present in the moment of witnessing, understanding and decoding our daily lives.
Todd is currently the Director of the Clemens Fine Arts Center in Paducah, Kentucky.