Acadia Family Center hosts photo contest   

SOUTHWEST HARBOR  A picture is worth a thousand words… or the cover of a local organization’s annual report.  

Open to anyone 18 years of age or younger, Acadia Family Center is hosting a black-and-white photography contest. All entries are to be in a digital format and submitted by March 1, 2021.  

“Our call for photography serves to celebrate the importance of the arts in our community, as both a form of communication and healing,” the contest flyer reads.  

Art is one of the many forms of therapeutic support provided by Acadia Family Center, which is nearing its 40th year as a treatment, recovery and wellness center specializing in substance use and mental health therapy. Art therapist Hilary Chermak works with people of all ages in the center’s art studio and her work with children inspired the age requirement for the contest. 

While Chermak uses many different mediums to inspire her clients, photography was chosen because of the inability to transfer and translate other forms of art successfully during a pandemic.  

“Cameras are everywhere now (for better or worse), and it’s very easy for most people to share a digital file,” wrote Nickolai Fox, the center’s advancement coordinator, in an email. “I thought the mission of AFC would be embodied very well in a sincere black-and-white journal-like publication. The next logical step seemed to be to use our publication to showcase the work of inspired young people in the community.”  

In addition to the March 1 deadline and submitting photographs digitally to [email protected], there are a few more guidelines for the contest. Each photographer is allowed to submit three photographs, taken by them, that are 5 megabytes or less. Photographs must be black and white and if there are people featured in them, they must give consent for use of their image. If necessary, the center may ask for written consent from the subject.  

Photographers are limited only by their imagination and these guidelines.  

“There is no specific subject or assignment,” Fox explained. “I’m pretty sure there are some inspired young photographers out there who are already engaged in the expressive process of photography. We would love to see their work (in black and white)! 

Why black and white in this colorful era? 

“There are black-and-white photography and literary journals that are very successful in regard to the effectiveness of using black-and-white photography for communicating personal, emotional themes,” wrote Fox. “It’s also a little bit of a harken-back to the defining period of black-and-white journalistic photography.”  

Sarah Hinckley

Sarah Hinckley

Former Islander reporter Sarah Hinckley covered the towns of Southwest Harbor, Tremont and neighboring islands.

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