Students and staff featured in photo competition

Above is Rapant’s winning arcival inkjet print, “After the Fire.” The photo depicts Rapant’s dog and cat after they died due to smoke inhalation. (Courtesy of Frank Rapants)

Photography Lab Technician and Media Reproduction Specialist for Schaffer Library, Frank Rapant ’07, won first place at the 38th annual Photography Regional for his piece titled, “After the Fire.”

The evening carried on with Adjunct Professor of Photography, Julie Pamkowski receiving accolades. Pamkowski won a purchase award for her submission, “Flapper.” The image, “Hands in Water” by Abigail Golodik ’18 was also featured in the regional. The competition was hosted by the Fulton Street Gallery in Troy, New York.

The exhibition was displayed from Mar. 25 to April 2. The competition has drawn great interest amongst professional and amateur artists. This year, juror of the competition, Dan Burkholder, chose 86 images from 70 artists out of 265 initial submissions.

Rapant initially submitted five photos and two were taken for the competition. The submissions were displayed “salon style,” meaning they were hanged up for exhibition and the judges then narrowed the submissions down to a few works that went on to receive prizes.

Rapant’s favorite subjects to photograph are mainly people, especially his family. Two years ago, his house was set on fire. Fortunately, none of his family members were harmed.

In response to this tragic event, Rapant took pictures of the aftermath which he then submitted to the regional competition. Rapant says about his work, “This work is not meant to be sensational. These images are about my life, and this was a horrible thing to go through. I rely on photography to help me understand and internalize important events in my life, and to help me assign meaning to many things horrible, beautiful, or wonderful.”

Pamkowski also critiqued some of her own work displayed at the Photography Regional. Pamkowski commented, “I rip, tear and slice up ordinary store-bought dolls to reference ideas concerning women’s reproductive rights, the female body and violence.” Interior parts of the doll become visible at the same time as the exterior parts, acting as a metaphor for the internal and external-self.

The deformed doll parts become a vehicle of expression for the anxiety, fear and outrage I experience as a woman.” Pamkowski taught Photography 1 and Photography 2 last trimester. She served as the sabbatical replacement for Visual Arts Professor, Martin Benjamin. Another recent work of hers was her portfolio, “Headshots/Bodyshots.”

Golodik was one amongst a few other Union students to submit her work in the regional and the only Union student to be featured in the final round of the competition. Golodik had only taken one college class on photography, and she revealed that her favorite subjects to photograph are human hands.

Golodik added, “This work is a reflection of myself through the use of my own hands. I think open hands show vulnerability, identity, and are a way to see into a person. Even though a viewer may never have met me, I am exposed.”

The 38th Annual Photo Regional was hosted by the Fulton Street Gallery, located at 408 Fulton St. in Troy, New York.

The competition will continue through April 2, and will be open for Troy Night Out on March 25.


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