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Ohio University joins community partners and SONY Corporation for inaugural international juried photography exhibition

The inaugural WideOpen photo exhibition, which celebrates all forms of photography, is a collaboration between the SONY Corporation, Ohio University’s School of Visual Communication, Ohio University’s College of Fine Arts, and the Dairy Barn Arts Center.

This international juried exhibition of photographic mastery originates in Athens, Ohio, a community that has a deep respect for the medium’s impact and its own storied history of photography excellence and innovation on an international stage.

“WIDE OPEN represents the ideal collaboration between one of the nation’s best respected and artistic photography programs in the College of Fine Arts and the cutting edge journalistic photography in the Scripps College of Communications to augment the already rich programing at one of the region’s treasured artistic institutions,” Ohio University College of Fine Arts Dean Matthew Shaftel said. “We are so proud to be collaborating in bringing and sustaining such high-impact art here in Athens.”

Dr. Terry Eiler, professor emeritus and co-founder and former director of the School of Visual Communications at OHIO, is the chair of the exhibit.

“Launching a new international photography show is a massive challenge,” Eiler said. “It will take the combined efforts of the Athens Dairy Barn and Ohio University to reach out to not only to alumni but to artist, amateurs and working photographic professionals to build an extraordinary exhibition.”

Eiler said the judges were selected by the WideOpen committee to offer diversity of photographic image approach.

Submissions open April 9, 2018 and close June 27, 2018 at midnight.


Molly Roberts is an award winning photography editor, consultant and photographer. With 25 years in the magazine and book publishing world, she has contributed to the look and content of award winning publications including the Washington Post Magazine, USA Weekend and Smithsonian Magazine print and web. Special Projects have included books such as “Picture This” by Tipper Gore, “Gods, Gold and Grandeur” by Paul Henry Walker and “The Outdoor America” series by National Geographic books. She has had the honor of being a juror for prestigious contests including POYi, Best of Photojournalism, Social Documentary Network and the National Magazine Awards. She has also participated in panel discussions and presentations about the current state of the photographic medium and the future of publishing at the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, The Corcoran, Texas State University, PhotoNOLA and others. She has been an invited reviewer for Santa Fe Review, PhotoNOLA, Medium, The New York Times Review and Women Photojournalists of Washington. Roberts recently created a nonprofit organization with the dual goal of focusing attention on human rights issues in America and creating new audiences for important nonfiction photography projects on these subjects.

Brooke Shaden explores the darkness and light in people, and her work looks at that juxtaposition. As a self-portrait artist, she photographs herself and becomes the characters of dreams inspired by a childhood of intense imagination and fear. Being the creator and the actor, Brooke controls her darkness and confronts those fears. After studying films for years in college, she realized her love of storytelling was universal. She started photography then in 2008, excited to create in solitude and take on character roles herself. Brooke works from a place of theme, often gravitating toward death and rebirth or beauty and decay.

Ultimately, her process is more discovery than creation. She follows her curiosity into the unknown to see whom her characters might become. Brooke believes the greatest gift an artist has is the ability to channel fears, hopes and experience into a representation of one’s potential.

While her images come from a personal place of exploration, the goal in creating is not only to satisfy herself; her greatest wish is to show others a part of themselves. Art is a mirror for the creator and the observer.

Brooke’s passion is storytelling, and her life is engulfed in it. From creating self-portraits and writing to international adventures and motivational speeches, she wants to live a thousand lives in one. She keeps her curiosity burning to live a truly interesting story.

Brian Smith’s iconic portraits of famous celebrities, athletes and executives for the past 30 years have been used in advertising, by corporations and have graced the covers and pages of hundreds of magazines including Sports Illustrated, ESPN the Magazine, Time, Forbes, New York Times Magazine, Elle and British GQ.

His first magazine photograph appeared in LIFE Magazine when Smith was a 20-year-old student at the University of Missouri. Five years later, Smith won the Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography for his photographs of the Los Angeles Olympic Games. He was again a finalist for the Pulitzer for his photographs of Haiti in Turmoil. His photograph of Greg Louganis hitting his head on the diving board at the Seoul Olympics won first place in both World Press Photo and the Pictures of the Year competition.

His books include: Art & Soul, photographed in partnership with The Creative Coalition and Sony, pairs Smith’s iconic portraits of celebrities from film, television, stage and music with their personal messages about the importance of funding the arts; Secrets of Great Portrait Photography shares his stories from his last 30 years photographing portraits of the famous and infamous; and Sony A7 Series: From Snapshots to Great Shots.

Brian Smith’s work has been exhibited at the Library of Congress, American Museum of Natural History, Aperture Gallery, Chelsea Art Museum and the W Los Angeles. He’s appeared on The X Factor, Israel Channel One and Fine Living Network. His awards include the Pulitzer Prize, American Photography, Communication Arts Photography Awards, World Press Photo, Pictures of the Year, Best of Photojournalism, One Eyeland People Photographer of the Year, American Photo magazine’s New Faces in Photography, AltPick Awards and Photo District News Awards.

He’s a Sony Artisan of Imagery, Profoto Legend of Light and X-Rite Master Coloratti. His work has been featured on the covers of the Photo District News and Professional Photographer and in Communication Arts, After/Capture, American Photo, Popular Photography, Digital Photo Pro, Emerging Photographer, Inside Edge, PDN and Rangefinder magazines. His photography assignments have taken him to six continents racking up four million air miles yet they have always brought him home to Miami Beach.

Visit the Dairy Barn’s website for more details about the exhibition, including submission requirements.