Mercantil Commercebank, one of the largest banks headquartered in Florida, has announced the launch of the second edition of its “Zoolens Gallery,” a traveling photographic display showcasing the top student photographs of the Bank’s 2014 Zoolens Photography Project.
Designed to foster awareness of wildlife among Miami-Dade County’s youths, Zoolens encourages middle school students to visit Zoo Miami, creatively photograph their favorite animal(s) and submit their best photo to win prizes.
Now on display within the lobby of the Bank’s Tamiami Banking Center and continuing throughout the year to several of Mercantil Commercebank’s other Miami- Dade County branches. The display is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Fridays.
“We continue to be inspired by the great talent of our local middle school students,” said Mercantil Commercebank vice chair and CEO Millar Wilson. “Ingrained in our culture is a commitment to the communities we serve, and we are proud to provide an educational and artistic outlet, through the Zoolens Photography Project, that allows our students to share their creative work with the community.”
As part of the 2014 edition of the Zoolens Photography Project, nearly 300 middle school students submitted their best photos to be reviewed by a distinguished judge’s panel, which included Zoo Miami’s director of communications Ron Magill. The top 30 student photographers were honored at an awards ceremony in December, when Alexandra Geltner of South Miami K-8 Center was named the first place winner and awarded a $2,000 grand prize and professional camera. Alexandra’s winning image, Photobomb, along with the photos of the second and third place finishers and 10 honorable mentions are featured in the “Zoolens Gallery.”
Developed in partnership with Zoo Miami and the Zoological Society of Florida, the Zoolens Photography Project launched in 2010 and is open to all Miami-Dade County middle school students, of both public and private schools. The 2015 project is scheduled to begin in October.
Zoolens Gallery Display Schedule at Mercantil Commercebank Banking Centers:
March, Tamiami, 13650 SW 131 St.;
April, Kendall, 11631 N. Kendall Dr.;
May, Pinecrest, 9350 S. Dixie Hwy., Suite 100;
June, Galloway, 8726 NW 26 St. in Doral;
July, West Doral 41st, 11401 NW 41 St., and
August, Doral 107th, 3105 NW 107th Ave.