The Coral Gables Museum announced the finalists and winners of the photography contest, Capture Coral Gables 2020, on Friday, Feb. 7, in the museum’s Community Meeting Room where the exhibition can be seen through Mar 6.
The Opening Reception and Awards Ceremony took place on Coral Gables Gallery Night, when the museum offers free admission and many more exciting activities. This recurrent event happen the first Friday of the month, and had over 800 people in attendance.
John R. Allen, executive director, and Yuni Villalonga, chief curator of the museum, addressed a room packed with excited artists and visitors who voted for the People’s Choice Award during the first hour of the night. Prizes were presented by Liliam Dominguez, the museum’s newly appointed director of education, and one of the contest jurors. The other two jurors were Kirsten Vignes, a seasoned Leica specialist with Leica Store Miami; and Al Diaz, a renowned photo reporter from the Miami Herald.
This year, out of 23 finalists, the Grand Prize went to artist David Gary Lloyd with the photograph Falling Roots. In the photo, the classical Banyan trees from Coral Gables take over the composition. An interesting play of scales is made between the trees and a small human figure, who is walking towards a vanishing point at the end of a zigzagging pathway.
“This piece explores the might of the environment we have shared with trees for a snippet in time and which will continue to grow beyond our species inhabitation of the Earth,” said the artist.
The award for the Nature/Landscape category went to artist James Palma with the piece “Bamboo,” an abstract composition of bright blue and green stripes of bamboo, taken in the Night Garden at Fairchild Tropical Garden.
Robert Ruano received the Night Photography prize for the piece Night Fairy. In a reduced palette, the photo shows a detail of a garden figurine against bright floor lights. The sharpness of the image contrasts with the foggy atmosphere caused by the background lights at night.
Ruben Hernandez won the Street Photography Award with Midnight Walker, a black and white photo of dramatic light shed on a door frame and a passerby.
Sebastian Elizondo took home the award in the Portraiture category with Faces of Miracle Mile — a grid composition of diverse people found by the artist in businesses along the popular avenue, right in the middle of The City Beautiful.
The Daily Juggling Act by Lou Lozada was the Digital Photo Manipulation Award winner. The artist portrayed a young woman playfully juggling three children. Lozada said: While this is not my typical work […] I wanted to do something atypical and fun, for a very common form of photography – the family portrait. The piece Coral Gables & Weddings — One & the Same by Vicki Cerda was this year’s People’s Choice Award. A baroque composition of curtains and roses, the photo has the spirit of the popular Coral Gables weddings’ aesthetics.
About Capture Coral Gables 2020 jurors:
Al Diaz travels the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean covering breaking news, sports and feature stories for the Miami Herald. Diaz is the recipient of the 2015 Humanitarian Award by the National Press Photographers Association and the Associated Press Media Editors Showcase Photo of the Year. A first generation Cuban American, he and his family make their home in Coral Gables.
Kirsten Vignes is a Leica Specialist with Leica Store Miami and one of the curators behind Women in Focus, an annual festival and exhibition bringing visibility to leading women in the photographic industry who shoot with Leica. She is originally from Minnesota, but much prefers the sunshine and warmth of South Florida. Kirsten loves photography, which she studied at Rochester Institute of Technology, graphic design, her growing cat collection, traveling, movies with mythical creatures and, of course, coffee.
Liliam Dominguez is a visual artist and an art educator based in Miami. As a photographer, Dominguez has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions in the U.S. and internationally. Her artwork is part of several public and private collections throughout the world.
She also has curated and written essays for exhibition catalogs. As an educator, Dominguez has taught photography and other visual art courses at University of Miami, Barry University, Miami International University, Miami Dade College, and Florida Atlantic University, as well as education courses at Barry University.
She is an alumni of San Alejandro art academy in Havana, Cuba; as well as from New World School of the Arts, University of Miami, and Barry University. She has over 10 years of experience teaching art in higher education and in the K-12 settings.