L.A. Photo Curator Call for Entry: 'Serenity' with curator Wendi Schneider
Note from Wendi Schneider: "Thank you, Laurie, for the opportunity to jury this call, the contributions, and for the exposure you offer artists. I also want to thank each of the artists who entered the call. I know there are many competitions, time demands, and expenses, so I’m especially grateful for your thoughtful submissions. The entries were strong and right on target, making my task quite difficult. It was a delight to peruse the wonderful offerings and a challenge to choose but a few images from so many strong entries.

Ultimately I chose the images that I felt best fit the theme and that soothed me the most. When faced with what soothed you, would that also soothe me? Like any juried  call, it’s ultimately subjective. I was fortunate to live with these wonderful images for several weeks. Some that were chosen early remained, some did not. Others that didn’t initially move me, grew on me and stayed with me. 

First Place: Joni Friedman “Peace” 

This image immediately inspired a restful sigh and calm. Everything seemed to come together and work for me. I was drawn into the the heavy clouds, the muted colors, the juxtaposition of clouds and sea, and the sinuous curves of the inlets. The warm tones of the marsh grasses provided a pleasing contrast to the desaturated colors of the sky and water, reminding me of the life hidden within. A sense of serenity washed over me and I longed to be transported there, to revel in the stillness.

Second place: Carol Horigan “Structure of Grace”  
A beautiful study of the elegance of nature’s design illuminated.

Best Series: Ellen Jantzen 
I was particularly drawn to the magic of “Assurance” in which the burst of red elevated the image from the expected to the extraordinary."

Honorable Mentions:
Jennifer Maiotti “Fairy Tale” 
Rich Vogel “Winter Arrives” 
Diane Cockerill “Layers of Zen” 
Will Nourse “Terra Incognita VII”
Michael S. Cohen “Moment of Clarity”

Schneider says: Serenity, "Peacefulness, tranquility, harmony, balance, silence, stillness, calm, repose, grace.
Many of us strive for serenity so we can live our lives from a place of calm, creativity and compassion. As artists, we have the opportunity to offer others balance from discordance and respite from tumultuous, trying times. Serenity is healing and empowering, facilitating strength and solutions. The root of the word inspire is inhale. Simply responding to a beautiful, peaceful image can initiate a calming neurological response by an appreciative inhalation and a sigh.
Where do you find reprieve from the cacophony of life’s stresses and how do you convey serenity in imagery - a balanced composition, an elegant still life, a majestic view, a whoosh of a wing, a touch, a simple adoration of grace? All art forms that incorporate photography are welcome. Soothe me."
20% of artist fees go to charity. 10% to the curator's charity and 10% to the first place winner's charity.

Schneider says, "I have chosen the Jules Laurita-Smith’s Go Fund Me as my charity, for a dear photographer/gallerist friend’s brave, talented, teenage daughter who is heroically fighting brain cancer. 


First Place winner Joni Friedman's charity is the Earthfire Institute.
The Earthfire Institute's mission is to generate new perspectives on man's relationship with nature; to change the way that people see, and therefore treat, wildlife and nature.
It strives to accomplish this by developing deep relationships and insights with the rescued animals of the Earthfire Institute Wildlife Sanctuary that they can then share with others through conversation and storytelling. Earthfire is at the forefront of integrating wild animals’ voices into our awareness, considerations and decisions, resulting in an expanded sense of community that truly includes all living beings, and opening the door to a richer and more sustainable future.  http://earthfireinstitute.org/