With the decline and end in 1994 of the National Exhibition of the Visual Arts (NEVA), the arts in Guyana had no major exhibition to showcase our contemporary arts and artists. In 2012 this was remedied with the introduction of the Guyana Visual Arts Competition and Exhibition (GVACE), essentially the successor of NEVA, combining both a competition aspect and an exhibition portion.
The GVACE is meant to include as many categories covering the visual arts as possible, some categories have been omitted due to a lack of participants/artists in those (such as textiles) and one in particular was added, Photography. With the inclusion of photography, Guyana signalled that it recognises that Photography in itself is an art, and that the product of a photographer, their camera and the darkroom or digital equivalent had surpassed the stage of merely being snapshots and may be considered as art.
Unless a benefactor comes along who can allow us as photographers to truly compete within our own sub-genres such as Landscape Photography, Portrait Photography, Street Photography, Astro-Photography, and quite a few others, then the GVACE is the only forum available for photographers to show that they not only point their cameras at a subject and click, but that they put some thought, some effort, and a lot of skill into it. We have to show that we pay attention to composition, to the subject matter, to lighting and to every other aspect that makes an image stand out as art, rather than as a snapshot.
Just as some categories in 2012 were left without awardees due to the relatively low level of craftsmanship in the entries, so too could photography have been omitted, but the judges were impressed with quite a number of entries, and were encouraging of the remainder. Some of us have been at this for years, some of us just for a short period, but once we have a passion for it, and that passion shows in our images, then there will be a Photography category in the GVACE.
In 2014, there were many who expected the top-performers from Photography in the 2012 GVACE to do as well, but some of us had predicted a shake-up at the top, and that came to be. Given the talent we see out there every day, we encourage all photographers, to choose their best works from the last two years (from May 28, 2017) and consider them for submission, you may submit a single entry, or up to three, they can be similar or entirely different, this is the beauty of having a broad category to submit in.
Each of our photos are important, because none of us take quite the same type or style, and it is important to have progression, improvement, innovation and fresh concepts in the artform, just as much as it is important to retain the basics of composition, lighting, framing, and the myriad other things that go into a single exposure.
Stay with us as we touch on various aspects of preparing for the GVACE.
You Can download and view a PDF version of the Brochure here: