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LIBERTY – During summer vacations in Sullivan County, Barbara Ward-Blank and her children would often go exploring in the woods and fields. During one of these family outings her son Ean, then 3, found himself and his magnifying glass in a grove of majestic evergreens at Hanofee Park in Liberty. That’s when Barbara captured the magical photo that is one of two which make her the first-prize winner in the Sullivan Renaissance Photo Contest.
Almost 200 photos were submitted and viewed by a panel of judges in the first-ever competition. Photographers were asked to submit photos of scenic Sullivan County, including Sullivan Renaissance projects, in all seasons.
Ward-Blank's photo of the Hanofee Park scene plus her Eagle at Bethel Woods earned her the top award. The contest demonstrated a strong showing not just for photos but for photographers. Three photographers including Ward-Blank, won awards for more than one submission. That strong showing plus the sheer number of stunning Sullivan County scenes submitted to the contest moved the judges to award multiple prizes in each category and to name several finalists.
“If we used the word ‘beautiful’ once, we used it a hundred times during the judging,” said Sullivan Renaissance Chair Sandra Gerry, “The decision was very difficult because the submissions were just so good. The photographers were very talented and provided us with a chance to see just how beautiful Sullivan County is through their eyes.”
The first place winner received a prize of $200, second place and third place winners were awarded $150 and $100 respectively. The winners are:
· First place: Barbara Ward-Blank for Exploring Hanofee and Eagle at Bethel Woods.
· Second place: John Veleber for Sunset, and Jesse Wall for Fence in Field.
· Third place: Brian Grady for Narrowsburg Gazebo in Fog and Charles Rehm for Stemen Barn with Boots and Mom, plus Neversink Barn Quilt
· Finalists: Nick Clemente for Horse in Field on Muthig Road and Sunrise on Divine Corners Road; plus Barbara Ward-Blank for Sonoma Falls, and Jesse Wall for Field of Wildflowers and Sky.Winning photos will be displayed at a special event in early 2011. Sullivan Renaissance is a beautification and community development program principally funded by the Gerry Foundation. For more information, visit www.sullivanrenaissance.org or call 845-295-2445.