City introduces photo contest and art exhibition

By: Kayla Dimick | Southfield Sun | Published April 12, 2017

SOUTHFIELD — Whether you use your iPhone or a DSLR, the city is looking for your photos of the Center of It All.

According to Community Relations Director Michael Manion, the city has created a new Photo Prize competition with a public art element.

The goal of the competition is twofold, Manion said. Not only will it showcase the talents of Southfielders, but it will also create a public art exhibit for the community to enjoy.

The contest is open through May 12 to all who live, work, worship or attend school in Southfield, Manion said. Organizers are asking for the photos submitted to be original digital color photographs of Southfield landmarks or other subject matter shot within the city’s borders within the last calendar year.

“We just ask that it’s photographed within the city of Southfield,” Manion said. “With such an abundance of natural and architectural beauty, the city wanted to offer an opportunity for residents to show their favorite sites.”

Submissions will be reviewed by the Total Living Commission, and the top 20 entries will be enlarged and displayed at various locations throughout the city June-August. The public is encouraged to visit the entries and vote for their favorite installation.

Manion said the photo that receives the most overall votes will be announced at a public exhibition in September and will be featured in the city’s 2018 calendar.

Kyra Harris, Photo Prize chair for the TLC, said she got the idea for the contest from Grand Rapids’ annual ArtPrize event.

“I noticed that the city of Grand Rapids, especially downtown, had transformed with the introduction of Grand Rapids ArtPrize. It was really a great experience to see what the city looked like before and after,” Harris said. “The idea burst out of that, and just seeing how all walks of life can come together around art and have something to discuss and just really enjoy themselves.”

The competition ties in to the city’s recent efforts at creating more public art for residents and visitors to enjoy, Manion said.

“It’s a tie-in to the City Council and mayor’s efforts to place public art throughout the city. Studies have shown that it’s a real driver for quality of life,” Manion said.

Harris said that introducing an event like the Photo Prize competition will help the city appeal to not only more millennials, but also to those looking to settle down.

“I really want Southfield to be marketable for the future, so that means drawing in younger generations,” Harris said. “We need to be looking toward the future and drawing people in. When they think about buying a home and raising their families here, we want people to have something to do with their families and have the full experience in Southfield.”

To be considered, photos must be high resolution and at least 300 dots per inch and submitted in JPEG, TIFF or PDF file format under 5 megabytes in size. Each person can submit up to three total shots for consideration. 

All entries become the property of the city of Southfield, with the exclusive right to use in marketing and other materials, such as the city’s 2018 calendar, organizers said.

Submissions must be emailed as an attachment to photocontest@cityofsouthfield.com. Submissions may also be mailed on a CD to the Southfield Community Relations Department, 26000 Evergreen Road, P.O. Box 2055, Southfield, MI 48037-2055.

“We encourage everyone to participate. In this day and age, with cameras on your phone, you never know when you’ll capture that shot,” Manion said.