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See 'Through the Eye of the Camera' Exhibit Before it's Gone!

There is still time to see the A.E. Backus Museum and Gallery's Through the Eye of the Camera juried photography exhibition, featuring more than one hundred of the year’s best photographs by professional and amateur photographers from across the Treasure Coast and beyond. The exhibition is on view through June 21, 2019! If you have not yet had a chance to see it you are missing out on an extraordinary exhibit.

This year there were 115 artists who entered 302 photographs across eight different categories, with a total of 106 juried into the exhibition. The competition is fierce every year and cash prizes and special gifts from Canon U.S.A. are awarded for the most compelling pieces in each category as selected by the judges.

The top 10 award winners are: 1. BEST OF SHOW – “Great Egret Mating Display” by Dawn Currie (Indian Harbour Beach) 2. FIRST PLACE FILM/TRADITIONAL RAW – “Namibia Night” by Susan McClure (Fort Pierce) 3. FIRST PLACE DIGITAL PLANT-WILDLIFE-ANIMALS – “Taking A Moment” by Elaine Schmitt (Stuart) 4. FIRST PLACE DIGITAL TRAVEL-SCENERY – “Colors to Infiniti” by Maria Fernandez (Stuart) 5. FIRST PLACE DIGITAL COLOR STILL LIFE / PORTRAIT – “Passion for Purple” by Kelly Baehr (Port St. Lucie) 6. FIRST PLACE DIGITAL BLACK & WHITE – “Steel Dragon” by Gary Clarke (Port St. Lucie) 7. FIRST PLACE MANIPULATED IMAGERY – “Great Heron on Mars” by Chuck Haaland (Vero Beach) 8. FIRST PLACE ALTERNATE SUBSTRATES – “Perfect Preen” by Gary Shaver (Orlando) 9. FIRST PLACE MOBILE – “My Backyard Yoda” by Shelly Polvere (Fort Pierce) 10. DIRECTOR’S CHOICE – “Abyss” by Hilda Champion (Naples)

(see select photos below)

A complete list of all accepted entries and award winners is available at the Museum’s website, Each year new judges are selected to provide a fresh perspective on the exhibition. This year's judges include Susan Pantuso, Thomas Winter, and Aric Attas. Aric Attas has won numerous awards for his fine art photography, which has been featured in many international exhibitions. He is on the faculty of Vero Beach Museum of Art’s Museum Art School, Hartford Art School and Trinity College. In addition, Attas mentors art students from around the world. Susan Pantuso is an award-winning fine art photographer living in south Florida. Her work explores and captures the art that is revealed in nature. Pantuso says that it is not just a matter of seeing, but a feeling of connection, a spiritual connection of taking notice of things that may otherwise be overlooked. Her goal is to stir the emotions of the each of the viewer. Thomas Winter is a commercial photographer specializing in corporate, industrial and editorial photography. His work is used for business communications and advertising worldwide. Winter is based in West Palm Beach and his projects often take him throughout the country. “This year’s competition was a big step forward,” says Museum director Marshall Adams. “Compared to last year, we had an increase of more than 100 entries, and nearly double the number of participating artists. And we continued experimenting with categories. It’s our second year for Alternate Substrates, and we saw a lot of impressive variety – today, printing technology is allowing artists to create photographic images on metal, acrylic, glass, and canvas in new and exciting ways. And this was the first year for our new Mobile category – some of these rival what you’d think would be produced from more professional equipment. But we were also pleased to see the original category Film/Traditional Raw Photography grow this year – just as in other contemporary art forms, time-honored ways are still valid and can be exciting.”

During the exhibition through June 21, visitors are invited to share their own vote for their favorite work on display. The results will be tallied for the annual People’s Choice Award given at the close of the exhibition. Through the Eye of the Camera is sponsored by Veterinary Medical Center of St. Lucie County and Jiffy Photo and Framing. For more information on the exhibition, please visit About the A.E. Backus Museum & Gallery

With a recently added, multi-million dollar expansion, the A.E. Backus Museum & Gallery houses the nation’s largest public presentation of artwork by Florida’s preeminent painter, A.E. “Bean” Backus (1906-1990), and is home to the state’s only permanent multimedia exhibition on the Florida Highwaymen. With a career spanning more than 70 years, Backus was the first Florida-born artist to build his professional renown by painting the landscape and scenes from daily life of his native state. He was fortunate to have known great success during his lifetime, with paintings hanging in the businesses and the private collections of many of Florida’s most prominent citizens. A renowned humanitarian who abhorred the racist attitudes and segregation that engulfed the region, Backus taught and mentored the group of entrepreneurial African American artists who became known as the Florida Highwaymen. Their inspiring story is part of the A.E. Backus legacy.

In addition to preserving and perpetuating the artistic and humanitarian legacy of Backus, the Museum organizes and hosts changing exhibitions from artists of national and international acclaim. It was voted "Best Museum 2018" in Indian River Magazine's annual "Best of the Treasure Coast," where it was described as "a fabulous place to visit."

Regular Hours are: Wednesday – Saturday, 10 AM to 4 PM; Sunday, 12 Noon to 4 PM (closed Monday-Tuesday). Admission is $5 per person; AARP, AAA, and Veterans with appropriate ID receive a $2 discount. Students with school ID, children under 18, active duty military, and current members are always free. During the regular season, the first Sunday of the month is Free Admission Day. A.E. BACKUS MUSEUM & GALLERY 500 North Indian River Drive • Fort Pierce, Florida 34950 •

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