BROOKINGS – Next Thursday, Jan. 10, will be an exciting day at the Brookings Arts Council as the winners of its print and online photography competition will be announced at a reception from 4:30-6:30 p.m. The awards presentation is at 5 p.m. This judged competition and exhibit was open to all South Dakota photographers 14 years and older.
“We are thrilled at the creativity, subject matter and presentation of the 53 print submissions and 36 online submissions this year,” BAC Executive Director Heather Kuhlman said. “The artists eye and professionalism is outstanding, and we believe this to be one of our finest competitions ever.”
Awards will be given in color and black and white categories with first- through third-place cash distinctions for the print division in each category, with a new People’s Choice category for the online submissions. “We are also very pleased to have LaRae Gieske, a Sioux Falls professional photographer/artist and educator, as our judge. Gieske’s years of experience and photographic expertise makes her a wonderful artist to share her love and knowledge of photography as an art and a business,” Kuhlman said.
Gieske is a photographer and co-owner of Greg and LaRae Photography and owner/studio manager of Contrast Studios in Sioux Falls. During her regular work week, she can be found teaching high school and middle school art at Axtell Park, an alternative school within the Sioux Falls School District.
Gieske received her Bachelor of Art degree in art education from the University of Sioux Falls in 2002. She later returned to school to work on her master’s in special education and attended Armstrong Atlantic University in Savannah, Georgia, and later Western Governors University.
Gieske’s professional interests are multifaceted; while she loves fine art and photography, she also has a heart for education and helping students who are struggling. Throughout her professional career, she has made it her endeavor to balance business ownership, teaching and coaching.
Her career launched in both arenas right after her undergraduate studies, and now Gieske has 16 years’ experience as a photography business owner and 10 years serving in the field of education.
In addition to photography, Gieske is also a painter, and much like in her own photographic style, she is interested in the aspects of light and color and how they interplay. Inspiration for her comes from raw emotion and special moments in people’s lives she documents through photography as well as capturing unique plays on color and light.
She and her husband, two young boys and two Boston terriers currently live in Sioux Falls.
The BAC photography exhibit will close on Feb. 1. For more information regarding this exhibit or upcoming exhibits, call the BAC at 692-4177, email [email protected], or follow the BAC on Facebook.