The winners were announced for the 12th annual Photography Show at the Independence Historical Museum and Arts Center. Before Judge Gary Fail, Total Image Studio, Chanute, made the announcement of the winners for this year's contest it was announced by Leigh Beeson, Photography Show co-chair, the name of the photography show would be changed to the John Koschin annual Photography Show. He was a devout professional photographer and supporter of the Independence Historical Museum and Arts Center. Koschin passed away last May. 

Koschin, who emceed the event last year, is remembered by saying, "Photography is like most art when viewed by a person. It is their opinion as to how appealing it is to them. When these photos were judged the judges looked for things such as the composition, cropping color, resolution, uniqueness and does it tell a story. These are some of the things the judges looked for."

As Fail examined each of the entries in every category, he was amazed at the amount of talent represented in the exhibit. "I was really impressed with the overall quality. There seemed to be a high level of understanding of the creativity and styles in each entry. It made it difficult to judge," he stated.

For more than two hours, Fail pondered over the entries often returning to certain pieces to re-examine every detail of the photos. He went on to say there were a lot of photos that were deserving of awards. "I think if you had a dozen judges come in and judge this show you would end up with a dozen Best of Shows. What did it for me was the overall impact the winning photo had. It was full of color and you had to really look at it to know what it was. When you saw what it was the photo drew you into the environment and you could see the excitement of being there. With the confusion of all that was happening in the photo, it was presented in such a fashion that it became a piece of art," Fail added. 

Fail wanted to emphasize that judging a contest of this nature is often a matter of opinion and that doesn't mean the other photos weren't as good as the overall winner's photo. 

More than 112 entries were on display ranging from student to professional photographers showing off their talents. The categories were: students 12 years old and under; students 13 to 18 years old; professionals; landscapes; portraits; animals; architecture; vehicles; and miscellaneous. The main judge for the show was Gary Fail with the help of co-judge, Liz Moore. 


The winners in each category were as follows:


• Professional - Bland Bridenstein, first; Rob Morgan, second


• Landscape- Sharon Smith, first; Marilyn Graham, second 


• Portrait - Amy Taylor, first; Patty Blankenship, second 


• Animals - Patty Blankenship, first and second


• Architecture - Shawna Drews, first and second


• Vehicles - Patty Blankenship, first; Joshua Meadows, second


* Miscellaneous - Patty Blankenship, first; Joshua Meadows, second


• Students 13 to 18 years old - Sierra Delamarter, first; Lillie Taylor, second


• Students ages 12 and under - Audrey Hoggatt, first; Alyssa Hoggatt, second


• The People's Choice Award will be announced Saturday, March 2 on the final day of the exhibit.


The exhibit is open to the public Feb. 23. through Mar. 2. Hours for the exhibit are: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Thursday from noon to 7 p.m. Admission is $5. Groups of students are free when accompanied by an instructor. For more information, contact the IHMAC at 620-331-3515 or by email at museum