Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Imagining the World: Photography Exhibition Returns After Four-Year Hiatus

Adeline Ong
Alexander Perez in front of his honorable mention, “Chapel.”

This year’s “Imagining the World” photography competition at Seattle University saw nearly 150 submissions from 37 different photographers, including the most faculty entries ever recorded. A six-judge panel was tasked with selecting eight winners and 15 honorable mentions. , all of which were showcased in the Lemieux Library April 30. 

College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) Dean David Powers expressed his excitement for the return of the event on the exhibition’s web page, stating that “This edition is a testament not only to the university and college commitment to student engagement with global issues and communities, but it is also a testament to the energy and resiliency of our community.” 

Fourth-year Photography Major Hannah Sutherland won first place in the education abroad category for her entry titled “Boys of Dakar.”

“It’s actually a really fun story. [When I was] in Senegal I was walking around with my camera,” Sutherland said.  “These young boys saw me with my camera and came up to me and asked, ‘take my photo, take my photo!’ I just took one photo and it was a really lucky shot. I love that photo and it was kind of a happy accident.”

A large part of the event’s revival is thanks to Seattle U Alumna and First-year Graduate Student Alice Farrer. A student in the Master of Nonprofit Leadership program, Farrer is the Graduate Marketing Assistant for CAS. 

Farrer said that part of her job was reinstating the photography exhibit as the program manager.

“This program had been on ice for a few years due to COVID, and [CAS was] trying to find a way to bring it back, but they just didn’t have the staff,” Farrer said. “When I got hired, they said it would be a great idea for me to be the person to do that.” 

Although Farrer said the process was difficult, she was glad everything came together in the end. The event had some issues with determining a location before finding a home on the second floor of the library. In the end, the event planners successfully hung up the chosen photos, ordered catering and created signs.

The judges consisted of three Seattle U faculty members and three professional photographers. Each person who entered the competition was allowed to submit up to five photos. The photos were blindly judged, which allowed some students to have multiple submissions in the gallery.

Since there were so many entries this year, Farrer said the judging process was strenuous and challenging. 

Shreshtha Alok in front of her first place “The World From Above.” (Adeline Ong)

“It was really difficult,” Farrer said. “It was a six, seven-hour process of us being in the room, going through the pictures, and trying to narrow them down because there were some really, really great entries.”

Sutherland also had another one of her photos selected for the gallery, one she took while studying in Morocco.

“[The photo] was taken from my bedroom, which is crazy because the view is insane. It’s honestly a big flex that I got to stay there for a week,” Sutherland said. “One of my friends actually took this photo first on her iPhone, and I was like, ‘That’s a really awesome shot!’ So honestly, I owe that shot to her.”

Second-year Communication and Media Major Avani Koganti attended the event for a class and was intrigued by what she saw.

“I think there’s a story to be told with each photo,” Koganti said. “Even if I’m not able to understand all of it, I feel like everyone can gather meaning from it in their own way and resonate with it somehow.”

Farrer plans on running the event next year and hopes to build off of the success of the gallery.

“I’ll be doing it next year as well, so I can learn from mistakes and learn what I can do better next time,” Farrer said. “I think [I want] to make it more known because it was away for a few years, I want to make sure that freshmen get the word that this is a great opportunity to experiment. Not everyone here in the gallery are professionals, they’re students, they’re just people that manage to get a great picture.”

Although the award ceremony is over, all 23 chosen photos are on display near the math lab on the second floor of the Lemieux Library. The photography exhibition is back and looks like it’s here to stay.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Spectator Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *