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Area photographers receive photo contest awards

Steve Silseth of Minot and Kim Black of Minot Air Force Base were among winners in the 2021 Governor’s Photo Contest for Travel and Tourism

Gov. Doug Burgum, along with North Dakota Commerce Tourism and Marketing Director Sara Otte Coleman and North Dakota Council on the Arts Executive Director Kim Konikow, on Wednesday presented the winning submissions from the 18th annual contest. Launched in 2004, the Governor’s Photo Contest encourages North Dakota amateur photographers to submit photos that capture the unique things to see and do in North Dakota.

Photographers submitted photos in categories of Recreation, Road Trips, Badlands Scenery, Beyond the Badlands Scenery and Wildlife. Winning submissions will be published in North Dakota Tourism’s promotional materials.

Black’s photo, “Still on The Water,” received one of two honorable mentions in the Recreation category, won by Craig Bihrle of Bismarck for “Setting Decoys on a Frozen North Dakota Wetland.” Black’s photo portrays the peaceful glow of the last light of sunset framing a paddle board in the calm waters of Lake Sakakawea.

Silseth’s photo, “Harvest,” received one of two honorable mentions in the Beyond the Badlands Scenery category, won by Roxanne Westerman of Mapleton with “Storm forming over sunflowers.” His image showcases an aerial view of wheat harvesting.

The complete gallery of winners can be found at https://belegendary.link/2021PhotoContestWinners.

This year the contest brought 543 submissions. Among the 15 photographers selected for awards, 12 were first-time Governor’s Photo Contest winners.

Two guest judges who participated this year were photographer Tim Lamey, representing the North Dakota Council on the Arts, and Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer David Hume Kennerly, representing the Governor’s Office.

Prints of the winning images will be on display at the North Dakota Heritage Center & State Museum through mid-November. The images will then, for the first time ever, take part in a traveling exhibit through the North Dakota Art Gallery Association. Exhibitions will be at the Cando Arts Council on Dec. 1, the James Memorial Arts Center in Williston on May 2 and at The Arts Center in Jamestown on June 9.

AAA has sponsored the Governor’s Photo contest for the past 13 years, providing prizes and exposure for winning photographers.

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