EDITOR'S CHOICE: Artist's Statement

First Place: Noelle Mason


X-Ray Vision vs. Invisibility

X-Ray Vision vs. Invisibility is a body of work about the phenomenological effects of vision technologies on the perception of undocumented migrants and refugees.

EDITOR'S CHOICE: Artist's Statement

Second Place: Virgil DiBiase


My husband won’t tell me his first name.

In the 1980s when I was in medical school there were 500,000 people with dementia in this country. Now there are nearly 6 million people and that number will triple by mid-century. I started to make portraits of my patients with dementia and spend time with them in their homes and make a social event out of it. When they come back to see me in my clinic they have an emotional memory of our interaction.

I aim to create a visual language in order for the viewer to experience the inner state of dementia.

EDITOR'S CHOICE: Artist's Statement

Third Place: Barbara Zanon


The daily life of 3 brothers with autism

This long term project tells about an italian family living with Autism Spectrum Disease (ASD). Emilia and Francesco, after having tried for a child for years, 
 they resorted successfully to artificial insemination (ICSI) and had twins: Luisa and Riccardo. Only nine months after their birth, Emilia became spontaneously pregnant with their third child, Michele.

At two and a half years, Riccardo and Luisa were diagnosed with a severe form of ASD. Unfortunately, just a year later, Michele was diagnosed with the same.

Autism is a neural development disorder characterized by impaired social interaction and deficits in verbal and nonverbal communication.

EDITOR'S CHOICE: Juror's Statement

Nicole Werbeck

Senior Supervising Editor for Visuals and Engagement, NPR

Coronavirus. I would have never imagined. The global pandemic fully gripped the world during the time I was judging this Award. It’s hard to believe, I was more focused when I was considering everyone’s entries. But I was looking for an escape. Each piece of work I consumed was a respite from our new normal. I want to thank everyone who entered the contest. Your photography provided me with a light during a difficult time. Remember that what you do matters. During this health crisis, people turned to art and photography for relief, comfort and guidance.

For me, photography has always been a powerful tool that inspires and empowers people. And that is what I found the hundreds of entries that I reviewed. I was impressed by the field overall. It was really difficult to just pick 3 entries. Not only was there a wide variety of topics covered from aging and climate change, I was particularly struck by the different ways photographers and artists are using photography. And the variety of emotions that were triggered for me by these projects.

X-Ray Vision vs. Invisibility made me stop in my tracks. I found this to be an intriguing way to raise awareness around border issues and immigration. The cyanotypes and imagery were a departure from many of the other entries I was seeing. This artist takes experimentation, creativity and innovation to a new level. Through her artistic interpretation, I was able to think more deeply about how people are sacrificing to find a better life.

My husband won’t tell me his first name gave me a small glimpse into what a family experiences when a loved one has dementia. When I’m reviewing images, the one thing that remains constant is surprise. This piece brought a different viewpoint from each image. In one you are seeing what someone with dementia is experiencing but the next is showing what a family member may see. It was an intimate look into a multifaceted story. The project statement was really well done and helped draw me into the story as well.

The daily life of 3 brothers with autism much like the previous project transcended me into a world that I have no experience. Through these images, I felt the weight of what the family must have gone through while finding so much joy. You feel the love the family has for each other through their interactions and moments in their everyday lives.