Judging for the 2017-2018 Art & Literary Contest is almost complete! Have you ever wondered how we decide the winners of the contest? It may surprise some to know that the Magazine staff do not conduct the contest judging ourselves - instead, we invite faculty members, former students and other professionals to be on the judges panel. This year, our judges panel includes published authors, professional artists, designers, mixed media artists, and photographers. Learn more about them below:
Janet Davis, Poetry Judge
Janet D. Davis lives in Leesburg, Florida, with her husband, Bill. Her past publications have been mostly aviation articles. She started writing poetry in the past ten years, finding humor in everyday situations. Her first book of poetry, Time Marches on with Light-Hearted Feet was published in 2012. She continues working as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker for a home health agency. She enjoys Zumba, volunteer work, and playing the dulcimer.
Kristen Wheeler, Photography Judge
Kristen Wheeler is an artist, gardener, animal lover, tea drinker, and world traveler. She says, "After a career at the Walt Disney company, first as a technical illustrator for the documentation department, and then as a Visual Communications Specialist and Lead Photographer for Walt Disney Imagineering, I have learned a lot about the creative world. I have worked alongside Disney Legends and incredible mural artists as well as scene painters, designers, and art directors. I left the company in pursuit of running my business full time which I have been doing ever since. I have retired from weddings and commissioned portraiture after 15 years of running a successful photography business, KHphotographics. While taking pictures is still very much a part of my life, the camera is just one of the many tools that I use as a creative. It is no different than holding a paintbrush or pencil, or even typing on a keyboard......as long as I am creating something." She lives in New Orleans, Louisiana. Find out more about Kristen Wheeler at her website, www.khphotographics.com.
Dr. Scott Hopkins, Non-Fiction Judge
Dr. Scott Hopkins is the Department Chair of Communications at Lake-Sumter State College. He has a background in creative writing, both fiction and non-fiction, and has several publications to his credit. During his tenure with the college, Dr. Hopkins has also served as the Faculty Advisor to sister publication, the Angler. He holds degrees in Creative Writing, Strategy, Defence Studies, and Writing.
Richard Barrenechea, Painting & Drawing Judge
Richard Barrenechea is originally from Montevideo, Uruguay, but now lives in Mt. Dora. He is a painter, photographer, and sculptural artist working in plastics, faux finishes and airbrush techniques. Richard recently rose to local fame when a house he painted to resemble a Van Gogh painting drew attention from the city of Mt. Dora. Richard was able to convince the city by way of petition to let the artwork remain. He owns Art Color Painting, Inc. where he specializes in painting and photography. The company strives to create custom works of art to meet the different needs of clients. See more of Richard's work on his website: www.richardbarrenechea.com
Lori Platt, Sculpture Judge
Lori Platt graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2000 with an Associate in Science degree in Graphic Design Technology from Lake-Sumter State College. Lori is a figurative sculpture artist creating three-dimensional mixed media art pieces in polymer and paper clay as the primary medium. Aside from Lori’s work being in private collections around the world, she has taken 4 prestigious Dolls in Excellence Awards from Dolls Magazine in 2013, 2014 and 2015. She has also received 4 nominations from the Colliii Awards from Germany as well as their Best One-Of-A-Kind Fantasy Figure in 2012. She has been published in Doll Crafter and Costuming Magazine (now out of print), Dolls Magazine, the Orlando Arts Magazine, International Doll Artist, and the internationally distributed Pretty Toys Magazine. Lori is also an outstanding and active member of the International Art Doll Registry (IADR) and the Professional Doll Makers Guild (PDMAG). She currently volunteers as a mentor to other artists in the IADR and PDMAG organizations and serves as one of the judges for the bi-monthly competitions with the IADR for over 5 years. Lori’s work can be found at various shows including the Quinlan Doll and Teddy Bear Show, the International Doll and Teddy Show (IDTS), and formerly the International Doll Exposition (IDEX-which is no longer running), the Spirits in Sanford show, as well as various local outdoor festivals in the Central Florida area.
Billye Kozlowski, Digital Art & Mixed Media Judge
Billye Kozlowski is the Digital Design instructor at Mount Dora High School. She holds a Masters Degree in Education from Troy State University and a Bachelor of Science in Business Education from the University of West Florida. Billye also serves as the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) Chapter Adviser at Mount Dora High. She is Adobe Web and Digital Design Certified.
Linda Barbosa, Short Fiction Judge
Linda Barbosa is the author of How Can I Smile at a Time Like This? She has written several short stories, many of which have been recognized, including four first-place Royal Palm Literary Awards and the Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction and Essay Contest.
She is published in the Saturday Evening Post, The Savannah Anthology 2015, The Florida Writer, Haunted Waters Press, Growing Bolder (blog), Journeys VIII and IX, and Florida Writers Association’s Collections 2014.
Linda is a member of the Authors Round-table of Mount Dora, and also writes under a pen name for a popular advice website. More stories and blogs at: www.LifeBetweenMyEars.com.
Official contest results are coming soon! Check back often!