From Critical Mass 2012: Lauren Semivan, Rachel Papo, Aaron Vincent Elkaim, Ilona Szwarc, Sarah Cusimano Miles
The aim of Critical Mass, and all Photolucida programming, is to provide participants with career-building opportunities and to promote the best emerging and mid-career artists working today.
Critical Mass is a program about exposure and community. The idea is simple—photographers (from anywhere) submit a 10 image portfolio for $75 ($90 for international submissions). This work is then pre-screened by a committee of approximately 25 jurors. From those votes, the 200 top Finalists are determined. These 200 Finalists then pay an additional submission fee ($175) and their work goes on to a jury of over 200 of the world’s best photography professionals who have agreed to view and vote on the Finalists’ work.
Although the primary intent of Critcal Mass is exposure (which is a benefit to all who enter), we are pleased to also offer these awards this year:
THREE SOLO EXHIBITIONS: Photolucida is pleased to partner with Blue Sky, the The Center for Fine Art Photography, and The Griffin Museum of Photography this year. Each of these acclaimed galleries will award solo exhibitions to Critical Mass Finalists. Photolucida will contribute funding to support exhibition and/or shipping expenses for selected solo show artists.
Founded in 1975 as the Oregon Center for the Photographic Arts, Blue Sky is one of the leading venues exhibiting contemporary photography in the United States. The Center for Fine Art Photography was founded in 2004 in Ft. Collins, Colorado, and it provides educational programming, exhibition space, and support services to the photographic community. Opened in 1992, the Griffin Museum is the embodiment of founder Arthur Griffin’s passion—to promote an appreciation of photographic art and a broader understanding of its visual, emotional, and social impact.
TOP 50 EXHIBITION: Jessica Johnston, Assistant Curator at the George Eastman House, will curate an exhibition from the Critical Mass Top 50.
ART PHOTO INDEX LISTING: All photographers selected for Critical Mass’ TOP 50 will receive inclusion in Photo-Eye’s invitation-only Art Photo Index, a global, searchable database of vetted art and documentary photographers and their work.
As an entrant to Critical Mass, you shouldn’t necessarily expect feedback from the jurors unless they want to contact you about your work. Jurors are given the opportunity and encouraged to provide written feedback, though, and many do. All Critical Mass 2013 entrants will receive:
Each year, Photolucida awards five scholarships to photographers who live and work outside the US. In previous years, scholarships have been given to photographers from Poland, Italy, Mexico, The Netherlands, and Georgia, and Guatemala. This year, we are pleased to offer this opportunity to six select photographers from Japan.
Critical Mass has a two-part submission process.
Our Critical Mass jurors are truly an international group of industry professionals representing a wide variety of photographic interests. We have made a great effort to invite a wide range of professionals in the field (gallery owners, curators, publishers, editors, etc.). The quality of our juror list is a testament to the excellence of Critical Mass programming, now in it’s tenth year. In addition to seeing the work during the online process, jurors will also be sent a DVD of the Finalists’ work, which serves as a good reference tool in a multitude of ways.
Note: Critical Mass jurors are not allowed to submit their own work to Critical Mass.
Enter Critical Mass via our registration page.
Click here to read detailed instructions on how to enter.
Photolucida reserves the right to reproduce all work submitted for Critical Mass in the materials distributed to Critical Mass jurors and participating photographers. Photographers may not pull work from Critical Mass once it has been submitted. We are unable to offer refunds. Photolucida reserves the right to reproduce submitted work in announcements, catalogs, web sites and publications that report on or promote our programming. Any necessary permissions required to use images of people and/or property are the responsibility of the photographer. Photographers retain the copyright to their images. Submission of an entry to this program signifies acceptance of all conditions stated.