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A Smith Gallery - Portrait Photo Contest

A Smith Gallery

• Deadline: July 22nd, 2024

• Prize: $100 + Online Exhibition + Sales + Publication

• Category: Portrait Photography

• Entry Fees: Yes


A Smith Gallery - Portrait Photo Contest

portraits: vignette, profile, figure, depiction, silhouette, image, portrayal, representation, likeness...


Danville Swift’s Portrait Studio

Danville Swift’s portrait studio was housed in a two-story red brick building from 1880, adorned with simple ornamentation except for a large bas-relief horse, sculpted from buff-colored North Texas sandstone. This horse, named Hannibal, was his great-great-grandfather’s war horse. When Texas seceded from the Union, Abraham Swift, a printer and cattleman who supported Governor Sam Houston, relocated his family to Bloomington, Indiana, to live with two farmer cousins. Abraham fought as a Union Brevet Brigadier General in numerous battles, with Hannibal faithfully carrying him to and from war. After the surrender at Appomattox, Abraham and his family returned to Texas on Hannibal.

Post-war, Abraham Swift avoided the title of General to prevent stirring resentment among Confederate neighbors and never spoke of the war.

One winter Saturday, Danville, Abraham’s great-great-grandson, found a rustic cypress chest in a closet of his ancestor’s unused printing studio. Inside the chest was a pair of old, cracked, stained leather brogans and a deteriorating piece of paper with a note: “I am proud, although it is not known, that I took only one poor soul from this world during the entirety of the war. If this be found, these shoes, not belonging to the boy I killed, I took from another as a reminder and simple monument to the dreadful folly of war. Abraham Finnegan Swift.”

Danville placed the shoes on a grey German army overcoat he sometimes used for photoshoots. He carefully lit them with a combination of backlighting and natural light from a north-facing window. Unsure of his motives, he clicked the shutter...

—From "The Purloined Butternut Brogans" by Franklin Cincinnatus


JUROR: Donna Garcia

Donna Garcia (She/Her/Hers) will be the juror for “portraits.” She is a lens-based artist, curator, educator, podcaster, and arts advocate. Known for her conceptual self-portraiture and uncanny noir style, her work explores the performative potential of photography and how we exist within liminal spaces.

Currently, Donna is the Director of Education and Programs at the Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester, MA. She is also a contributing editor for Lenscratch and co-host/co-founder of the Modern Art and Culture Podcast. She has taught workshops and reviewed portfolios nationally and internationally. Previously, she was co-owner of the Garcia | Wilburn Gallery and Executive Director of the Atlanta Photography Group and Gallery. At Ogilvy in NYC, she developed and managed major art installations/programming for events like Art Base Miami, Flux Nights Atlanta, Coachella, and the Oscars.

Donna has an MFA in Photography from the Savannah College of Art and Design and splits her time between Boston, MA, and Atlanta, GA.



  • Digital Images: Images should be up to 1800 pixels on the longest side, saved in JPEG format at 72 ppi. Each image should be labeled with consecutive numbers followed by your name (e.g., 1FirstName_LastName.jpg). The number should correspond with the number on the application form. Do not watermark your images. For help with sizing, follow this link.

  • Online Submission: Complete the online application to apply, send images, and make payment via PayPal. You will receive a confirmation email upon submission and payment. Alternatively, you can submit the online application, print the confirmation email, and mail it with a check to the provided address. Check your spam folder if you do not receive the confirmation email.

  • Entry Fee: $40 for the first 5 images, $5 for each additional image. There is no limit to the number of images you can submit. Submission fees are non-refundable.

  • Entry Reviews: Photographers submitting 13 or more images will receive a complimentary review by the gallery directors. Those submitting fewer than 13 images can request a review for an additional $20. Reviews will be 30 minutes long and scheduled a week after exhibition results are announced.


The competition is open to all photographers, both professional and amateur, working in any photographic medium and style. International entries are welcome. Work previously exhibited in an A Smith Gallery competition is not eligible. We prefer not to accept images created with Artificial Intelligence due to copyright issues and ongoing litigation.

Online Exhibition and Catalogue

Jurors will select 47 images for inclusion in the exhibition. Each selected artist will receive:

  1. Inclusion in the exhibition catalogue and online exhibition gallery, plus a complimentary catalogue copy (postage fee of $15 for non-US photographers).

  2. Feature of their image on Facebook and Instagram during the exhibition.

  3. Discussion of their image in a GalleryTalk, which will be posted on the website blog.

  4. Inclusion of their image in the gallery’s online store.

  5. Permanent archive of the exhibition and GalleryTalk after the exhibition ends.

“The 27” Hardbound Exhibition Book

27 images from the 47 selected will be included in “The 27,” a hardbound fine art book available for purchase. Juror and Director Award recipients will receive a copy.


  • Juror’s Award: Online solo exhibition, “The 27” exhibition book, and feature story on the gallery blog.

  • Director’s Award: “The 27” exhibition book and feature story on the gallery blog.

  • Visitor’s Award (most Instagram likes): $100.

The solo exhibitions for the Juror and Director Awards will be scheduled at a mutually agreed time for one month.


The gallery’s online store will list all images from the exhibition, with the gallery retaining 30% of the sales price. Artists can choose to ship signed prints directly to buyers or have the gallery print the images. See Printing Services for details.

Use Rights

Photographers retain full rights to their images. The gallery will use the images for publicity, the online gallery, the online store, the exhibition catalogue, and “The 27” exhibition book.


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