UMES Faculty, Photographer National Award

  • Sunday, December 6, 2009

    Finding SantaPRINCESS ANNE, MD - Using a Holga plastic 120 film camera, a creative eye for capturing contemporary images on film and her own special techniques in and out of the darkroom, University of Maryland Eastern Shore associate professor and photographer Michel Demanche recently won first place in one of the categories of the 2009 Holgapalooza National Photographic Competition for her entry titled "Finding Santa."

    "I think that I saw Santa on one of his vacation days and quickly captured both his image and some of his special magic," said Demanche.  "The blurring, scratches and unusual qualities of the image come from some of my own special magic when I take the picture and in the processing of the film."

    Demanche's photograph won first place for one of three special categories:  "Plastic Dreams," Strangest and Most Bizarre" and "Street Photography."   Out of 2,500 entries, her "Finding Santa" was selected as The Holgablog and Toycamera.com Award for "Strangest and Most Bizarre Photograph."   The image will appear in the next issue, Issue 16, of Light Leaks Magazine: Low Fidelity Photography, the sponsor of the competition.

    "In the world of digital imagery, the Holga and many low-fi cameras are tools of liberation.  I also find by overexposing the film and bleaching back to reveal the image makes for the unpredictable, something most photographers dislike.  My final results are never what I anticipate when I click the shutter," said Demanche.

    Demanche is known for a multi-media manner of art visualization.  Often her work is the result of stories that manifest into painting, mixed works on paper or photography.  Her works have been displayed in the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Women's Museum and the Franklin Furnace Archive.   As a native Texan, she is included in the Houston Museum of Fine Art, Chase Manhattan Bank, part of the Frito Lay Corporation and former E-Systems.  Regionally, her work is park of the Levinson Collection at Sheppard Pratt in Baltimore.  Demanche is represented by William Campbell Fine Art in Texas and Causey Contemporary Gallery in Brooklyn, New York.                                                        

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    Gail Stephens, assistant director, UMES Office of Public Relations, 410-651-7580, gcstephens@umes.edu.