Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Critical Mass Photolucida 2010

Backstage, Miss Light, Mesitas del Colegio- Carl Bower- one of my favorites from Critical Mass 2009

I will be juror during the Pre-Screening and final juror of the final 50 Critical Mass winners. I encourage you to participate. There has been a lot of great success stories from a lot of previous entries.

Photolucida announces the opening of registration for Critical Mass 2010! http://

Registration will be open through July 25th and is open to photographers working in any medium. Work will be juried by more than 200 international top curators, gallerists, publishers, editors, etc. From Critical Mass, a number of Awards will be made, including a monograph, solo show, and other exciting honors. See Photolucida website for more details

Critical Mass 2010 is now open for registration!

Deadline to enter work is July 25. Please read page in full for information, and click on the link below to register.

What Is Critical Mass?

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. This work then gets pre-screened by a committee of approximately 20 great jurors and from there, 175 top Finalists are determined. These top Finalists then pay an additional submission fee ($200) and their work goes on to a jury of approximately 200 of the world’s best curators, editors, and other professionals who have agreed to view and vote on these Finalists. From these votes, at least one photographer is chosen to receive a book award and once the monograph is published, everyone who enters and reviews will receive a copy of the book(s).

We are pleased to continue to give scholarships to pre-selected photographers by geographical region. In previous years, Photolucida gave scholarships to photographers from Poland, Mexico, and Italy. This year, the lucky country is The Netherlands!

What to expect?

As an entrant to Critical Mass, you shouldn’t necessarily expect feedback from the jurors unless they want to contact you about doing something with your work. Jurors are given the opportunity and encouraged to provide written feedback, but we can’t guarantee anything other than:

Everyone who enters will receive a copy of the Book Award Winner’s monograph(s).
Everyone who enters will receive a CD containing all of the submitted work.
Everyone who enters will have their work seen, and voted on, by the Pre-Screening committee.
Those who continue on in the top 175 Finalists will have their work seen, and voted on, by over 200 jurors.
Click here for Critical Mass Success Stories.

Book Awards!

Photolucida will publish a monograph for at least one photographer from among the top-scoring finalists. The book award is reserved for artists without a previously published monograph. Photographers with self-published books are still eligible for the book award. If you already have a monograph, you still have over 200 great reasons to participate in Critical Mass!

CM 2009 Winners - Alejandro Cartagena, Birthe Pointek (in production)
CM 2008 Winners - Andy Freeberg, Céline Clanet, Priya Kambli
CM 2007 Winners - Joni Sternbach, Peter van Agtmael
CM 2006 Winners - Camille Seaman, Donald Weber, Amy Stein
CM 2005 Winners - Hiroshi Watanabe, Louie Palu, Sage Sohier

Click here to see!

Other Awards!

This year, in addition to the book award, Photolucida is pleased to partner with Blue Sky in offering a solo show to one of the Critical Mass Finalists. 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.

Also this year, Photolucida is partnering with Newspace Center for Photography to produce a Critical Mass Top 50 Exhibit. Newspace is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting photographic education, with a wonderful exhibition space.

Both exhibits will take place in April 2011, coinciding with Photolucida’s Reviews.

Also, in conjunction with photo-eye, three of the Top 50 photographers will receive complimentary VisualServer websites and portfolios on photo-eye’s Photographer’s Showcase for one year.

Photolucida will also award five free spots in our April 2011 Portfolio Reviews! These awards will go to five randomly selected photographers in the Finalist group. For more information on our quick-to-sell-out biennial event, click here!


Critical Mass has a two-part submission process.

First you pay a $75 registration fee to upload your images and text. We will then format your work and distribute the pages to the pre-screeners for scoring. The 2010 Pre-Screening committee comprises the following people (as of June 30):

Leslie K. Brown, Independent Curator
Crista Dix, Director, wall space Gallery
Melanie Flood, Melanie Flood Projects/Portland Art Museum Photo Council
Cherie Hiser, Photoludica Board
Stu Levy, Photoludica Board/Portland Art Museum Photo Council
Kate Menconeri, Independent Curator
Laura Moya, Director, Photolucida
Claire Annette Mussard, Curator/Consultant
Ruben Natal-San Miguel, Collector
Shawn Records, Photolucida Board
P. Elaine Sharpe, Independent Curator
George Slade, Curator/Program Manager, Photographic Resource Center
Anna Sortun, Photolucida Board
Paula Tognarelli, Executive Director, Griffin Museum for Photography
Laura Valenti, Program Director, Newspace Center for Photography
Bryan Wolf, Photolucida Board

The final list will be available in mid-July.
If you are one of the top 175 photographers chosen by the pre-screeners, then you will pay an additional $200 fee and your work will be sent out to the full panel of over 200 jurors.
200 Jurors!

Like last year, this is a truly international group of jurors representing a wide variety of photographic interests. The full list of jurors will be available shortly – we have made a great effort to represent the range of professional affiliation (gallery owners, curators, publishers, editors, etc.). In addition to seeing the work during the online process, jurors will also be sent a CD 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.

Online Submissions

Enter Critical Mass via our registration page.

Download and print this pdf with clear 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. One may not pull work from Critical Mass once it has been submitted. 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. Submission of an entry to this program signifies acceptance of all conditions stated.

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