Submissions for final city photo contest opens Friday

Published 10:54 am Friday, April 21, 2017

As if the recent upswing in the weather was not enough, city officials are adding yet another reason for people to enjoy Dowagiac’s great outdoors this season.

Submissions opened Friday for the city’s fourth and final photography contest. Professional and amateur shutterbugs alike are encouraged to submit photos they have taken of Dowagiac’s numerous sculptures and public art pieces through May 31.

“We have lots of public art across the city, and we want people to take photos of them — with their own artistic twist,” said organizer Bobbie Jo Hartline.

Rules for the contest are as follows:

• Photos can be taken at any time of the year

• All entries must be high resolution photos

• Entries may be landscape, portrait, action or event, color, or black and white

• Each photographer may enter up to three photographs

• Applicant must also be the photographer (or parent of a minor)

People may submit their photos to the contest page on the city Facebook page, at, or may send them to city hall, located at 241 S. Front St.

The city will post the top 50 submissions on its Facebook for public voting, which will be open from June 1 to 17. The public as well as panel of judges will pick 11 winners — officials will mat and frame 10 photos for temporary display outside the city chambers, and will display the top picture in a gallery with the winners from the previous three contests, as well as make the photo the timeline picture on the city Facebook page.

Winners will be announced June 21.

The contest is the fourth the city has organized since June 2015. Previous themes included local parks, architecture and landscapes.

Officials devised the contests as a way to not only spruce up the halls of city hall, but to also get residents outside to appreciate the many unique elements of the Grand Old City, from its historic downtown to its many parks and trails, Hartline said.

“Those of us who have lived in Dowagiac a long time might take things here for granted,” she said. “We figured if people shared what they thought was nice about the town, it would increase the community’s pride.”

For the final contest, city officials wanted people to focus on one of the city’s most distinctive qualities: its assortment of public art. Home to more than a dozen sculptures and monuments, participants should have plenty of material to work with, Hartline said.

“Mother Nature is agreeing with us at the moment,” she said. “Photographers should find some nice backdrops for their work.”