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City announces 2011 Essence of Bellingham photo competition winners

Bellingham Station by Bristol Hayward-Hughes

Five local photographers will receive public recognition for images they submitted to the annual "Essence of Bellingham" Photo Competition, which drew over 300 entries from area residents of all ages.

The winning entries and others submitted to the competition are posted on the City of Bellingham website. The competition is sponsored by the City of Bellingham and the Whatcom Museum.

"We received an amazing array of photos representing the great beauty and the wonderful people of Bellingham and Whatcom County," Bellingham Mayor Dan Pike said. "Among the entries, our jury found breathtaking scenery and happy faces, serious moments and light-hearted whimsy, new ways of seeing things, and much more."

Entries receiving highest honors:

(Note: No photos were entered in the 5th-8th Grade classification, which is why no Best of Class was selected in that age group)

The annual photo competition is a low-cost way to celebrate Bellingham, preserve photos for a historic record of our times and engage people in their community. Photos submitted to the competition are displayed in various ways today and preserved by the Whatcom Museum for future generations to enjoy.

The 327 entries submitted this year by 99 photographers were juried by representatives from the Whatcom Museum, the Bellingham Arts Commission and the City of Bellingham. Winning entries are selected based on photographic quality, subject matter and how well the "essence of Bellingham" is captured.

The photographers who submitted the five top shots will be recognized by Pike and the Bellingham City Council at the July 11, 2011 City Council meeting. The top shots, along with dozens of others selected for recognition by the jury, will be on display during the July 1 Downtown Bellingham Art Walk, in a temporary gallery to be located at 1320 Cornwall Avenue.

In addition, all entries are displayed on the City website. Many will be shown on BTV10 in the year ahead, as well as being added to the Whatcom Museum's photographic collection.

This year participants were asked to consider submitting images that illustrate the City's Legacies and Strategic Commitments, which are long-term goals adopted by the Bellingham City Council. The jury selected a winning photo illustrating each Legacy; these also will be on display at the July 1 ArtWalk gallery.

The Essence of Bellingham photo competition is an annual event. Community members are invited to begin snapping photos now to enter in next year's competition. For more information about the competition, visit


Published: Jun 21, 2011

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