Kingsport Spring Spectacular celebrates 19 consecutive years | Sunday Stories


The Kingsport Spring Spectacular Photography Contest and Exhibition is back for its 19th consecutive year and your chance to enter is just over a week away.

Event organizer Ann Fortney hopes the event, one of the few to take place despite the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, will be bigger and better than ever this year.

“I never gave up being able to organize the event (in 2020). I kept pushing a deadline and it just kind of fell into place, and the event happened when other events couldn’t, ”said Fortney. “I am excited this year. I get a lot of people calling and emailing for apps. “

Contest applications and rules are available at area photo labs, mat and framing stores, hobby and craft stores, select gift and specialty stores, and online at

Fortney created the Kingsport Spring Spectacular Photography Contest and Exhibition in 2002 as part of a festival; the event later became autonomous.

His intention for the competition and exhibition is, and always has been, to promote interest and enjoyment in the ever-growing art of photography. In doing so, she wishes to recognize these efforts by offering a quality competition for amateur and professional photographers of all ages in the Appalachian region and beyond. Photographers from 10 states have been represented in the competition over the years.

Over the years, she says, she “has seen many photographers come in as young people or amateurs, and now their photographs are published in magazines.”

How it workss

There are three levels of competition: youth, amateur and proficient.

A photographer aged 14 or under is eligible to compete at the Youth level. “No child is too young. If they can hold a camera and take a picture, they can come in, ”said Fortney, who has welcomed 4 and 5 year olds. She encourages parents to buy their children an easy-to-use camera for playing and learning. “It is easy for them to operate at any age. I have seen unique photographs from a child’s perspective, ”she added.

A photographer must enter Proficient if he sells or offers to sell his photograph, or if he regularly competes and places his photographs first, second or third.

A photographer must compete as an amateur if none of the skill rules apply. In other words, you qualify as an amateur if: you do not sell or offer to sell your photograph, you do not regularly place first, second or third in contests; or you are just starting to take pictures and learn the skills of it.

Each competition level has three categories: Nature, Pictorial and Special Carrie Penley Theme.

Nature photography is defined simply as that which has nothing man-made at all. Photographs showing still lifes, flower arrangements, mounted specimens, museums, habitats or groups, hybrid plants or artificially produced domestic animals, including farm animals, and varieties of horticultural plants are not accepted in the nature category and must be registered in Pictorial. Any photograph can be illustrated, including some nature photos.

“If you’re not sure whether a photograph qualifies as nature, write it down as images,” recommends Fortney.

The Carrie Penley Special Theme category pays homage to Fortney’s mother, a woman who loved treasure hunts, especially photographic hunts. Carrie supported her drive to create Kingsport’s spectacular Spring Photography Contest and helped behind the scenes until her passing, when Ann named the category in her honor. Every year there is a new special thematic category. This year’s theme is “Geometric Shapes”. The photographs must represent geometric shapes. An ice cube, for example, is one example. Or a flower can be a circle, while a tornado can be a cone. Fortney encourages photographers to think outside the box and get creative in the category.

In all categories and skill levels, there are separate competitions for color and monochrome (black and white).

Basic rules

• The original image must have been produced by the participant.

• Images may be digitally edited and artwork or graphics created by the participant may be incorporated as long as photographic content predominates. “Remember, judges want to see your skills on a camera, not a computer,” Fortney said.

• Photographs should be no smaller than 8 by 10 inches and no larger than 16 by 20 inches.

• Entries must be mounted on a mounting panel or foam core panel (available at carpet / frame stores, hobby stores, etc.). While it is not necessary to frame the entrances or put hangers or metal clips in the photographs, a 1 to 2 inch Velcro strip (be sure to use the hook side) is required on all four sides because the photographic entries are hung on a carpeted wall during the exhibition. The mat is at the discretion of the participant, including the color and style of the mat. Photos should not be tangled but should be edited.

• Each photo must be accompanied by an application form on the back of the application.

• There is a non-refundable registration fee of $ 5 per registration. All registration fees are used for the presentation of prizes and awards.

• There is no limit to the number of impressions a person can enter.

Anyone interested in participating should read the app for all entry requirements and entry submission rules.

Awards and prizes

Monetary prizes and ribbons are awarded in all classes and in each category, with the exception of the youth division. Due to the lower number of entries, the youth entries are all grouped and judged together. The prizes are for first, second and third place and Best of Show. There will be ribbons for honorable mentions.

The People’s Choice Award, selected by visitors to the exhibit, is presented in June. Voting ends at 3 p.m. on June 13.

There is also a special award, “The Jerry Penley I Love the Blue Ridge / Appalachians Award,” named in honor of Fortney’s father. He loved and lived his life photographing the Blue Ridge / Appalachian region. Photographs for this award are entered in the normal categories, and entrants check the box on the entry form indicating that they want to be judged in that special category. All photos entered must be taken in the Blue Ridge / Appalachian area to be considered.

How to enter

The contest starts April 26. Entries will be accepted at Rainbow’s End Floral and Gift Shop, 214 E. Center St. in Kingsport, weekdays, April 26 to May 7, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday, May 1 and May 8, 10 a.m. at 15h

Anyone living outside of the region can ship their entries to Ann Fortney / Penjacc Productions, 154 W. Wanola Ave., Kingsport, TN 37660, but be sure to ship early enough to arrive before the deadline. The deadline to register is Saturday May 8 at 3 p.m.

Judgment will take place on May 15.

Fortney invites three judges (kept secret until judgment day) with extensive photography knowledge and experience to judge the photographs each year. Judging is open to the public and will take place at the Kingsport Renaissance Center from 10 a.m. until the end of May 15.

May 23-June 29: exhibition dates

The exhibition will be on display during normal business hours in the Kingsport Art Guild & Atrium galleries of the Renaissance Center from May 23 to June 29.

This year’s event sponsors are: Adventure Time Hot Air Ballooning, Allison Outdoor Advertising, Eastman Camera Club, Hamlett-Dobson Funeral Homes, Hardee’s of Kingsport, Holston Valley Broadcasting Corp., Kingsport Art Guild, Kingsport Imaging, Systems, Inc., Kingsport Renaissance Center, Kingsport Times News, Mac’s Medicine Mart, MyCroft Signs, Rainbow’s End Floral and Gift Shop, Spivey, King & Spivey, LLP, Stir Fry Café and The Loafer. To find out more, follow Kingsport’s Spring Spectacular Photography Contest and Show on Facebook, email Fortney at [email protected] or call her at (423) 914-5453.

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