SAAC’s 2022 “The Viewfinder” photography competition and exhibit is open for viewing in the Merkle and Price Galleries through February 25. The exhibit is presented in partnership with the El Dorado Insider and The Diamond Agency.  An artist’s awards reception will be held on Thursday, February 17, from 5:30-7:00 pm. total of $1000 in cash prizes will be awarded that night.
“The Viewfinder” explores the interests and imagination of shutterbugs throughout our community and beyond. The easy accessibility of digital cameras has dramatically expanded the environment surrounding photography, opening the medium to practitioners from all walks of life and levels of experience. This year’s competition boasts 72 works from 40 regional photographers as well as a few from around the country.    This exhibit offers everything from landscapes and nature to still life photography, portraits and everything in between.
“We are so excited to be working with the Diamond Agency and the ‘El Dorado Insider’ to bring the work of the region’s fantastic photographers to an even wider audience,” said Laura Allen, SAAC’s executive director.  “Thanks to this partnership, we will be able to showcase the winners far beyond the walls of our gallery, and bring them directly into thousands of homes, when they are published in the ‘Insider.’ What a great way to celebrate the beauty of Union County and the talent of our residents!”
Judging this year’s competition and presenting the awards at the reception is Dero Sanford, Little Rock professional photographer specializing in custom advertising work.  Sanford owns ThinkDero, Inc. and his work can be seen on his website,  Sanford loves adventure, photography, good film, and spending his days with his son, Solomon. Having graduated from Oklahoma State University, Okmulgee, with a degree in photography, he quickly found himself immersed in the advertising scene. Working for various magazines, agencies, and companies he began to build an impressive client base.
Cash prizes will be awarded to the Best of Show ($500), First Place ($250), Second Place ($150) and Third Place ($100).
SAAC is thrilled to have such a wonderful turnout of artist photographers this year and invites the public to see their works and enjoy the reception on the 17th, as we honor their achievements.

James Antoon III
Wesley Beard
Rhonda Berry
Jordan Bolland
Cherie Bright
Rudy Bright
Scott Brown
Stephanie Brown
Lisa Burton Tarver
David Butler
Elizabeth Callaway
Rachel Craig
Crystal Dison
David Fort
John Fort
Alec Gatewood
John Ginger
Darden Gladney
Randy Harbour
Matt Herzog
Kellee Hollis
Tad Hutchison
Paula Kinnaird
Jeremy Langston
Richard Mason
Margy Merkle Niel
Steve Nipper
David Offutt
Crystal Osborn
Mary Claire Parker
Adenia Robbins
Kelly M. Sheppard
Desiree Stipp-Bethune
Taylor Thomas
Trinity Thomas
Paul Trichel
Maria Villegas
Tequila Walker
Paul Waschka
Kadie Williamson