Sheldon events to help open Lincoln Photofest today

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Lincoln's biennial celebration of photography - Lincoln PhotoFest - has returned. Museums and galleries throughout Lincoln will participate by opening exhibitions featuring national, local and emerging photographers. The first Lincoln PhotoFest in 2009 was widely regarded as a tremendous success.

This year, Sheldon Museum of Art will present "Transforming Vision: Photographic Abstraction in Sheldon's Collection" as part of the Lincoln PhotoFest festivities. The show features works by major artists such as Harry Callahan, Barbara Crane, Arthur Siegel and Edward Weston. Instead of exploring the camera's capacity to capture reality, "Transforming Vision" emphasizes photography's ability to alter our view of reality.

This year's PhotoFest participating galleries include: A to Z Printing, Burkholder Project, Drift Station Gallery, Haydon Art Center, Great Plains Art Museum, Modern Arts Midwest, Nebraska State Historical Society, Julia Noyes Gallery, Parallax Space, Pioneer Nature Center, Tugboat Gallery, Nebraska Union Rotunda Gallery, Unitarian Church Gallery and Workspace Gallery.

Two special events are scheduled in conjunction with Lincoln PhotoFest: a Lincoln PhotoFest Photography Contest and a lecture by Barbara Crane, professor emeritus in photography at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Sheldon will launch the photo contest with its Feb. 4 First Friday event. Those wanting to participate in the contest can register online at or by filling out a form at and bringing it to the Feb. 4 First Friday. Participants can also register in person during the kickoff event.

Staff at Sheldon will hand out informational packets about the contest to registrants Feb. 4; packets include rules and other contest information. The contest is designed to encourage museum visitors to visit both Sheldon and the Lincoln PhotoFest venues across the city, and be inspired to create a photograph of their own. All registrants will be included in a drawing for a number of prizes, including a lunch with wildlife photographer Michael Forsberg, a gift certificate to Licorice International, a 16x20 print of a photo courtesy of John Nollendorf Photography and an 11-by-14 frame and archival mat from The Frame Shop. The community will have a chance to vote on their favorite photograph to receive the People's Choice Award. Prizes will be given at a special awards reception at 5:30 p.m. March 1.

Crane's lecture, "Barbara Crane: Challenging Vision," begins at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 4 at Sheldon. The power of Crane's photographs and her experience as a woman artist working with the seminal photographers at Chicago's Institute of Design make her uniquely qualified to mark the opening of the exhibition "Transforming Vision."

Lincoln PhotoFest support is provided by the Lincoln Arts Council.

For more information on Sheldon exhibits and events, go to or call (402) 472-4524.

- Sarah Baker-Hansen, Sheldon Museum of Art

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