ES chamber to host photography contest

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Greater Eureka Springs Chamber of Commerce is working with a local photographer to host a national photography contest and exhibition next year.

Chamber board member Eli Vega said The Ozarks Photography Project, an arts extension of the chamber, is sponsoring the contest. Vega said the photo symposium will take place during May Festival of the Arts in 2018, tying into the city’s annual arts festival.

“There will be a venue where people can see the top 100. So we might get 500, 600, 700 entries, but of those, only 100 will be selected for the show,” Vega said.

Vega said he brought the idea up to the chamber as a way to get Eureka Springs more notoriety.

“I knew that the chamber … the focus, of course, is to attract more businesses and more people to Eureka,” Vega said.

He said he is part of the executive committee working on the contest.

“We pull together a great team in terms of who is going to be involved,” Vega said.

Those interested in the contest can submit their work from Sept. 1 to Feb. 28, he said. Vega said the entry fees will be around $35 for five or six entries, saying that’s the average entry fee for contests like this.

“So for six months, people will get a chance to get on the website and enter their entries,” Vega said. “Me and the other judges will have access to the background stuff, not the administrative stuff. So we can take a look and see what’s coming in. We will each independently be looking at the images.”

He said it’s good to enter the contest for several reasons.

“One is you’re going to win some awards. You might get a chance to win a ribbon, which is good for your portfolio,” Vega said. “You might get some cash awards or some other kinds of awards. You might get some equipment or a discount to publish a book, things like that … plus exposure.”

He continued, “To be able to come to Eureka and see this talent throughout the country in photography … we’re doing a lot right now for artists and painters, but nothing like this for photographers.”

He said he thinks bringing the contest to Eureka Springs is a great tribute to the artist community in town.

“We are so artistically inclined and art-friendly, and just to add one more layer to that is going to be phenomenal,” Vega said.

The contest will go live on Sept. 1. To submit entries, visit For more information, call the chamber at 479-253-8737.

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