To celebrate its 75th anniversary, Augusta’s Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art is looking forward, not back.
The institute, which was established in 1937, two decades before the first digital image was produced on a computer at the U.S. National Bureau of Standards, is embracing digital technology and the power of social media with a photo competition and exhibit dubbed #GertrudeHerbert75.
The competition’s hashtag title is a nod to the popular photo-sharing application Instagram, which has more than 30 million users around the globe. The institute is inviting the public to submit Instagram images of its home on Telfair Street, known as Ware’s Folly.
The photos may highlight the beauty and architecture of the building, or “its gardens, the bustling activity of classes, the contrast of contemporary art displayed in a home from a bygone era, or any aspect of the Gertrude Herbert that inspires,” according to a news release.
Participants can submit as many images as they like through Jan. 4, said Rebekah Henry Murphy, the institute’s executive director.
The result will be a juried exhibition of 75 prints, which will be displayed Jan. 11-31 in the institute’s third-floor galleries.
“Although avant-garde, we hope through the competition and photography challenge that people will be encouraged to tell the visual story of a community art center that is alive and inspiring to its citizens,” Murphy said.
Brent Cline, a commercial photographer and the owner of cline design, and Nicole McLeod, the director of marketing and public relations at the Morris Museum of Art, will serve as jurors for the competition. Cash prizes will be awarded for best of show and people’s choice, Murphy said.
McLeod said the show was inspired by another she and Murphy saw in Charleston, S.C., earlier this year.
“It was all just photos photographers had shot with their smart phones,” she said. “We thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great to do something like this for Gertrude Herbert’s 75th anniversary?’ It just went from there.”
Prints from the show will be available for purchase via silent auction during anniversary celebration events. Proceeds from the auction will benefit the institute.