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Georgia Museum of Agriculture Names Winners for ‘Back Roads’ Competition

TIFTON— Dr. Herbert Shippey and Sydney Cromer are the top prize winners in the “Back Roads of Georgia” essay and photo competitions sponsored by the Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.

Shippey’s “Country of the Heart” captured first prize among 30 entries in the essay contest, and Cromer’s “Full Bloom” was selected as the top finisher among 100 entries in the photo competition.

Polly Huff, assistant director and curator for the Museum, said both professional and amateur writers entered the essay competition, and both professional and hobby photographers entered the photo event.

Other top finishers in the essay competition included Katherine Thompson, second place for “Finding My Father’s Grave”, and Charles Bethea, third place for “When Billie was Lonnie”. Honorable mentions went to David Riley, Lila Phelps, Sarah Fonseca, and Erin O’Quinn.

Huff said the seven essay winners received cash awards totaling $1,000 from the Tifton-Tift County Arts Council and annual passes to the Museum. The top three works received publication consideration by Georgia Backroads magazine.

The blind judging of the literary portion of the competition was conducted by Janice Daugharty, Pulitzer nominee and author of numerous novels and shorter works, including her latest book Two Shades of Morning.  Daugharty is also the current Writer in Residence at ABAC.

In the photo category, Stephen Rakestraw finished second for “Ambassador of the Past”, and Leila Sims wound up third for “Dead Ends”. Honorable mentions went to Jeff Bickel, Angelika Riley, Thomas Acey, and Amanda Merritt. The seven photo winners received cash awards totaling $1,000 from the Tifton-Tift County Arts Council, annual passes to the Museum, and publication consideration and subscriptions by Georgia Backroads magazine.

The blind judging of the photo portion of the competition was conducted by Professor Willard Al Park, renowned photographer and retired instructor of art and photography at Valdosta State University.

All the essay and photo entries will remain on display at the Museum Gallery until Jan. 25, 2014.  The Gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

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