Winners Announced for Hampton Roads Photography Contest

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Wendy Nelson's photo entitled "First Date" took home Best in Show. (Courtesy Hampton Roads Digital Art Exhibit)
Wendy Nelson’s photo entitled “First Date” took home Best in Show. (Courtesy Hampton Roads Digital Art Exhibit)

A macabre take on a photo of a first date took home Best in Show at the first annual Hampton Roads Digital Art Exhibit.

The judged photography exhibit, which took place Dec. 12 at “Hang It Up Picture Framing” in Yorktown, featured 90 images submitted by local artists.

The framing store’s owner Dimitri “Jimmy” Kaligos, himself an internationally known oil painter, judged the exhibits and selected a first-, second- and third-place winner.

Wendy Nelson’s Gothic-inspired image of a young woman posing over the feet of a cadaver took home the top prize of $150, while Joseph Broyles Jr. and Jim Hansen took second and third place, respectively.

Broyles, who was also the exhibit chairman, was called on to break the tie between the two photographs contending for the People’s Choice award. Marlena Artis, a Grafton High School student, won out for her fantastical image of a young girl on the brink of a portal to another world.

Marlena Artis won the People's Choice award for "Serenity." (Courtesy Hampton Roads Digital Arts Exhibit)
Marlena Artis won the People’s Choice award for “Serenity.” (Courtesy Hampton Roads Digital Arts Exhibit)

Honorable mentions were awarded to Tony Surace for his photo of a grasshopper and to Mark Sovoboda for his photo of the first snowfall of 2012.

“The works are so good it was very difficult to choose the best of the best,” Kaligos said.

All the winning photographs will be on display at the “Hang It Up Picture Framing” store through Jan. 16.