Visual arts professor honored in prestigious photography competition

"3,000 Miles of Acid Mine Drainage in My Backyard," a photography project by Katarin Parizek, (’00 master of fine arts, ’90 bachelor of fine arts) assistant professor of art, has received Honorable Mention in the Editorial – Environmental category in the 2012 International Photography Awards, known as the Lucie Awards. The 2012 competition included nearly 18,000 submissions from 104 countries.

"3,000 Miles of Acid Mine Drainage in My Backyard" is a growing body of work that traces its origin to Parizek’s childhood. “I was born a few hundred feet from ‘the Big Spring’ in Bellefonte, Pa., a spring that gave the town its name (Beautiful Fountain),” Parizek said. “Since birth, environmental awareness, the environment, water and water pollution problems have ebbed and flowed throughout my life.”

In spring 2011, in conjunction with creating and teaching a new course, Environmental Photography, Parizek started developing the concept of photographing the effects of acid mine drainage. “I feel that it is important for my community to become aware of what is happening in our backyard here in Pennsylvania,” Parizek said. “As I teach, I continue to add images to this body of work."

Images from "3,000 Miles of Acid Mine Drainage in My Backyard" won a PX3 Honorable Mention in Paris, were covered in Aperture Magazine in conjunction with an exhibition held in the Castell Gallery in North Carolina, and were exhibited in the Palmer Museum of Art and galleries in London and Fort Collins, Colo. An exhibition is scheduled in Amersterdam in December.

The 2012 International Photography Awards are a sister-effort of the Lucie Foundation, whose mission is to honor master photographers, to discover new and emerging talent, and to promote the appreciation of photography. Since 2003, IPA has acknowledged and recognized contemporary photographers’ accomplishments in the highly visible competition.

In addition to environmental issues, Parizek’s photographic research integrates archeology, history, religions, art history, other cultures, myths, legends, rituals and graphic design. Her images have been used to directly impact societies by bringing awareness to issues and help facilitate dialog, which often leads to significant social change.

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Last Updated January 09, 2015