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PhotoNOLA Review Prize Winners Announced

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From the series “Blind Prom” by Sarah Wilson

The New Orleans Photo Alliance (NOPA) is thrilled to announce the winners of the 2008 PhotoNOLA Review Prize. Sarah Wilson, Susan Burnstine and Susana Raab were selected from among 60 photographers who participated in last December’s PhotoNOLA Portfolio Review. For one weekend photographers had one-on-one meetings with influential editors, curators and gallerists assembled from across the U.S. and abroad. At the close of the event, each of the 24 reviewers was asked to select three favorites. Sarah Wilson received the most votes, earning her the PhotoNOLA Review Prize, which includes a solo exhibition at the New Orleans Photo Alliance Gallery during the Fourth Annual PhotoNOLA (in December 2009) and a cash award of $1000. 2nd Place winner, Susan Burnstine, will be profiled in the March NOPA Newsletter and exhibit work during PhotoNOLA 4 at Canary Gallery. 3rd Place winner, Susana Raab, will be interviewed in a future NOPA Newsletter.

PhotoNOLA Review Prize winner Sarah Wilson is based in Austin, Texas. Her series, “Blind Prom,” focuses on an American right of passage, the high school prom. Wilson served as the official prom night photographer for the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, producing the students’ formal portraits and also capturing candid moments throughout the night. Doug Parker, Photo Editor of The Times-Picayune said “The success of Sarah’s work starts with a great idea, and maintaining that theme with supplemental photos that help move the project along without being redundant… The images are insightful, poignant and intimate. They help us understand a world very different from our own without being either intrusive or condescending.” You can see Wilson’s award-winning project at

“The Approach” by Susan Burnstine

2nd place winner Susan Burnstine is a fine art photographer who resides in Los Angeles. Her ethereal black and white images are created from a collection of homemade lenses and cameras, assembled out of plastic, vintage camera parts and random household objects. Rendered with a dream-like haze, Burnstine’s photographs suggest myth and memory in a voice that is both personal and universal. You can see Burnstine’s work at

“A Chicken in Love, Wendy’s, Athens, Ohio” by Susana Raab

3rd place winner Susana Raab is a documentary and editorial photographer based in Washington DC. Her series “Consumed” examines the influences and traces of fast-food production in the U.S. Her colorful depictions of American consumption capture the absurdity of our food culture with clear-eyed humor and wit. To see Raab’s work visit


The New Orleans Photo Alliance is a 501c3 nonprofit organization founded in 2006 whose mission is to encourage the understanding and appreciation of photography through exhibitions, opportunities and educational programs. PhotoNOLA is a month long celebration of photography in New Orleans, coordinated by the New Orleans Photo Alliance in partnership with galleries, museums and photographers citywide. The fourth annual series of events are currently being planned for December 2009.

For additional information on PhotoNOLA or The New Orleans Photo Alliance please visit or