Celebration of Gordon Parks Legacy

The Gordon Parks Celebration began its annual event, Oct. 3 with the Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce Coffee.

Winners of the Gordon Parks annual photo contest were given their awards during the coffee.

First, second, and third place winners received cash prizes of $100, $75, and $50 respectively and all finalists received a set of prints of Gordon Parks photos.

There were five honorable mention awards given: “In Death Lies The Erosion of Truth.” by Alexis Michalski (La Cygne, KS ); “Finding Joy in your Friends.” by Alexis Marchiano (Fort Scott); “The Master and the Apprentice.” by Jezeriah Simpson (Fort Scott); “Escape.” by Lawson Hall (Fort Scott); and “Lots of Trust.” by Julia Allen (Fort Scott).

The contest was open to any non-professional photographer and was inspired by a quote by the Gordon Parks-directed film The Learning Tree.

“We received a lot of great entries this year and the judges were very impressed by the skill level of the photographers. It was very difficult for the judges to determine the winner with all of the great entries,” said museum director Kirk Sharp.

The photo exhibit is on display in the Lunt Lobby of the Ellis Fine Arts Center at Fort Scott Community College through October 14. The building is open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Ashton Nolan, a student at Fort Scott Community College won first place with a photo entitled: Always Choose Family
Ashton Nolan,  first place winning photo.
Elli Milburn, Fort Scott High School student won second place with a photo entitled: No Quit.
Elli Milburn’s second-place winning photograph.
Ashton Nolan also received third place with her photo entitled: Cherish Childhood
Ashton Nolan’s third-place winning photograph.

The Merle Humphrey Photography sponsored the photo contest.

There were 65 entries in the contest that was themed: “My Learning Tree, Life Lessons Learned.” Judges for the contest were Kassie Feugate-Cate, Tammy Helm and Merl Humphrey.

Also on display were some of Park’s photos and poems and in addition a section of behind-the-scenes photos of the film “The Learning Tree”, which was filmed in Fort Scott in 1969.

Artists recognized for their entries to the Gordon Parks Photography Contest, from left: Lexi Marchiano honorable mention; Elli Milburn, second place; Ashton Nolan, first place; Lawson Hall, honorable mention and Julia Allen, honorable mention. Nolan is a Fort Scott Community College student, the other artists were from area high schools. Not pictured: Alexis Michalski and Jezeriah Simpson.
From left: FSCC Development Administrative Assistant Tabitha Stultz and Gordon Parks Museum Executive Director Kirk Sharp,  look over donated photos of the film “The Learning Tree” with Chamber coffee attendees Thursday morning.

Below are scenes from the morning coffee:

To view the events of this weekend’s celebration events, click below:







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