Essex Heritage Announces Winners of 2015 Photo Contest

Essex National Heritage Commission (Essex Heritage), a non-profit that manages and provides numerous programs preserving and enhancing Essex County’s historic, natural and cultural resource sites, is pleased to announce the winners of the 2015 Essex National Heritage Area Photo Contest. The annual photo contest encourages photographers of all levels to “capture” the living landscapes, unique places and interesting people of Essex County, MA.  The contest is presented by Essex Heritage in partnership with Hunt’s Photo & Video, the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission, and the National Park Service at Salem Maritime and Saugus Iron Works National Historic Sites.

From rocky coasts and harbors, to rural farms, historic downtowns and parks, photographers of all ages vividly captured a variety of special places in Essex County for their award-winning submissions to this year’s contest. Thirteen of the fourteen winning images were selected by a panel of judges that included special guest judges John Andrews, owner of Creative Salem and Social Palates, three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Stanley Forman, and 20-year veteran Boston Herald photographer, Mark Garfinkel. The “People’s Choice Winner” was chosen by 1,117 public votes via Essex Heritage’s Facebook page. All of the photographs were taken within the Essex National Heritage Area and represent one of three contest categories: “This Land Is Your Land”; “Downtown”; and “Go Coastal”. Youth, ages 5-17, were also encouraged to enter the Photo Contest to win a “Youth Entry” prize in any of the contest categories.

2015 Essex National Heritage Area Photo Contest Winners

Grand Prize Winner

  • Clamming Ipswich, by Judith Schneider of Middleton

People’s Choice Winner

  • The Reverend John Hale’s Farm, Beverly by Jonathan Salt of Beverly

Category: This Land is Your Land

  • 1st Prize: Snowy Owl in Flight, Salisbury by Richard Kosian of Lynnfield
  • 2nd Prize: Three Trees – Three Benches, Salem by Stan Franzeen of Salem
  • 3rd Prize:  Among the Trees, Newburyport by Suzanne DeGeorge of Newburyport

Category: Downtown

  • 1st Prize: Newburyport Alley by Rod Parker of Salem
  • 2nd Prize: Marshmallow Fluff, Lynn by Vicki Dakin of Lynn
  • 3rd Prize: Salem Common at First Snow by Rick Matthias of Salem

Category: Go Coastal

  • 1st Prize: Rainbow, Rockport by Laura Ganz of Danvers
  • 2nd Prize: Good Harbor King Tide, Gloucester by Susan Plutsky of Beverly
  • 3rd Prize:  Rock Wall and Marsh at Sunset, Essex by Brad Bradshaw of Hamilton

Category: Youth Entries

  • 1st Prize: The One That Got Away, Newburyport by Kerry Reynolds of Georgetown
  • 2nd Prize: Painted Windows, Haverhill by Will Emerling of Salem
  • 3rd Prize:  The Sun Sets on a Dark Forest, Newburyport by Joy Dancewicz of Amesbury

Photo Contest Reception and Exhibit

The public is invited to attend the 2015 Photo Contest Reception on Thursday, January 28, 2016 at 6 PM, in the gallery at Hunt’s Photo & Video in Melrose (located at 100 Main Street, Melrose, MA 02176-6104). At the reception, photographers will be presented with their awards and visitors will have a chance to meet the photographers as well as view the 2014 Photo Contest Exhibit.  The reception is a free and open to the public; please call Essex Heritage at (978) 740-0444 to RSVP.

The fourteen winning images will be exhibited for one year at the National Park Service Visitor Center in Salem (2 New Liberty Street, Salem, MA 01970) and at the office of the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission (160 Main Street, Haverhill, MA 01830).

See all the winning photographs online at

Prints for the Essex National Heritage Area Photo Contest exhibits were generously provided by Hunt’s Photo & Video.  Prizes for the Photo Contest were generously contributed by Hunt’s Photo & Video and the National Park Service.

About Essex Heritage and the Essex National Heritage Area

Essex Heritage is the non-profit organization that manages the Essex National Heritage Area by developing programs that enhance, preserve and encourage recreation, education, conservation and interpretation projects on Boston’s North Shore and the Lower Merrimack River Valley. The Essex National Heritage Area is comprised of the 34 cities and towns of Essex County, MA. For more information, visit or call (978) 740-0444.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.