With a July kick off to celebrate “National Parks and Recreation Month”, the Oakland County Parks and Oakland Parks Foundation announce the inaugural “Pics of the Parks” photo contest. The contest is also sponsored by The Oakland Press.
Youth and adults can submit digital photographs based on the following themes: Historical Photos, Nature Photos, Capturing the Experience, Selfies and The Park Beneath My Feet. All photos must be taken at the Oakland County Parks. The entry fee is $15/image. Individuals are limited to three submissions. The contest runs through September 13.
Noted performer and visual artist and humanitarian Tony Bennett will select the grand prize winner. Bennett, a 17 time Grammy winner with millions of albums sold worldwide is also an accomplished painter and supporter of the arts, and in particular arts education. With his wife Susan, they founded a non-profit, Exploring the Arts, to support and fund arts education in public high schools. Currently, ETA partners with 17 public high schools in NYC and Los Angeles, including Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, a public arts high school Bennett founded in 2001 in association with the NYC Department of Education. Frank Sinatra School of the Arts is located in Astoria, Queens, the singer's hometown.
“We are thrilled and proud to announce Tony Bennett is a judge and will select the top winner,” Linda Solomon, Photo Contest Director and Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame Member, said. “We will select first, second and third place winners in each category and plan to announce surprise prizes every 13 days, in keeping with the 13 parks theme, on DestinationOakland.com. Keep checking the website for updates on the opportunity to showcase your beautiful pictures of the parks.”
The grand prize winning photo will appear on the cover of the 2014 Oakland County Parks Annual Report. The top 250 entries (50 from each category) will be displayed at the Somerset Collection in Troy for two weeks following an awards reception for the winners.
Other celebrity judges for the contest include Solomon, Michigan photojournalist/author and Founder of Pictures of Hope, Tim Thompson, Photo Editor of The Oakland Press, and Rob Kangas, Program Coordinator of Oakland Community College’s Royal Oak Photography Program.
The Oakland Parks Foundation is committed to investing in park resources and innovative programs that are important to residents of Oakland County. The foundation created the award-winning Oakland County History Corps, facilitated an archeological dig associated with the parks and hosted a cultural event at the Oakland County Market in 2013, donating more than 1,000 hours of volunteer time.
A list of requirements to enter the contest is posted on DestinationOakland.com. A list of the 13 Oakland County Parks locations, special events, facilities and directions is also available on the website. Park entry and user fees to access the parks will be required.
For more information, call 248.858.0906.