The annual Gordon Parks Celebration weekend Oct. 7-9 was packed with events to educate and entertain.
The Gordon Parks Museum is located on the campus of Fort Scott Community College, 2401 S. Horton.
Parks was an African American documentary photojournalist, photographer, musician, writer and director, with humble beginnings in Fort Scott.
He died in 2006.
There were photo exhibits and a local photo contest, speakers, tours, film showings, entertainment, book discussions, and the opening of the Learning Tree Tourism Trail.
Two African American men were honored as the “Choice of Weapons” annual recipients, Kyle Johnson and Eli Reed.
Parks Choice of Weapons Award Winners Announced
During the weekend celebration, The Learning Tree Tourism Trail was introduced.
The Learning Tree Tourism Trail is a series of signs located at the different locations where the filming of The Learning Tree took place around Fort Scott. The signs include QR codes, to be used with a smartphone, along with a virtual tour of the identified scene locations of the film, according to a Gordon Parks Museum press release.
To learn more:
The Learning Tree Tourism Trail Grand Opening is Oct. 7
The annual photography contest in conjunction with the Gordon Parks Celebration had the winners on display at the Ellis Arts Center on the campus of FSCC.
Additionally on display were some of Parks’ photos and photos of The Learning Tree, the autobiographical film that Parks wrote and directed.
Winners of the Gordon Parks Celebration “Fashion & Diversity” photo contest, sponsored by Merl Humphrey Photography, are below.
Twenty-six entries were received and the winner of First Place was Johanna Walker (Franklin, KS) with the photo titled “Spotlight.”
Second Place was also Johanna Walker with the photo “Johnny.”
Third Place was Frank Clay with his photo, “Enjoying Each Other.”
First, Second, and Third place winners received cash prizes of $100, $75, and $50 respectively.
There were six Honorable Mentions named: “Diversity.” by (Yasser Alaa Mobarak,( Alexandria, Egypt.); “Skating the Disaster.” by Julie Steck (Merriam, KS); “Jewels of Plenty” by Bareigh Farrell (Fort Scott); “Portrait.” by Yasser Alaa Mobarak, (Alexandria, Egypt); “Queen of Color” by Alexxus Browning, Tulsa, OK and “Baby Blue.” by Adelay Martin (Redfield, KS).
The contest was open to any non-professional photographer and was inspired by Gordon Parks, who started his career in fashion photography and chose a camera to fight against racism, discrimination, and poverty.
Judges for the photo contest were professional photographer, Veretta Cobler, and established make-up artist and hairstylist, Donna Fumoso based in New York City.
The photo exhibit is on display in the lobby of the Ellis Fine Arts Center through October 15. The building is open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
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