The Mike Goheen Memorial Fund for Photographers

The Mike Goheen Memorial Fund for Photographers honors longtime Member, Mike Goheen’s legacy and passion for photography.

The Fund was established in 2017 by Mike’s partner and The Contemporary Dayton supporter, Craig Schrolucke, and will provide a $500 annual prize to an artist in the Annual Members’ Show. The award is one of the largest in the region and will be given every year to a photographer who demonstrates experimental photographic methods.

Mike’s family, friends and colleagues who have contributed are listed below. Donations to the Fund will continue to be collected in Mike’s honor and can be made by clicking on the link to the left, or by visiting the gallery in Downtown Dayton.

Please call the gallery at 937.224.3822 if you are interested in making a donation.

Thank You to our Generous Donors
Amanda & Jason Burks
Amelia Hounshell & Brian Albrecht
Amy & Kevin Deal
Anthony Poly & Kenny Moore
Arthur John Reetz
Bernard L. Smith
Brian Cooper
Carla H Carlton
Cathy & Craig Hall
Christopher Dennis Caneles
Chuck & Dona Vella
Craig Schrolucke
Cynthia Felver
Cynthia Lindsay
Dan Thibeault
David Seyer & Keith Wyatt
Debbie Hiott
Deborah & Gordon Goheen
Douglas Fiely
Eric Heinrich
Gene & Patricia Schrolucke
George B Shaw
Jacqueline Ross
Jacqueline Ross
Jacqueline Ross
Jana Collier
Jason Pierce & Emily Werlein
Jill Oakley Jeppe
John & Diane Farrell
Jon Tidd
Julie Wickline
Karin and Mark Manovich
Katy Kelly
Larry & Marilyn Klaben
Mark Brewer & Kevin Tunstall
Mary E. Younger
Mary Ellen Nelson
Megan Cooper & Scott Murphy
Michael B McLaughlin
Michael Roediger
Mike Houser
Milli Jefferson
Patrick O’Shaughnessy
Patty Marcano
Randy Scott Davis
Robert Rohr
Robert Rohr
Robert Sweeney & Michael Edwards
Ron & Amy Rollins
Sara Skinner Cole
Sarah Michael
Shayna V. McConville
Timothy Daniel Burke
Todd Turner
Tom Gilliam
Troy Felton
Val Beerbower
Vicky & Edward Forrest
Warren Riffle & Kurt Fleagle


2018 Winner: Francis Schanberger

Francis Schanberger, Thighs and Sunlight, 2018 gelatin silver print with Sabatier Effect, 14 x 11 in., courtesy of the artist

2018 Prize Juror's Statement & Bio

Juror Statement from Todd Birdsong

Elliott Erwitt has a wonderful quote about the nature of reacting to photographs: “What can you say about pictures? You’ve got to look at pictures and react to them. You can’t just dissect pictures. I mean, a picture has got to be a picture to begin with. It should have some kind of content and emotion, and it should appeal to you in some way, and it should be out of the ordinary if possible. And then it’s a picture, whether it’s of hands, feet, ears, noses or whatever.” One could argue that creating reactions is the “art”; not the actual photographic print. Reacting to images is at the foundation of this selection of regional photographers and their works.

When selecting the winner for the Mike Goheen Memorial Fund For Photographer’s Award, I took careful consideration when viewing the work submitted for the exhibit. After viewing the 26 collected images, I was faced with the difficult decision of selecting a single photograph from a powerful and talented group of photographs and photographers. I based my selection on the following criteria: composition; the over-all visual effect and the use of line, form, color and visual balance; next I took into consideration the printing process, digital, traditional and non-traditional means of printing. The uniqueness of the subject matter was also a consideration. It was difficult to select the one photograph. The goal was to select an image that worked visually and was thought provoking while presenting a wide latitude of understanding of the history, process and what it means to use photography as an expressive media. All of the photographs submitted represents some kind of genre whether it is a landscape, a still life, an abstraction, or documentary photography. Together they carry a common thread, one of strong visual composition and form.

Photographers, like no other contemporary visual artists, have a wealth of opportunities to showcase their work across a variety of platforms — the ‘juried exhibition’ is one such platform. When presented by a respected institution, such as The Contemporary Dayton, juried shows can make a real and lasting impression to the career of an aspiring professional artist, or the pursuits of an amateur that is chasing a passion of visual interrogation. Remarkably, they can also prove to be an interesting barometer of an overall vision of what contemporary photography is or could be. That being said, a basic question still lingers for many photographers: What makes a great photograph?

Of course, there are as many answers for this question as there are photographs being created, but one possible response is the ability of an image to evoke a sensation that resonates through the viewer’s being. As Erwitt says, “You’ve got to look at pictures and react to them.”  It isn’t the subject matter or the elements of technical or aesthetic practice that matter. It can be rendered expertly or accidentally. It is the unique and magical marriage of those principles of shaping light and time transcendentally that offer the most rewards to both the photographer and the viewer.

In the end, my award selection was also guided by my deep and personal connection to its namesake. Having been his friend for most of our lives, I would dare say that I belong to a very small group that understood his visual sensibilities and the emotion contained within each image he discovered. My selection resonated with me in a similar way and I appreciate artist’s works that have a powerful sense of vision and concept regardless of their training or technical mastery. Those artist who are creating spirited works are not only growing personally, but professionally.

Congratulations to all who entered and put their work forward. Congratulations to those who are in the exhibition and who intrigued me in some way. Congratulations to the award winner for being notable

in this artist’s eyes. Thank you to Eva Buttacavoli and Patrick Mauk and the The Contemporary Dayton staff and volunteers for their hospitality and professional and personal assistance. The job was a pleasure. Thank you for sharing.

Juror Bio

Todd Birdsong received his MFA from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale in Mass Communication and Media Arts. He is an interdisciplinary artist who works with both analog and digital processes within photography, sound and transmission art, time-based media and instrument making using found objects and electronics. Execution of his work takes the form of conceptual installations and performances.  Concepts of indeterminacy and randomness are used to examine the ideas of mindfulness and being present in the moment of witnessing, understanding and decoding our daily lives.

Todd is currently the Director of the Clemens Fine Arts Center in Paducah, Kentucky.

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