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Bridges Photography Call

Sharing Our Past to Enrich the Future

Hildegard Center for the Arts, in partnership with the Nebraska Tourism Commission and the Nebraska State Historical Society, sponsored a Photography Call for the great state of Nebraska! The Photography call was officially endorsed by the Governor’s Sesquicentennial Committee (the Nebraska 150 Commission).

Jurors Joel Sartore, Bobbi and Steve Olson and George Tuck carefully reviewed over 800 photo submissions and the results are in! Check out the Bridges Sesquicentennial Photo Exhibit page to view the list of winners, exhibit venues and more.

From Adams to Antelope, Banner to Butler, Garden to Gage, Scottsbluff to Sheridan, Dundy to Douglas...

This juried exhibition is serving as a bridge to connect Nebraskan’s with their culture and heritage. The Call intends to highlight historic places and often over-looked *historical treasures in all 93 counties of the State. *Historical Treasures can be sites identified at the National Register of Historic Places OR places of community/personal significance that you would like to share. Examples include:


  • Historic properties
  • Recognized historical landmarks
  • Cultural activities/events with a basis in local history and in context with a historic place
  • Historic buildings that are representative or unique

Selected Photos…

  • Will be featured in a statewide traveling exhibit that coincides with Nebraska’s Sesquicentennial in 2017
  • May appear in Nebraska Tourism travel guides, posters and calendars to promote this project and the State of Nebraska
  • Showcased in a digital catalog
  • ALL submitted photos will become part of a virtual exhibit on partnering websites  

 About the Call

  • Submission timeline |  June 1, 2015 – March 21, 2016
  • Call open to photographers 15 years and older
  • Agency representatives were welcome to participate
  • Entrants were NOT required to be residents of Nebraska
  • Submissions had to be in digital JPEG formats and have a resolution of at least 8 mega pixels. 300 DPI
  • Photographers could enter up to five images per submission (multiple submissions allowed for additional fees)
  • There was a non-refundable fee of $15 per submission
  • Entrant had to sign a consent and waiver form | PDF

Each Submission Included:

  1. Photo/s that captured the artistic view of the subject
  2. A photo that documented the context (overall general image) of each subject.
  3. A narrative (250 words or less) that described how the focus of the photos bridged the past with the present.

Further Submission Rules

  • All submissions had to be a work of original material taken within the state of Nebraska by the contest entrant. By entering, entrant represented, warranted and acknowledged that:
    1. The photograph was an original work created solely by the entrant
    2. The photograph did not infringe on the copyrights, trademarks, moral rights, rights of privacy/publicity or intellectual property rights of any person or entity
    3. Other parties had no right, title, claim, or interest in the photograph
    4. All selected photographs will be retained permanently by Hildegard Center for the Arts for future use

Rules and Regulations

  • All submissions needed to accurately reflect the subject matter as it appeared. Photos that were digitally altered beyond standard optimization (removal of dust, cropping, reasonable adjustments to exposure, color, and contrast) were disqualified. Multiple exposures that have been combined to produce a single “High Dynamic Range” image were acceptable.
  • If the entrant chose to include recognizable people in the submission, the entrant was responsible for obtaining the necessary releases from the individual depicted, and had to provide copies of those releases upon request.


  • All photographs selected for the traveling exhibition will be printed and framed professionally in an 11 x 14 format by Hildegard. This is at no cost to the entrant. Therefore, only digital files and processes were accepted.
  • All entrants selected for additional printed publications (calendars, posters, etc.) produced by Hildegard or partnering entities will be recognized with a photo credit and compensated with two complementary copies available for pick up at either Hildegard Center for the Arts, Nebraska Tourism, or the Nebraska State Historical Society. 

Photo Submission Timeline

June 1, 2015 – March 21, 2016  

Questions?  Contact Project Chair ~ Cathy Harrington | 402.730.6668

Bridges Photography Committee:  Alexandra Alberda, Angela Carroll, Kim Einspahr, Cathy Harrington, Ken Hoppmann, Rita Kean, Bob Puschendorf, Marilyn Stadler, Angela White, Donna Williams, Anne Woita

Distinguished Judges Answer Call

The jurors for the Bridges Photo Call included world-renowned contributor to National Geographic Magazine and NEBRASKAland Magazine Joel Sartore; University of Nebraska-Lincoln Professor Emeritus George Tuck; and regular contributors to Nebraska Life Magazine, Bobbi and Steve Olson.

Their participation raised the bar as Hildegard reached across the state to connect Nebraskan’s with their culture and heritage using the art of photography ~ Our “Hildegard thanks” to the jurors!

Judging Criteria | See PPA 12 Elements of a Good Photo

 The jurors evaluated the entries based upon:

  • Photographic quality (50%)
  • The extent to which the submission conveys a connection between the past and the present (20%)
  • The quality of the narrative and its relationship to the photograph and theme of bridging the past to the present (20%)
  • The cultural aspect or lifestyles depicted in the photograph (10%)

Thank you to our Sponsors!

The Sesquicentennial Traveling Photo Exhibit “Bridges” Sharing our Past to Enrich the Future” is supported in part by Humanities Nebraska and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment. Statewide Exhibit Sponsors include: The Nebraska Sesquicentennial Commission; Nebraska Tourism Commission; the Ethel S. Abbott Charitable Foundation, Johnson Hardware Company and the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Regional Sponsors include Union Bank and Trust Company, Sandhills Publishing, Great Western Bank, The Cattle National Bank and Trust Co. and the Alliance Lions Club.