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  • Writer's pictureLeigh Ann Johnson

PhotoSpiva Juried Exhibition

Updated: Jun 10, 2019

Filthy Hands made its way to Missouri

Filthy Hands

I had the privilege of being a part of the 2019 PhotoSpiva juried exhibition at Spiva Center for the Arts in Joplin, Missouri. My photo, Filthy Hands, was selected by photographer Patty Carroll out of hundreds to be put on display as part of the exhibition, the longest-running juried photo exhibition of its kind in the country. Shipping the 16" x 24" matted and framed photo across the country was no small feat, but it made it to its temporary home unscathed.

PhotoSpiva 2019

Though I couldn't make it to Joplin to visit the exhibit, I'm curious how this photo went over in a small town in the Midwest (I grew up in Minnesota, but in a city). Filthy Hands, to me, embodies a form of sexism that is still the norm in most of the country. Girls are expected to be pretty, clean, still, and reserved while boys are often encouraged to get dirty and be active. The look of confusion and concern on the girl's face as she shows off the dirt her play has deposited on her hands perfectly captures for me the emotion that many active, energetic girls go through. Do you see the same in the photo?

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