The 2012 LUCEO Student Project Award Winner

    After a long and wonderful deliberation on Thursday, June 8th by jurors Michael Wichita, Pamela Chen, Maggie Steber, Heather Hakimzadeh and Nicole Fruge, we are very excited to announce the recipient of the 2012 LUCEO Student Project Award. This year’s winner is Alena Zhandarova of Russia. She will receive $1,000 and mentorship from a LUCEO member of her choosing. As part of the award her work is also featured on the CNN Photo Blog

    The jurors felt that her portfolio “City of Brides” (a selection of which can be seen below) best represented her ability to fulfill her proposal for “Run Forest.” Keep your eyes on the LUCEO blog for more information about Alena and to see her work progress over the course of the year.

    The selection process was broadcasted live from LUCEO’s YOU ARE HERE exhibition space at LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph. It was also recorded and is viewable here. Judges Michael Wichita (AARP) and Nicole Fruge (Education Week) will still select from the list of 10 finalists to award assignments. 


    Run Forest
    Every morning I make a choice to wake up. And take the responsibility for the first step, aware that I create my own history every moment. Turning right I’ll never know what was behind the left turn. What I might learn, from what I have refused, what did I purchase. Every human being Is the labyrinth of opportunities. You just need to hear and trust yourself without any regrets, looking curiously beyond the horizon.
    How to save your own knowledge?
    How to recover and get acquainted with your natural being?
    How not to surrender the temptations and grow up yourself as a burgeon?
    Since ancient times it was believed that the answer is in the man himself. He already knows everything. It remains just to recover himself and take his own sacral knowledge to give something back to the world.
    I would like to investigate the instruments of self-healing and nurture of yourself trough the various traditions, cultures and flows. I believe that it is something, which integrates all of them. I want to discover the truth by means of visual exploring of:
    – the art of internal silence
    – non-assessment perception
    – connection with your roots (family, Tradition)
    – interaction with nature as a source of cognition
    – addressing to the higher force (belief, intention, pray)
    I see my work as the ready-made instrument for resolve your own vital missions and work to recover your unique inner liberty.
The project should be made with 6 by 7 format and let in portraits, landscapes and still-lives in a very light and natural way with some kind of experiments with space around. I want to make it much more spontaneous and airily than my previous project. The main characters of my story will be human and nature (in a wide insight). I chose Russia and Spain as the main places, where my story will be born.
For that purpose I ask for the financial support to explore the intimate processes of the universe throughout the external world.


    You can learn more about the Student Project Award and other LUCEO events at LOOK3 including The Hunt by visiting our festival site at LUCEO@LOOK3