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How It Worked: The 2010 Canteen Awards in Photography

Judging took place over two rounds. The first-round judges were photographer Matthew Porter and Canteen’s art directors, JJ Sulin and Betsy Bell. The second-round judges were Matthew Porter and Brooklyn Museum director Arnold Lehman.

A summary of the results is here. The full PDF from our print issue, containing longer-form essay critiques and a response from one contestant, is here.

We are publishing these comments not because we enjoy handing down judgment, but because we wish to offer insight into how the winners were chosen. Too often the methodology of photography competitions is opaque at best and nepotistic at worst. We’d simply like to be honest.

We hope you’ll keep all of this in perspective, realizing that “What is good art?” is an impossibly subjective question. Canteen couldn’t be happier that so many people spend so much time making art. The world is a far better and more interesting place for your efforts.

Finally: We’re sorry that we don’t have the resources to post commentary on all 130 entries. Rest assured that our judges spent serious time looking at every single entry, and we hope this small selection of our feedback will provide enough insight to clarify how we chose the winners.

~Stephen Pierson
Publisher, Canteen 

Round 1 Comments
Round 2 Comments

List of Winners
Complete Entries



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