Focus on the Boro: A Celebration of Photography for a Growing Art Community

Jul 08, 2019 at 04:01 pm by BoroNews


Focus on the Boro, Rutherford County's annual photo exhibit and contest wrapped up its month-long event on Friday, July 5, 2019.

Focus creator Jessica Nelson outlined, "We had an amazing showing from the community this year. Ninety-five participants submitted over 260 images for the exhibit. Our youngest participant was 7 years old."

The award reception held on Friday, June 14 drew a large crowd. Participants, their families, and friends, along with patrons of the bi-annual Boro Art Crawl filled the Rotunda at City Hall in anticipation of the award announcements.

"It felt like the crowd doubled from the year before," explained Nelson, "we had a beautiful reception courtesy of Amy Barbieri and the Barbieri family, Edible Arrangements, Northstar Pain Management, and many generous donations from the Photography Connect Murfreesboro Community. We had over 150 plates and had to send out for more the first hour!"

Many individuals and businesses in the community lent their support to this year's event. Plaques, ribbons, and installation materials were provided by Bill Shacklett of Shacklett's Photography and Titan Homebuilders. Prizes for the three Best in Show prize packs were donated by Climb Murfreesboro, Alley on Main, Just Love Coffee, BeSpoke Printing, and Dallas & Jane. Participants received a generous printing discount for the second year from Nation's Photo Lab.

The youth Best in Show award went to Abby Byrnes for her image Jerusalem Umbrellas. Runner up Best in Show for the adult categories went to Casey Malone for his image Reflecting and Best in Show went to Vicki Graham for her image Balancing to a Tea (pictured above). Each Best in Show photographer received or will receive a plaque and gift card(s) from the local businesses that supported the event.

New this year to the event was the Community Choice Award. Each visitor to the exhibit was encouraged to vote for their favorite image. The community cast over 130 votes for their photographs. The winner of the Community Choice Award was Jessie Clark for her image Natural Bridge.

"The judges had their work cut out for them this year," said Nelson. "There were so many beautiful images." The Judging panel included the current Photography Laureate for Murfreesboro, Gale Stoner, the current Painter Laureate, Ashley Buchanan, Middle Tennessee State University Photography Professors, Shannon Randol and Kimi Conro, writer, photographer and administrator of the website, Susan Steen, and editor of the Murfreesboro Pulse, Bracken Mayo.

"My favorite part of Focus on the Boro, besides the photos, of course, is the learning experience it provides artists and photo enthusiasts, and the way it brings the community together, despite any other differences we might have, in our love for photography and our love for our area."

For more information about Focus on the Boro visit

For more information about Photography Connect Murfreesboro, visit the group on Facebook.