BHSU photography selected to exhibit in Dahl Mountain

Spearfish, S.D – The Dahl Mountain Culture Competition is an annual event hosted by the Dahl Arts Center that accepts photographs from hundreds of photographers in the Black Hills area every year. This is a judged photography competition based on mountain culture. 

 Mountain culture is a lifestyle that includes ideas, values and beliefs shared by people in mountainous terrain. There are three exhibit categories to be placed in, Youth, Amateur/Hobbyist Adult and Experienced/Professional Adult.  

On Jan. 27, 2020, three Black Hills State University students and two faculty members were chosen to exhibit their photography in the 16th annual Dahl Mountain competition. The exhibit is shown at the Dahl Arts Center in Rapid City Feb. 28 – April 25, 2020.  

Skott ChandlerAssistant Photography Professor at BHSU, was one of the faculty members who had his photography selected in the competition, accompanied by colleague Jerry RawlingsAssociate Professor of Photography. 

Chandler explained that he is always excited and honored when an image is chosen for an exhibition. “We make images that we feel are creative or pleasing in some way, and it is always a great feeling when jurors of an exhibition value the images you are creating and want to exhibit them,” he stated.  

The photography professors are always proud to see their students be successful in big competitions. Chandler said, “The Mountain show is an amazing opportunity for students because this is the largest/most public place to display art in this region, and their first time having an image in an exhibition of this scale.” Students who are accepted into the show and attend the opening are allowed to talk publicly about their art with the community and other artists from the area. 

Chandler has been successful in exhibiting in multiple states, including Utah, Georgia, Texas, New York, Los Angeles and more, as well as showing his work in France, Switzerland and Hong Kong. 

Senior Mass Communication student, Danny Merritt, from Bath, England, was also selected to exhibit in the Dahl Mountain competition. Merritt explained that he had to submit work into the competition as part of his Studio Photography class at BHSU, despite not knowing about the contest before. 

“I’m glad I did apply as I got in and I have a chance to sell my artwork which is awesome,” Merritt said. “I get to showcase my work in one of the biggest galleries in the local area.” 

Merritt has not had the opportunity to exhibit his work outside of the BHSU campus before and the Dahl Arts Center gave him that break. He said, “I can increase my exposure as a photographer, and I can build my resume,” opening up more opportunities for the future. 

Classmate of Merritt, Sophomore Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography student, Katie Jones, is also representing BHSU in the Dahl Mountain Competition. Jones was selected last year into the competition and has successfully achieved again this year.  

“I am very excited to be a part of the Dahl Mountain show,” Jones stated. “This year the piece that got accepted is a photograph of Devils Bathtub in Spearfish Canyon, S.D. covered by ice and snow.” 

Zachary Meier was another BHSU student accepted into the 16th annual competition with an image called ‘Riding the Mountains.’ 

The exhibit reception will be held at the Dahl Arts Center in Rapid City, S.D. on Feb. 28 between 5-7 p.m. During the reception, awards will be given for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places in all categories plus a Best of Show Award.