Essex Heritage Announces Winners of 2016 Photo Contest

Local Photographers Focus on Local Places to Win

January 3, 2017 (Salem, MA)Essex National Heritage Commission (Essex Heritage), a non-profit that manages and provides numerous programs preserving and enhancing Essex County’s historic, natural and cultural places, is pleased to announce the winners of the 2016 Essex National Heritage Area Photo Contest. The annual photo contest encourages photographers of all levels to “capture” the living landscapes, unique places and interesting people of Essex County, MA.  The contest is presented by Essex Heritage in partnership with Hunt’s Photo & Video, the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission, and the National Park Service at Salem Maritime and Saugus Iron Works National Historic Sites.


From rocky coasts and harbors, to rural farms, historic downtowns and parks, photographers of all ages vividly captured a variety of special places in Essex County for their award-winning submissions to this year’s contest. Thirteen of the fourteen winning images were selected by a panel of judges that included special guest judges John Andrews, owner of Creative Salem and Social Palates, three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Stanley Forman, and professional photographer, Scott Ryder. The “People’s Choice Winner” was chosen by public votes via Essex Heritage’s Facebook page. All of the photographs were taken within the Essex National Heritage Area and represent one of four contest categories: “This Land Is Your Land”; “Downtown”; and “Go Coastal”. Youth, ages 5-17, were also encouraged to enter the Photo Contest to win a “Youth Entry” prize in any of the contest categories.


2016 Essex National Heritage Area Photo Contest Winners

Grand Prize Winner

  • Rockport Amy Smith Gloucester

People’s Choice Winner

Ipswich John Quinn Essex National Heritage
Cider Donut Run in Ipswich by John Quinn of Beverly

Category: This Land is Your Land

Essex National Heritage Photo Contest 2016
1st Prize: Holding Beauty at Crane Estate in Ipswich by Laura Ganz of Salem
Photo contest Essex National Heritage
2nd Prize: Are You My Mother by Sue Plutsky, Gloucester
2016 Photo Contest Essex National heritage
3rd Prize: Gathering Flowers at Tendercrop Farm in Newbury by Vicki Dakin of Lynn

Category: Downtown

Essex National photo Contest
1st Prize: Supreme Roast Beef Diner Facade in Gloucester by Karen Hosking of Salem
Essex photo contest
2nd Prize: Rocky Hill Meetinghouse 1785 in Amesbury by Ken Jordan of Lynn
Essex National Gloucester Creative Salem
3rd Prize: Foggy Good Morning in Gloucester by Judy McCann of Dracut

Category: Go Coastal

1st Prize: After the Storm by Rick Matthias, Salem
2nd Prize: Owl in Dunes in Salisbury by Jacob Mosser III of North Reading
Fish house Essex national heritage
3rd Prize: Fish House at Dusk by Neal Rodgers, Swampscott


Youth Winner

Essex National Heritage Photo Contest
This Land Is MY Land by Sydney Lee Jolivet, Newbury

Photo Contest Reception and Exhibit

The public is invited to attend the 2016 Photo Contest Reception on Wednesday, January 25, 2017 at 5 PM, in the gallery at Hunt’s Photo & Video in Melrose (located at 100 Main Street, Melrose, MA 02176-6104). At the reception, photographers will be presented with their awards and visitors will have a chance to meet the photographers as well as view the 2016 Photo Contest Exhibit.  The reception is a free and open to the public; please RSVP via Eventbrite Registration Page.


The twelve winning images will be exhibited for one year at the National Park Service Visitor Center in Salem (2 New Liberty Street, Salem, MA 01970) and at the office of the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission (160 Main Street, Haverhill, MA 01830).


See all the winning photographs online at


Prints for the Essex National Heritage Area Photo Contest exhibits were generously provided by Hunt’s Photo & Video.  Prizes for the Photo Contest were generously contributed by Hunt’s Photo & Video and the National Park Service.


About Essex Heritage and the Essex National Heritage Area

Essex Heritage is the non-profit organization that manages the Essex National Heritage Area by developing programs that enhance, preserve and encourage recreation, education, conservation and interpretation projects on Boston’s North Shore and the Lower Merrimack River Valley. The Essex National Heritage Area is comprised of the 34 cities and towns of Essex County, MA. For more information, visit or call (978) 740-0444.