Paducah's Photographic Tradition

Art Through The Lens

The Yeiser Art Center (YAC) is excited to be hosting their annual international juried photography arts competition, Art Through the Lens. The opening reception is this Friday, and this year’s exhibit is their best yet.  

This year's opening reception will be held on Friday October 13th from 5 - 7pm, and will include light refreshments and the announcement of awards. The reception is free and open to the public. After the reception, there will be a $5 admission to see the exhibition. 

From small beginnings

Originating in 1975 as the Paducah Summer Festival Photo Competition, Paducah Photo has grown from a fledgling contest into an international juried exhibition. Over the past 40 years, this exhibition has become one of the Mid-South’s most prestigious annual photographic events. To honor its history, the exhibition now exists in two parts: the International Show which features the juror's selection and the Regional Showcase chosen by second juror.

Local entries exhibited downtown

From the 621 entries, 84 were selected from 21 U.S. States and 5 Nations. Entries that were not selected for the International Exhibition and came from a 100-mile radius of Paducah were automatically included in the jury process for the Regional Showcase, juried this year by Stacey Reason, Executive Director of the Yeiser Art Center (YAC). 

"The Regional Showcase is always an impressive component to this show that honors the history of this exhibition while highlighting the incredible talent of the region," said Reason. 18 photographic works were selected and will be displayed in the US Bank lobby, located in Downtown Paducah close to YAC at 333 Broadway.

A broad spectrum of art

The artworks in Art Through the Lens 2017 represent the entire spectrum of photography from historic processes such as collodion tintype and cyanotype, to digitally captured and manipulated images and videos. This exhibition hosts everything from traditional photography to unexpected renditions using photographic processes.

Meet this year’s juror

"It was my great pleasure to be this year’s juror for the Art Through the Lens exhibition at the Yeiser Art Center," said Eliot Dudik. "The first juried exhibition I applied to and was selected for was Paducah Photo 2009, which I believe was the older version of Art Through the Lens, so this exhibition means a lot to me as it was a springboard of sorts for my own work.”

Jurying an art exhibition is no easy task, especially one with 621 exceptional entries! “There were certainly photographs that didn’t ultimately make the cut that I had a very difficult time letting go,” explained Dudik. “Selecting images for an exhibition is by no means an easy task. We all have our own tastes and interests.”

“My interests in photography are quite broad, as are my interests in music, film, and literature, which made the selection process for this lens-based art exhibition even more difficult. I do, however, have a tendency toward material and process, experimentation, risk, ideas, nuance, and heart. I believe the selections made for the 2017 Art Through the Lens exhibition carry all of these things, and I hope you’ll enjoy interacting with them as I did."

Paducah, photographic tradition

Please visit YAC during this incredible exhibition to celebrate a long-standing Paducah photo tradition. YAC is a non-profit visual arts organization celebrating sixty years (1957 - 2017) of serving the community through exhibitions and education throughout the Tri-State Region. The Yeiser Art Center is wheelchair accessible.   

Their hours of operation are Tuesday – Saturday from 10 am - 5 pm. Admission is $5 for non-members and YAC members and children under 13 are free. For questions, please email the YAC at or call 270.442.2453. Visit for more info on upcoming events.