Among the art and products from vendors on display Friday through Sunday at the 79th-Annual Sumter Iris Festival was a booth representing the partnership between an arts grant and local history.
The Shepherd's Center of Sumter, the local …
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The Shepherd's Center of Sumter, the local affiliate of Kansas City-based Shepherd's Centers of America, an interfaith ministry that promotes services, volunteer opportunities and enrichment programs for older adults, showcased the winners of its Building a Community Photography Tour, which took place on May 1-2 through a Sumter County Cultural Commission mini grant. Guided by Sammy Way, a Sumter historian and The Sumter Item's archivist, and Bobby Nance, 14 community members participated in the tour and learned about the history of the Gamecock City while taking photos to capture their experience.
Photos taken during the tour were then judged based on a four-point system by members of the Capture San Antonio Photography Club, Sumter County Historical Society and Nance, according to Dr. Anita Kieslich of Sumter Shepherd's Center, who wrote the grant. The winners were displayed in a booth during the festival at Swan Lake-Iris Gardens next to the Iris Market, which is run by the Evening Pilot Club of Sumter.
"The response was just beautiful shots," Kieslich said.
During the tour, Way and Nance took the participants through James E. Clyburn Intermodal Transportation Center, Sumter Military Museum, The O'Donnell House, Sumter Opera House, Memorial Park in the Historic District and Swan Lake-Iris Gardens, stopping at Cut Rate Drugstore for lunch.
The winning photos will also be made into postcards that will be sold at the Iris Market to benefit the pilot club's mission of supporting brain disorder research and projects.
Sandy Tomlinson won the grand prize for her photo titled "The Town Clock" depicting the clock atop the Sumter Opera House. First place went to Teri Mathis for "Love at Swan Lake," a photo of two swans forming a heart with the neck and head at Swan Lake. Jackie Hughes took a photo called "Recovery" of the Grainger McKoy sculpture of a swan's wing to win second place, and third place went to Sandy Tomlinson for a photo of adult and young swans called "Together in the Park."
Winners received certificates recognizing their work. For her grand prize award, Tomlinson also received a glass serving display bowl made of stained glass in various colors.
The group was transported around in a vehicle provided by Shaw Air Force Base ITT, and Care a Lot provided the tent to display the photos during the festival.
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