Photographers in the region receive prizes in photo competition | News, Sports, Jobs


Steve Silseth of Minot and Kim Black of Minot Air Force Base were among the winners of the 2021 Governor’s Photo Contest for Travel and Tourism

Governor Doug Burgum, along with North Dakota Director of Commerce, Tourism and Marketing Sara Otte Coleman and Executive Director of the North Dakota Arts Council Kim Konikow presented the winning submissions for the 18th annual competition. Launched in 2004, the Governor’s Photo Contest encourages amateur North Dakota photographers to submit photos that capture the unique things to see and do in North Dakota.

Photographers submitted photos in the Recreation, Road Trips, Badlands Scenery, Beyond the Badlands Scenery and Wildlife categories. Winning submissions will be published in North Dakota Tourism promotional material.

the photo of Noir, “Always on the water” received one of two honorable mentions in the Leisure category, won by Craig Bihrle of Bismarck for “Setting up decoys in a frozen wetland in North Dakota. “ Black’s photo depicts the peaceful glow of the last sunset light framing a paddle board in the calm waters of Sakakawea Lake.

Silseth’s photo, “Harvest,” received one of two honorable mentions in the Beyond the Badlands Scenery category, won by Roxanne Westerman of Mapleton with “Thunderstorm forming over sunflowers.” Its image features an aerial view of the wheat harvest.

The full gallery of winners is available at

This year, the competition brought in 543 submissions. Of the 15 photographers selected for the awards, 12 were the first winners of the Governor’s Photo Contest.

Two guest judges who participated this year were photographer Tim Lamey, representing the North Dakota Arts Council, and Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer David Hume Kennerly, representing the governor’s office.

Prints of the winning images will be on display at the North Dakota Heritage Center & State Museum until mid-November. The images will then, for the first time, be part of a traveling exhibition through the North Dakota Art Gallery Association. Exhibits will be held at the Cando Arts Council on December 1, the James Memorial Arts Center in Williston on May 2, and the Arts Center in Jamestown on June 9.

AAA has sponsored the Governor’s Photo Contest for the past 13 years, providing prizes and exposure to winning photographers.

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