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Griffin Museum's Focus Award Recipients and Presenters Announced
A poster for Rwandan President Paul Kagame is pasted over a mural advertising beer ahead of Monday's presidential election, in the capital Kigali, August 6, 2010. Rwandans will decide on Monday whether to grant a second seven-year term to President Paul Kagame, a strong-handed former rebel who has masterminded the reconstruction of the central African country since the 1994 genocide. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly.

WINCHESTER, MA.- The Griffin Museum of Photography today announced the recipients and presenters for its fifth annual Focus Awards.

The Museum created the annual awards in 2006 to recognize individuals who have made critical contributions to the promotion of photography. They are one of the few to recognize the work of those who have been instrumental in building greater awareness of the photographic arts in the general public.

The prestigious Focus Awards are presented in three categories: The Life Time Achievement Award, given to an individual whose ongoing commitment to photography has created far reaching impact; the Rising Star award given to an emerging force that the photographic community is watching with great enthusiasm; and the New England Beacon, recognizing a local individual whose work brings prominence to the local photographic scene. This year’s recipients are:

• Life Time Achievement – James K. Colton, photography editor, Sports Illustrated;
• Rising Star – David Bram, founder, Fraction Magazine; and
• New England Beacon – Alan Taylor, creator, The Big Picture blog, The Boston Globe/

“Each year, we continue to be amazed by the caliber of the candidates and it’s always an exciting challenge to determine the final recipients,” said Paula Tognarelli, executive director, Griffin Museum of Photography. “We are thrilled to be in such wonderful company with this year’s awardees and presenters, and look forward to a fun celebration in September.”

James Colton
Colton is currently the photography editor for Sports Illustrated. He began his career in 1972 as the color picture editor for the Associated Press. Five years later he joined Newsweek as a senior photo editor for international news. In 1988, he became executive vice-president and general manager of Sipa Press in New York, before returning to Newsweek in 1992 as the director of photography.

Colton is on the Board of Directors of the Eddie Adams Workshop, and is a mentor for J Camp, a national program that recruits talented high school students of color, sponsored by the Asian American Journalists Association. He was presented with the “Golden Career Award” at FotoFusion 2004 by the Palm Beach Photographic Centre, received an International Photography Awards “Lucie” for Picture Editor of the Year in 2007, was named Magazine Picture Editor of the Year in 2008 by the National Press Photographers Association, and has been acknowledged as one of the 100 most important people in photography by American Photo.

David Bram
Based in Albuquerque, NM, Bram is editor, curator, and founder of the popular and influential Fraction Magazine, now in its sixteenth issue. The goal of the online-only magazine is to provide an alternative to the fixed gallery, and to continually examine the role that photography plays in society. Fraction aims to feature the work of new artists who have yet to get the exposure they deserve, as well as very established artists who are showing off new projects. The magazine tries to show work that fits together, and work that is both strong in concept as well as execution. It also often includes guest curators and writers such as Melanie McWhorter, Mary Goodwin, and Larissa Leclair.

Alan Taylor
Web developer Alan Taylor created the photo blog The Big Picture for The Boston Globe/ He’s responsible for researching, designing, programming, and editing the three-day a week blog, which launched in 2008 to fantastic success. In its first 20 days of existence, The Big Picture reached almost 1.5 million page views and garnered more than 1,500 comments for just 20 entries.

Inspired by publications like LIFE magazine (of old), National Geographic, and online experiences like's Picture Stories galleries and Brian Storm's MediaStorm, The Big Picture is intended to highlight high-quality, amazing imagery – with a focus on current events, lesser-known stories, and just about anything that comes across the wire that looks really interesting. The majority of images come from the Associated Press, Reuters, and Getty Images. Other photos come from public domain sources like NASA, and private photographers who share them with The Big Picture for one-time use.

Taylor has been a web developer for more than ten years. Prior to The Boston Globe he worked for a number of large Internet companies, including,,, and

Focus Award Presenters

Steve Fine, Director of Photography, Sports Illustrated, to present Lifetime Achievement

As the Director of Photography at Sports Illustrated for the past 14 years, Fine has been very involved in the development of the magazine’s thrust into new media – including the launch of the iPad version in June. His career began at the magazine from 1979-83. After a stint as sports picture editor of the The New York Times (1983-88), and then deputy picture editor for the Sunday Magazine (1988-91), he returned to SI as deputy director in 1992 and was promoted to lead the department and the magazine’s visuals in 1996. Fine’s leadership led to his being named Picture Editor of the Year at the prestigious Lucie Awards in 2009.

Mary Virginia Swanson, Marketing Consultant, to present Rising Star
Swanson makes it her goal to help photographers find the strengths in their work and identify appreciative audiences for their prints, exhibitions, editorial, and licensing placement. She has a diverse professional background, having coordinated educational, publication, and exhibition programs for a wide range of institutions and businesses in the field and is considered an expert in the area of marketing and licensing fine art. Swanson’s workshops and lectures on the subjects of marketing opportunities and awareness have proven to aid photographers in moving their careers to the next level. She also consults with businesses and agencies to help in their awareness of and involvement with contemporary photography. Swanson is co-author with Darius Himes of Publish Your Photography Book to be released late fall 2010 (Princeton Architectural Press).

Finbarr O’Reilly, Chief Photographer, West & Central Africa, Reuters, to present New England Beacon Award
O’ Reilly started his journalism career as an arts correspondent in Canada where he spent three years writing about pop culture, music, and film for national newspapers. He joined Reuters in October 2001 as a text reporter in Kinshasa, Congo where he lived for a year before becoming the African Great Lakes correspondent, based out of Kigali, Rwanda (2004). O’Reilly turned toward photography in March 2005 and now works as the Reuters chief photographer (based in Dakar, Senegal) for West and Central Africa, coordinating pictures coverage for 24 countries. His photographs and multimedia have received numerous top industry awards, the first of which was the World Press Photo of the Year in 2006.

BeExposed – Award Presentation and Celebration
The Focus Awards will be presented on Saturday, September 25, from 4:30-7:00 p.m. at Winchester Town Hall, 71 Mt. Vernon Street. The master of ceremonies is photographer Lou Jones.

Immediately following the awards from 7:00-10:00 p.m. is the Annual Gala fundraiser at the Museum, 67 Shore Road. Guests can celebrate and mingle with the recipients, enjoy live music, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, bid on the silent auction, and get their pictures taken in a photo booth.

Tickets for both events can be purchased by calling 781-729-1158.

The Griffin Museum of Photography | Paula Tognarelli | Focus Awards |

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