© Maureen Ruddy Burkhart

We’re delighted to announce that Feature Shoot’s Founder Alison Zavos has selected Maureen Ruddy Burkhart, Susan Borowitz, and Shira Gold as the winners of Feature Shoot’s Reader Spotlight. Every month, three photographers are hand-selected to have their work featured across both of our newsletters (regular and special edition), reaching a combined audience of 80,000 people, including gallerists, curators, publishers, and agents. Additionally, the winners have their work showcased on Feature Shoot, so look out for their stories in the coming weeks.

© Maureen Ruddy Burkhart

Maureen Ruddy Burkhart

In the summer of 2021, during one of her many walks in nature, Maureen Ruddy Burkhart discovered a family of baby swallows living in a dead tree. She documented them throughout the season–until the area was sprayed for mosquitos. Without food, the birds disappeared, though, by luck, she found them once more by a different lake.

“The mosquitos incident awoke in me an acute awareness of the fragility of birds…and of the planet,” the artist says. Her photographs of those birds have formed the foundation for her series Evanescence: for things that are fleeting or quickly disappearing, an ode to a natural world in peril.

© Susan Borowitz

Susan Borowitz

In the vein of Cindy Sherman, Susan Borowitz explores feelings of longing and frustration in Locked In, a collection of self-portraits both humorous and stirring. “Using metaphor and imagery that suggest the inability to move on or to complete a task, the series evokes the absence of agency, particularly by women, who feel consciously aware of what they should pursue or speak up about, but feel impotent in the face of a dominant power: unequal relationships, societal expectations and especially the disappearance of relevancy with encroaching age,” the artist writes.

© Shira Gold

Shira Gold

By a Thread is the photographer Shira Gold‘s exploration of the uncertainty of the pandemic and its aftermath, the introduction and relaxing of new rules, and the continual changes we’ve all been required to make. “Oft-maligned, moths evoke a sense of rebirth and regeneration, with an innate pull towards liberation through their symbolic and transformative beauty,” Gold says.

“After such a prolonged period of blackout, we too are called to leave the haven of our cocooned worlds behind as we are drawn instinctively to the dawn and hope it brings, a promise that until now has been just beyond reach. Conceived in the fall of 2020 as Vancouver’s lower mainland was besieged with what many ironically called a ‘moth pandemic,’ By a Thread evolved in the months and year following, finally completed in synchronicity with the easing of pandemic mandates.”

We want to extend a thank you to all of the photographers who have submitted for our Reader’s Spotlight over the past few months. We will be discontinuing the Reader’s Spotlight newsletter after this month, but we have some exciting news on the horizon, so stay tuned.