Enter to win Bill Cunningham contest

www.blogspot.com photo: Bill Cunningham travels around NYC taking street photography.www.blogspot.com photo: Bill Cunningham travels around NYC taking street photography.

As most of us are familiar with The New York Times, many fail to recognize the 83-year-old fashion photojournalist behind the artwork: Bill Cunningham.

Cunningham is known for his candid New York City street photography and Time Style section columns “On the Street” and “Evening Hours.”

Cunningham was a Harvard dropout, who decided to embrace the fast-paced world and move to New York. He started taking photographs during World War II, but started his career in advertising. Eventually, he switched to writing for the Chicago Tribune and working at Women’s Wear Daily. This is when he found his passion for street fashion.

“The difference for me is I don’t see the people I photograph. All I see are clothes. I’m only interested in people who look good. I’m looking for the stunners,” Cunningham said in a 2002 article.

The Mercyhurst Institute for Arts & Culture (MIAC) and Department of Fashion Merchandising are challenging students, administrators and the public to “Be Bill Cunningham.”

The contest is a way for individuals to display their creativity and photography.

Entries can be anything from photos of eclectic downtown individuals, to your friends posing in their favorite weekend outfits. Photographs should represent “street fashion,” the latest trends or your individual style.

In conjunction with the photo contest, the documentary “Bill Cunningham New York,” will be shown on Friday, Feb. 8, at 2:15 and 7:15 p.m. in the Taylor Little Theatre. Tickets for the film are $6 for adults, $5 for students and seniors and free for Mercyhurst students.

MIAC and the Fashion Merchandising Department are hosting an event after the first documentary screening at 5:30 p.m., on the third floor of Old Main. Those who choose to participate in the contest will have their photograph enlarged and hanging in the hallway. Whether or not you decide to enter the contest, you are welcome to check out the submitted street photography.

A panel of judges will choose the winning photograph and the winner will be revealed.

The winner will receive a professional print of his or her image, a display on the MIAC website and $50 gift cards to The Limited and Isaac Baker Menswear.

Chair of the Fashion Merchandising Department Amy Weaver-Kaulis is one of the persons working closely with this contest to make it a fun success.

“This contest gives Mercyhurst students, faculty and members of the community the opportunity to look beyond the typical North Face fleece jackets and Ugg boots that are seen daily and instead capture a unique look or interpretation of one’s personal style,” Weaver-Kaulis said.

The contest is open to the public and all from the Erie community are encouraged to participate.

For more information, check out the “Be Bill Cunningham Contest” event on the MIAC Facebook page.

Those interested in the contest are welcome to submit their photography to bebillcunningham@gmail.com. The deadline for all submissions is Monday, Jan. 28.