Winners of “Celebrate Local Beauty” Photo Contest

September 1st, 2014 — Sunland, CA: Winners of the Photography Competition of the 2014 Art Day Games (which are like the Olympics, but for the arts) were announced on August 8, 2014 at the Community Art Day celebration at the home of Art Day’s Founder & Photography Judge, Becky Mate. Mate, an Artists For A Better World International member, said, “I am so appreciative that AFABW Int sponsored this competition on a global basis. It allows countries to show off their artists the way that they show pride in their sports figures.”

Participants played for the country where they live, where they were born or where a parent was born. Victoria Iafrate, whose parents are from Texas, won the Gold for the USA, for a photo of her own “local beauty,” her daughter Zelda. “I like to take photos of my kids,” said Iafrate, “You get to capture things, the rare moments, that you can never get back. Photography can give you a different outlook on things, the truth, for example a photo of a homeless person can make us realize that it is not all butterflies and rainbows out there.”

The Silver award went to El Salvador due to a magical photo of a tree, lights, and books taken by Claudia Chicas. “I see magic and beauty in many things. I like to take happy views because they make you feel better and feel happy about life,” said Chicas, “And, photos are a fingerprint left in history.”

Angelique Suganuma brought home the Bronze for Japan, for her photo of her home in Japan. Her mother is from the USA and her father is from France, so she had options as to which country to play for. “People like viewing my photographs because they are seeing things they haven’t seen before,” said Suganuma, “And it makes them want to reach out beyond their immediate area and go to places they have never been.”

Each participant in the Art Day Games won a small monetary prize. The winners won a bit larger monetary prizes and each received a gift bag filled with arts-related loot, such as poetry books, colored pencils, small watercolor paintings, etc.

“The theme of the Photography Competition, ‘Celebrate Local Beauty,’ was inspired by one of the purposes of a world Art Day,” said Mate, “which is for people of the world to take a moment on the second Friday in August to appreciate the artists and culture and beauty which touches their lives.”

For more information about the annual Art Day holiday, second Friday in August, or about the upcoming 2015 Art Day Games, email