Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

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August 2, 2012

Native wins national photo-art contest

Malis' work displayed at Florida art center

An Andover native is making a name for himself with his photography.

The Naples Art Association awarded $5,000 to Washington D.C. photographer Jon Malis, 27, naming him the winner of the second annual Camera USA: National Photography Exhibition and Award 2012. His artwork, Specimen 66, along with 47 additional photographs by artists from across the country is on view through Aug. 10, 2012 at The von Liebig Art Center in Naples, Fla.

The association reported that Juror Bradly Treadaway selected the winner of this exhibition by going with his instinct, praising Malis as a photographer, “who, instead of filling in the margins of our history books, is choosing to turn the page and help write a new chapter in photography.”

Originally from Andover, and a former photography intern at the Andover Townsman, Malis has been living in Washington D.C. since 2003, excluding a year in Columbus, Ohio.

“I first got into photography when I was 6 years old in Andover. I won a camera in the local camera store’s summer raffle. It was a little red block of plastic (the kind where you load the film, press a button, wind it up and you have no control over anything else in the equation), but it was enough to get me started. This was right around the time my father started heavy travel for his job, so in the summers, we’d travel through Europe, and I’d be snapping away,” he said. “But I think the seed was planted long before that. My mom, in the early ‘80s, was the PR/communications director for the Massachusetts Art Council, and before that, the Boston Ballet, so art’s something I always grew up with and was exposed to from before I was born.

“I didn’t take my first actual photography class until high school, and then I kind of fell in to art classes my freshman year in college - undergrad at The George Washington University - through a lucky draw of my inability to register for classes in my originally-intended major (international relations and political science), and then by the first semester of my sophomore year I’d declared as a studio art/photography major,” according to Malis.

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