Hal Prize Expands Photography Categories

Partnership with Peninsula School of Art grows

The 2022 Hal Prize for Photography will offer new opportunities for photographers to enter work in five categories: landscape/nature, people, animals, black and white, and drone.

The expansion is a result of the continued growth of the contest and the wide range of styles it now attracts. The change also comes into effect because of a deeper partnership with Peninsula School of Art (PenArt), which has been supporting the contest since its start in 1998 through donations of classes for prize winners.

“The partnership with the Hal Prize is an opportunity for PenArt to share our digital and photography workshops with the winning photographers, but more importantly, we are excited to lend our expertise and knowledge of the art and photography community,” said Catherine Hoke, executive director of PenArt. “We are looking forward to expanding and adapting the photography categories in future years to include more digitally enhanced and art photography, as well as using our faculty pool as potential judges.”

Winners in each category will receive $50 in addition to a $250 gift certificate from PenArt to use toward workshops and classes, as well as publication. One overall photography winner will be selected and receive $150, a Clay Bay mug plus a $500 gift certificate from PenArt.

PenArt’s support helps to expand offerings for photographers and will offer resources for entrants.

This partnership comes on the eve of PenArt’s newest expansion: a dedicated digital-arts studio. The studio will encourage cross-pollination among media such as printmaking and photography, and through new programs and accessible print stations, participants will be introduced to the basic concepts of creating, viewing and exploring new art forms. Construction on the new digital wing is slated to begin in late 2022 or early 2023.

Lars Topelmann

Photography judge Lars Topelmann said that within each category, he’ll be looking for similar aspects that make a photo stand out.

“Visual impact is number one,” he said. “What am I looking at here? Does it make an impact? Then you go back and refine it in the second pass. Is it something I haven’t seen before? If it’s anything that’s common, it’s got to be a new look, or a more interesting composition.”

Photography is just one part of the Hal Prize, the annual writing and photography contest presented by the Peninsula Pulse; Write On, Door County; and Peninsula School of Art that offers prizes for poetry, nonfiction and fiction in addition to photography.

This year, prizes for the writing contest include cash for the top three in each category, a mug from Clay Bay Pottery for first-place winners and publication in 8142 Review, Peninsula Publishing & Distribution’s annual literary publication. 

Submissions are now open for the 2022 Hal Prize. The deadline to submit is Sept. 16. Find more details and submit entries at

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