The largest public photo exhibition in North America returns to Sarasota

“The Fence” will appear on Nathan Benderson Park’s Regatta Island through Feb. 8. In the shadow of the Benderson Family Finish Tower, the exhibit will appear on both sides of a fence between the island’s twin bridges.

The largest public photo exhibition in North America returns to Sarasota, including a showcase of the best from Gulf Coast photographers.

“The Fence” will appear on Nathan Benderson Park’s Regatta Island through Feb. 8. In the shadow of the Benderson Family Finish Tower, the exhibit will appear on both sides of a fence between the island’s twin bridges.

The large-scale traveling exhibition draws more than 6 million visitors each year through open-air exhibitions in eight cities — this year, host cities also include Seattle, Boston, Atlanta, Denver, Houston, Brooklyn, N.Y. and Calgary, Alberta. The Sarasota show will include a Gulf Coast Regional Showcase that highlights the best work from photographers across the region. Five of those winning photographers are from Sarasota.

Participating artists’ work spans the categories of creatures, home, people, streets, nature, food and play. Each photo series is comprised of as many as five images that share a thematic connection or tell a story.

Photographers were invited to submit work for consideration by a jury of photo and art professionals, including photo editors from The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News, the San Francisco Chronicle, and People and Time magazines, as well as curators from galleries, museums and colleges across the continent, including the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts in Tampa.

“The Fence” consistently attracts exceptional work by talented photographers from around the world. It also provides photographers with a truly public platform and unexpected career opportunities.

Conceived and produced by United Photo Industries, “The Fence” was developed with Photo District News in 2011. It was presented for the first time in 2012 in Brooklyn Bridge Park and has since grown through strategic partnerships with cultural organizations across the United States and Canada.

“We’re proud to have ‘The Fence’ return to Nathan Benderson Park,” said Stephen V. Rodriguez, the president of Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Associates (SANCA), which manages NBP. “Thousands came last year to see the exhibit and we’re particularly pleased to have a showcase of regional work this year.”

Laura Feder, a photography enthusiast, was instrumental in bringing “The Fence” to NBP last fall, and sponsors the entire Gulf Coast Regional Showcase.

“I was beyond thrilled that New York-based ‘The Fence’ agreed to add a regional contest, showcasing some of our exceptionally talented Gulf Coast photographers,” Feder said.

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