Art News

Colorado Photographer Wins Open Photographer of the Year at Sony World Photography Awards

"Anger Management" has won Scott Wilson two Sony World Photography Awards: the Natural World & Wildlife Award and Open Photographer of the Year.
"Anger Management" has won Scott Wilson two Sony World Photography Awards: the Natural World & Wildlife Award and Open Photographer of the Year. Scott Wilson
The World Photography Organisation has announced the winners of the Sony World Photography Awards, and Colorado photographer Scott Wilson has been honored as Open Photographer of the Year.

Wilson, a resident artist at Gallery 6, had won the coveted Natural World & Wildlife Award for his photograph "Anger Management" in mid-March, putting him in the running for even more prestigious awards. The striking black-and-white photograph depicts a dirt-caked mustang stallion in Colorado's Sand Wash Basin, kicking up dirt after a dip in a mud pool. It was selected as the best wildlife photograph from more than 170,000 submissions.

"The Open competition celebrates the power of single images," according to contest organizers. "Winning photographs are selected for their ability to communicate a remarkable visual narrative combined with technical excellence."

When we spoke with Wilson after his first win, he was both ecstatic and humbled that he made it that far, since he'd entered the esteemed competition on a whim. A landscape photographer since the mid-’90s, he moved to Colorado from the U.K. seven years ago, only to be diagnosed with stage 4 cancer (he is now in remission). During his fight against the disease, he found comfort in landscape and wildlife photography, and became particularly inspired by wild horses, visiting Sand Wash Basin several times a year.

"Anger Management" is "symbolic of the challenges these horses face," he told Westword. "They're under almost a permanent roundup threat from the government just to sort of stay free in their own homes. I really wanted to capture that sense of the almost abstract challenge they face off the range, if that makes sense."

Along with top honors in the Open Photographer category, Wilson received $5,000. 

"It's an absolute privilege to win the Open Photographer of the Year title amongst such prestigious competition," Wilson says, "and right that issues facing American mustangs should be addressed on a public stage."

And this isn't his only exciting news: Wilson's photo gallery, Gallery 6, will relocate to the Art District on Santa Fe in late April, officially opening on First Friday, May 6  at 918 West Eighth Avenue.
Learn more about Scott Wilson at wilsonaxpe.com.
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Emily Ferguson is Westword's Culture Editor, covering Denver's flourishing arts and music scene. Before landing this position, she worked as an editor at local and national political publications and held some odd jobs suited to her odd personality, including selling grilled cheese sandwiches at music festivals and performing with fire. Emily also writes on the arts for the Wall Street Journal and is an oil painter in her free time.
Contact: Emily Ferguson