To recognize the efforts and showcase the talents of our vibrant community of artists, Gwinnett County Public Library invites photographers to submit to the GCPL Photo Annual. Selected photographers will have their work exhibited at our beautiful new Duluth branch during the Atlanta Celebrates Photography festival in October. The exhibition will be juried by Maria Kelly, the Curatorial Assistant of Photography at the High Museum of Art. This year’s theme is “Imagining the Unreal.” 

There is no cost to submit, and all associated events will be free and open to the public. 


Go down the rabbit hole with this year’s theme, Imagining the Unreal. We are looking for broad interpretations of the theme, including dreams, fictional narratives, emotional landscapes, surreal visions, altering our world or creating another world or universe.

Any photographic, lens or light-based images are welcome for entry, including staged scenes, manipulated images, mixed media, alternative processes, or anything you can imagine. For submission, the work needs to result in a digital file that can be submitted and printed on large format vinyl for public installation. Please note that artworks cannot contain nudity, drug use, or violence. 

Submission Guidelines: 

  • This exhibition is free to enter and open to anyone creating photographic images
  • Submissions open on July 7, 2021 and close August 16, 2021 
  • Each entrant can submit up to 5 images 
  • Images must be jpegs, 1500px on the longest side, sRBG color space
  • Name your files using the naming convention: Lastname_Firstname_001.jpg
  • Submissions are collected through Google Forms 
  • Once you submit the form, you should receive a confirmation email 
  • Accepted photographers will be notified on September 10, 2021 

Important Dates:

  • July 7, 2021: Entries open 
  • August 16, 2021: Entries close 
  • September 10, 2021: Accepted artists notified 
  • September 17, 2021: Print files due from accepted artists
  • October 15, 2021: Exhibition Opening 
  • October 23, 2021: Juror talk with Maria Kelly 
  • November 19, 2021: Show closes

Meet Our Juror

Maria L. Kelly is the Curatorial Assistant of Photography at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, as well as the Collection Manager for The Sir Elton John Photography Collection. During her time at the High, Maria has helped organize more than twenty photography installations, including exhibitions featuring the work of Helen Levitt, Abelardo Morell, Thomas Struth, Wynn Bullock, and Gordon Parks, among others. She recently co-curated an exhibition on women photographers throughout history, titled Underexposed: Women Photographers from the Collection. 

Library Resources at GCPL for Photographers

The Gwinnett County Public Library has Learning Labs with many free resources to help photographers, including DSLR and mirrorless digital cameras, iMac stations with Creative Suite, studio lights, and more. Access to our Learning Labs is free with a library card. Out-of-county patrons can purchase a full access library card for $40 a year. 

Learning Lab Specialists are also on staff to help! Book-a-Librarian or Book an appointment to use the labs at https://www.gwinnettpl.org/learninglabs/ 

Have a question? Send us an email at learninglabs@gmail.com