Seven Cities of The Fence: Enter now!

Seven Cities of The Fence: Enter now!

Submissions are now open for The FENCE, a large-scale traveling photography exhibition reaching over 6 million visitors annually through open-air exhibitions in 8 cities across North America: Brooklyn, Boston, Atlanta, Santa Fe, Durham, Denver, Calgary (Canada), and Sarasota.

Since its inception, THE FENCE has consistently attracted exceptional work by talented photographers from around the world, sharing these powerful photographic narratives with a diverse audience of millions of visitors annually, while providing photographers with a truly public platform and unexpected career opportunities.

THE FENCE was conceived by United Photo Industries and Photo District News in 2011. It was presented for the first time in 2012 in Brooklyn Bridge Park and has since grown and flourished through a series of strategic partnerships with like-minded cultural organizations across the United States.


The Fence 2017 along the waterfront in Brooklyn Bridge Park underneath the Brooklyn Bridge in Brooklyn, NY. ©Mark D Phillips


United Photo Industries is a New York based non-profit organization that works to promote a wider understanding and increase access to the art of photography. Founded in 2011 by Sam Barzilay, Dave Shelley, and Laura Roumanos, United Photo Industries has rapidly solidified its position in the public art landscape by consistently showcasing thought-provoking, challenging, and exceptional photography from across the globe. UPI also produces PHOTOVILLE, New York City’s FREE premier photo festival in a modular venue built from re-purposed shipping containers.

This year's contest features seven thematic categories:

  • Creatures: Domestic, wild, mythical, or fantastical – a diversity of creatures literally and figuratively walk amongst us, inspiring both joy and fear. They embody the abstract and intangible, and in their contrast, provide a means of understanding ourselves.
  • FoodWhether you explore food from a sociological or an environmental perspective, it’s clear food is an indispensable resource necessary to enrich and sustain life. It is a point of social gathering, yet can also be harnessed to commit environmental and humanitarian abuse.
  • Home: The universal concept of home centers on physical location. However, home is more than a place; it’s that overwhelming feeling of familiarity. We encourage you to show us home the way you see — or feel — it.
  • Nature: The sheer beauty of nature has never ceased to fascinate mankind. Yet, our natural environment is both revered and easily exploited by humanity.
  • People: Our peers, our predecessors and our legacy. An encapsulating term and an indisputable identity, we are at once individuals, and a collective community.
  • Play: Your images of leisure, sports, recreation and amusement. An epitome of childhood and youth, and the foundation of friendships. The world is a limitless playground brimming with opportunity for exploration and self-learning. As we continue to evolve and age, how do we define and reimagine what it’s like to ‘play’?
  • Streets: The network by which we parcel and traverse our environment. From dusty crossroads, city streets, and super highways, these are the connective arteries of transportation, migration, and above all, life.

The images chosen will have the opportuinty to be seen across 7 major North American cities, to an audience of over 6 million, and win prizes and professional mentorship worth over $25,000. Prizes include a $5,000 cash grant to support the production or development of your photo project and a Leica camera package with complimentary access to a Master Class of your choice through the Leica Akademie.

All submissions are automatically considered for all exhibitions, across all participating cities, at no additional cost. All work must be submitted no later than Tuesday, April 10, 2018 at 11:59PM (Pacific Daylight Time) in order to be considered for The FENCE 2018. There is also an early bird deadline on March 13, 2018 at 11:59PM (Pacific Daylight Time).

All entries are made online through THE FENCE's website.

The entry fee for submitting an image series before the Early Bird Deadline (March 13) is $35. The entry fee for submitting an image series by the Regular Deadline (April 10) is $45. All image series submitted will be automatically considered for all 2018 FENCE exhibitions (Brooklyn, Boston, Atlanta, Santa Fe, Durham, Denver, and Calgary) – and the appropriate regional artist showcase exhibition based on artist location (New England, Colorado, New Mexico, North Carolina, Western Canada). Winners will be selected on or about June 1, 2018 and notified by email shortly thereafter.

When preparing your submission, please keep in mind that The FENCE is an outdoor exhibition that is open to visitors of all ages. Certain images containing scenes of a graphic nature (such as explicit nudity, sexual acts, or violence) may not be appropriate for our younger audience members. Please use your best judgement when submitting work for consideration.

The Brooklyn FENCE will be unveiled in June, and Boston, Atlanta, Santa Fe, Durham, Denver, and Calgary FENCE exhibitions will follow in the coming months. An announcement with the exact times and dates for each city will be made in the summer.