CEPA Gallery was once again proud to administer the Annual Oseroff Memorial Purchase Prize on behalf of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute and the Roswell Park Alliance Art Committee. The Oseroff Memorial Purchase Prize, named in memory of Dr. Allan R. Oseroff, Chief of Dermatology from 1989 until his death in 2008, was held in August 2019. Each year the Oseroff Memorial Purchase Prize is awarded to one regional or national photographer who has a connection to WNY and whose artwork is identified as being of exceptional quality.
This year’s winner is Susan Lipka. Susan is a lifelong resident of Western New York, growing up in Buffalo and currently living in Kenmore. She is a graduate of Buffalo State College with degrees in Business and Art Education. Formerly an art teacher in the KenTon School District, she currently is employed with NYS as a court clerk at Buffalo City Court. Susan first heard of the competition while visiting the Roswell Park Cancer Institute with her daughter, who was being treated for cancer. The photograph, titled Heaven and Earth, was taken from a small Cesna while visiting Staniel Cay, one of the Exuma Islands in the Bahamas. She was in awe of the magnificent turquoise colors of the water while there, and it was especially spectacular looking from above. Susan’s photograph becomes part of the permanent collection of Roswell Park Cancer Institute and will be prominently displayed in a public area of the hospital alongside the work of many notable artists.
The 2019 competition was a popular one with a record number of 128 photographs entered. A jury selected seven finalists, which were then presented to the public for a vote. A record number of votes were tallied – 1944 – with Susan’s photograph receiving over 50% of the votes. Past recipients of the Oseroff Prize include artists Paris Roselli (2018), Alexis Oltmer (2017), Avye Alexandres (2016), Jeannine Mullan (2015), Jennifer Formica (2014) and Kevin Noble (2013).
Dr. Oseroff, a world-renowned expert in photodynamic therapy, had a life-long interest in photography and the visual arts. He was an empathetic physician who blended true caring with the latest scientific advances to become greatly loved by his patients and fellow staff. The prize is supported by an endowment from grateful patients and friends with a major contribution from his wife, Dr. Stephanie Pincus, and children Ben, Tamara and Matt. The prizes are designed to enhance the environment for all members of the Roswell Community.