The initial impetus for the award came after I received an electronic invitation to the opening of Jason Eskenazi’s “Wonderland: A Fairytale of the Soviet Monolith.”  I am familiar with Jason’s work and knew that it wasn’t receiving the attention it deserved so I spontaneously gave him this award and forwarded the email to everyone on my list.

I told Derek Stroup the story of how I made up this award and he laughed.  He was very encouraging and said, “Just keep doing it, the next thing you know people will be sending you their portfolios.”

A month or so later, Jay Nubile happened to send me a You Tube link to a video he and Toby Kaplowitz made for an experimental video workshop.  I tried giving him five stars but the You Tube software had a bug in it and only three stars were given!  This made me mad so I gave Jay what he rightfully deserved -– 6 GOLD STARS ******!

The idea stems partially from my discomfort with traditional media’s methodology for reviewing books, films, art, etc.  I feel these large entities have too much power over what is promoted nationally.  How often does the New York Times review a photography or multimedia book?????  Most of the decisions to review something are coming from editors with an expertise only in writing and editing text.  The visual arts are so dominant in our society yet only a handful of these editors have a strong background in this area.

I’ve always had complex feelings about awards because they foster competition and if someone doesn’t win, the individual often feels sad.  I’m not a person who likes competition or believes people need to be validated by awards, especially in journalism, photography and the arts.  However, awards often promote stuff that might go unnoticed and the psychology behind an award is still very powerful……so the intent is for this to be a friendly, quirky, happy, nice award.

The name of the 6 GOLD STAR AWARD is derived from my early pre-internet days in photography when I used to star my favorite slides so the editors would know which ones to choose.  The best slides were exuberantly given numerous stars.  Despite my not so subtle efforts, these editors have a mind of their own and often choose photographs I don’t want published.  As anyone in field of communications knows these listening skill problems persist to this very day.

And of course….we can’t forget our days in elementary school when we eagerly awaited our gold stars.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Randy Moss Wins SL6 Great Wide Receiver Award.

Randy I appreciate you. You're a great receiver! I'm happy you're playing with the Patriots. You also help sell tickets and get people to watch on TV. Don't wory, I hear what your saying...the man ain't treating you well.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Elyse Butler Wins SL6 for Being a Great Young Photographer

Elyse Butler Wins the Steve Lehman 6 Gold Star Award for Being a Great Young Photographer! this woman has an interesting eye. If you look at tons and tons of photography it can all start to look the same after a while. Elyse's work makes me pause and look. Congratulations Elyse!!!

Her photography collective Aeveum (Chris Cappozella, Matt Mallans, Andrew Henderson, Yoon Byun) is doing some cool things too. These young photographers seem sincere, committed and passionate. They're a lot nicer, less conniving and jaded then some of these old &%$#*@'s who would sell their own mother for a picture. It seems like they actually care about people.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Reggie Wins Bush the Steve Lehman 6 Gold Star Award for Being My Favorite College Football Player.

Reggie Bush is expected to be stripped of his Heisman Trophy for receiving improper benefits. I think this is bull so in support I'm giving him the Steve Lehman 6 Gold Star Award™ for Being My Favorite College Football Player. No one could run like him.

This is a huge issue. College sports is big business. College athletes make millions of dollars for the big schools and the NCAA yet they go unpaid. They're nearly the equivalent of professionals athletes. Being a college football player at a big university is a job. The NCAA and the big universities are very exploitative of these young men. So what if Reggie Bush received some gifts? The NCAA and USC were ripping him off. They were cheating him! The NCAA wanted him to work for free. Reggie essentially said, "blank off" to that idea. It's a legitimate statement for a young person to make. He was the guy that sold tickets and got people to watch on TV. I watch college football because of Reggie Bush and other great players not some shady NCAA official who figured out a way to get free labor from kids. He even got my mother to watch a college football game. What's the monetary value of that?

Reggie Bush was a poor kid and could have been injured at any time. Do remember Da'Sean Butler of West Virginia who blew out his knee in the final four last year? Did the NCAA have workers compensation insurance for him? or insurance to cover injuries that would prevent him from working as a professional athlete or shorten his career? Do they have insurance to cover the emotional trauma of major injuries? Does the NCAA care about him now that the game is over? The NCAA is dubious. You don't need to be Einstein to figure that one out. There's too much money in college sports not to debate athletes receiving compensation. The Universities and TV want all the money for themselves. This whole issue is very complicated because what happens when you start paying the kids? There's a lot of problems with that as well. This is Pandora's box.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Ashley Tsai Wins the SL6 for her Stop Motion Video

MIR Sustainable Homes Stop-motion from Students of the World on Vimeo.

Ashley Tsai Wins the SL6 For Her Stop Motion Video. I was impressed by this video, Ashley is on to something. She's only a freshman in college and put this together. I'm happy to give her this award while it's helpful not 10 years later when she doesn't need it.

One of the reasons I created this award is because of my early experiences in college and starting out as an artist. The administration and faculty at Duke are often disrespectful of people with creative gifts. They have a limited understanding of creativity and its value. As a student and alumni I found them arrogant, rude and not very helpful. I didn't like it and I try to be nice and help people because of it. At Duke, the administration and faculty are not good with positive reinforcement. It's a big issue there.

Best Blueberries Ever Award goes to Riiska Brook Orchard

Riiska Brook Farms win the Steve Lehman 6 Gold Star Award for the Best Blueberries Ever. Riiska blueberries are the best I ever had. Fat, juicy and sweet. They are tasty. Go get some.

Additional Information:
Riiska Brook Orchard is based in Sandisfield MA. They feature over 10 varieties of apples ranging from Macs, Fujis and Braeburns. You can pick your own or buy them in the store. Blueberries and Pumpkins also available.
Open every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 9am-5pm.

101 New Hartford Rd. Sandisfield MA 01255
Phone 413-258-4761

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Jeff Probst of Survivor Wins Best Television Host Award

Jeff Probst of Survivor Wins the Steve Lehman 6 Gold Star Award™ for Best Television Host. Survivor is my favorite show. I was always into survival type things and the game of Survivor is like playing chess with human pieces. I love it.

Jeff Probst Bio

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Callio Centrella Wins the Steve Lehman 6 Gold Star Award™ for Her Beautiful Handmade Jewelery

Callio Centrella Wins the Steve Lehman 6 Gold Star Award™ for Her Beautiful Handmade Jewelery. I met Callio at a crafts fair where she was making jewelry and wind chimes out of forks, knives and spoons. I thought the pieces were great and rare. She's off the radar, no website, e-mail, etc. I like art, you can't just buy anywhere..........

Ps. I was going to post a picture but google takes our right to license the images and art!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm not going to go into the details but the word "orwellian" describes it best.

11. Content licence from you

11.1 .......... By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive licence to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services.......

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Bistrot a Vins Wins the Steve Lehman 6 Gold Star Award™ for Being My Favorite French Restaurant.

Bistrot a Vins wins is the Steve Lehman 6 Gold Star Award™ for being my favorite French restaurant.

I love this place. Great authentic food from southwest France. The decor is cool as well - old wooden tables, etc. If you have French friends bring them there, they'll be impressed.

42 rue Leon Frot
Paris, France
Phone 331- 4370-5927


Saturday, March 6, 2010

Manuel Bauer Wins the Steve Lehman 6 Gold Star Award™ for Being A Great Photographer

Manuel Bauer wins the Steve Lehman 6 Gold Star Award™ for being a great photographer. In the tradition of the Swiss photographer Robert Frank, Manuel has created wonderful body of work. He is best known for his trek across the Himalayas with a young Tibetan girl who was fleeing Chinese oppression. I know these areas well and what he did what truly remarkable. He has also made a book Journey For Peace which chronicles the life of the Dalai Lama. The access he obtained is very rare and the photographs are one of best portrayals of a leader.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Including Samuel Nabs Seven Steve Lehman 6 Gold Star Awards™.

Before his son Samuel was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, multimediajournalist Dan Habib rarely thought about the inclusion of people with disabilities. Now he thinks about inclusion every day. Shot and produced over four years, Habib's award-winning documentary film, Including Samuel, honestly chronicles the Habib family's efforts to include Samuel in every facet of their lives. The film also features four other families with varied inclusion experiences, plus interviews with dozens of teachers, young people, parents and disability rights experts.

Including Samuel is a highly personal, passionately photographed film that captures the cultural and systemic barriers to inclusion. The stars of the film received the following Steve Lehman 6 Gold Star Awards™:

Samuel Habib wins the SL6™ for helping many people.

Isaiah Habib wins the SL6™ for being an awesome big brother and disability rights advocate.

Emily Huff Wins the SL6™ for being a great artist.

Keith Jones Wins the SL6™ for his courage and activism.

Alana Malfy Wins the SL6™ for helping people.

Nathaniel Orellana Wins the SL6™ for helping people.

Dan Habib wins the SL6™ for telling a moving story about his own family*.

*This is very important because so many journalists and documentarians look into the lives of others but rarely examine their own lives. It was very brave for Dan to open his life and family to the world in this way.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Robbie Barnett Wins the Steve Lehman Six Gold Star Award™ for being a Media Pioneer.

Robbie Barnett wins the Steve Lehman 6 Gold Star Award™ for being a media pioneer. Robbie was one of the first political bloggers; he was what existed 15 years before blogger and wordpress. He used faxes and later e-mail to deliver news and analysis. He successfully bypassed traditional media and distributed specific information about an area of interest to him and other people.

I first met Robbie Barnett on the back streets of Lhasa, Tibet during the first contemporary independence demonstrations. It was October 1, 1987 and the Chinese had just begun shooting at the Tibetan protestors. He was wearing an old army jacket and offered to hold onto some of my film in case I got arrested.

He like so many were very moved by these events and spontaneously began to gather information about what happened. What is unique is Robbie turned his conviction into the Tibet Information Network (TIN). TIN was an organization that collected and distributed information about what was happening in Tibet. It was a small but very important organization because the mainstream press did very little reporting from Tibet. He once commented upon his work, "I just couldn't stand them lying about everything." From a conceptual standpoint his efforts were also very significant because he successfully merged journalism and human rights (I believe I helped influence this).