On March 17, 2011, american photographer Mitch Epstein was announced as the winner of the third Prix Pictet photography prize for environmental sustainability. Mitch Epstein was nominated for his series entitled American Power. The prize announcement, sponsored by Swiss bank, Pictet & Cie, with a value of 100,000 Swiss Francs (100,000 dollars, £65,000, €80,000) was made at the opening of an exhibition of the works of the 12 shortlisted photographers at the Paris gallery, Passage de Retz. For the third edition of the Prix Pictet, the theme was Growth.
With each Prix Pictet award, Pictet supports the work of a charity whose work reflects the theme of the prize. In 2011, The Nakuprat Conservancy, a Kenyan community conservancy project of the UK-based charity, the Tusk Trust, was chosen. Tusk is responsible for the development of over forty different programs of conservation and sustainable community development in 17 African countries. 40,000 Swiss Francs was awarded to US photographer Chris Jordan to undertake a field trip to Northern Kenya where Pictet & Cie is currently supporting the work of this environmental charity. The photographs produced for the Commission will be premiered at an exhibition in London later in 2011.
Both photographers were selected from a shortlist of twelve, namely Christian Als, Edward Burtynsky, Stéphane Couturier, Mitch Epstein, Chris Jordan, Yeondoo Jung,Vera Lutter, Nyaba Leon Ouedraogo, Taryn Simon, Thomas Struth, Guy Tillim and Michael Wolf. Both Burtynsky and Jordan have previously been shortlisted for the Prix Pictet.
A selection of works from the portfolios of each shortlisted artist are being shown in Paris at the Passage de Retz from March 18 to April 16, 2011. The Prix Pictet will continue showing in international venues throughout 2011, including confirmed venues in Thessaloniki; Zurich, Milan, London, Dubai, and Madrid. Further proposals from major international galleries are currently under consideration.