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The 32nd Annual Photography Exhibition sponsored by the New Canaan Society for the Arts and The Barbara Benton Davis Fund at The Fairfield County Community Foundation opened Sunday, January 22nd at the Betty Barker Gallery, Carriage Barn Arts Center in Waveny Park. The exhibition of color and black & white images, both film and digital, by photographers from towns throughout Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, and New Jersey will run through February 19, 2011. An opening reception was held on Sunday, January 22nd from 4-6pm, with a presentation of awards at 5pm.

 The juror this year was Joan Fitzsimmons, award winning photographer and educator. Ms. Fitzsimmons commented, “I never tire of looking at images. That is why I am both a photographic artist and educator. No two individuals are ever going to render the world with the same eye, and that truism holds for this show also. The quality of submissions was quite high.” Lydia Viscardi, Exhibitions Director and Curator of the Carriage Barn, said, “56 photographers are represented in this show of 78 images chosen from over 350 entries.”

 Cash prizes in the categories of Best in Show, Color, Black & White, and Student were sponsored by The Barbara Benton Davis Fund at The Fairfield County Community Foundation. The $300 Best in Show Grand Prize went to Doll Houses by New Canaan resident, Jeanne McDonagh. Ms. Fitzsimmons stated, “I was intrigued by the dark, suggestive narrative of this photograph. It implies an eerily ambiguous suburban scene. Something is about to happen.”

The 1st Prize of $200 for Color was awarded to Merry Halloween by Laurie Jane Bepler of Wilton, CT. “This photo understands that subtle color can be effective. The image examines the artifacts of ordinary life with a droll but warm vision,” said Ms. Fitzsimmons. She awarded Dallas Molerin’s Boat Alley the 2nd prize of $100 for Color, stating, “Color has a sculptural presence here. There is a precision of composition.” Ms. Fitzsimmons gave Honorable Mention awards to Richard Chaloux for Mannequin and to Barbara Ringer for Rooms in my Head.

In the Black & White category, the 1st Prize of $200 was awarded to Kathryn Frederick’s Timothy. Ms. Fitzsimmons stated, “There is a captivating intensity of focus, both on the part of the photography and the subject.” The 2nd Prize of $100 was awarded to Carrie Brady for Modern Rorsach. Ms Fitzsimmons said, “This photo exhibits a surreal play with visual perception. I don’t know where I am in space, but I am continually engaged.” Kathryn Frederick also received Honorable Mention for Blueberries.

In the Student category, the 1st Prize of $50 went to Caitlin Morton of the Taft School for Rory. Fitzsimmons commented, “There is an intensity of expression to the subject. This is not just another pretty portrait of childhood.” She awarded the 2nd Prize of $25 to New Canaan High School student Andrea Mullaney’s Da Monsta. “There is a formal compositional rigor here that supports the highly saturated color,” stated Fitzsimmons. Honorable Mention was awarded to Nicole Giusti’s Prom and to Kellen Tensen’s Cherry Pie. Both students are from New Canaan High School.

Ms. Fitzsimons concluded by saying, “My choices are my own and my own best judgment. Another juror will make other choices. So I encourage all photographers to continue with their own personal engagement and growth, and submit again.” Lydia Viscardi added,

“The Carriage Barn is very grateful to everyone who participated. All the entries support the New Canaan Society for the Art’s mission to offer exhibition opportunities to the community.” Viscardi added, “We were fortunate to have Joan Fitzsimmons select work from the many photographs the gallery received from the call for entries. We are also very grateful to have this show sponsored by The Barbara Benton Davis Fund at The Fairfield County Community Foundation.”