HEADLINES

Eight Locals to Judge DAC Smartphone Photo Contest

Eight local judges will select winners in the Darien Art Center’s Smartphone Photo Contest, Pic Darien, which returns in 2022 for its seventh year.

Ben Larrabee, Terrie Wood, Jeffrey Wyant, Tom and Anne Geary, Megan Dey, David Wagner, Kris Barker and Peter Saverine will judge photo entries from both adults and children in the following categories: Landscapes, Seascapes, Nature and Floral, Food and Drink, Abstract and Architecture, Pets, Travel, and Family and Friends.

The DAC’s popular contest garnered over 400 entries in 2021. This year’s participants may enter Pic Darien either as a student (ages 17 and under) or as an adult (ages 18 and over). Fee to enter the contest is $10 per photo. Contestants may enter multiple times. First place cash prizes ($100) will be awarded to students and adults in all categories. Winners will be announced on April 8th at  darienarts.org.

To find out more about the contest, visit darienarts.org or call (203) 655-8683. The Darien Arts Center is located at 2 Renshaw Road, behind the Darien Town Hall.

The judges:

Ben Larrabee: Family and Friends: Ben Larrabee’s formal training as an artist began in 1962 at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) where he discovered his passion through his mentor, world-renowned photographer Harry Callahan, and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography. In 1978, he continued his studies at Yale University, where he earned an MFA in graphic design. His approach is based on letting go of expectations and assumptions about how people should look or behave. He moves beyond formal poses and pretenses in order to use the photographic experience as a way of finding truth and connection. For the past 23 years, Ben has been exploring and recording the authentic details of peoples’ lives in intimate and revealing photographic portraits. They not only reflect the inner spirit of his subjects, but also the uncommon aesthetic aims of a dedicated artist.

Terrie Wood : Travel: Terrie Wood serves as a member of Connecticut House of Representatives, representing Darien and Rowayton. Ms. Wood also has an art history degree, used to have a photography business and is an avid photographer! The DAC is so proud to have Terrie as our judge for the Travel category.  It should not go without mentioning that Terrie has an extensive history of supporting non-profits in Darien. This is Terrie’s second year judging Pic Darien & we are thrilled to welcome her back! She writes: "I grew up in a family for whom the visual and performing arts were revered as a vital part of a community. The arts provide an emotional balance and creative outlet in our lives and I'm deeply grateful that the Darien Arts Center offers so many rich opportunities to enjoy music, dance, theatre and visual arts." 

Jeffrey Wyant: Abstract and Architecture: Jeffrey Wyant is an award-winning photographer, filmmaker and TV producer. He has written and directed over 200 national TV commercials and has produced daily and weekly TV shows and top-rated syndicated specials. Wyant’s clients have included Showtime, Hearst Communications, BET, ABC/Disney Home Entertainment, RCA Records, The Humane Society of the United States and Entertainment One. His documentary coverage of Afghan refugees raised $500,000 for Doctors Without Borders and his productions have won gold, silver, and bronze medals at the New York International Film Festival.  We are thrilled to welcome Mr. Wyant back to Pic Darien for the 5th year to lend his talents and expertise to Pic Darien 2022!

Tom and Anne Geary: Landscapes Tom and Anne Geary have been the proprietors of The Geary Gallery & Accent Picture Framing of Darien for more than 35 years. The Geary Gallery is well-known as a preeminent Fairfield County Fine Art Gallery. The DAC is proud to have Tom and Anne Geary’s expertise in judging our popular Landscape category this year!  The Geary Gallery has enjoyed relationships with hundreds of local artists and has hosted over 200 exhibits. They feature both Connecticut based artists with national reputation and well-known artists from along the eastern seaboard.

Megan Dey: Pets: Megan Dey has been a professional photographer for over 20 years and currently has a boutique photography studio in Darien. Her professional life is focused on capturing moments on camera that express the essence of the people she photographs and allow for the preservation of a moment, a phase or a lifetime of who they are. Her understanding of nuances and of the challenges in capturing images of pets and people made Megan a skilled judge in our 2020 and 2021 Pic Darien Photo Contests and we are happy to welcome her back for another great Pic Darien set of entries!

David Wagner: Food and Drink: David Wagner is the owner of Sipstirs, a local wine and spirit store that brings an exciting energy to downtown Darien. David is an active participant in the town who serves on the Executive Board of the Chamber of Commerce as Vice Chairman and frequently partners with local businesses and nonprofits. David’s consistent dedication to Darien and his spirit of community service makes him an obvious choice to be a Pic Darien judge. David did a fantastic job judging Pic Darien for the last two years. Please be warned that David has been known to ask for recipes after judging photos and we greatly appreciate his willingness to channel his love for food, spirits, and photography to help us again in 2022! 

Kris Barker: Nature and Floral: "I have spent my entire life in the green industry. I grew up working at The Gardener's Center, graduated from UCONN with a masters in horticulture, spent a few years in the field as a foreman of landscape crews and a few more years working in the green roofing business in NYC. Plants have always been a part of my life and I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my day. When I took over The Gardener's Center in 2015, my goal was to adapt our product line to reflect a more responsible way of gardening, one that puts nature first. With the help of my incredible team, I feel like we have achieved that and then some."

Peter Saverine: Seascapes: Peter was born and raised in Darien, CT and has lived in Fairfield County, CT for most of his life. His favorite locations in Nantucket, Cape Cod, Long Island Sound and Coastal New England inspire his art. He has been a member of the Greenwich Arts Society, Fairfield Arts Council, Art Society of Old Greenwich, and the Westport Arts Center. His works sold at juried shows as well as Greenwich Arts on the Avenue, Southport Pequot Library, Fairfield Women’s Exchange, Old Greenwich Outdoor Art Shows, and Artists at Grove Street, Darien, as well as at a host of stores on Nantucket, Cape Cod, and Watch Hill. He is the author of three children’s books including Jenny’s Pennies-A Nantucket Tradition and is the proud father of four and grandfather of eight. He currently resides in Darien, CT and, as the Director of Philanthropy of STAR, Inc., Lighting the Way in Norwalk, he has found a meaningful career raising money to benefit people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

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