Every year at about this time, as the bounty of summer food and flora explode with color, the Westport Farmers’ Market launches one of its most popular programs – Young Shoots. Young Shoots is a friendly photography contest for budding creatives sponsored by the WFM in conjunction with the Westport Arts Center. Kids ages 8 to 18 take to the market, digital camera in hand, to capture the abundance of local food as they see it.
“Young Shoots is an opportunity for kids to demonstrate their creativity through digital photography while at the same time appreciating the beauty of real food,” said Lori Cochran-Dougall, executive director of WFM. “Kids in three age groups (8- to 10-years-old; 11- to 14-years-old; and 15- to 18-years-old) are invited to submit photographs to be judged by a panel of local artists.”
Jurors for the competition this year include Lillie Fortino, Director of Education for the Westport Arts Center; Stephanie Webster, Editor in Chief for CTbites.com; and Eileen Sawyer, local photographer and member of the Westport Farmers’ Market Board of Directors.
The jurors select the best photo in each age group. First place winners in each category will receive a $100 cash prize and the opportunity to lead a photo shoot with Westport chef Bill Taibe. Second place winners will each receive a $50 cash prize. And this year the public will have a chance to vote online for their favorite submissions. The “Fan Favorite” winner in each category will receive a one-year membership to the Westport Arts Center and a WFM t-shirt. All photos will be on display in a gallery-like setting at Sugar & Olives in Norwalk.
The application to enter the contest is available through the Westport Arts Center website at westportartscenter.org/young-shoots-call-entry/. For a view of submissions past, visit westportartscenter.org/ys2017. 2018 submissions are due by August 25th, and selected winners will be notified by August 31st. A reception for all the photographers will follow.
“This is one of my favorite programs of the market,” said Cochran-Dougall. “These kids are our future. We love to see the appreciation they have for real food and where it comes from in such a creative way.”
The Westport Farmers Market is committed to providing fresh, local, healthy and seasonal food. We aspire to create a fun, safe, and healthy community environment for education and socialization. Our mission is to increase awareness, knowledge, and support for local producers focused on sustainable and healthy growing practices.