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 Artists Collective. In past years, Kids ages 8 to 18 have taken to the market, digital camera in hand, to capture the abundance of local food as they see it. This year the program has a new twist, Young Shoots is being brought into the home. Kids are challenged to show the WFM back at their homes, the produce, flowers, prepared food and more that they buy and the food that is prepared for their families.
“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. This year we are excited to see the market in their homes through their artwork. It will bring a fresh variety of images to this program.”
Jurors for the competition this year include Kerry Gale, local visual artist; Emily Laux, local visual artist; Bill Taibe, local chef and President of the Westport Farmers’ Market Board of Directors; and Eileen Sawyer, local photographer and member of the Westport Farmers’ Market Board of Directors.
The jurors select the best photos in each age group. First place winners in each category will receive a $100 cash prize and second place winners will each receive a $50 cash prize. The public will also have a chance to vote online for their favorite submissions. All photos will be on display in a gallery-like setting at Sugar & Olives in Norwalk.
The application to enter the contest is available at youngshootsathome.artcall.org. 2020 submissions are due by August 10th, 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 in such a creative way.”