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 opens 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 Feb. 19. An opening reception will be held on Sunday, Jan. 22 from 4 to 6 p.m. with a presentation of awards at 5 p.m.
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 an 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.”
Ms. McDonagh, who has won several awards in the annual Photography Show at the Carriage Barn, said, “Doll Houses was created by combining five different exposures in a technique called High Dynamic Range (HDR), enhancing the image in Photoshop and then adding a second exposure to the HDR image. For contrast, I placed candles in the dollhouse rooms to create the illusion of lights in the window.”
Ms. McDonagh has been teaching in the Art Department at New Canaan High School for 23 years. Ten of her students are in the show and three won awards. Ms McDonagh teaches Digital Media to students in Grades 9 -12. The juror, Joan Fitzsimmons, awarded the 2nd Prize of $25 to 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.
Ms. Fitzsimmons cited Cherry Pie’s “playful “Pop” sensibility”. In regard to Ms. Giusti’s image, the juror said, “I appreciate the willingness to play with media, the collage technique. The dress implies a metaphor, perhaps for longing, perhaps for loss”. Nicole Giusti, Andrea Mullaney, Kellen Tenson, Molly Fox, Dylan Neuhaus, and Isabella Scandiffio are in Ms. McDonagh’s AP Studio Art 2D Design-Digital Media. Abigail Stone and Gwen Van de Graff study Advanced Digital Media class. Beatrix Tobey is taking Documentary Photography and Olivia Donner studied Photoshop Design last semester and is presently taking Intro to Photography.
The 1st Prize of $200 for Color was awarded to Merry Halloween by Laurie Jane Bepler, 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.
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.”
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 theirown 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.”
The Carriage Barn Arts Center is a community based non-profit organization that promotes appreciation of and participation in the visual and performing arts though exhibitions, concerts, and other events sponsored by the New Canaan Society for the Arts. The Carriage Barn is located in Waveny Park, New Canaan, off South Ave. (Rte.124), 1/4 mile north of Merritt Parkway Exit 37. Gallery hours are Tuesday-Sunday, 12:00 to 4:00pm. For more information, call the gallery at 203-972-1895 or visitwww.carriagebarn.org.
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About the juror:
Joan Fitzsimmons’ work is in the permanent collections of The BrooklynMuseum of American Art; The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; The Housatonic Museum of Art, B idgeport, CT; The Center for Photography at Woodstock, Collection of the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, SUNY, New Paltz and various other private and public collections.
Fitzsimmons has exhibited nationally, internationally and on-line. She has traveled to Poland on a grant from Artslink, and, most recently, from The Kittredge Fund. Fitzsimmons’ solo exhibitions have included The Discovery Museum in Bridgeport, CT; Portland State University, Portland, Oregon; The Zone Relay Gallery of The Kansas City Art Institute; 4th Street Photo in New York; Artemisia Gallery and Randolph St. Gallery in Chicago. Her work has been included in group exhibitions such as:
Concealment & Disclosure , Atlantic Gallery, NY, NY;
Dinner, Umbrella Arts Gallery, NY, NY;
The BostonDrawing Project, Carroll and Sons Gallery, Boston, MA;
It’s Not Easy, ExitUnderground, Exit Art, NY, and Conspectus I, Artspace Gallery, New Heaven & Hell , Real Art Ways, Hartford, CT
Dogs , The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; and
Light: From Illumination to Pure Radiance, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Fitzsimmons received her M.F.A. from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her B.F.A. from Washington University School of Fine Arts in St. Louis, MO. She is presently a Professor of Art at Norwalk Community College, Norwalk, CT.
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.