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Pic Darien to Benefit Health and Human Services; Eight Locals to Judge

posted Dec 16, 2020, 12:36 PM by Darien Arts Center   [ updated Dec 17, 2020, 6:08 AM ]
Our 2021 Smartphone Photo Contest, Pic Darien: Images of Hope, Heroes and Home returns with a special initiative and marks the sixth year for the photo contest, which garnered over 500 entries in 2020. In honor of hometown heroes everywhere, the DAC is donating 10% of profits from the contest to Health and Human Services of Darien.

Pic Darien: Images of Hope, Heroes and Home will have eight local judges to select its winners this year. Ben Larrabee, Terrie Wood, Art Sears, Jeffrey Wyant, Tom and Anne Geary, Megan Dey, David Wagner and Alexandra Ramsteck will judge photo entries from both adults and children in ten categories: Heroes, Hope & Happiness, Home & Holidays, Humor, Covid-19: The New Normal, Land & Sea, Nature & Floral, Food & Drink, Abstract & Architecture and Pets.

Contestants may submit their smartphone photos for cash prizes until February 10th. Photos do not need to be taken in Darien. The contest is open to all; there are no age restrictions and contestants are not required to live in Darien. As in previous years, the contest will be judged blindly, without the judges knowing the identity of the contestants.

The Judges:

Heroes - 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. 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.

Home and Holidays - Terrie Wood serves as a member of Connecticut House of Representatives, representing Darien and Rowayton. Wood also has an art history degree, owned a photography business and is and avid photographer. Terrie Wood has an extensive history of supporting non-profits in Darien. She commented, "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, theatre and visual arts."

Humor - Art Sears is a longtime Darien resident, and has had a long career in entertainment. He was a comedy writer for Joan Rivers, Rodney Dangerfield, The Arsenio Hall Show, The Rosie O'Donnell Show and Jay Leno. He was a producer and writer for Dick Clark Productions, and a writer for The Grammys and American Music Awards. Sears is currently the owner of the celebrity booking service "Radio Guest Quest" and comedy APP “Comicsay".

Abstract and Architecture, Covid 19: The New Normal
- 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.

Land and Sea - 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 and has collaborated with hundreds of local artists, hosting over 200 exhibits. They feature both Connecticut based artists with national reputation and well-known artists from along the eastern seaboard.

Pets, Nature and Flora - 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.

Food and Drink - David Wagner is the owner of Sipstirs, a local wine and spirit store that brings an exciting energy to downtown Darien. He 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.

Hope and Happiness - Ali Ramsteck has lived in Darien for 17 years and has 3 daughters attending Darien schools. Ali began as a Case Manager at Darien Human Services in 2012 and was appointed Director in 2017. She shared, "We are so grateful that Darien Arts Center will be donating a percentage of their proceeds to Darien Human Services. This year more than ever so many people are struggling financially. Having support from the community and donations helps us support Darien residents who are facing hard times. I do not have a bone of creativity in my body but am in awe of those who do, and I look forward to seeing images of Hope and Happiness!”

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 March 28th. Donations for this Pic Darien 2021 initiative will be accepted from 12/12/20 through 4/25/21.

The Pic Darien contest and prizes are sponsored by DR Bank. To find out more about the contest, call (203) 655-8683.