Darien plastic surgeons make strides against breast cancer

Plastic surgeons representing The Aesthetic Center of Darien “walked the walk” on the Oct. 14 Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event, joining more than 5,000 walkers supporting ACS breast cancer programs and services.

The American Cancer Society’s event, held at Sherwood Island State Park in Westport, united communities across Fairfield County, honoring those touched by the disease and raising awareness and funds to establish a world without breast cancer.

Team participants from the Aesthetic Center Plastic Surgery and Medi Spa included founding director Dr. Fredric Newman, Dr. Yuen-Jong Liu and Dr. Leo Otake, patient coordinator and team organizer Larissa Swanson and their families.

The event highlighted the center’s commitment to community outreach for Fairfield County and the surrounding tristate areas, in addition to its mission to provide the most advanced care and medical expertise in a compassionate and caring environment.

For questions and inquiries on upcoming community and educational events, call 203-656-9999.

DCA recognizes scholarship sponsors

The Darien Community Association hosted an evening reception earlier this month for local businesses, families and foundations who sponsor college scholarships through the DCA.

The DCA, which is a 100 percent privately-funded nonprofit organization, has been enriching the Darien community for 95 years. The association’s need-based college scholarship program for Darien High School graduates is a longstanding philanthropic tradition, now in its 77th year. The DCA is the largest provider of scholarships at DHS.

Of the scholarship program, Executive Director Amy Bell said, “Since its inception, the DCA has awarded more than $2 million to over 1,300 DHS graduates, including funding for returning college students.” Students who receive DCA scholarships can reapply each year. This past spring, the DCA awarded over $60,000 in scholarship grants.

Bell thanked the donors for their generosity and commitment to supporting the college aspirations of the accomplished young people graduating from Darien High School.

The highlight of the evening was remarks from three past DCA scholarship recipients, representing a range of ages and backgrounds.

Althea Perley, DHS Class of 2011, graduated from Miami University, Ohio, with the help of a DCA scholarship. She has worked in the media industry and is currently a junior copywriter with Vineyard Vines in their Stamford corporate office.

Tricia Rogers Prokop, DHS Class of 2001, graduated from the University of Connecticut with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physical therapy. She now has her doctorate and teaches at the University of Hartford in their doctoral physical therapy program.

Susan Harrington Hamill, DHS Class of 1976 and a lifelong Darien resident, graduated from Georgetown University and worked in advertising sales before leading numerous volunteer fundraising causes in town. Now as a DCA board of directors member, she emphasized the importance of giving back. “I enjoy paying it forward, and helping to raise funds to support today’s generation of students. The financial need in Darien is something that is often misunderstood,” she said.

Geary Gallery presents ‘Murray Smith: Still Life & Light’

This November, the Geary Gallery of Darien invites the community to see “Still Life & Light,” featuring the original still life and landscape oil paintings of New York painter Murray Smith. His exhibit runs Nov. 1-30 at the gallery, at 576 Boston Post Road.

Smith is a graduate of the High School of Art and Design, and attended both The Art Students League and the School of Visual Arts in New York City. He also studied with master painter, John Phillip Osborne, for 14 years. Osborne is himself a student of American impressionist painter Frank Vincent DuMond, who developed and taught the prismatic palette — the flow of light and the effect it has on its subjects.

Osborne has continued DuMond’s theories and preserved his historical legacy in his teachings. This, in turn, has influenced Smith’s paintings — his use of this unique palette and its principles of light can be seen in his convincing still lifes and landscapes.

Smith is the recipient of numerous open juried awards, including the Vasari Classic Oil Award for Still Life, 2017 Ridgewood Open Juried Show, the Betty Kaytes Award for Best Floral, the 34th Annual Ridgewood Art Institute Regional Open Juried Show 2014, and earned Best Floral in 2009, 2007 and 2006.

He also captured the top prize for still life with the Jane Peterson Still Life Award from the Hudson Valley Art Association and the Salmagundi Club Award from the 2005 Regional Open Juried Show in Ridgewood, N.J.

An award winning art director, Smith has enjoyed a distinguished career in advertising for more than 25 years. Among his many achievements, he is credited with creating campaigns and posters for more than 200 films, including “Star Wars,” “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” “Taxi Driver,” “Apocalypse Now,” “Superman,” and “All the President’s Men.”

He is currently an instructor at the Ridgewood Art Institute in Ridgewood, New Jersey. He resides with his wife, Rochelle, in upstate New York.

Smith’s paintings in the exhibit are available for acquisition. All are welcome and admission is free. To view some of his work, visit www.gearygallery.com/?artists=murray-smith

Geary Gallery is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. For information, call 203-655-6633 or visit www.gearygallery.com.