The Darien Arts Center kicked off its 54th annual Art Show and Sale with a packed gallery at its opening reception on June 1. The DAC is displaying 244 entries from 161 artists from kindergarten age to adult. Sergey Stepanenko of Darien won Best in Show with his oil "Hudson River View."

The show, co-chaired by Christine Bang and Meg Tweedy, featured art in a variety of media, including work in oils and acrylics, watercolor, mixed media, sculpture, photography and pastel.

"We were thrilled by the level of participation in this year's show. Darien is full of incredibly creative and dedicated artists of all ages and we are so pleased to be able to provide this outlet to show off their talents," Tweedy said. "We are so fortunate to be a part of this incredible community that is dedicated to supporting the arts."

The art will be on view in the Weatherstone Studio behind Town Hall from noon to 5 p.m. daily through June 9.

"It was a pleasure to participate as juror for the 54th Darien Art Show and Sale and to see the variety of work being made by many wonderful artists," judge Sandi Haber Fifield, a nationally renowned photographer, said. "In the process of looking, I based my choices on an intuitive response with an eye toward innovation and skill." She added that the exuberance of the younger children was "a delight to the eye and deserves to be encouraged, regardless of skill." She noted that a judge is only one voice, and she hopes all artists in the show continue to pursue their work.

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This year's show featured 13 categories and 72 winners. All adult first-, second- and third- place winners will be on display at the Darien Library from June 11 through July 18. Adult honorable mention winning entries will be on display from June 11 through July 20 at the Darien Town Hall.

Adult first-place winners included Michael Schley for Black and White Photography; Pierre Lahaussois for Color Photography; Karen Vogel for Drawings, Pastels and Graphics; Cynthia Whalen for Mixed Media; Joseph Dermody for Oil and Acrylics; Pat Atkin for Sculpture and Leslie van de Velde-Laughren for Watercolor. Elementary and middle school first place winners were Mitchell Albarran, Giorgia Christiansen and George Thompson. Darien High School winners included Annie Archibald, Henry King and David Ziga.

Categories were sponsored by the following local businesses: Able and Company, Alix Martinez Photography, Baubles, Ben Larrabee Photography, Big Shots Photolab and Custom Framing, Blue Wave Orthodontics, Dana Fead of Prudential CT Realty, Darien Carpet, Darien Sports Shop, Dr. David Osherow, Espresso Neat, Everything is Rosey, Fairfield County Bank, Grieb's Pharmacy, Koenig Art Emporium, Palmer's Market, Phil's Grill, Sugar Bowl and William Taufic Photography. As in past years, David Osherow specifically sponsored the student awards. Children's first-place award winners will be on display at his offices starting on Monday.

Michael Ziga was awarded this year's Ginny Wright Scholarship. Ziga will attend Parson's School of Design in the fall. The Ginny Wright Scholarship is given to a Darien High School senior planning to continue the study of visual arts or design in college. His portfolio is on display in the lobby of the Weatherstone studio. Friday was a family affair for the Zigas. His father, Charles Ziga, won honorable mention in color photography and brother, David Ziga, won first place in high school other media.

For more information, call 203-655-8683 or go to

Founded in 1975, the Darien Arts Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing visual and performing arts programs and events for the community. The DAC offers educational programs in dance, visual arts, theatre and music and performances, by the Darien Players and Cabaret Theatre. The organization is funded by private donations, tuition fees and ticket sales. For more information, call 203-655-8683 or visit