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 opened Sunday, Jan. 22, 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 took place, Jan. 22, with an awards presentation.

The juror this year was Joan Fitzsimmons, award winning photographer and educator.

"I never tire of looking at images. That is why I am both a photographic artist and an educator," Fitzsimmons said. "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."

"Fifty-six photographers are represented in this show of 78 images chosen from over 350 entries," Lydia Viscardi, exhibitions director and curator of the Carriage Barn said.

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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.

"I was intrigued by the dark, suggestive narrative of this photograph. It implies an eerily ambiguous suburban scene. Something is about to happen," Fitzsimmons said.

McDonagh has won several awards in the annual photography show at the Carriage Barn.

"Doll Houses was created by combining five different exposures in a technique called high dynamic range, enhancing the image in Photoshop and then adding a second exposure to the HDR image," she said. "For contrast, I placed candles in the dollhouse rooms to create the illusion of lights in the window."

McDonagh has taught in the art department at New Canaan High School for 23 years. Ten of her students are in the show and three won awards. McDonagh teaches digital media to students in ninth through 12th grades.

The juror, Joan Fitzsimmons, awarded second place to Andrea Mullaney's "Da Monsta."

"There is a formal compositional rigor here that supports the highly saturated color," Fitzsimmons said.

Honorable mention was awarded to Nicole Giusti's "Prom" and to Kellen Tensen's "Cherry Pie."

Fitzsimmons cited Cherry Pie's "playful `pop' sensibility."

She also commented on "Prom's" collage look.

"I appreciate (Giusti's) 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 McDonagh's AP studio art 2D design-digital media. Abigail Stone and Gwen Van de Graff study advanced digital media. Beatrix Tobey is taking documentary photography and Olivia Donner studied photoshop design last semester and is presently taking intro to photography.

The first place prize of $200 for color was awarded to Merry Halloween by Laurie Jane Bepler of Wilton.

"This photo understands that subtle color can be effective. The image examines the artifacts of ordinary life with a droll but warm vision," Fitzsimmons said.

She awarded Dallas Molerin's "Boat Alley" the second place prize of $100 for color stating.

"Color has a sculptural presence here," she said. "There is a precision of composition."

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 first place prize of $200 was awarded to Kathryn Frederick's "Timothy."

"There is a captivating intensity of focus, both on the part of the photography and the subject," Fitzsimmons said.

The second place prize of $100 was awarded to Carrie Brady for "Modern Rorsach."

"This photo exhibits a surreal play with visual perception. I don't know where I am in space, but I am continually engaged," Fitzsimmons said.

Kathryn Frederick also received honorable mention for "Blueberries."

In the student category, the first place prize of $50 went to Caitlin Morton of the Taft School for Rory.

"There is an intensity of expression to the subject. This is not just another pretty portrait of childhood," Fitzsimmons said. "My choices are my own and my own best judgment."

The Carriage Barn Arts Center is a community based nonprofit organization that promotes appreciation of and participation in the visual and performing arts though exhibitions, concerts, and other events. The Carriage Barn is in Waveny Park. Gallery hours are Tuesday to Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.

For more information, call 203-972-1895 or visit www.carriagebarn.org.