The Easton Arts Council held its annual photography contest recently, awarding a combination of cash prizes, ribbons and certificates of recognition to 10 photographers, including Sara Adriani, a college student from Easton.
There has always been a Local, or Easton category in the show, though this year, for the first time, the contest expanded to include photographs taken somewhere other than our hometown. For pictures taken in Easton, there remains a distinction: first place photographs not only earn a cash award but are also placed on permanent display in Easton Town Hall.
We caught up with Adriani, first prize winner in this category, as she took advantage of college spring break and presented her photo at Town Hall earlier this month. She took the time to discuss her winning photo, Grandmother’s House, with First Selectman David Bindelglass, Joanne Wible-Kant, president of the Easton Arts Council, and Sheila Weaver and Cleo Sonneborn, co-chairs of the contest.
When her beloved grandmother died in July 2019, Sara said she needed to find a way to cope with her sorrow. Everyone dealt with the sad event in their own way as family and friends gathered. Sara memorialized her grandmother using art as an expression, as she does in all matters in life.
“Photography helps me process and focus on what is happening in my life,” Sara said. “Major life changes are moments we need to remember so we can grow from them. I photographed this moment in order to remember what it was like to be at my grandmother’s house when she was there. I took this image to remember the feeling of love — love that was such a pervasive presence in that house.”
Using medium format film, she captured the table in the kitchen, with its white tablecloth. Light shines through the curtained window. In the words of Bruce Dunbar, juror for this year’s show, “…it was as if I was looking [or standing] in my grandmother’s house.” To Sara, the small, intimate black and white image “gives a feeling that somebody is there in the picture, but no longer there in life.”
Sara is pursuing a bachelor of fine arts degree at St. John’s University in Queens, N.Y. She hopes to be certified by the International Center of Photography in 2021.
Grandmother’s House is on permanent display at Easton Town Hall.