We all seem to be weighing the good, the bad and the ugly with the 2020 pandemic’s interruption of life, as it was. Art performances and displays have been nearly eliminated, which is bad; virtual performances and displays, which, though not ideal, are good, under present circumstances.

The 2020 Easton Arts Council Photography Contest was a virtual event for the first time; happily, 39 photographers entered 64 photographs, a record number. Twenty of the photographers, from as far away as the UK, entered for the first time. Contest judge, David Dunlop, whose individual comments are recorded on the Easton Arts Council’s website, praised the show for its many strong entries. Of this year’s first-place winning photo, Swans on Aspetuck Reservoir 2020 by Kaitlin Anne Kyle, of Bethel, Conn., Dunlop wrote:

“The swans alighting on the Aspetuck required careful and timely observation as well as the marvelous good fortune of being in the right place at the right time and, knowing where to focus attention. Exploiting the mirrored stillness of the river was insightful. I can only imagine the photographer took a fast series of shots and selected this from the group. All three birds present different aspects of landing with differing qualities of drama. The image is thoroughly compelling.”

Once it is safe to do so. Kyle will present her photograph to First Selectman David Bindelglass, who will place it on permanent display in Easton Town Hall.

Eastonite Jeff Becker was awarded second place for his photograph, Condensate Cricket. Of Becker’s dewy green cricket, Dunlop wrote: “Here is a small story, feeling very large. So fun!” Becker also received Special Recognition for Iced Blue, a captivating frosty collection of blueberries.

Also receiving Special Recognition: Evening Fireflies by Jacquelyn Etling of Trumbull. Her whimsical photograph, wrote Dunlop, captures a “… small corner of nature, demonstrating the night’s vitality.”
Of The Winter’s Tails, submitted by Easton photographer Geri Gould, Dunlop said, it’s “…elegantly composed, illuminated and focused….”

This year we have seen good, bad and yes, some ugly; but we’ve had a chance to think about what is really important, too. We have made adaptations and adjustments, with varying levels of success and satisfaction. Our show, a town feature for over 30 years, was able to take place under a different format. It turns out that it worked very well. It’s definitely one of the very good things of this year!

We are grateful to our judge, David Dunlop; to EAC members who lent an assist; and particularly, to EAC’s tech-savvy Sheila Weaver and Kit Briner, whose talent enabled us to transition to an all-digital show.
Visit the show — all 64 entries — at Easton Arts Council Exhibition Pages.

All photos are for sale, as is a 2020 Calendar featuring iconic images from Easton.

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