Live Photo Reception Attracts Appreciative Audience

The Easton Arts Council resumed its in-person photography reception this year after canceling it last year during the height of the Covid pandemic. The council honors and awards the contest winners at the annual show, which highlights Easton’s natural beauty with a general category that encompasses all of Connecticut. The contest is open to all, and prizes are awarded. 

“The Easton Photography Contest Reception is an event the whole Easton Arts Council looks forward to each year, and after a year of not being able to present our awards in person, we were all eager to throw a party,” said Cleo Sonneborn, who co-chaired the event with Sheila Weaver.

Cleo Sonneborn welcomes guests at the Easton Arts Council Photography Reception. — Nancy Doniger Photo

Planning for the contest was especially rewarding this year, knowing that, once again, the photographers would come in personally with their work on receiving days, according to Sonneborn.  “Many of the same people do enter each year, so it was gratifying to catch up with those photographers as well as to be able to meet new ones, in person.”

Sonneborn said she had the privilege of being in the room when Bruce Dunbar judged the contest. “I was interested in his method, which of course included several trips around the room, at first with him peering at the photos, and near the end, with him leaning in very close, studying the submissions that most interested him with obvious concentration,” she said. 

Connected – Elizabeth Adriani

“Occasionally he took notes and often he photographed the  photograph. He made audible sounds, which conveyed an inner conversation going on in his mind as he moved about the room. In the end, I had no idea what photographs he would choose to select for awards, but it was clear that he worked hard at deciding during the hour or more he took, making his considerations. I admired his method very much, and we were all pleased with the explicit comments he wrote up for those photographers who received a reward,” Sonneborn said.

“Jammin @ Sonos Art Festival,” General Category, First Place — Dolly Curtis

Following is the complete list of this year’s contest winners:

Name Award CategoriesTitle
ElizabethAdrianiEaston – 1st PlaceConnected
Barbara ZionceEaston – 2nd PlaceLocal Gems
BethBaileyEaston – Honorable MentionA Hole In One Kind Of Day
JeffBeckerEaston – Honorable MentionEaston Grows
Dara GhavamiEaston – Honorable MentionUpper Easton
Dolly  CurtisGeneral  – 1st PlaceJammin @ Sono Art Festival
NancyBreakstoneGeneral – 2nd Place Into The Mist
SaraAdrianiGeneral – Honorable MentionFormer Home
Tent purchased by the library for outdoor events. — Sheila Weaver Photo

“We were able to use the wonderful tent purchased by the library to enhance our community outdoor entertainment and be able to social distance during rain or shine,” Weaver said. 

Although last year’s exhibit had to be virtual, the arts council made the most of the situation and presented it grandly.

“We always get a good turn out for the reception, so the photographers and their families must look forward to the event as well,” Sonneborn said. “Catching up with old friends and new was really welcome, especially after missing out last year. Celebrating the arts and artists is what we’re about.”