"Three Merry Damsels," a Raku sculpture by Pat Atkin, of Darien, was awarded best in show in the "Photography & Sculpture" exhibition at the Rowayton Arts Center Gallery.
Additionally, "Trudie, Grenadines" by Darien photographer Ben Larrabee won first place in the black and white photography category.
The judge, photographer Kevin Robinson, said of Atkin's work, "This sculpture exudes emotion. When looking at it I am reminded of three friends talking at lunch; maybe sharing a game of cards. The shapes also remind me of the human heart albeit missing a few arteries. Upon first viewing, it is apparent that these were made with the Raku method. This technique of clay-making takes courage and craft. Many pieces break in the cooling phase and the outcome is always unknown. Therefore, whatever comes out of this process is unique and rare just by being. I like the color combinations the artist has achieved, particularly the ochre and turquoise. The craquelure adds character and well-earned joy."
In discussing Larrabee's entry, Robinson said, "This photograph is evocative and beautiful in a straightforward way. It possesses great light and shows Trudie reclining and relaxed. She does not appear as a typical model, but rather a friend and lies exposed ... unafraid. She is a luxurious presence, full within herself and in peace. At Trudie's feet lie creams, lotions and other beauty items. These contrast with her seemingly unposed demeanor. Larrabee has not only created a great portrait of this person but has done so while utilizing flawless design and light."
The exhibition continues through May 25. The gallery, 145 Rowayton Ave., Rowayton, is open from noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday. For information, visit www.rowaytonartscenter.org or call 203-866-2744.