Darien High senior Eliza DeHaas loves creating art with oils and colored pencils but is looking forward to exploring other mediums at UMass-Dartmouth next year. She will be paying part of her tuition with a scholarship she won from the Darien Arts Center as it kicked off its 53rd Annual Darien Art Show and Sale on Friday night.
Seven yeas ago, DeHaas started selling her work, which are mostly portraits of her friends. "I'm really interested in capturing people's different emotions. Compositionally, it comes together a lot better. It's not boring, like a still life."
She experiments with colors, blending blues, greens and reds into her subjects' faces. "I love expressing everything through color. I mainly focus on oils and pencils because you are free to use different colors, and you can go back and fix things or add more in."
DeHaas was awarded the Ginny Wright Scholarship, which is given every year to a graduating senior. She was only one of more than 40 artists honored, ranging in age from kindergartners to senior citizens. Darien orthodontist David Osherow handed out awards to student artists in every medium from photography to sculpture to painting. Dozens of awards were given to adults across all media, with Olivia Robinson's "Kappa Hill" photos winning the Best in Show award.
Mitche Kunzman, the judge of the show, described how hard it was to pick the winners. "In a show like this, everybody wins. There were so many great artworks, but some really popped out at me that I felt they deserved recognition."
He added, "The work that was most surprising to me was the children's. Seeing work from such young artists with so much life and sophistication was a great thing."
The winning artwork, as well as hundreds of pieces from Darien artists, will be on display and available for purchase at the Darien Arts Center through June 11.
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