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Silvermine Art Glitters Like Gold

One thought comes to mind when checking the art at the Silvermine Guild Art Center: These are students? The gallery held a reception Sunday afternoon for its 20th annual Juried Student Art Exhibit. Dozens of budding artists young and old showed their work, but only a handful took home the big awards.

Prizes were given for each media category, and there was one "Best in Show" winner from each age group. Janet Dilenschneider of Darien was the adult winner, with her painting "A Birch and a Pine in a Whiteout." Janet said she's been painting for "a long, long time," a passion that runs in the family. "My mother painted, my sister painted," Janet said. "We're a very visual family."

For the 11-to-17-year old group, the Best in Show award went to Ryan Crudgington. The 14-year-old won for her charcoal drawing "Ezra Plantain." In the youngest set (5-to-10-year-olds), 7-year-old Campen Archambeau took the top prize. His winner was a mixed media project called "Carnegie Hall--My Cello and I."

Even some Silvermine teachers were impressed with the quality of their students' work. Alex McFarlane teaches adult classes in drawing, painting, and sculpture, yet was proud of all of the pupils. "I've been here for 12 years," he said, "and I'm always stunned at how good the artwork is here."

The students seem to feel the same about their teachers. Six-year-old Leah Schiff of Stamford took home two first-prize awards in her age group, for collage and sculpture. Her mother, Susan, spoke glowingly about the entire program. "Silvermine does a wonderful job," Susan said. "Just look around at all this great work."

Check back later in the week for a full list of winners and more photos.

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