Six Local Judges Named for Pic Darien Smartphone Photo Contest

six judges Darien Smartphone Photo Contest 2020

Photos via Darien Arts Center

Six local judges named for 2020 Darien Smartphone Photo Contest

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Darien Art Center has named six local judges to select the winners of its 2020 Pic Darien Smartphone Photo Contest, now in its fifth year.

Jon Zadgrosky, Megan Dey, Gary Morello, Ali Curtis, David Wagner and Jeffrey Wyant will judge photo entries from both adults and children in ten categories: Darien Bicentennial; Landscapes; Seascapes; People; Pets; Sports; Architecture; Food and Drink; Abstract; and Nature & Flora.

— an announcement from Darien Arts Center

The contest garnered over 500 entries in 2019.

More About the Contest

This year, contestants may submit their smartphone photos for cash prizes at the DAC website until Feb. 29. Photos do not need to be taken in Darien.

The contest is open to all; there are no age restrictions and contestants are not required to live in Darien. As in previous years, the contest will be judged blindly, without the judges knowing the identity of the contestants.

Participants may enter Pic Darien either as a student (ages 17 and under) or as an adult (ages 18 and over). Fee to enter the contest is $10 per photo. Contestants may enter multiple times.

First place cash prizes ($100) will be awarded to students and adults in all categories. Winners will be notified in April and all entries will be showcased in the 2020 PIC DARIEN slideshow.

To find out more about the Pic Darien contest, visit or call (203) 655-8683. The DAC is located at 2 Renshaw Road, behind the Darien Town Hall.

The Judges

David Wagner Sipster judge Pic Darien 2020David M. Wagner, proprietor of Sipstirs Fine Wines in Darien is judging the Food and Drink categories.

He brings more than 14 years of experience in the industry, serves on the board of Darien Chamber of Commerce, and partners with many local businesses to foster a close-knit community.

Jeffrey Wyant, an award-winning photographer, filmmaker, and TV producer, is judging the Abstract, Architecture and Nature & Flora categories. Jeff has written and directed over 200 national TV commercials, and has produced daily and weekly TV shows, as well as top-rated syndicated specials.

Jeff Wyant Pic Darien judge 2019

Contributed photo

Jeffry Wyant

Wyant’s clients have included Showtime, Hearst Communications, BET, ABC/Disney Home Entertainment, RCA Records, The Humane Society of the United States and Entertainment One.

His productions have won gold, silver, and bronze medals at the New York International Film Festival, in addition to other awards. As a volunteer, Jeff has donated considerable time and talent to the Darien Arts Center and has been the judge for PIC Darien 2018 and 2019.

Ali Curtis is a freelance art producer and is judging the Landscapes and Seascapes categories.

Ali Curtis judge Pic Darien 2020

Photo via Darien Arts Center

Ali Curtis

She began her career in NYC working in advertising agencies, commissioning some of the world’s most celebrated artists and photographers on behalf of world-class brands, ranging from fashion to technology.

Her vast body of award-winning work includes still photography, illustration, design, social media, experiential, video, animation, and live-action film production.

Megan Dey

Photo via Darien Arts Center

Megan Dey

Megan Dey, a professional photographer for over 20 years, is judging the People and Pets categories.

Dey’s professional life is focused on capturing moments that express the essence of the people she photographs.

Her work allows for the preservation of a moment in the lifetime of her clients. Her understanding of the nuances and challenges in capturing images of pets and people, make her a skilled judge of this smartphone photography category.

Gary Morello judge Pic Darien 2020

Photo via Darien Arts Center

Rev. Gary Morello

Rev. Gary Morello is judging the Sports category. Morello spent his formative years on the field playing football and baseball, with experience playing college football for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

He currently expresses his love of sports in his role as a part of the Darien Football coaching staff, as a Certified Indoor Cycling Instructor and Field Ambassador for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA).

Gary knows how quickly events move on the field and has a great eye for those moments that define a game or a play.

Jon Zagrodsky PIC DARIEN judge 2020

Jon Zagrodzky

Jon Zagrodzky is judging the Darien Bicentennial category. He has shared his extensive skills and time with many civic organizations in Darien, including the Darien Board of Finance, Darien Town and Police Pension boards, the Public Works Garage Building Committee and the Darien Historical Society, serving as its president.

His dedication and love for Darien, in addition to his depth of interest in the town’s history, give him the expertise to judge submissions in this Bicentennial category.


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