Background photo:  The first place winners for each age category with chef Bill Taibe.  From L to R: Lil Dowell (First Place, Ages 15-18), Samantha Henske (First Place, Ages 8-10), Josh Suggs (First Place, Ages 10-14).  Photo by Adriana Reis.

The Westport Arts Center and the Westport Farmers’ Market are excited to announce the winners of the third annual Young Shoots student digital photography competition.

The competition, jointly created by the two Westport non-profit organizations, was designed to provide an opportunity for students to demonstrate their creativity through the digital photography medium, and to showcase the local color and vibrancy of the Westport Farmers’ Market.

Over 70 photographs of the Westport Farmers’ Market were submitted by kids and teens ages 8-18 from across Fairfield County.  The subject matter ranged from rhubarb to jump ropes to honey bees.

Jurors for the competition were Lillie Fortino, Director of Education for the Westport Arts Center; Eileen Sawyer, a local photographer and member of the Westport Farmers’ Market Board of Directors; and Stephanie Webster, Editor-in-Chief for

First place winners in each age group won the opportunity to co-lead a photo shoot at The Whelk restaurant with renowned chef Bill Taibe and a $100 cash prize.  Second place winners received a $50 cash prize.  Fan Favorite winners for each age group, selected by the public, received a one-year membership to the Westport Arts Center and a Westport Farmers’ Market t-shirt.

Following are the selected winners and photographs:

Ages 8-10:

  • First Place: A Bouquet of Lettuce, Samantha Henske
  • Second Place: Buzzzz, Samantha Sandrew
  • Fan Favorite: One in a Million, Samantha Henske

Ages 11-14:

  • First Place: Back To Our Roots, Josh Suggs
  • Second Place: Chrysanthemums,Olivia Toth
  • Fan Favorite: Apple of My Eye,Josh Suggs

Ages 15-18: 

  • First Place: Happy Rhubarb, Lili Dowell
  • Second Place: Untitled(Jump Rope):  Claire Langdon
  • Fan Favorite: Colorful Beginnings, Sarah Maybruck

The students were honored Tuesday night in a gallery-like reception at Sugar & Olives restaurant in Norwalk.

Samantha Henske, First Place winner for the Ages 8-10 category said of her A Bouquet of Lettuce photo, “I just loved how the lettuce looked like a flower too.”

Samantha Sandew, Second Place winner for the Ages 8-10 category stated, “I worked really hard to get the right angle to give the [face-shaped honey jar] an expression.”

For more information on Young Shoots and other youth and teen programs at the Westport Arts Center, please call 203/222-7070 or visit


About the Westport Arts Center

The Westport Arts Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to connecting community through the arts, reaches more than 11,000 people annually through outstanding programs in visual arts, arts education, and the performance arts of Chamber music and jazz.

The Westport Arts Center receives philanthropic support from the Katherine and Howard Aibel Foundation; Anthropologie & Co.; Artur and Heida Hermanns Holde Foundation, Inc.; Bernstein Private Wealth Management; Cohen and Wolf, P.C.; Critical Mix; Delamar Southport; Design Within Reach; Dragone Motor Cars; Fairfield County Bank; Fairfield County’s Community Foundation; Fairfield County Hunt Club; 4th Row Films; First County Bank Foundation; GWAY Print Solutions; Hal Prince Music; the Hall Art Foundation; The Hofstetter Baron Group; Hotel Zero Degrees; J.P. Morgan; Land Rover/Jaguar of Fairfield; Moffly Media; Newman’s Own Foundation; Northeast Tent; Random Acts; Rosenkranz Foundation; Serena & Lily; Shack Sackler Foundation; Sontag Advisory LLC; Steven Mancini Salon; Success Printing & Mailing; Teich Gardens; Tito’s Handmade Vodka; Verde Energy USA, Inc.; Wells Fargo Advisors; Westport Now; Westport Resources, a division of United Capital; WPKN and WSHU Public Radio Group. The Westport Arts Center operates with the support of the Department of Economic and Community Development, Office of the Arts, which also receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.


For more information, contact the Westport Arts Center at (203) 222-7070 or The Westport Arts Center gallery is open Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 51 Riverside Avenue, Westport, CT.


About the Westport Farmers’ Market

In June 2006, Paul Newman and Michel Nischan planted a seed and we opened our doors in the parking lot of the Westport Country Playhouse.  We were so proud of our 14 vendors, and so grateful for the 500 shoppers who showed up to support us.

In 2009, we moved to our current home at 50 Imperial Avenue, a stone’s throw from the Saugatuck River. With a little more space and a little more air, we began to put down roots.  We started expanding our programming, and our role within the community.

Today, boasting the accolade of the strictest guidelines in the state, to assure the most delicious and healthy food possible, the market is blooming with 45 vendors! Food trucks, GMO free vendors, organic farmers, pizza, yoga, chef demos, tamales, and an eager, hungry lunch crowd.  We now welcome thousands of eager shoppers each month.





Registration for our Fall Course Catalog is ongoing. Check out the classes for babies, kids, teens and adults.