Students from high schools throughout Fairfield County will have their art work and photography on display in a juried show beginning Sunday at the Fairfield Arts Center.

The public is invited to meet the young artists and see their work at on opening reception Sunday, from 3 to 5 p.m., in the center, 70 Sanford St. The exhibit runs through April 16.

"It's always a real impressive show," said Michele Hermsen, a photography and mixed media teacher at Fairfield Ludlowe High School. "It's a great show for the kids to enter -- number one, because they are competing against some of the highest quality high school student art work in the county and, also, it's great for the kids to see all the diverse types of medium that other kids in their age group are working with."

Carmen Chen, 18, a senior at Fairfield Warde High School, entered two pieces: an acrylic painting of a little boy and rendering of a lady turning into a fish in a mix of pen-and-ink, watercolor and colored pencil. "It's a metamorphosis," said Chen, a first-time entrant in the FAC regional teen art show, which includes submissions from students from Fairfield, Westport, Bridgeport, Easton, Monroe, Stratford, Trumbull, Weston and Wilton.

The students compete for a chance to have their work included in the show -- only those pieces selected by a panel of judges will be exhibited -- and for scholarships totaling $2,650.

"I think it's a good experience and a good opportunity for students to show their work," Chen said.

Matthew Crocker, 16, of Weston, agreed. "Usually you only get exposed to the people in your own town and your school, mainly. This is an opportunity to see the work from students from other towns, see what other students are doing," Crocker said.

Samantha Rehr, of Weston, painted a scene of a swan, moon and bridge and then applied features to the painted swan and beads to represent stars in the sky.

Elliott Butler, a student at Harding High School in Bridgeport, made a nearly 3-foot sculpture of leaves.

Sophie Warnick, 16, a Fairfield Warde student, entered a digital photograph of a scene she shot in Naples, Fla., of a bunch of birds sitting on the posts of an old dock.

"I love this picture and I think other people will appreciate it too, the mood, the composition, the colors, especially with this cold winter we've had. It (says) `here comes summer,' " Warnick said.

Maggie Santella, 18, a Ludlowe student, submitted a photograph of a boy on a llama she took during the February break when she traveled to Ecuador. "I thought it was cute and funny and I thought it was different so it might stand out," she said.

Santella said the FAC show is exciting because "we have a small photo class so we've seen a lot of each other's work. It's nice to see photos we haven't seen before."

Last year's top winner in the photography category, Ludlowe student Mary Chimenti, 17, entered a "montage of pictures." "The original picture is the abdomen of a girl who has an eating disorder and I put pictures I took of nature over it so they look painted. It's something I wanted to try," she said.

She said the FAC teen show allows students to experiment and try new techniques. She also entered a mixed media piece that includes a cut out of a portrait from an old circuit board. "It's a statement of how technology has developed over the years," Chimenti said.

Daniel Hirano, 18, a student at Bridgeport International Academy, entered a sculptural piece that uses a traditional Japanese art form with a twist. He crafted game pieces, including a dragon, aliens, sorcerers and fallen angels, out of paper that he fashioned in elaborate detail employing Origami techniques.

For more information, call the Fairfield Arts Center at 203-319-1419 or visit the website at