“Who are you talking to,” an oil painting by Helen Robinson of Darien, won the $250 prize for Best in Show at the 2015 “Focus Under Forty” exhibition. She also was awarded first place in the paintings category. The juror was award-winning artist/teacher William Nelson, who said, “Who are you talking to?” is a beautifully precise painting , whose quiet and amused subject seemed to be tickled to life with gentle caresses of color. Ms. Robinson’s untitled portrait in the painting category was brought to life with aggressive slashes of pigment that commanded my attention.”

The exhibit continues through June 28 in the Main Gallery of the Rowayton Arts Center, 145 Rowayton Avenue. RAC Gallery hours are 12:00-5:00 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1:00-4:00 p.m. on Sunday (closed Monday). For information, call 203-866-2744.

“Focus Under Forty” features 47 works in all media by 30 artists ages 18 through 39. The other winners by medium are: Drawings – 1st Spencer Brainard (Astoria, NY); Mixed Media – 1st Erin Jenkins (Norwalk), 2nd Katelyn Vickery (Norwalk), 3rd Joseph Dermody (New Haven), honorable mention Hilary Archer (Wilton); Paintings – 2nd Teeke Eaton-Koch (Riverside), 3rd Pilar Garra (New Canaan), honorable mention Erin Dolan (Norwalk); Photography – 1ST Burr Tweedy (Darien), 2nd Sam Massey (Norwalk), 3rd Kerry Long (Trumbull); Sculpture – 1st Mark Andreas (Stamford), honorable mention Tom Reilly (New Haven).

“My discipline for choosing art for the exhibit is primarily that the work is created at a very high level of technique, execution and display. The art that I am most excited about is that which describes why it exists. Is it here to reflect a personal view, comment on contemporary society, pay homage to the Masters, or bring humor, discomfort or unaffected beauty?”

Other artists juried into the exhibition are (by town): Darien – Morgan Benoist d’Etiveaud, Cara McCabe; Fairfield – Megan Garbe; Greenwich – Christopher Wisher; Milford – Christina Ciacci, New Haven – Emilia A. Baker; Norwalk – Amanda Atunes, Ian Appleby, Sierra Crial, Allison Lindsay, Viorica Gheto-Vuono; Seymour – Michael (Miggy) Migani; Stamford – Matthew Gallo, Erica Santarsiero; West Hartford – Joanna Schiff, Naomi Vevo Bentori.

Four of the artists in the exhibition will be invited to discuss their inspiration, process and art during ATRAC, a free evening of art talk that begins at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 17. Following the discussion, attendees can view additional works by the artists and talk informally with them during a reception in RAC’s upstairs studio.

For more than 50 years the Rowayton Arts Center (RAC) has been a community cultural hub that provides a welcoming environment for the exchange of arts-related ideas and for regional artists in all media to exhibit and sell their work. Located on the banks of the scenic Five Mile River, the Arts Center hosts exhibitions, lectures, musical events and other activities. In its second-floor studio, the RAC Art School offers year-round classes and workshops for creative people of all ages and at all ability levels. RAC also underwrites arts education programs throughout Norwalk.