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News : Entertainment Feb 4, 2014 - 6:06:22 AM

Stamford man wins Aquarium lighthouses contest for a second year in a row

By The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk

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David Bishop of Stamford with his winning piece (contributed photo)
NORWALK, CT – For the second year in a row, a Stamford man is the $1,500 first-place winner in the “Festival of Lighthouses Contest” at The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk.

David Bishop received the most votes from Aquarium visitors for his towering collection of finely crafted spires, titled “Hard-A-Lee.” The 12th annual holiday display ran from Nov. 16 to Jan. 20, and featured 22 large model lighthouses built by local artists, students and hobbyists.

Bishop, who lives in Stamford but works out of a studio in West Haven, now has entered the Aquarium contest twice and won both times. His lighthouse this year is somewhat reminiscent of minarets, with 17 finely crafted spires of different sizes and shapes rising into the sky, far above an angry sea. (Four other minarets, down low, dodge the waves.) Bishop created the spires by gluing together different types of wood and then using a lathe to carve them into the elaborate patterns.

The contest’s winners are chosen by Aquarium visitors, who enjoy the lighthouses in the aquarium galleries and then vote for their favorite. Nearly 10,300 votes were tallied from this most recent display, which – as always – attracted a collection of widely creative works.

At a Jan. 23 ceremony at The Maritime Aquarium, prizes also were awarded to five runners-up, including:
• second place ($750) – “Twinkie, Twinkie, Little Lighthouse,” a lighthouse made of Twinkies®, Ho Hos® and other Hostess snack cakes, by Donna Kern Ball of Newtown.
• third place ($375) – “Lighthouse Inn & Tavern” by Jo Stecker of Norwalk.
• fourth place ($300) – “Le Tour Larche” by Jason Larche of Norwalk.

Fifth place ended in a tie, so these two entrants split the $375 in total prize money meant for fifth and sixth place:
• “Keeper of Dreams,” a gingerbread lighthouse, by Billy Ensign of Norwalk.
• “Shark Way” by Suzanne and Jeff Bosco of Norwalk.

“Once again, we were able to offer Aquarium visitors a very fun and creative holiday display, all thanks to the thought and effort that our contestants put into their lighthouses,” said Chris Loynd, the Aquarium’s marketing director. “For that, we are very honored and grateful.”

Photos of all the winners can be seen at

Entry forms for the 2014 “Festival of Lighthouses Contest” will be available on the Aquarium’s website this summer.

For more information about The Maritime Aquarium’s exhibits, IMAX movies, programs or other offerings, go to or call (203) 852-0700.

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