Relationship between kids and animals showcased in exhibition

Darien photographer Julia Arstorp is exhibiting her work, "Pet Project," at the Darien Nature Center through July 31.

"Pet Project" showcases children with their favorite creatures, including dogs, chickens, cats, ponies and frogs. Arstorp believes the relationship between children and the animals in their lives to be both magical and healing.

Arstorp set up Pet Project as a charity-based effort to support the Weston-based Wildlife in Crisis, a nonprofit organization dedicated to wildlife preservation, according to the nature center. A series of special "pet" photo sessions were offered to clients over the past 18 months, with proceeds going directly to Wildlife in Crisis.

Arstorp has been photographing families in Darien, and throughout Fairfield and Westchester counties, for the past 18 years.

She uses only black-and-white photography for her portrait work, according to her website, "I like the classic timeless feel of it," she writes on her website. "Using natural light, I strive to capture the everyday beauty of family and childhood."

The Darien Nature Center, 120 Brookside Road, is open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

For information, call 203-655-7459 or visit