The Westport Public Art Collection has been around for over 50 years. It’s grown to over 1,500 works — paintings, watercolors, drawings, prints, cartoons, photos, sculptures and murals — by international artists (Picasso, Warhol, Matisse, Mothewell, Miro, Christo, Calder) and, just as importantly, giant Westport names like Stevan Dohanos, Hardie Gramatky, Leonard Evertt Fisher, Miggs Burroughs and Ann Chernow.
But a “Friends” group was formed only last year.
Now they’re planning their 1st-ever fundraiser. Set for Thursday, June 8 (7 p.m., Rive Bistro), it includes a special exhibit of art from the collection — including all those masters listed above.
There’s also an auction of fantastic works — like Larry Silver’s classic “Beach Showers” photo — and a chance to meet and mingle with our town’s top artists.
Funds raised will help conserve, maintain and display works in the Public Art Collection.
If you’ve ever been inside a Westport school — or any other public building — you’ve been impacted by the collection. It hangs in hallways, libraries, classrooms, lobbies, offices and conference rooms. It inspires, provokes, soothes and challenges students, teachers, library-goers and Town Hall visitors.
Students in Staples High School’s Inklings classrooms are inspired by photos from prize-winning photographers (and alums) Tyler Hicks, Lynsey Addario and Spencer Platt.
The Public Art Collection is one of those Westport treasures that surround us every day. Most of us seldom think about how the art got there — or what it takes to keep it alive and fresh.
But members of the Westport Permanent Art Collection — and their Friends group — do. That’s why they want to see you at Rive Bistro on June 8.