New Playhouse Gallery Honors Westport Arts Heritage

Ann Sheffer is among Westport’s most avid arts advocates. Her support of all mediums — visual, performing, classical, new — is abiding and true.

So it’s very fitting that Ann’s latest project involves both an art gallery and the Westport Country Playhouse.

Actually, it’s a gallery at the Playhouse.

This Saturday (November 24, 5 to 8 p.m.), the barn next to the theater welcomes “Amazing Grace.” Noted Westport painter/illustrator Ann Chernow and famed graphic artist Miggs Burroughs offer dozens of mixed media images, photos and oils of real and invented people, from life’s shadows.

Ann Chernow and Miggs Burroughs

It’s the gallery’s inaugural exhibit.

It opens in what is already called the Sheffer Studio Space. The name honors Ann and her family.

As a child, Sheffer’s grandparents and parents took her to the Playhouse. She still recalls sitting in those red seats, for Friday afternoon children’s shows..

At 15, she became an usher. She continued serving the Playhouse long after graduating from Staples High School in 1966. Today, she’s an honorary trustee.

Sheffer has known and admired the 2 artists featured in this first show for decades.

Chernok’s work has been exhibited all over the world. Her Playhouse art focuses on actress portraits from American film noir of the 1930s and ’40s. Of course, many film stars also appeared on the Playhouse stage.

Burroughs — who graduated from Staples a year before Sheffer — has designed Time magazine covers, a United States stamp, Westport’s flag, and hundreds of logos for commercial and  non-profit clients. His lenticular photos line the Main Street and railroad station tunnels. His Playhouse exhibit includes 24 male criminals.

A sample of Ann Chernow’s work (left), and one by Miggs Burroughs (right).

Westport has long been known as an arts community. Next Saturday, we celebrate that heritage — in all its forms.

(The Gallery at the Westport Country Playhouse is a partnership between Friends of the Westport Public Art Collection and the Artists Collective of Westport. Saturday’s opening features music by Warren Bloom, drinks and light bites and more. The exhibit runs through December 22.)

4 responses to “New Playhouse Gallery Honors Westport Arts Heritage

  1. Miggs has also designed the covers for my books! The lenticular photo of intertwined hands – mine with my husband’s – is on the Main Street display and graces my memoir. The second book, Breaking Kola, features a photo he found. And Ann Chernow’s son was my classmate at Yale School of Management! I love the 06880 connections!

  2. Arline Gertzoff

    Miggs Burroughs Staples 63
    Ann Sheffer Staples 66
    Have both
    made fabulous contributions to the arts in Westport And I applaud them both

  3. Cheers to Ann, Ann & Miggs!!

  4. I’m very excited that all these people came together to make this happen ❤️ Thank you especially to Michael Barker for his willingness to collaborate with other arts groups in town. I wish I could be there for the opening, but will definitely see the show while it’s up — and all the ones to come!