Roundup: Fine Arts Festival, Wakeman Town Farm, Paul & Joanne …

Most art shows invite exhibitors. They give them a spot, a badge, and maybe — if the artists are lucky — a thank-you email.

Not Westport.

The Westport Downtown Association’s Fine Arts Festival makes every artist, sculptor and photographer feel welcome, throughout the process.

And last night — after the first day of the show, when exhibitors and organizers alike were tired and hungry — the WDA threw a nice party at Christ & Holy Trinity Church’s Branson Hall.

There was music, a couple of short speeches by 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker and association president Maxx Crowley, a great spread from Garelick & Herbs — and awards.

Congratulations to this year’s Fine Arts Festival honorees:  Jim Sprinkle, Taman Van Scoy, Andrew Soujani, Amee Hussey, Valerie Romano, Nicole Deponte, Patrick Seufert, Jerry Brem, Ralph Rankin, Dan Callister, and “Best in Show” artist Dean Dimarzo.

You can see them — and dozens of other artists — today (Sunday, May 29), now through 5 p.m.

You can find out where those winners (and everyone else) are by clicking here for booth numbers; then click “Artist Map” for their exact location. Click here for more information on the Fine Arts Festival.

1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker addresses the artists, at Branson Hall.



Wakeman Town Farm’s 2nd annual EcoFest is set for Saturday, June 11. It’s rain or shine, which makes sense considering the theme.

The day begins with the season opening of the WTF farm stand (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.). There’s produce grown  on the farm, fresh-cut flower bouquets, logowear, WTF honey, and hand-selected products from Connecticut vendors (artisan bakers, jams, goat soaps and lotions, maple syrup and more).

Goat yoga is 10 a.m. Humans do their thing, while goats graze and jump in their pen next door.

A curated collection of Fairfield County sustainable goods vendors and local artisans is open for shopping at 11 a.m. They sell:

  • Handwoven baskets and housewares
  • Handmade soaps, body butter and essential oils, skin and hair care products for teens
  • Candles, bags, clothing, and more.

While parents shop green, kids get their face painted, apply tinsel to their hair, or visit with farm animals like fuzzy alpacas and new baby goats. Animal care expert Judy Panzer will answer questions.

CTony Napolitano Pizza will sling his wood-fired pizza throughout the event. There’s live music too.

The sustainability theme continues June 13 (7 p.m.): “Home Hacks with the Eco Dude.”

Brad Kerner (aka the Eco Dude) will show how to reduce reliance on plastic, and reduce trash.

He’ll show an array of products that are good for people and the planet, from bathroom, laundry and kitchen to skin care, kids, pets and more. Click here for tickets.

The Farm Stand at Wakeman Town Farm.


As Ethan Hawke’s “The Last Movie Stars” — a 6-part CNN/HBO Max series about longtime Westporters Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward rolls out — The Wrap provides a bit of the back story.

‘”The Last Movie Stars’ was made with the cooperation of the Newman family, and with on-camera interviews by 4 of the couple’s daughters.

“But one of the interesting wrinkles, Hawke said, is that when Newman was contemplating writing a memoir, he had hundreds of friends and colleagues interviewed – and when he decided not to go ahead with that book, he burned the tapes – after they had been transcribed.

“The family gave those transcripts to Hawke – who called the gift ‘an unbelievable blessing’ – and Hawke had actor friends read the lines: Sam Rockwell as ‘Cool Hand Luke’ director Stuart Rosenberg, Zoe Kazan as Newman’s first wife Jackie Witte, Laura Linney as Woodward and George Clooney as Newman.”

Another Westport connection: Our neighbor Emily Wachtel is the creator and lead producer of “The Last Movie Stars.” It not have been made — or gotten to Cannes — without her

Click here for the full story.(Hat tip: Bill Dedman)

Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman.


The weather has been off and on, up and down, lately.

Okay, for weeks.

But nothing can dim the beauty of these Compo Beach roses — today’s “Westport … Naturally” treat.

(Photo/Tammy Barry)


And finally … on this day in 1953, Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay became the first people to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

News of the achievement reached London on the morning of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation.

2 responses to “Roundup: Fine Arts Festival, Wakeman Town Farm, Paul & Joanne …

  1. brad french

    I read Hotch’s book recently… Paul and me. Easy read and showed the real Paul Newman.

  2. Sue Iseman

    One of the best duos ever: Marvin Gaye & Tammy Terrell such a tight song! A tragedy they are both gone.