Tag Archives: Ann Chernow

MoCA’s Westport Art Show Ends Saturday

Last summer, the Westport Arts Advisory Committee and MoCA Westport began work on the first in an annual exhibition drawn from the Westport Public Art Collections.

The inaugural show — “The Westport Idea” — opened in January. It ends this Saturday (March 12). WAAC chair Nancy Diamond writes:

In 1968 Ann Chernow moved from New York to Westport, where her art school friend and future husband Burt Chernow already lived. Ann had no idea there were artists in Westport; she was looking for a good school system for her children.

She also did not know that since 1964, Burt had been collecting works from his artist friends and colleagues to create the Westport Schools Permanent Collection.

“Burt’s dream was to make fine art a daily part of students’ lives,” Ann says. He was an artist himself and a teacher at Greens Farm Elementary School. With no assistance and no budget, Burt began the collection that has grown to more than 2000 works today.

Walking around the Gallery at MoCA, Ann is flooded with memories.

Standing before a colorful painting (Boy’s Head, 1964) by modernist painter Paul Camacho, Ann recalls. “Burt, our children and I were good friends with Paul and his family.” WestPAC now has more than 30 of Paul’s works. Three are on exhibit at MoCA.

“Boy’s Head” (Paul Camacho)

Of her own work in the gallery, (Hercules, 1976), Ann explains, “It’s the only silk screen I’ve ever done. It turned out I was allergic to the materials.”

The piece is based on Bette Davis. When the legendary actress (and Westport resident) heard Ann was working on it, she visited the studio to check up on it.

Ann Chernow with “Hercules” (top).

Ann is riveted by Laszlo Moholy-Nagy’s crayon and pastel work, Chalk Composition (1946). “One day Baroness Hilla von Rebay, who was instrumental in developing the Guggenheim Museum, called Burt,” she says.

“Hilla asked whether he could stop by her Greens Farms home and possibly fix some paintings she had that were practically ruined. When he got there, Burt found this Maholy-Nagy, as well as a Kandinsky, rolled up on the windowsill.

“They were badly creased. Burt brought them home and flattened them, but you can still see the wrinkles behind the glass.

Photographer Larry Silver arrived in Westport a few years after Ann. When he got out of his car in 1973, he says, “I looked around and all I saw were pictures. The sky, the grass, the trees. I hadn’t even seen the water, but everything was a picture waiting for me to shoot.”

That day he and his wife Gloria found the least expensive house they could afford. He pulled out a check that he had received from a recent advertising campaign and handed it to the broker. “She probably was surprised when it didn’t bounce,” he says.

In 1996 he was invited by the Chinese city of Yangzou (now Westport’s sister city) to photograph their lifestyle. Six Dancers shows 6 deaf girls from the School for Blind and Deaf. They danced for us to a song called Mother, if I could only hear Your Voice Just Once. Larry says, “We all teared up. To do a portrait of the girls, I had to design this photo so each of the 6 faces were important.”

In 2021, Larry donated 30 compelling black and white photographs of his China trip to WestPAC.

Hanging below Larry’s photo at MoCa is a work by Bridgeport photographer Adger Cowans (Three Shadows, 1968). Larry met him 3 years ago. “His is a wonderful picture, reminiscent of the 1960’s styles of life in the streets. It’s beautifully designed.”

Larry Silver with Adger Cowans’ photo (top).

Larry had similar praise for Westport photographer Jerri Graham (Sisters, 2020). “This also is a beautifully designed, well-done picture. The girls look so carefree dancing, even wearing their COVID masks.”

In 2000, Westport’s Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Lynsey Addario made her first trip to Afghanistan to document the lives of women living under the Taliban. She returned there almost annually until 2014.

A Girl Visits a Shiite Shrine (2008) shows a young woman defiantly not wearing a veil. “The girl is centered in the picture and your eye goes right to her,” Larrysays. “It’s really good.”

Lynsey donated 33 images from her Afghanistan series to WestPAC in 2021.

The works of these Westport artists, as well as of their friends and colleagues, are on exhibit at MoCA in The Westport Idea through Saturday March 12. Click here for more information.

0*6*Art*Art*0 — Week 65 Gallery

Everyone was out this week celebrating the arrival of beautiful weather, and the “reopening” of Westport.

Well, almost everyone.

A few folks had time to send submissions to our weekly art gallery.

We want more! Watercolors, oils, charcoal, pen-and-ink, acrylics, lithographs, macramé, jewelry, sculpture — send it in!

We are particularly interested in student submissions, and readers who have not submitted before.

Some of you are professional artists; most are amateurs. Experience does not matter! Email dwoog@optonline.net, to share your work with the world.

“Juneteenth” (Amy Schneider)

“Trees and Stream” (Frances Overley Ryan, age 9, Greens Farms Elementary School)

Untitled (Lauri Weiser)

“Open Sesame” lithograph (Artist Ann Chernow says “because everything is opening up!”

“Abstract Movement” (Karen Weingarten)

“The Elephant in the Room” (Lawrence Weisman)

Untitled (Evelyn Overley Ryan, age 11, rising Bedford Middle School 6th grader)

0*6*Art*Art*0 — Week 52 Gallery

Ta-da! We did it!

Today, “06880” celebrates one full year of our Saturday morning art gallery.

In those first frightening days of the pandemic, I put out the call: Create art. Then send it in. A welcome tradition was born.

It was a way for artists and photographers to work through so many jumbled emotions. It was a way too for readers around the world to appreciate our artists, without the galleries and shows they always relied on.

In the beginning, work was entirely COVID-related. Oils, lithographs, sketches, photos, crafts — they showed masks, isolation, hearts. They evoked fear, uncertainty, hope.

Over time, other themes emerged. The summer’s Black Lives Movement sparked a new type of art — and a familiar welter of mixed emotions.

Gradually, our gallery changed. Nature emerged. Traditional scenes reappeared. Whimsy popped up.

Coincidentally, 12 artists contributed works to this week’s anniversary gallery. That’s one for every month we’ve endured.

There is light at the end of the tunnel. Let’s hope it’s not an onrushing train.

Meanwhile, our “06880” art gallery will continue. As always, we welcome whatever form suits your mood. You don’t have to be a pro, or even experienced. Send it all!

Student submissions of all ages are especially welcome. So are artists who have not submitted before.

Email dwoog@optonline.net, to share your work with the world.

“Spring Has Sprung” (Amy Schneider0

“I See the Light at the End of the Storm” (Ellen Wentworth)

“St. Patrick and the Wolfhounds” (Brian Whelan)

Untitled (Werner Liepolt)

“Crocuses, Bee and Shadow” (Elena Nasereddin)

“Betrothed in the Time of COVID” (Diane Yormark)

“Done! Who’s Pouring?” (Patricia Duesy)

“Rites of Spring” (Ellin Spadone)

Lithograph artist Ann Chernow says, “If you wear a mask even if you are vaccinated, you’ll have ‘Sweet Dreams, Baby’!”

Untitled (Pam Kesselman)

“Wash Day” (Lawrence Weisman)

“Sunset” (Karen Weingarten)

 

0*6*Art*Art*0 — Week 43 Gallery

Art makes us think. This week, we’ve had plenty to think about.

Recent and ongoing national events influenced this week’s art gallery — both subtly and unsubtly.

Each week, “06880” highlights works from local artists. You don’t have to be a pro, or even experienced. We want it all!

Art should be inspired by, relevant to, or somehow, in some way, connected to our current lives. Student submissions of all ages are especially welcome.

Email dwoog@optonline.net, to share your work with the world.

“Our Divided Nation” (Amy Schneider)

“Homework” (Jo Ann Davidson)

“COVID Still Life” (Molly Alger — she made the hat)

Untitled (Greg Puhy)

“Sand Fish at Compo Beach” (Karen Weingarten)

“The View From My Couch” (Lawrence Weisman)

“Just a Little Pinch … Saves Lives” (Ellin Spadone)

“Trying to Stay Positive” (Roseann Spengler)

Untitled lithograph (Ann Chernow)

 

0*6*Art*Art*0 — Week 37 Gallery

Compo Beach on Thanksgiving, a Christmas scene — we’re in the holiday mood this week.

As we’ve done every week since the pandemic struck last spring, we highlight submissions from all artists. You don’t have to be a pro, or even experienced. We want it all!

Works should be inspired by, relevant to, or somehow, in some way, connected to our current lives. Student art of all ages is especially welcome.

Email dwoog@optonline.net, to share your work with the world.

“Shop Local, Curbside and Inside” (Ellin Spadone)

“Canine Zoom Call” (Amy Schneider)

“Blood Moon” (Lisa Seidenberg)

“Trouble,” lithograph from stone (Ann Chernow)

“Two Whales Passing By” (Carole Chinn Mariani)

Untitled (Allegra Bockhaus, age 13)

“Customer Relations” (Lawrence Weisman)

“Thanksgiving at Compo Beach, 2020” (Karen Weingarten)

0*6*Art*Art*0 — Week 31 Gallery

As usual, this week’s art gallery features regular contributors and newcomers.

We welcome all! NOTE: Works should be inspired by, relevant to, or somehow, in some way, connected to our current lives. Student art of all ages is especially welcome.

Email dwoog@optonline.net, to share your work with the world.

“Autumn Scene” (Amy Schneider)

“Fate: It’s All in the Cards” (Ann Chernow)

“Yesterday’s News” (Jo Ann Davidson)

“Missing a Tooth” (Lawrence Weisman)

“An Owl and Snake” — South Morningside Drive (Karen Weingarten)

“Oh, What a Tangled Web We Weave!” (Nancy Axthelm)

0*6*Art*Art*0 — Week 27 Gallery

We’re past the midpoint of our “gallery year” — with no lack of subjects. In fact, we’ve added wildfires to the list of contemporary themes our artists and photographers are tacklng.

As has been the case since March, all submissions are welcome — in any medium. The only rule: It should be inspired by, relevant to, or somehow, in some way, connected to our current world. Student art of all ages is especially welcome.

Coronavirus, social justice, politics, or just the beauty around us — have at it! Email dwoog@optonline.net, to share your work with the world.

Untitled. Amy Schneider photographed these yarhrzeit candles, “in memory of loved ones we’ve lost.” They will be lit tomorrow night, on Yom Kippur.

“To Be Free Again” (Karen Weingarten). In the sky above Compo Beach.

“The Pandemic Blues” (Lawrence Weisman)

Patricia Driscoll took this photo of her husband and their home after the 2017 Tubbs Fire in Sonoma County. California. It was the first day they were allowed to return. “Everything was lost,” she says. The fire destroyed 1500 homes in their neighborhood, and another 1500 nearby. 

“Standing For.” Paul Delano erected this art installation of 16 painted poles in Westport. “In 2020, what are you standing for?” he asks.

Untitled lithograph (Ann Chernow)

Untitled stoneware vessel (Melissa Newman)

“Refuge.” This mixed media, acrylic and fabric was inspired inspired by the beauty of artist Mary Pat Pino’s own back yard.

0*6*Art*Art*0 — Week 26 Gallery

We’ve reached the mid-year point — the 26th week — of our “06880” art gallery.

A new theme is introduced this week: wildfires.

As has been the case since March, all submissions are welcome — in any medium. The only rule: It should be inspired by, relevant to, or somehow, in some way, connected to our current world. Student art of all ages is especially welcome.

Coronavirus, social justice, politics, or just the beauty around us — have at it! Email dwoog@optonline.net, to share your work with the world.

“Wildfires” acrylic painting (Amy Schneider)

Untitled lithograph (Ann Chernow)

“Jumping for Joy” (Lawrence Weisman)

“Refuge.” Artist Mary Pat Pino’s mixed media, acrylic and fabric was inspired by the beauty of her own backyard.

0*6*Art*Art*0 — Week 23 Gallery

As August ends, our art gallery continues as strongly as ever.

As always, all submissions are welcome — in any medium. The only rule: It should be inspired by, relevant to, or somehow, in some way, connected to our current world.

Coronavirus, social justice, politics — have at it! Email dwoog@optonline.net, to share your work with the world.

“In the Deep End” (Amy Schneider)

“Burying Hill to Frost Point” (Werner Liepolt)

“Take a ‘Musical Moment'” (Lawrence Gordon)

“The Great Escape” (Ellin Spadone)

“Small Twigs Against a Blue-Colored Sky” (Larry Untermeyer)

“See No Evil. Hear No Evil. Hundreds of People at Compo Beach Not Masked.” (Ann Chernow)

“Come Outside” (Jo Ann Davidson)

“Ennui” (Marybeth Woods)

“All Twisted Up” (Karen Weingarten)

“Another Brick in the Wall” (Tracy Benton)

Remembering Christo

Christo — the one-named artist who constructed thousands of gates in Central Park, strung a curtain across a Colorado mountain pass, and wrapped the Reichstag in Berlin — died Sunday in New York. He was 84.

He also had several connections with Westport. Ann Chernow — long active in our local arts scene — writes:

My husband Burt Chernow and I met Christo in 1970. We traveled the world with him, his wife Jeanne-Claude and his crew for each project — an army of engineers, reporters, cooks and many artists from Westport.

Burt and I worked in various capacities on 6 major projects, including The Valley  Curtain, The Running Fence, Pont Neuf in Paris, The Umbrellas in Japan and California, and the wrapping of the Reichstag (the last Burt worked on before he died). Our bedroom in Berlin, across from the Reichstag, was Joseph Goebbels’ during World War II.

During these decades Burt worked on the only authorized biography of the Christos. Christo and Jeanne-Claude was published in 1999, first in Germany and then in the US and other countries. It would take another book to write the stories of our travels with them.

When I met Martin West — a documentarian working on the history of art in Westport, the year after Burt’s death — he was brought into Christo’s fold. He filmed for them, and we both worked  on the Gates in New York City.

We became  part of their family. Christo’s death last week — not long after Martin’s this past January — was a staggering blow to me, as was Burt’s in 1997.

WestportNow publisher Gordon Joseloff took a number of photos of Christo. This was
his last one, at Christo’s final Westport Arts Center exhibition.

Westport played a large part in our relationship.  The Christos had 4 Westport exhibitions, with lectures about their work accompanying each show. One was at Greens Farms Elementary School, when it served as the Westport Arts Center. Another was at the WAC after it moved to Riverside Avenue. The others were at Bedford Middle School and the Westport Library.

These exhibitions were thronged, filled to capacity beyond the fire laws. The Christos visited Westport  several times to prepare for these, and loved this town.

We had dinners  at our house with Christo’s family, and local supporters. Helen Klisser During — a former director of the Westport Arts Center — became a fast friend of the Christos.

Many Westporters remember Christo personally. Many others admired his work. We will all miss him.