Tag Archives: Ann Chernow

Calling All Artists

The number of Staples graduates who go on to careers in the arts is astonishing. From Eric von Schmidt and Christopher Lloyd, through Brian Keane and Bradley Jones on through Ari Edelson, Daryl Wein, Gina Rattan — and the hundreds more whose parents will respond wrathfully because I did not name them — Westporters make their marks as actors, artists, musicians, choreographers, stage managers, cinematographers, sound engineers, and in countless other ways.

But they’re not the subject of this post.

Thousands of other Westport students were exposed to music, visual arts, theater and literature, then moved on to careers in law, medicine, technology, blogging, insider trading, and god knows what else.

Yet they still remain involved in the arts.

They act in community theater. Serve on symphony boards. Sing with a church choir. Etc., etc., etc.

Many towns have community theater groups, where non-professional actors continue to take the stage. This scene is from a recent Westport Community Theater production of “The Seafarer.”

Every October, the Westport Arts Advisory Committee honors notable and rising young “artists” (in the broad sense of the word). The brochure — detailing new and past awardees — makes for fascinating reading.

In 2013 — for the 20th anniversary of the awards — the WAAC wants to include as many “non-professionals” as they can find.

That information — recounting the impact the arts had on these bankers, engineers, CEOs and whatnot long after Staples — could be even more intriguing than the usual stuff.

First, though, the committee must find them.

If you — or someone you know — is still involved in the arts, in a non-make-your-living-at-it way, email Ann Chernow at ctfinearts@sbcglobal.net, or Sandy Lefkowitz at homehome@optonline.net.

And, just for fun, click “Comments” and let “06880” readers know too. We shouldn’t have to wait 17 months to hear about the arts’ influence on non-artists’ lives.

Years In The Making

You’re sure to hear more about it in the weeks ahead.  But for now, save the date:  Sunday, November 8, 7 p.m. at Town Hall.

That’s when Westporters can see a remarkable new film:  “Years in the Making.”  In just 66 minutes, it pays homage to Westport’s heritage as an arts colony.  It honors 50 Westport and Weston artists, in mediums ranging from oil and charcoal to sculpture, photography and printmaking.

Jean Woodham, 81 (Photo by Kristin Rasich Fox)

Jean Woodham, 81 (Photo by Kristin Rasich Fox)

But it does far more.  All of the artists are over 70 — some well into their 90s.  But as they talk about their art and their lives — their educations, their careers, their creative processes and the lessons they’ve learned from it all — they serve as inspirations for us all.

This is a film about Westport and art, sure, but it’s also about the power of passion, and the potential we all have to keep getting better at whatever we do, every day of our lives.

Filmmaker Martin West — with great help from Ann Chernow, Kristin Rasich Fox and Ada Lambert — has created a work that anyone can relate to, and everyone should see.  There’s more to come — the finished product will include separate hour-long interviews and studio tours with each artist (50 DVDs in all) — but for now, mark your calendars for November 8.

“Years in the Making” has been years in the making — 90-plus, in some cases.  The wait is definitely worth it.

(An exhibit of the 50 artists’ recent works runs through September 7 at the Westport Historical Society.)

The hands of Howard Munce, 92 (Photo by Kristin Rasich Fox)

The artistic hands of Howard Munce, 92 (Photo by Kristin Rasich Fox)