Tag Archives: Ann Chernow

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.

0*6*Art*Art*0 — Week 11 Gallery

Week 11 of our online gallery features another wide variety of local Westport artwork.

Watercolors, charcoal, photos, videos, even furniture-making — it’s all here in our regular Saturday feature.

Each week, you show off your creativity and spirit; each week, we gain insights into your COVID-filled moods.

Keep sending your work. Professional, amateur, old, young — we want your paintings, collages, sketches, photos, sculptures, cartoons, whatever. Student submissions are particularly welcome!

The only rule: It must be inspired by, reflective of, or otherwise related to the times we’re going through. Email dwoog@optonline.net.

“Empty Beach” (Martin Howard)

“Staying Strong” (Elizabeth Devoll)

Staples High School art teacher Angela Simpson says, “As part of distance learning, I make demo videos for my students. For the one on how to make a multi-color registered silk screen print using an adhesive film media, I created a print of my beloved dog, Teddy. The print was a hit at home. Now I’ve been ‘commissioned’ by my son to create a version printed on a black hoodie.”

“Backwards and in Heels” (Lawrence Weisman)

Amy Saperstein made this table in her garage workshop. She says, “I must be honest. It is extremely flimsy, and likely to collapse at any moment! I found the white branch in my yard, and had the wood for the top in the garage.”

“The Beach is My Happy Place” (Amy Schneider)

“Not Venice Carnival” (Lisa Weinstein)

“Unconnected Now” (Karen Weingarten)

Susan Lloyd says, “This is Saint Dymphna, an Irish gal with a horrible backstory; patron saint of depression and anxiety. I am not Catholic; I just like saints and their histories, and of course shells.”

A video tribute, from Rob Feakins:

Ann Chernow’s garden, near Main Street. “People walking by feel good seeing these,” she says. (Photo/James Walsh)

Roseann Spengler says, “Under house arrest like Cinderella, I have discovered new friends. Making them masks is more important than making them clothes.”

“Seagulls Above a Watercolor Sky” (Photo/Patricia McMahon)

Remembering Martin West

Martin West — actor, filmmaker, and for over 20 years the life partner of noted Westport artist Ann Chernow — died December 31. He was 82.

Martin West and Ann Chernow.

He first appeared on stage in New York in 1959, with George C. Scott in “the Andersonville Trial.” He also appeared in over 30 movies. As a documentary filmmaker, West earned an Emmy Award for “The Making of ‘My Fair Lady.'”

His television acting credits included 9 years as Dr. Brewer on “General Hospital,” and stints on “Perry Mason,” “Gunsmoke,” “Bonanza,” “Ironside,” “Dallas,” “Highway to Heaven,” “Matlock” and “L.A. Law.”

West moved to Connecticut in 1993. He joined Theatre Artists Workshop of Westport, acting in and directing many productions.

In 1999 Ann Sheffer commissioned him to produce “A Gathering of Glory,” a documentary about the history of the arts in Westport. The film included artist Paul Cadmus, actors Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward and Christopher Plummer, as well as Keir Dullea — West’s lifelong, and best, friend.

(From left): Dick Moore, Jane Powell, Martin West, Ann Chernow, Keir Dullea.

Over the next several years — while still acting — West became a key figure in the Westport arts scene. He was instrumental in expanding the Theatre Arts Workshop (founded by Dullea in 1983), and was part of the Westport Arts Center.

West’s growing interest in the local visual arts led him to develop a film project about artists over the age of 70, who still worked in Westport and Weston studios.

Years in the Making” (2009) celebrated 50 Westport aand Weston artists — some of them in their 90s — working in oil, charcoal, sculpture, photography and printmaking.

The film — made with fellow Westporter Kristen Fox McKinney — garnered several national film awards.

He also developed separate videos about each of the 50 artists. It’s all available now at the Westport Library.

Martin West (center) with photographer Larry Silver and arts advocate Mollie Donovan.

West continued working on new projects in Westport, including a documentary about his partner in life and art, Ann Chernow.

In addition to Chernow, he is survived by his children Jason Weixelbaum, Allie West and Gabriel West; stepson Paul Mend, and sister Gail Britt.

A memorial service is set for this Saturday (January 4, 2 to 5 p.m., Theatre Artists Workshop [Masonic Lodge], 5 Gregory Boulevard, Norwalk).

In lieu of flowers, donations in West’s name can be made to Theatre Artists Workshop.

 

TEA Talk Sunday: Breaking Barriers Through Arts

Everyone knows about TED Talks.

But here in Westport, we’ve got TEA Talks.

The Westport Arts Advisory Committee and Westport Library’s 8th annual TEA — that’s Thinkers, Educators, Artists — event is set for this Sunday (October 27, 2 p.m., Town Hall).

The topic is timely and relevant: “Breaking Barriers Through the Arts.”

Music, visual arts, performance and poetry artists will share personal stories of breaking boundaries through their work, in 3 20-minute conversations and performances.

There are special appearances by Westport poet laureate Diane Lowman and internationally renowned pianist Frederic Chiu — a local resident — plus an audience Q-and-A, and the presentation of a Horizon Award to a young area artist of note.

Noah Fox

Noah Fox is the winner of that Horizon Award. The 2009 Staples High School graduate — he went by Noah Steinman then — studied photography at Staples, and studio art, art history and queer theory at Oberlin College; earned an MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts; worked as education manager at the Westport Arts Center, and now serves as coordinator of academic and public programs at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum.

He’s made a name with a unique project: “transforming” educational books that are “alarmingly misogynistic, homophobic and racist.” Fox paints, draws, sculpts and uses collages to gouge out the books, and “reclaim” them. He “sheds light on the oppressive foundations of American culture, while exposing the ways in which these systems and rhetoric persist today.”

Fox will be joined on the TEA stage by:

  • Illustrator Ann Chernow of Westport, whose works evoke the images of female cinematic figures of the 1930s and ’40s
  • Westport conceptual artist and sculptor Jeanine Esposito, who co-founded Beechwood Arts salon, and now brings innovation to libraries, universities and non-profits
  • Westport director, producer, dramatic coloratura and private voice teacher Wendy Morgan-Hunter
  • Ecuadorean-born violinist, educator and social entrepreneur Angelica Durrell
  • Groundbreaking classical and jazz singer, inspirational teacher, body builder and nutrition specialist Dr. Tiffany Renee Jackson.

The TEA Talk is free, and open to the public. A reception follows immediately afterward. Registration is encouraged; click here.

Unsung Heroes #108

For more than 40 years, Baker Graphics has served Westporters with grace, smiles and skill.

What they do has changed — back in the day, copying was a chore best left to professionals, and business cards are going the way of the mimeograph machine — but they always adapt.

Catalogs, brochures, folders, flyers, forms, inserts, posters, signs — if it involves printing, graphic design or packing, they’re your go-to guys and gals.

Alert “06880” reader — and longtime satisfied customer — Ann Chernow thinks they deserve a special, Unsung Heroes shoutout.

“They help in every way possible,” she says. “They go out of their way to find just the right kind of paper or materials, with consistent good humor, knowledge of their craft, patience and assistance in many unusual ways.”

They’re particularly good, she says, with customers who have only a vague — or no — idea of what they want. Which, of course, is most of us.

The other day, Baker Graphics did something unheard of for a print and design company: They made a house call to Ann.

Special delivery, from Richard Baker.

Delivering pizza is one thing. Delivering a print job is on another plane entirely.

So to Marita and Richard Baker, and all their cast and crew, present and past — congratulations! You are our well-deserved Unsung Heroes of the week.

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.)

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.