Tag Archives: Dale Najarian

Downtown Murals Disappear

Animals are not the only thing disappearing at an alarming rate.

Downtown murals are vanishing too.

Then again, that’s the plan.

This week, the Artists Collective of Westport introduced an intriguing public art project.

“Vanishing Species/Vanishing Murals” showcases temporary works by Westporters Susan Fehlinger, Jana Ireijo, Day Moore and Dale Najarian.

Each piece — displayed on exterior walls inside Bedford Square, next to Jeera Thai, below Amy Simon Fine Art and in front of Anthropologie — will depict a different endangered species.

Downtown locations for vanishing murals.

The art is created using non-permanent materials like charcoal forged in the heat of destructive wildfires, supplemented by non-toxic chalk.

Exposed to the elements, each mural will disappear — echoing what’s happening to many beautiful creatures across our planet.

Jana Ireijo’s koala disappears.

“The process of aging, fading and degradation speaks to the attention span of our fast-paced world, and offers its own lesson on the ephemeralness of art and life itself,” the Collective says.

As the image fades, and the stains and seams of the wall reappear, viewers are prompted to think about how change is constant, and life is fleeting and fragile.

The future cannot be pushed away. Time continues to unfold at its own pace.

It is incumbent on us, as world citizens, to see and appreciate our world more fully, in real time, so that we can act in ways that honor and respect our world and our future.

The murals are being created this week. They’ll take a few months to decay. Watch for them, now and all winter long.

(The Artists Collective of Westport thanks the Westport Downtown Merchants Association, David Waldman and Roger Leifer for their help with this project.)

Pearl’s Gem

Westporters are used to seeing art everywhere.

Thanks to WestPAC — the Westport Public Art Collections — we enjoy museum-quality pieces in our schools, Town Hall, even fire headquarters.

Murals by noted local artists hang in Patagonia and Banana Republic.

Now art while you eat is on the Pearl at Longshore menu.

Gallery@Pearl hangs in the handsome lobby space of the popular restaurant. Exhibits vary in media, and rotate every 10 to 12 weeks.

The works are the brainchild of Cathy Colgan. As an arts events producer for the Westport Downtown Merchants Association — think the Fine Arts Festival and Art About Town — she developed a deep appreciation for the depth of talented artists in our community, and their desire to show their work in varied venues.

“Morning Glow” by Dale Najarian.

Pearl was happy to help. So far Nancy Landauer, Sholeh Janati, Janet Samuels and Elizabeth Marks have all exhibited.

This Tuesday (September 12, 5 to 7 p.m.), Pearl kicks off a show by talented painter Dale Najarian. She paints abstract landscapes of local scenes, like Compo Beach. All work is for sale, and will be up through November.

But Pearl is more than just a place to eat (and see art). Like many local businesses, it’s embedded in the community.

Several times a year, for instance, Pearl hosts the philanthropic group Women Who Care. Last week, while munching on complimentary food on the porch — a space usually filled with paying diners — members voted to award $10,000 to Fairfield County Hospice House.

Last weekend, Pearl was the site for a Summer Soiree. The sold-out fundraiser for Westport and Fairfield first responders raised more than $10,000.

The recipients — including Westport Police Chief Foti Koskinas and Fire Chief Rob Yost — promptly decided to send the funds to their counterparts in Houston. Right now, they need it more than we do.

It was a feel good/do good moment for all.

And — despite the rain — the setting wasn’t too shabby either.