Last week it was Halloween. This week it’s Election Day.
But there’s always autumn. At least, for a week or two more.
Our Saturday gallery welcomes submissions from all artists. 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 email@example.com, to share your work with the world.
“VOTE” (Amy Schneider)
“Someday, Somehow” (Ellin Spadone)
“A Fish Out of Water” — Sherwood Island (Photo/Karen Weingarten)
“They Don’t Build Churches Like This Anymore” (Lawrence Weisman)
“Happy Tuesday” (Mark Yurkiw)
“Fall Colors, Southport” (Eric Cole)
“Where There are Differences, There are Also Similarities” (Lou Rolla)
Posted onJuly 4, 2020|Comments Off on 0*6*Art*Art*0 — Week 16 Gallery
A few 4th of July-themed works are featured in this week’s art gallery.
“06880” is finishing our 4th month featuring readers’ creations. As the world changes, your submissions are as important as ever.
Keep ’em coming. Professional, amateur, old, young — we want it all. Student works are particularly welcome!
The only rule: Your art must be inspired by, reflective of, or otherwise related to the times we’re going through. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Happy 4th of July!” (Amy Schneider)
“Welcome Back” (Lawrence Weisman)
Seth Schachter created this collage from discarded items he spotted, in and around downtown. “It’s sad to see litter like this (or any litter for that matter),” he says.”But of course it’s reflective of the times we live in.”
“Out for a Drive in the New Norm!” Bob Weingarten says, “While cleaning drawers, I found cars and figures that our grandkids used.” One result is this photograph.
“First Recital” (oil on canvas). Artist Cindy Wagner says, “I just watched my granddaughter perform a virtual dance recital. It’s still beautiful and made me smile, but I thought about how different it was from her past recitals.”
“The Golden Rule” (Mark Yurkiw)
Untitled. Larry Untermeyer shot this tight closeup of the pistils from within a single bloom of a wild tiger lily that grows on his patio.
It’s a familiar scene on Main Street: A tenant moves out. Landlords leave the space vacant for a long time, searching for the perfect replacement. Or at least, someone willing to pay the sky-high rent.
But take a look at #1. One of the most visible properties downtown — it’s in the old library building, at the Post Road intersection across from Taylor Place — it was formerly the site of Calypso. The “luxury lifestyle brand” moved out more than 2 years ago.
The space is still available. But for the past few months, it’s been occupied — very vibrantly — by a pop-up art gallery.
#1 Main Street
Pop’TArt is the brainchild of Mark Yurkiw. A longtime Westporter and physicist by training, he spent his career helping Fortune 500 companies launch products and services. Part of that involved creating story-telling sculptures for media outlets like Newsweek and Fortune.
His works include a rendition of the Capitol. Commissioned by the George W. Bush White House, it was signed by 256 members of Congress.
In 1995 Yurkiw created a piece of a real estate developer named Donald Trump. He had bought a hotel on Columbus Circle, and wanted to brand it with his name.
A few months ago, in a conversation with fellow Westport artists Miggs Burroughs and Amy Kaplan, Yurkiw learned that Rick Yarmy was looking for a way to champion local artists.
Yarmy’s is the longtime property manager for Win Properties. They handle #1 Main Street (and many other retail spaces across the country).
Yurkiw called. He told Yarmy his idea: a gallery with works that would push visitors to think about current news and headlines.
Yarmy said “sure!”
Yurkiw found a curator. Jennifer Haviland was working in Southampton. But she took a leap of faith, and moved here.
Together, they set out to find local artist who could create or re-purpose pieces to fit a theme.
The current show — called “Words Matter,” because each work’s title is important — includes some of Yurkiw’s own previous efforts. His Capitol sculpture, for example, is called “Re-Birth of a Nation.” Recalling D.W. Griffith, with an egg shape that suggests birth.
Mark Yurkiw with “Re-Birth of a Nation.” Behind him is another work: “New National Bird.” It’s a monarch butterfly.
Yurkiw froze his own passport. He calls it “Passport on ICE.” It’s provocative. But — as with every piece in the show — Yurkiw says, “people can decide how or what to feel for themselves.”
“Passport on ICE,”
Another example: a monarch butterfly, called “New National Bird.” Some people may look at it and think about all the birds that are disappearing. Others might say, “They migrate from Mexico.” Or, “Oh, we now have a monarch.”
Chris Calle — who has designed 32 US stamps, many relating to space — contributed a diptych. Titled “Fragile,” the two parts — “Climate” and “Change” — show the earth from space, in two very different forms. One is lush; the other, arid.
Reaction to Pop’TArt has been excellent, Yurkiw says. And Yarmy — the landlord’s representative — is so excited at the chance to showcase art in an otherwise empty space that he’s talking with Yurkiw about moving the show to other properties.
The storefront is still for rent. But, Yurkiw says, Yarmy sees the gallery as an asset. Potential tenants are excited to see foot traffic, and can envision their own store there.
Curator Jennifer Haviland, with Steven Goldstein’s Paul Newman art.
Meanwhile, Yurkiw forges ahead. He’s spoken with Westport poet laureate Diane Lowman about doing readings at Pop’TArt.
“We want to bring as many artists here, of all kinds, for as long as we can,” he says.
And when #1 Main Street gets rented — well, there are plenty of other vacant storefronts downtown.
(Pop’TArt is open Thursday through Sunday, from 12 to 6 p.m.)
Art thrives, at the most visible corner in downtown Westport.
A pop-up gallery — with the clever name of Pop’TArt — just opened at 1 Main Street. That’s the juncture of the Post Road, opposite Anthropologie.
Curator/director Jennifer Ruger Haviland relocated from Southampton, for the current show. Artists — who work in oil, photographs, and wood and metal sculpture — include Miggs Burroughs, Mark Yurkiw, Robert Braczyk, Betsey Fowler, Joe Sorge, Monica Bernier and Jim Velgoti.
Below, Haviland welcomes art lovers to the warm, inviting space. It runs through the end of the month. The next show — “Words Matter” — opens November 1.
Last Saturday was Green Day. All across town, dozens of Westport volunteers picked up trash.
For Bob Braczyk and Scott Williams, every day is Green Day.
Nearly every weekend for 40 years, Bob and his wife Monica Bernier come to Westport from their Manhattan apartment.
Every morning they’re here — rain or shine — Bob joins Mark Yurkiw and his wife Wendy Van Wie on their daily 3 1/2-mile dog walk. The route includes Cross Highway, Sturges Highway, Meeker Road and Bayberry Lane.
Bob is here to relax. But when he joins Mark and Wendy, Bob brings a plastic claw, and the biggest recycled plastic bag he can find. He wants to clean the streets of his weekend hometown.
No matter how big the bag — and some are huge — he always fills it up. By the end, he’s stuffing in more trash than it can hold.
Bob Braczyk, with one day’s haul. Keeping pace is Wendy Van Wie.
Mostly, Mark says, the garbage is coffee cups, beer cans, liquor bottles, cigarette packs, fast food wrappers, and “really gross things.”
Just imagine what Westport would look like if — every weekend, on every walk — Bob just passed it all by.
Scott lives just down Sturges from Bob and Mark. You know his place: the iconic horse farm on the corner of Cross Highway.
Scott is a 1-man army. He cleans up all around the Merritt Parkway underpass — both sides of the bridge.
People use it as a dumping ground. For some reason, truckers park there and unload their trash.
On the other side of the bridge he cleans up dead trees, manicures and mows.
Scott Williams’ iconic farm. He cleans up all around, all the time. (Photo/Lynn U. Miller)
Mark says that Scott keeps the farm, and environs, looking exactly like it did on a Saturday Evening Post cover (and the opening shot of the “Stepford Wives” movie).
Scott’s farm actually falls on the Fairfield side of the town border. But he — and Bob — are true “06880” heroes.
And any other zip code.
(To nominate an Unsung Hero, email email@example.com)
Built in 1728 by Samuel Meeker, it was already half a century old when the British marched past, on their way to Danbury. They took Meeker’s 2 sons prisoners — but not without a fight. A musket ball lodged in the door offered vivid evidence that this house had history.
Today, it’s known as the Schilthuis-Meeker house. (More history: Sally Schilthuis was influential in preventing construction of Merritt Parkway Exit 43 in the area, resulting in the current “No Man’s Land” between Exits 42 and 44).
The saltbox incorporates 3 vernaculars of American architectural history. It almost met the wrecking ball, but owners Mark Yurkiw and Wendy Van Wie spent several years (and a ton of money) restoring it, and ensuring its legal preservation in perpetuity.
The front view of 188 Cross Highway. (Photo/Amy Dolego)
Next Wednesday, the house will be listed for sale. But Mark and Wendy are offering a unique opportunity to “06880” readers:
You can buy it before it hits the market.
No, I’m not pimping real estate on the side. But I love this house. I’d buy it myself if I had a few hundred thousand dollars floating around.
And because the owners want to find someone as special as the place they’ve worked hard to protect and preserve — someone who appreciates the home’s connection to Westport, US and architectural history — I’m happy to help.
The rear view.
The listing price is $1,499,000. But if you contact Mark and Wendy before Tuesday afternoon (February 28), they’re willing to work with you. “We can be creative in how it’s sold to the best buyer,” they add.
Timing is everything. If you’re interested, email firstname.lastname@example.org before next Wednesday.
Just tell ’em your real estate advisor — “06880” — sent you.
Our country is more polarized than at any time since the Civil War.
But in one corner of Westport, at least, folks negotiate in good faith.
They compromise. And everyone wins.
The Planning & Zoning Commission was all set last night for a contentious hearing on Mark Yurkiw and Wendy Van Wie’s plea to preserve their 1700s property on Cross Highway. The couple — who spent years restoring a home and barn — wanted a waiver to live in the barn, but sell the other structure. That way, they said, it could be loved, cared for and maintained in perpetuity.
One view of 188 Cross Highway.
A neighbor opposed the proposal.
Mark and Wendy had a number of supporters in the Town Hall crowd. An “06880” story — with 100 or so comments — was read into the record.
But before anything else happened, both sides huddled. Suddenly, the neighbor’s attorney announced he’d drop the objection — provided Mark and Wendy adhere to a few simple conditions.
The P&Z approved what they needed to. Because it contains historic homes, the property can now be subdivided. The homes will remain.
Last month, “06880” highlighted the efforts of Mark Yurkiw and Wendy Van Wie to preserve their 1700s property on Cross Highway. The couple — who spent years restoring a home and barn — are asking the Planning & Zoning Commission for a waiver. It would allow them to live in the barn but sell the other structure, so it can be loved, cared for and maintained in perpetuity.
Nearly 100 people supported Mark and Wendy in the “Comments” section, or via personal emails and letters.
Part of the Cross Highway property.
Now it’s time to put our money where our mouths are. Tonight (Thursday, November 3, On Thursday, November 17 (7 p.m., Town Hall auditorium), the P&Z hears the waiver request. An attorney for one set of neighbors — who oppose the request — will argue against it.
Mark and Wendy have — very quietly, and with an eye toward history — enhanced their historic neighborhood. They don’t like speaking in public.
But they hope that their presence later this month — and that of other concerned Westporters — will speak volumes about the value of preservation.
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