Tag Archives: Nick Ordway

Nick Ordway: “The Arts Are Oxygen”

Last Sunday, Nick Ordway received a Horizon Award — as an emerging young artist — at the Westport Arts Awards.

It was a great ceremony.  And even though he’s still “emerging,” the Oscar-nominated filmmaker — a Staples grad, Princeton and NYU grad — spoke with the wisdom of the ages.

In his brief speech, he told the Town Hall crowd:

I had a very happy adolescence here in Westport, and I think I can attribute much of that to the prominent role that art had in my life and in this community.

Nick Ordway

When a community supports and fosters the arts, it’s as if it’s planting a new stand of trees.  Everyone can see that trees are beautiful, but what people forget is how much vital oxygen they provide for everyone.

The arts produce a different kind of oxygen, absolutely essential yet equally invisible — so much so that art’s true worth is oftentimes overlooked, and funding and support for the arts are missing on society’s balance sheet.

While some art might have substantial commercial value, much of the arts exists beyond the marketplace.  That’s because the arts have a worth beyond the quantifiable.

The beauty and truth of the arts serve as a consistent reminder of what matters in our lives, and what it means to be human.  They give some people a sense of purpose, and help others just to get through the day.  And they bring us together as a community — they even did so today.

Rather than a commodity to be bought and sold, art is, rather, a gift to be shared and enjoyed.  As an artist, I am merely trying to give back both to art itself, for inspiring and transforming me in so many ways, and to the communities and very special family that helped expose me to the arts in the first place.

So thank you Westport, thank you teachers and parents and friends and other members of this vital community; thank you for recognizing me today. I only hope that through my art I can continue to give back what you’ve given to me.

An Oscars Shout-Out To Nick Ordway

It wasn’t Best Picture, Best Director, or even Best Actress in a Supporting Role.

It was “only” Best Short Film, Live Action (“The God of Love,” a romance about a lounge-singing darts champion — why not?).

But the blogosphere was alive this morning, burbling that writer/director/star Luke Matheny gave the best acceptance speech all night.

He joked that he should have gotten a haircut (his hair is huge).  He made a pitch for his special film niche, and hailed “the great state of Delaware.”

And he thanked — by name — his 1st assistant director, Nick Ordway.

Nick Ordway

Nick — a 1998 Staples alum who was very active in Staples Players — is a 2009 NYU Tisch School of the Arts graduate.

Befitting someone involved in an Oscar-winning short film, he’s had a storied career.  Nick studied literature and theatre at Princeton University, then taught English at Chiang Mai University in Thailand.

His films have played at Lincoln Center and on the web.  In addition to directing, Nick freelances as a sound recordist, and teaches film at the School of Cinema and Performing Arts.

We knew  there’d be at least one Westport-themed story from last night’s Oscars.

Any others we missed?