Tag Archives: Norwalk Art Space

Roundup: Car Crashes, Cannabis, Cuseos …

Just before 1 a.m. today, a car went off the road, into the Saugatuck River.

The Westport Fire Department responded with 3 engines and a rescue truck. Firefighters wearing cold water rescue suits removed the lone occupant, who was trapped in the vehicle.

Westport EMS transported the patient to the hospital, with unknown injuries.

Westport firefighters in action early this morning. (Photo courtesy of Westport Fire Department)


Speaking of accidents: Another of those baffling midday, clear weather crashes  took place yesterday, at the Hillandale Road/Morningside Drive South intersection.

(Photo/Bob Weingarten)

With the way people drive these days, though — and the so-much-to-do pressure of the holidays — perhaps it’s not that surprising.

Just keep this image in mind the next time you want to gain 2 seconds at a stop sign.

Or think that your errand is more important than everyone else’s.


A recent “06880” story on what’s for sale — illegally — in Westport smoke shops and convenience stores noted that recreational marijuana sales have not yet begun in Connecticut.

Yesterday, state officials announced that adult-use marijuana sales will begin January 10.

Nine existing medical marijuana dispensaries have received approval for sales. The closest stores are Stamford and New Haven.

More sites will be approved in coming months. None are in Westport. The Planning & Zoning Commission has — at least for now — banned non-medical marijuana sales here.

Click here for a full report on recreational cannabis stores statewide.


A Teen Business Holiday Shop fills the Westport Library’s Trefz Forum today (Saturday, December 10, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.).

An array of creative, high-quality products — jewelry, services and more — are on sale. All were created by local teenage entrepreneurs.

The event is sponsored by Up | Next Teens. The student-founded and run organization teaches teens the principles of entrepreneurism, with a commitment to social activism.

A portion of the proceeds will help fun the group’s efforts to help alleviate food insecurity.

PS: There’s live music, baked goods — and gift wrapping too!


Registration is open for several Earthplace kids’ programs. They include:

  • Junior Naturalists (Grades 6-12)
  • Teen Volunteer Club (Grades 6-12)
  • Vacation Day Camp (Ages 3-12, January 16)
  • Holiday Break Camp (Ages 3-12. February 20-24, 27; April 7, 10-14)
  • Summer Camp.

Click here for details — and other programs too.


Staples High School Class of 2010 graduate Luke Hammerman is the digital audience manager for the National Military Family Organization. The non-profit supports and enhances military families through advocacy and programming.

Luke wants Westporters to know about the group’s holiday drive — and remind them that Tuesday is the anniversary of the National Guard’s founding (in 1636!).

He also found this link to an inspirational “06880” story about some Westport military families in years past.

During World War II, 8 of the 12 Cuseo brothers enlisted in the military. Bottom row (from left): Charles, Robert, James, George. Middle: Angelo, father James, mother Lucia, Albert. Top : Nicholas, Frank, Anthony, William, Joseph, Michael. Not pictured: Mildred.


Westport will be well represented at “Layers Revealed” — the new exhibit at Norwalk Art Space.

Photographer Jerri Graham and artist Melissa Newman are in the show, which explores “all of life’s intricacies and complexities.”

“Slowly, the layers of our lives are revealed and once they are, we fully come through,” Graham says. Through “each frame of the camera,” she aims to highlight “a fraction of a second of a life that will be lived for a time unknown. Within these fractionated layers, we find our lives and ourselves.”

“Layers Revealed” encourages viewers to explore the many cycles and layers of humanity, nature, beauty, creation and decay.

At the opening reception Thursday (December 15,, 6 to 8 p.m., 455 West Avenue, Norwalk), Graham will take portrait photos at a pop-up space.

She’ll also host 3 portrait photo sessions (December 18, 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m.; January 8 (10 a.m. to noon) and January 15 (noon to 2:30 p.m.). Book sessions at 203-252-2840; donations are accepted. Students ages 13 to 18 who are interested in helping Graham (and learning about lighting, composition and more) can apply here.

On January 15 (3 p.m.), Graham will give a talk. On January 28 (11 a.m.), Newman — who is also a vocalist — will join guitarist Tony
Lombardozzi for a jazz brunch performance at The Norwalk Art Space.


In With the Old” — a Discovery+ series — features old-home enthusiasts transforming abandoned structures.

In the current season 3, Staples graduates Brian and Megan Austin Philpott work their magic on a “little Weston cabin.”

Also shown: former Westport Planning & Zoning Commission member Al Gratrix. Spoiler alert: It’s his grandchildren’s log cabin. (Hat tip: Chip Stephens)

Brian and Megan Austin Philpott, at work.


The Dartmouth College Brovertones serenaded Staples High’s  Choralaires yesterday, with tunes ranging from Hozier to The Beach Boys.

Luke Rosenberg’s singers were especially excited to hear SHS 2020 graduate Sam Laskin. They asked plenty of questions too, about college and a cappella life.

Sam Laskin (front row, 3rd from left), the Brovertones, and the Staples Choralaires.


There’s a new event on the Westport benefit calendar.

On March 19, Sunset Wine Party hosts a wine tasting at the Inn at Longshore. All net proceeds go to Berni & Murcer, a non-profit supporting area children with cancer.

The event includes grazing tables, music, and private VIP rooms

Discount tickets are available December 15 through January 1. Click here for more information.


Last night’s full moon was spectacular. Thanks to all who sent photos.

Two of the best were these:

Moon over Compo Beach … (Photo/Jim Hood)

… and Sherwood Island State Park. (Photo/Matt Murray)


Just before the moon rose, Tessie and Stinky Pete posed for this “Westport … Naturally” photo at Compo:

(Photo/Richard Abramowitz)


And finally … another little known — but hugely important — music pioneer has died.

Jim Stewart, a white man who who with his sister founded Stax Records — the hugely successful R&B/soul label — died Monday in Memphis. He was 92.

A country and rockabilly fan who “had scarcely seen a Black person till I was grown,” his work with artists like Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, Wilson Pickett and Carla Thomas helped create the soundtrack of the ’60s and early ’70s.

His house band — Booker T. & the M.G.s — included Black and white musicians, an enormous step for the very segregated city of Memphis.

Click here for a full obituary.

(Cars in the river, marijuana sales, military families … “06880” covers it all. Please click here to support our work. Thank you!)



Norwalk Art Space: Alexandra Korry’s Lasting Legacy

When Alexandra Korry died at her Westport home last September of ovarian cancer, the New York Times honored her life with a long obituary.

Alexandra Korry (Photo by Dick Duane, for Sullivan & Cromwell LLP)

The 61-year-old was “a trailblazing Wall Street lawyer whose potent legal and moral rebuke as head of a civil rights panel helped spur the abolition of solitary confinement for juvenile inmates in New York City.”

She was one of the first women elected partner in Sullivan & Cromwell’s mergers and acquisitions department — and one of the first women editors at the Harvard Crimson.

Korry spent nearly a decade as head of the New York State Advisory Committee to the US Commission on Civil Rights.

The great-granddaughter of former New York governor Nathan Miller, and a descendant of Ben Franklin, she worked for consumer advocate Ralph Nader and Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

But the Times never mentioned one of her greatest accomplishments: chair of the Harlem Educational Activities Fund. The non-profit serves 300 people a year, changing lives from middle school through college and beyond, with academic enrichment, social and cultural exposure, and individual attention.

Korry was a constant presence there, even teaching classes.

That commitment sparked another project: the Norwalk Art Space. She envisioned it before her diagnosis, and shepherded it along while sick.

Alexandra Korry died before the space opened, in June. But her vision and guidance can be seen and felt throughout the magical space, a converted church on West Avenue, just off I-95 exit 15.

The Norwalk Art Space (Photo/Patrick Sikes)

Korry found the property — near the old Loehmann’s plaza — and realized it was perfect for an art gallery, studios and classrooms. Three museums — Stepping Stones, the Center for Contemporary Printmaking and Lockwood-Mathews Mansion — are nearby. All embrace their new neighbor.

Working with Westport architect Rick Hoag, she planned several complementary uses for the Norwalk Art Space.

The upstairs includes an airy gallery, where local artists exhibit for free. In exchange, they teach art to children — for free. Upcoming classes include acrylic painting, mixed media and collage, drawing and sculpture.

A dynamic café — run by Bill Taibe of The Whelk, Kawa Ni and Don Memo fame — looks out over the gallery.

Bill Taibe’s cafe, adjacent to the gallery space.

Downstairs are 4 studios — free to artists — along with well-appointed classrooms, and a student lounge.

One of several well-equipped classrooms.

A sculpture garden helps link the Norwalk Art Space to the neighborhood, and nearby museums.

“Alexandra was all about closing gaps,” says her husband, Robin Panovka. Since her death, he’s taken up her torch.

“She kept hearing women artists, and people of color, complain about how hard it is to get into galleries.” Now, a great gallery welcomes them.

And, in the spirit of giving back, student artists — who otherwise would not have a chance to develop their talents — are being mentored by 4 resident artists, in their 20s. They, in turn, will be mentored by 5 older “fellows” in the Art Space.

And, Panovka says, even more established artists are mentoring the fellows.

Norwalk students flock to the Art Space.

Alexandra Korry died before the Norwalk Art Space was completed.

She never saw the first show, or knew that her classrooms were full this summer.

But her husband smiles as he describes the enthusiasm the community has shown, since the doors opened in June.

The spirit of the Norwalk Art Space — Korry’s spirit — is very much alive.

(To learn more about the Norwalk Art Space, click here.)