Motyl is opening his 1252 Post Road East studio — located between Fortuna’s and the same-day COVID testing center — to families or small groups of up to 6 people, for private evenings of fun.
Just reserve a time on Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday night. Select what you want to watch. Then enjoy a private movie, show or game in what would be the comfort of your own home, if you had a 110-inch screen that rose up whenever you wanted it to.
Click here, then click on “Visit Showroom” for a reservation. Then, if you’ve watched a particularly cool event, let “06880” know. We’ll post a photo!
What a combination! MoCA Westport and the Westport Farmers’ Market are collaborating on a new project. It culminates in an exhibition in late August.
“Between the Ground and the Sky” will feature photography from the “Who Grows Your Food” initiative, a photographic journey celebrating the farms and farmers associated with the WFM.
As part of the collaboration, a Family Day (Saturday, September 11) at MoCA includes art, food and music.
The centerpiece of “Between the Ground and the Sky” is over 50 large photographs of local farms by Anne Burmeister and Ashley Skatoff. They tell a compelling story of the importance of local farms and farmers.
Westport Farmers’ Market director Lori Cochran says, “This program embodies the essence of our organizations. Bringing together art, education, community and knowledge of agriculture, featuring the hands that tend the land, results in more than a fun event – it creates an impact that will last a lifetime.”
MoCA executive director Ruth Mannes adds, “We are thrilled to partner with the Westport Farmers’ Market to share this important aspect of our economy and our lives with the public.”
“Lost Ruby” by Ashley Skatoff — part of the Farmers’ Market/MoCA exhibit.
The Westport Library and Artists Collective of Westport are collaborating on their first live, all-member show since December 2019. The theme could not be more apt: “Community.”
The 2-part exhibit — on view from July 10 through September 28 — will occupy all 3 Library galleries.
“Piece by Piece” is a 5’ x 12’ installation created by 60 Artists Collective members. Each artist received a 12” x 12” blank panel, and a 6-inch square section randomly selected from an iconic painting.
Each artist thencreated an individual piece, replicating a part of the larger painting in their own style. They will not know what the final painting looks like until it is revealed when the exhibit opens.
Each 12” x 12” piece can be purchased online for $100. Proceeds support the Library and the artist. Click here to purchase, and for more information.
Along with the exhibits, there is an art trunk show in the lower parking lot this Sunday (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.).
Part of the Westport Library/Artists Collective show.
The 59th annual event Westport PAL Golf Tournament — named for former Police Chief Samuel Luciano, a staunch PAL supporter — tees off on September 13, at Longshore. With the 4th of July fireworks canceled for a 2nd straight year, this is PAL’s biggest — and most important — fundraiser.
The day begins at 7 a.m. with a continental breakfast and putting contest. There are 2 tee times: 8 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
There’s a shotgun start, scramble format; lunch; more golf, then dinner, raffles and prizes (hole-in-one, hula hoop, longest drive, closest to pin).
The cost is $175 per golfer, $700 per foursome. Sponsorships are available too, from $150 to $5,000 (largest sign at first tee, banner on dinner tent, complimentary foursome). Click here to register, sponsor — or just donate to PAL.
There have been some scintillating games at this year’s Euro 20 (the European soccer championship, postponed from last year).
Games are particularly great on a big screen. There’s no bigger screen than the one at Vivid-Tek. That’s Mark Motyl’s store a few doors from Fortuna’s. He sells 110-inch theater screens — which, with the tap of a button, hides in a customized credenza or bench when not in use.
Mark invited me over yesterday to watch the Spain-Italy semifinal. We were in Westport, not Wembley.
But it was hard to tell the difference.
Mark Motyl, minutes before the Euro 2020 semifinal.
“It was with great sadness that I learned of the passing of Wally Meyer, former Westport 2nd Selectman and longtime member of the RTM. He served with my predecessor, Marty Hauhuth from 1985 to 1989.
“Wally was also an active participant in making Westport a better place by helping found Project Return, and through his many years of service and leadership with the Westport Rotary Club.
“Wally was a special Westporter — always willing to share his opinion, but also willing to lend a helping hand. He will be missed by all who knew him. My deepest condolences to his many friends and to his family.”
Westporters know that this is a great community for music.
Now it’s official. The Westport Public Schools are officially a “Best Community for Music Education.” The designation comes from the NAMM Foundation — part of the National Association of Music Merchants.
If that sounds familiar, it’s because this is our 9th “Best Community” honor in a row.
The award is for school districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students. School officials answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program, and community music-making programs.
The schools benefit from partners like the Westport Library, Levitt Pavilion, PTAs, Westport Permanent Art Collections and Westport Arts Advisory Committee.
No word on whether there’s an official ceremony for the award. If so, there will be no shortage of entertainment.
Staples and middle school musicians work hard to put on good shows. (Photo/Inklings)
And speaking of the theater (again): The Westport Country Playhouse is still going strong. However, due to COVID, its 4 productions are online this year.
But the stage won’t be completely dark. Three cabaret performances will take place live. The special shows — music and comedy, with limited seating — are benefits for the storied theater.
On June 26, Brad Simmons and Tony Pinkins present Broadway favorites, contemporary covers, classics and more.
Larry Owens’ “Sondheimia” (July 17) explores time, love and ambition through Stephen Sondheim’s music and lyrics.
Tony Award winner Ali Stroker shares songs from her repertoire on July 24.
Tickets go on sale to the general public this Friday (May 14, noon). Click here for information and purchases.
Meanwhile, the Playhouse is partnering with the Connecticut Comedy Festival to present Michael Ian Black. The show is this Saturday (May 15, 7 p.m.) — and while it’s live, it’s outdoors. Attendees should bright chairs, to set up in the parking lot. Food will be available for purchase in the garden.
Black is remembered for the cult classic film “Wet Hot American Summer” and the Netflix series of the same name, as well as his work in the comedy troupe The State. Click here for tickets and more information.
The Westport Country Playhouse offers limited seating for this year’s cabarets.(Photo/Robert Benson)
Speaking of which: The Westport Garden Club’s plant sale is not the only place to ask questions.
This Monday (May 17, 7 p.m., Zoom), Wakeman Town Farm’s Pollinator Pathway talk offers a an opportunity to ask master gardeners: What to plant where? What’s eating my plants? How can I keep them happy?
Work on the Aquarion water tank opposite Staples High School is moving along. Earlier today, a huge concrete pour was captured by alert “06880” reader — who was probably stuck momentarily in traffic — Seth Schachter.
Staples High School Class of 2011 graduate (and swim team captain/musician) Margot Bruce is finishing up an MFA in cinema at San Francisco State University. Her thesis project is a film called “Harbor.” But she needs to raise $15,000 to make it.
Margot has launched an Indigogo campaign (click here). Click below for a short video, in which she explains the film’s intriguing themes.
Click below to see Margot’s first-year film. Filmed entirely underwater, it is a metaphor for grieving the loss of a loved one.
But when you’re not watching your 110-inch in-home theater screen, it looks a little — well, big.
You love that screen for your on-demand movies. If only you had an on-demand screen.
Vivid-Tek is a brilliant, elegant solution. It’s an immersive theater whose components hide in a credenza or bench — which the buyer helps customize.
Just pop the lid, press a button and a 110-inch screen rises up.
Vivd-Tek’s credenza opens up into a wide-screen TV.
This is not some Hollywood mogul’s fantasy. It was created here in Westport, by Westporter Mark Motyl and his partners. You can see it right here too, in a striking new showroom.
Motyl knows big screens, and houses. A former bond trader, he pivoted to home building.
The pandemic helped inspire Vivid-Tek. With plenty of time to watch TV shows and movies, Motyl wondered how people’s entertainment needs had changed.
From his home building, he knew that basement theaters are not perfect. They are downstairs, out of the way. The equipment can be complex. Theater seating is inflexible.
Motyl realized that people wanted something accessible. It had to fit in with existing decor. And it could not ruin a wall.
Motyl partnered with well-known Bridgeport cabinet maker Christopoulos Designs and leading tech firms to meld form and function.
Each Vivid-Tek houses a motorized retractable screen, and a top-of-the-line short throw projector. The 4K picture is crisp and clear. Great sound comes from Dolby Atmos speakers.
Vivid-Tek’s screen and controls can also be hidden in a bench.
An Apple 4K TV controls the system. Anything on your phone (or other devices) can be projected onto the screen.
Vivid-Tek turns out to be great for Zoom and other calls too. Families don’t have to crowd around a laptop to talk to Grandma; kids can relax and see everyone on the big screen during distance learning. Motyl’s neighbors’ daughter even had her first piano lesson via Vivid-Tek.
Big-screen TVs are not just for movies. One of the Motyls’ neighbors takes piano lessons via Vivid-Tek technology and design.
Yet the idea would never have happened if Motyl’s bond desk hadn’t moved from midtown Manhattan to Stamford in 2002. That led him to Westport — and eventually, building spec homes.
Just before the transfer, he and his wife Sarah Green — a former professional ballerina who was attending Columbia University — had built a weekend home on Long Island. The project solidified his love for real estate, architecture and design.
The couple, with a young son, looked for a new-build home here, but they all seemed identical. Then they found a teardown on Woody Lane, with a great lot.
Mark continued trading bonds. They had 2 more children. The couple designed their new home to be unique and fun. Mark contracted the work himself.
He enjoyed the work so much, he followed with new construction on Cross Highway and Beachside Avenue.
Mark’s homes are different and handsome. And now — thanks to Vivid-Tek — their owners can enjoy big-screen home entertainment centers on the main floor, hidden in plain sight.
The flagship showroom is at 1252 Post Road East (the former Splatterbox, near Fortuna’s). Customers can reserve a time slot. Virtual presentations are also available. For an appointment or more information, click here, call 203-800-9951 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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