Tag Archives: Westport Arts Advisoroy Committee

Roundup: Teardowns, Trees, Artists …

The streetscape of Compo Road South near the beach will soon change.

Demolition permits have been issues for 2 homes between the Minute Man monument and Soundview Drive.

This house at 330 Compo Road South will soon be gone:

So will this one, at #296. It’s set back from the road, behind a thicket of trees and bushes.

A third Compo Beach South house — though north of the Greens Farms/Bridge Street intersection — will also be torn down. It’s #162, though the driveway is on Ivanhoe Lane:

(Photos/Dan Woog)


Speaking of removals … Bob Weingarten writes:

“In the last few years, I’ve seen ribbons placed around trees that are to be cut-down by the town. Recently I noticed a more modern, effective and imaginative notice: one that’s written. Thank you to the tree warden and his staff.”

The tree with the notice is at Hillandale Road and Morningside Drive South:

(Photos/Bob Weingarten)


Hey, artists! Do you want your work to be seen by hundreds of people every day?

The Westport Arts Advisory Committee and Westport Public Art Collections seek submissions from Fairfield County artists for 9-month loans of large-scale art. They’ll be displayed at Bedford and Coleytown Middle Schools.

Paintings, photography, textiles and other 2-dimensional media suitable for hanging will be considered. Proposals are  due September 23. To learn more, email westpac@westportps.org.

“A History of Civilizations” by Westport artist Eric Chiang hangs at Coleytown Middle School.


Tip jars have become ubiquitous.

Whether you regularly donate, merely tolerate them or despite the idea, you have to admit: This one, at Superior Seafood inside  Stiles Market, is totally on brand:

(Photo/John Karrel)


Tracy Porosoff was not thrilled to see this woodchuck tunnel near her plants. But she was impressed with how wide and deep it is — and sent it along, for our “Westport … Naturally” feature.

(Photo/Tracy Porosoff)


And finally … Happy Labor Day!

(“06880” does not even take Labor Day off. If you’d like to leave a tip, please click here.) 

Drew Friedman’s Gift Keeps On Giving. So Does WestPAC.

Despite its name, the Drew Friedman Community Arts Center is not a place.

It’s an organization, named for a bequest by the longtime restaurant owner (Onion Alley, Cobb’s Mill Inn, Stonehenge Inn) and downtown landlord (much of Main Street).

His first wife, Bobbie, was an accomplished artist who died in 2011. Drew was a great supporter of her work, and her many local artist friends.

After his death in 2016, his estate funded the Community Arts Center. Administered by Drew’s business partner Nick Visconti, it supports non-profit art programs, with a special emphasis on youth.

One of its centerpieces is a scholarship program. For the 3rd year in a row, Friedman’s endowment has provided college grants — totaling $25,000 — to 4 Westport students.

The committee has chosen well. Here are samples of the works of the 4 awardees.

Thanks to Drew Friedman, the Westport school system — and our entire arts-loving town — the creative future is in great hands.

Alexandra Lam graduates next month from Staples High School. She will study at the School for Visual Arts in New York.

Staples graduate Whitney O’Reardon is a rising senior at Wheaton College in Massachusetts.

Staples High School 2019 graduate Margot Liotta will study at Berklee College in Boston.

Staples graduate Sam Mann is a rising senior at Southern Connecticut State University.


Meanwhile, in other art news, the Board of Selectmen voted this week to accept 30 works of art sought by Westport’s Public Art Collections.

This is the first time the Westport Arts Advisory Committee — which oversees WestPAC — has purchased items for the collection.

Until now, donations have enabled more than 1,500 artworks to hang in public buildings. Schools, Town Hall, the Senior Center, Parks & Rec office — everywhere in Westport, you see public art.

Now, the WAAC is proactively contemporizing and updating the collection. Most of the 30 works accepted by the selectmen this week were donations. They include the mixed media collage “Village @ Ntonso” by 1965 Staples High School graduate and retired North Carolina State University professor of design Charles Joyner.

“Village @ Ntonso” (Charles Joyner 2020, mixed media)

However, 4 were purchased, thanks to Friends of WestPAC. Two are by Westport photographer Jerri Graham; one is by Stamford painter Christa Forrest, the other by nationally renowned photographer Adger Cowans of Bridgeport.

“Sisters” (Jerri Graham, 2020) , Taken at the George Floyd memorial protest on Westport’s  Jesup Green,

The goal of the purchasing program is for “residents, students, and school and town staff to be able to see themselves reflected in – and inspired by – a more diverse range of original works of art,” says town arts curator Kathie Bennewitz.

“We hope too that these works will help foster community dialogues.” 

To learn more about how to donate art, or make tax-deductible contributions to WestPAC, click here.

“Three Shadows – The Bronx” (Adger Cowans 1968, 1977 silver gelatin print)