In 1976, Westport artists honored America’s bicentennial with a special calendar.
Howard Munce, Hardie Gramatky, Randy Enos, Al Willmott, Ward Brackett, Stevan Dohanos and others contributed sketches of Old Mill Beach, the Compo cannons, old Town Hall, the railroad station, even the revered Minnybus.
Proceeds helped fund Bicentennial events in town, and the purchase of artwork for the Bicentennial art collection.
Inspired by that project, the Long Lots PTA launched a Westport Schools Calendar in the early 1980s. Student artists submitted work. Filled with dates of key school and district activities, it quickly became a major fundraiser.
In 2018 we’re a lot closer to the Sestercentennial than the Bicentennial. But the Westport Schools Calendar is stronger than ever.
In 2015, the LLS PTA handed the project over to Friends of Westport Public Art Collection. Proceeds now support the amazing collection that hangs in every school, and many town buildings.
This year, over 200 local students — from kindergarten through 12th grade — submitted art for the calendar. A committee chose a colorful image by Greens Farms Elementary School 1st grader Jack Steel for the cover. GFS 4th grader Kasey Feeley’s homage to the district as a thank-you to teachers graces the inside cover
Each of the 13 months features wonderful student work — in full color.
The young artists were inspired by their schools, sports teams, activities and nature. Like their professional predecessors in 1976, their images relate powerfully to Westport.
“In an era when we all keep our calendars on electronic devices, the Westport Schools Calendar is a wonderful throwback,” says 1st Selectman Jim Marpe.
“You can see a whole month’s events spread out in front of you, accompanied by fun student art.”
Marpe’s daughter graduated from Staples years ago. But he still uses the calendar to keep up with school events.
Calendars will also be on sale at all Back to School nights, and later this month at Saugatuck Sweets and Athletic Shoe Factory.
(Hat tip: Kathie Motes Bennewitz)