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Arts and Leisure

Arts and Leisure

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Making a Contribution

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Larry Untermeyer, a WestportNow contributing photographer, was among local artists donating works for auction at tonight’s Westport Historical Society auction at the barn at the Westport Country Playhouse. Untermeyer donated a print of a prize-winning photo (r) he took of a Vietnam hillside five years ago. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

04/22/12 02:51 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Saturday Night Art Fever


Highlights of tonight’s “Mollie Art” auction at the Westport Country Playhouse barn to benefit the Westport Historical Society. Larry Untermeyer and Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

04/22/12 02:46 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Getting Ready for ‘Mollie Art’ Auction

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More than 130 pieces of art work by regional and local artists will be auctioned off tonight starting at 7 p.m. at the Lucille Lortel White Barn at the Westport Country Playhouse.  Proceeds will benefit the Westport Historical Society and honor the memory of longtime arts advocate Mollie Donovan. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

04/21/12 06:39 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

A Playhouse ‘Star’ for 50 Years

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Friends and supporters of the Westport Country Playhouse and other Westport arts institutions tonight honored Westporter Ann Sheffer for her 50 years of support for the Playhouse. Playhouse Artistic Director Mark Lamos presented her with a special Playhouse poster commemorating the event. U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal presented Sheffer with a certificate of recognition as did state representatives on behalf of the Connecticut General Assembly. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

04/21/12 02:34 AM Comments (5) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Friday, April 20, 2012

Celebrating Tony Bennett in Westport

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Westport’s MTC Mainstage Friday night celebrates the legendary singer Tony Bennett with its opening night performance of “I Left My Heart…a Salute to the Music of Tony Bennett.” Featuring three New York tenors—(l-r)  Jordan Wolfe, Christopher DeRosa and Johnny Orenberg—the show runs through May 6 on Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. The MTC Studio Theatre is at 246 Post Road East on the lower level of Colonial Green. For tickets, visit http://www.musictheatreofct.com or call (203)454-3883. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

04/20/12 03:07 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Comings and Goings: Pink Sumo to Church Lane

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A new restaurant, Pink Sumo, featuring Pan Asian cuisine will open soon on Westport’s Church Lane in the location formerly occupied by former restaurants, Zest and most recently by Cafe Manolo. It is just up the street from the new Spotted Horse restaurant. Restaurateur Skye Kwok also owns two other Asian cuisine restaurants, Sweet Basil at 284 Black Rock Turnpike, Fairfield and Fei Ma (translates from Chinese as Flying Horse)  at 4565 Main St, Bridgeport. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

04/20/12 01:14 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Félicitations: Westport Artist Debuts Kids’ Guide to Paris

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There was a book signing party today at the Westport Arts Center for Westport artist Susan Malloy (r) on publication of her new book, “A Young Person’s Guide to Paris” with sketches by the author. There were French delicacies on hand for guests who were able to see the sketches on display on in the Center’s Project Space. With Malloy is Helen Klisser During, the Center’s director of visual arts, who helped publish the collection. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

04/19/12 09:47 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Saturday Art Auction to Honor Mollie Donovan

By James Lomuscio

A fund-raiser in honor of the late Mollie Donovan—the Westport Historical Society’s (WHS) fervent champion and show organizer—will feature125 pieces by local and international artists at the Mollie Gala Art Auction set for Saturday at 7 p.m. in the Westport Playhouse Barn.

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Kristan Peters-Hamlin, chairwoman of the event, shows off some of the art to be auctioned. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

Among the artists represented are: Leonard Fisher, Hardie Gramatky, Julie Fatherly, Lisa Black, George Hans Wright, Ray Rideboch, Garrett Price, Howard Munce—as well as Modesto Cuixart, the Catalan protégée of Picasso and Miro, who contributed three pieces, according to Kristan Peters-Hamlin, chairwoman of the event.

“The Mollie Gala Art Auction is extraordinarily fortunate to have received these contributions of art for silent bidding from Cuixart’s widow, Victoria,” says Peters-Hamlin, adding “the bidder who acquires this art will find that its investment value appreciates with time.”

She added that the auction will be complemented by music from a classical string quartet and piano, plus food and wine contributed by local shops.

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04/19/12 04:52 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Westport Author Talks About New Fame

By Dave Matlow

Westporter Charlotte Rogan, author of “The Lifeboat,” which ranked No. 35 on The New York Times best seller list within two weeks of its publication, told the Westport Rotary Club today how her life has changed since the publication of first book as she neared her 57th birthday.

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Charlotte Rogan addresses the Westport Rotary Club today.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

“I feel as though I’ve been split into two people—a person who likes to talk with friends and secondly a person who becomes very introverted when a microphone is placed in front of her,” she said. “I just hope that I do not need to be on television too.” 

Discussing her well reviewed and praised thrilling account of the struggle for survival after a Titanic-like disaster at sea, she said her main character is complex. “She’s not for women who like to read about nice women,” she said.

Rogan studied architecture at Princeton, graduating in the class of 1975, then “attended three grad schools, one semester at each.”

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04/18/12 03:33 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Monday, April 16, 2012

Old Mill Artistry

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Westport artist Leonard Mizerek paints a scene near the Old Mill Bridge today.  He said that he started with a blank canvas this morning and is shown applying finishing touches in mid-afternoon. Mizerek said that he completed a study at the same site about two years ago when he created an 8 by 10-inch sketch.  Mizerek, a member of the American Society of Marine Artists, maintains a studio in New York on East 14th Street. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

04/16/12 12:40 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Premiere Performance

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The Westport Public Library today hosted the premiere performance of a newly formed chamber music group, Nimbus Ensemble, an offshoot of Cumulus, which has been presenting music written for woodwinds in the Westport region for many years Founded by Westporter Richard Epstein (3rd l), a bassoonist with the Norwalk Symphony and the Prevailing Winds woodwind quintet, Nimbus features accomplished musicians from local orchestras and various chamber ensembles.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

04/16/12 12:10 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Saturday, April 14, 2012

‘Yellow Submarine’ Enthusiasts

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Asked for a show of hands as to how many had previously seen “Yellow Submarine,” most hands went up tonight at a Westport Youth Film Festival benefit showing at the Westport Arts Center of the 1968 classic animated film with music by The Beatles. Special guest was “Yellow Submarine” producer Al Brodax, 86, (c) of Weston. The showing was followed by bands playing Beatles songs. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

04/14/12 03:02 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

‘We All Live in a Yellow Submarine’


Highlights of tonight’s Westport Youth Film Festival benefit showing at the Westport Arts Center of “Yellow Submarine,” the 1968 animated musical fantasy film based on the music of The Beatles. Producer Al Brodax of Weston was special guest. A reissue on DVD and Blu-ray of the film is scheduled next month. Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

04/14/12 02:55 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Chamber Music Concert Honors Slain Jeweler

A chamber music concert dedicated to slain Westport jeweler Yekutiel “Kuti” Zeevi will be held Sunday, April 29 at 3 p.m. at the Unitarian Church in Westport.

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Connecticut School of Music faculty and guests will perform at the Aptil 29 concert. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Kenneth Kuo, president of Westport’s Connecticut School of Music, said the public is invited to the free concert in honor of his friend who was killed during a robbery last December.

“The Zeevis were the first family I met when I came to America,” said Kuo, a native of Taiwan. “I became very close with them while I attended the Manhattan School of Music. Kuti’s son, Neer, and I practiced together and Kuti’s wife, Nava, would accompany us on the piano.”

He added, “The Zeevi family is also responsible for bringing me to Westport after graduating Yale University, so, to me, they are just like family.”

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04/12/12 08:17 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Overflow Crowd for Choral Festival

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An overflow crowd attended tonight’s annual Westport Public Schools Spring Choral Festival concert at Staples High School. Led by guest conductor Jon Noyes, director of the Fairfield County Children’s Chorus, approximately 400 elementary school children completed a vocal repertoire that included renaissance, spiritual and folk music selections, according to David Winer, K-12 supervisor of music for the Westport Public Schools. The festival included not only the combined elementary school choruses, but also Bedford and Coleytown Middle Schools’ select Camerata Choruses, and the Staples Orphenians select choir. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

04/11/12 02:16 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

In Concert

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Tonight’s annual Westport Public Schools Spring Choral Festival concert at Staples High School was led by guest conductor Jon Noyes, director of the Fairfield County Children’s Chorus. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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Friday, April 06, 2012

‘Yes…But Is It Art?’

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The Westport Arts Center’s ArtCafé today included a screening of a now-infamous 1993 “60 Minutes” story by CBS News correspondent Morley Safer in which he took a critical look at the contemporary art world. Last Sunday, Safer offered a follow-up. The original broadcast included an interview with then Westport resident Hilton Kramer (on screen), a former New York Times art critic who died this week. He said that contemporary art is largely a case of the emperor’s new clothes: “Many of these artists, as I well know, live in great dread of waking up one morning and finding that it’s all disappeared, that somebody blew the whistle, and they’re no longer going to be considered important.” Next week’s ArtCafé will screen the update. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

04/06/12 03:24 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Lunchtime Artist Talks Debuts

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Artist Charles Geiger explains some of his works today in the debut of the Westport Arts Center’s Lunchtime Artist Talks as part of it 2012 SOLOS Exhibit.  Geiger says his interest in the microscopic subatomic comes from having worked in scientific research for a number of years. “So my painting has in turn evolved into a surreal fluid approach that I believe offers a unique angle of visualization,” he says. “I grew up near marshes in Charleston, South Carolina and carry with me from childhood that sense of flux and power in raw nature. For me, science and art ebb and flow into each other.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

04/04/12 06:41 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Monday, April 02, 2012

Opera at Home

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Soprano Elizabeth Baldwin, first place winner in the 2011 Heida Hermanns International Vocal Competition, today raised funds for the Connecticut Alliance of Music (CAM) with a performance before 60 attendees at the Greens Farms Road home of Westporters Maureen Whiteman and Lawrence Zlatkin.  Her performance was accompanied on the piano by Eduard Laurel, a winner of concerto competition at the Manhattan School of Music. “Although opera is designed for the big stage, an intimate setting such as it is today allows the audience to sense the power of a performer and share the experience—it’s a rare treat,” said Maureen Whiteman Zlatkin. A musician herself, she was general counsel for the National Flute Association and plays the flute at Temple Israel on the high holidays. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

04/02/12 01:01 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Tribute to Natalie Ryshna Maynard

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About 150 people today attended a memorial tribute at Westport’s Unitarian Church for Natalie Ryshna Maynard of Westport, a prominent concert pianist and arts educator, who died March 4 at age 85. (See WestportNow March 5, 2012). A longtime Westporter, she was a beloved music teacher in Westport for decade and was honored in 2010 by the Westport Arts Advisory Committee with a lifetime achievement award. Dave Duebendorfer, a New York financial executive who studied with Maynard, played Brahms Intermezzo in A Major. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

04/02/12 12:32 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Westporters Perform in Ridgefield

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Westporters Suzanne Sheridan (vocals and guitar) and Bob Cooper (keyboard) were at Sarah’s Wine Bar at Bernards of Ridgefield tonight performing the music of two musical poet greats, Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jeffrey Mayer for WestportNow.com

04/01/12 03:42 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Standing O for Coleytown Company’s ‘Guys and Dolls’

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Westport’s Coleytown Middle School’s Coleytown Company, under the direction of Ben Frimmer, tonight closed out its four-performance production of “Guys and Dolls.” Local musician Chris Coogan was musical director. The closing night audience gave the players a standing ovation. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Sean Timmins for WestportNow.com

04/01/12 02:31 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Celebrating ‘SOLOS 2012’ Opening

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The Westport Arts Center (WAC) held a reception tonight to mark the opening of its 2012 Juried Members Exhibition, SOLOS, sponsored by Sun Hill Foundation.  This year, the artwork includes painting, sculpture, photographs, and prints. From more than 100 applicants, eight artists were selected to participate. They include June Ahrens of New Canaan, Charles Geiger of Poughkeepsie, Ellen Hackl Fagan of New York City, Arcady Kotler of Long Island City, Donald Leeds of Weston, Timothy Pyle of Fairfield, and Carolyn Rie and Kraemer Sims Becker of Westport. The exhibition will be on view through Sunday, June 3. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

03/31/12 01:16 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Opening Night


Eight artists are featured in the Westport Arts Center annual member juried exhibit “SOLOS 2012” which opened tonight with a reception. This year’s exhibition was juried by Ian Berry, associate director and The Susan Rabinowitz Malloy ’45 Curator of The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College. “Pattern and reflection are common elements found in the work of the eight artists,” he said. Also opening was Westport artist Susan Malloy’s drawings from “A Young Person’s Guide to Paris.” Phyllis Groner and Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

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Friday, March 30, 2012

Getting Ready for ‘SOLOS’ Opening Tonight

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As the Westport Arts Center prepares for tonight’s opening of “SOLOS 2012,” Jill Sarver (l), visual arts coodinator, and Helen Klisser During, director of visual arts, take a moment to put the finishing touches on the exhibition. Two Westport artists are to be included in the exhibition, which is scheduled to open with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. and run through Sunday, June 3. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Alyssa Crouse for WestportNow.com

03/30/12 06:27 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Surprise Meeting With the Artist

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Second graders from Westport’s Long Lots Elementary School traveled to Greenwich today to visit the Bruce Museum to see the exhibit “Walter Wick: Games, Gizmos and Toys in the Attic” only to get a surprise visit from Wick himself. The retrospective spotlights the playful and interactive world of Wick, best-selling author and artist-creator of the “Can You See What I See?” series and co-creator, with writer Jean Marzollo, of the “I Spy” books for children. Approximately 40 large-scale color photographs from his books, as well as several of the models used to craft the images are on view. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

03/29/12 01:45 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Artist Recalls Hilton Kramer as ‘Very Kind’

By James Lomuscio

As international obituaries painted the legendary Hilton Kramer as a harsh, poison pen critic who could send shivers through the art world, even shutter galleries, one local artist recalled the former Westporter who died at 84 from heart failure in Maine Tuesday as “very kind and inspirational.”

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Hilton Kramer: art critic lived in Westport 34 years. File photo

“Everybody has a different opinion of him, but we loved him,” said Ann Chernow who with her late husband Burt Chernow, an art historian, were close friends of Kramer and his wife Esta. “He was very different from what people thought of him as a critic, and he was always very kind to us.”

Kramer has been described as a no nonsense, acerbic critic who embraced modernism while deriding postmodernism, pop art and conceptual art during his tenure at The New York Times from 1965 to 1982.

According to The Times, he once called postmodernism “a revolt against the basic traditions of Western civilization.”

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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Westport Middle Schools Present Plays This Week

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Scenes from “Alice in Wonderland” (top) and “Guys and Dolls.” Contributed photos

Students at Westport’s Coleytown Middle School and Bedford Middle School are showing off their theatrical skills this week -– “Guys and Dolls” at Coleytown and “Alice in Wonderland” at Bedford.

Benjamin Frimmer, theater director at Coleytown, directs 77 students in the “Guys and Dolls” time-honored classic opening Thursday at 7 p.m. with additional performances Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and a Saturday matinee at 1 p.m.

The sixth grade Bedford production of Lewis Carroll’s much loved classic “Alice In Wonderland,” which includes more than 100 students, opens Friday at 7:30 p.m. with additional performances Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Coleytown ticket sales will be conducted Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the school rotunda and at the door 30 minutes prior to performance. Bedford tickets, available at the door, are $10 for adults and students with free admission for children 3 and under.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Playhouse to Host Dance School Benefit

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Performing at Playhouse on Friday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

The Westport Country Playhouse will host “Seven With Three,” an original, choreographed music score to benefit the Fairfield-based Connecticut Dance School (CDS) on Friday at 7 p.m.

The performance features the music of Norwalk composer John Rose working with choreographer Alan Woodward.

According to Valerie Pullman, CDS general manager, the event will also include her works and those by CDS teacher Moira Murphy Wright. Intermediate and advanced level ballet students will perform, she said.

Pullman added that the hour-long performance will be followed by a reception and silent auction, and that tickets can be purchased at the door. For further information or reservations, call 203-384-2492.

03/20/12 03:10 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Turning the Clock Back to Westport of the 1950s

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Time was turned back to Westport of the 1950s today in the Westport Town Hall Auditorium as Westport Cinema Initiative sponsored a showing of the 1956 film “The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit,” starring Gregory Peck and Jennifer jones which was set in and partially filmed in Westport. The popular Sloan Wilson novel about a couple living in Westport became a symbol for conformism in the business world. The showing was preceded by a reception at the Westport Historical Society across the street where martinis were served against the backdrop of its current exhibit,“Next Stop: Westport!,” a tribute to 1950s television and films created by Westporters and set in Westport. CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

03/18/12 11:37 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

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