Thursday, February 22, 2024

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Staples Baccalaureate, Celebrating the Past and Looking Ahead

By James Lomuscio

Festive, appreciative, a little bittersweet and seamlessly executed professionally, tonight’s Staples High School’s Baccalaureate Ceremony for the 463 seniors who will graduate Thursday had an energy that kept audience riveted from the start in the school’s packed auditorium.

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Salutatorian Megan Root tonight advised fellow seniors to be themselves. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

From the moment Nick Massoud, who will attend Yale University in the fall, stepped on stage as emcee to seniors Zoe Brown’s and Taylor Harrington’s final film of the school community tipping their Staples hats to Principal John Dodig, who is leaving, the students’ production brought laughter, cheers, tears and excitement about new beginnings.

“So let’s hear it for the class of 2015,” said Massoud, who maintained the persona of a variety show host throughout. “This is a celebration of the last four years and how fortunate we are to have gone to Staples.”

Massoud, hyperbole or not, even went on to say that his class was “the best to ever walk the halls of Staples.” He cited its athletic prowess, including the Girls Soccer team’s FCIAC championship, the Orphenians performing on the West Coast, and myriad extracurricular laurels, such as the student newspaper Inklings’s nod from Columbia University, as well as myriad academic achievements.

Another Addition to the Bedford Construction Fence

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Duvian Montoya, a founding member of the Westport Artists Collective at the Westport Arts Center, puts the finishing touches today on a a painting of rowers on the Saugatuck River on the construction fence on around the Bedford Square development project. He and other artists will be on hand on Saturday for the “Paint the Town” project in which the public is invited to paint self-portraits on the portion of the fence along Church Lane. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

Developing an Outline of the Developer

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Artist Duvian Montoya draws an outline of David Waldman today on a construction fence around the Bedford Square development in Westport’s downtown. The portraits will be completed on Saturday during the “Paint the Town” event in which the public is invited to help paint the fence. Waldman is a partner in Bedford Square Associates, which is converting the former YMCA Building into a retail, office, and residential complex. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

Hunt Club Horse Show Under Way

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The Fairfield County Hunt Club June Benefit Horse Show is under way and winds up Saturday. The show, at 174 Long Lots Road, is the only national horse show in Fairfield County open to the public free of charge. It offers 250 classes with national and local equestrians of all ages competing and enjoying other activities. The show will again be the venue for the EQUUS Foundation’s annual benefit luncheon on Saturday held in association with Family Fun Day and the $25,000 Grand Prix presented by Wells Fargo Advisors LLC and George N. Venizelos, managing director-investments, of the Westport branch. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Woman’s Club to Host Film About Sudanese Refugees

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The 2014 film “The Good Lie” about the “lost boys” of Sudan is scheduled to be shown Wednesday, June 24 at 6:30 p.m. at the Westport Woman’s Club, 44 Imperial Ave.

The free screening is being presented in partnership with TEAM (Together Effectively Achieving Multiculturalism) Westport and the Westport Library. A talk by the film’s screenwriter Margaret Nagle will follow.

The movie starring Reese Witherspoon tells the true story of five Sudanese children orphaned by a massacre of their village during the second Sudanese civil war, said Harold Bailey, TEAM Westport chairman.

After an arduous trek, they reach safety in a refugee camp in Ethiopia, and years later the four surviving youths finally are selected for resettlement in the United States.

New Sculpture Gift to Town

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The Westport Board of Selectmen today approved a sculpture gift to the town from the estate of Susan Rabinowitz Malloy, artist, art patron, and philanthropist who died on April 14. (See WestportNow April 14, 2015) The 1991 artwork, “The Couple (Adam & Eve)” by William King (1925-2015), has a preliminary value of $45,000 to $65,000, the board was told. The man is 12-feet tall, the woman, 10-feet.  Westporter Ann Sheffer, Malloy’s niece, pictured with the work, said pending final acceptance approval by the Representative Town Meeting, it will be moved to Earthplace, The Nature Discovery Center, where it will be on loan. The move will probably take place this summer, she said. Malloy served on the board of Earthplace. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Selectmen Clear Way for ‘Paint the Town’

By James Lomuscio

Acting as the Traffic Authority, Westport’s Board of Selectmen today unanimously approved the closing of Church Lane Saturday, giving a green light to the scheduled “Paint the Town” event.

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Matthew Mandell (l), of the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce, and Helen Klisser During (2nd l), of the Westport Arts Center, tell Board of Selectmen members today about Saturday’s “Paint the Town” effort. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Professional artists and townspeople are set to paint selfies and local scenes on the blue-washed construction fence enveloping the north side of Church Lane and serving as a barrier to the Bedford Square project under construction.

Saturday’s scheduled event, with a rain date of June 27, was orchestrated by the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce (WWCC), the Westport Arts Center (WAC), the Westport Downtown Merchants Association, and Westporter David Waldman, principal of Bedford Square Associates.

“This is another example of what makes Westport special,” said Second Selectman Avi Kaner. “Only in Westport would a construction site turn into art.”

Teen Art Slam! Set for Arts Center Saturday

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A showcased work: “Tiger Lily” by Alexandra McMahon, 16.  Digital drawing, 16x20. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

The Westport Arts Center’s (WAC) Teen Advisory Council will launch its inaugural event Art Slam!, a one-night gallery party featuring art by 12 local teens, Saturday from 6 to 8 p.m.  The event is free and open to the public.

Local musicians will perform as part of the event, and The Cheese Truck and the Granola Bar restaurant will provide refreshments, WAC officials said.

Westport Family Counseling, the event’s sponsor, will also be on hand to lead an art therapy activity for all attendees.

Formed in January 2015, WAC’s Teen Advisory Council is made up of area teens who serve as arts ambassadors, planning and implementing programs for their peers at WAC.

Almost Ready

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Delayed by some maintenance work, the opening of the three pools at Westport’s Longshore Club Park should take place on Saturday. Pool Director Phil Walklet,said an inspection is scheduled for Friday and if all goes well, the pools will be open the next day. Walklet said the big pool now has freshly tiled lane lines on the bottom (previously the lines were painted and peeling) and new bottoms have been installed in all three pools. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com