Outdoors, it’s a dreary, drizzly Tuesday morning. All is humid and gray. On one side of the Westport Arts Center, on Riverside Avenue, a mix of expensive automobiles and heavy trucks streams past. On the other, down on the Saugatuck River, the water fowl are languidly diving for lunch. For man and beast, it’s another day of pushing on through.
Inside is another scene altogether. Here, beneath the gallery lights are the hand-wrought products of artistic passion, sculptures and paintings of all shapes, sizes and colors. Energy is in the air, and a sense that something inspiring is happening.
Of the handful of people employed here, none is more excited about the work underway than Eileen Wiseman, the organization’s executive director. Now in her fifth year on the job, Eileen is near completing the 2004–2005 schedule of events. Besides seven to nine visual shows in the gallery each year, the Westport Arts Center presents an array of musical, literary and performance events at as many as seven venues in town and surrounding communities.
Outside, skies may be cloudy. But here, in her office, all is sunny. “The reason I do this is because I’m excited about everything,” she says. “There is so much out there. There are so many wonderful artists out there.”