On the Scene

Above left:“Frog #1,” by Melissa NewmanAbove right: “History and Geography,” by Marlene Siff

Amanda Innes
Photograph by Moffly Media’s Big Picture / Kristin Burke Hynes

Amanda Innes, executive director at the Westport Arts Center, is used to making tough choices. One of her many responsibilities, after all, is deciding which artists to bring to the center as well as how to best present exhibits and programs. Some make it, some don’t—and it’s not easy making those choices or keeping up with the vibrant and deep-rooted arts culture. It’s a point of town pride. Knowing she could handle it, Westport magazine threw her a challenge: Name active, emerging artists that locals should know now. With her deep knowledge of the arts world, a desire to bring in notable talent from large cities and the sincere appreciation for all things local, she jumped into the task. Here’s who to watch.


CULTURE TALK

ARTISTS IN WESTPORT ASSUME THE MANTLE OF A LOCAL IDENTITY

SEBASTIAN AVILA
“The recipient of the prestigious 2016 Tracy Sugarman Westport High School Student Art Exhibition, Sebastian is a young artist catching local attention. Though his first-place winner, ‘Dream On,’ mixes charcoal and wax pastel, he also uses ink and watercolor as his mediums. His artwork varies in styles, but he is consistently expressive and creative.”

DAVID DUNLOP
“Dunlop brings to his award-winning work an incredible depth of knowledge in art history and the technique of Renaissance painters, with an unusual penchant for the sciences. His luminous landscapes combine historic and contemporary techniques, with masterful results.”

PAMELA HOVLAND
“Hovland works at the intersection of graphic design, conceptual art and social activism. A consummate collaborator, her inspiration is often deeply rooted in the common good. Her method is to create and refine ideas into a full body of visual elements, synthesizing the input of other artistic contributors with her own vision, until a simplicity of message emerges with graphic power. Utilizing minimalist principles and a finely honed stylistic sensibility, Hovland’s work represents an ideal in the artist community today.”

SOOO-Z MASTROPIETRO
“Mastropietro’s unusual works begin with unusual materials. A true mixed-media artist, Mastropietro works with fabric and textiles, enthusiastically pushing boundaries of form, color and texture, creating art with a vibrancy and joyfulness that is captivating.”

DUVIAN MONTOYA
“Montoya creates familiar scenes of modern life, deftly layering into his paintings the ubiquitous technology that tethers our curated, online personas to the hand of our real selves. The simplicity, the calmness, the familial contentedness of his scenes belie the acute need to feel connected to a larger world beyond our reach. He lays bare the futility and the pretense, disabusing us of the belief that the lives of others are richer than our own.”

MELISSA NEWMAN
“Intuitively exploring nature’s beautiful yet relentless process of reclaiming constructed forms, Newman’s work is simultaneously reassuring in its beauty and foreboding in its message. Her luscious sculptures entice with subtle and muted tones while quietly reminding us of the impermanence of all things manmade.”

STEVE POMERANTZ
“A photographer as it once was, without memory sticks and digital devices, Pomerantz works from film, printing in a traditional darkroom. Even the old cameras he prefers to use seem to play a part, imbuing their images with an ageless quality, perhaps the camera’s cumulative effect of the thousands of images it has seen before. He has a way of making his artistry seem effortless, as if the camera simply made it so. But the images, so captivating, are the work of an experienced eye, perfected technique and an old soul.”

NORM SIEGEL
“Norm Siegel’s hyper-realistic painting is nothing short of breathtaking. Working in the advertising and illustration industry in his youth led to a career that allowed him to explore the intricate details of aircraft design and the elaborate architecture that surrounded aviation. With a broad range of scale, though often in very large format, Siegel’s art focuses on science, aircraft and the space program with strikingly vibrant imagery.”

MARLENE SIFF
“Siff creates both painting and sculptural works with a clean, meticulous crispness that is thoroughly modern. Combining the precision of minimalists Judd and LeWitt with the visual symmetry and contrasting colors of Hammersley and Ellsworth Kelly, her work encourages viewers to experience the work’s physicality and bold colors free of gestural brush strokes.”


93 LOCAL LEGENDS IN ART

A MUST-KNOW LIST BY ARTIST LEONARD EVERETT FISHER

We asked for twenty names of legendary artists in the area. Naturally, we got quite a lot more—and we’re not about to edit a legend’s contribution. His list includes both living and deceased artists.

Sophie Acheson
Diane Davenport Alexander (d.)
Tom Armstrong
Arnie Bass (d.)
Harry Beckhoff (d.)
Austin Briggs (d.)
Ralph Boyer (d.)
Ward Brackett (d.)
Bernie Burroughs (d.)
Mel Casson (d.)
Chip Chadbourne
Ann Chernow
Burt Chernow (d.)
Alberta Cifolelli
Arnold Copeland (d.)
Bert Dodson (d.)
Florence Dohanos
Stevan Dohanos (d.)
Eve Donovan
Al Dorn (d.)
Victor Dowd (d.)
Rita Edelman
Edna Eicke (d.)
Herzl Emanuel (d.)
Randall Enos
Carl Ericson
Leonard Everett Fisher
Bernie Fuchs (d.)
Tom Funk
Robert Franklin Gault
Ted Giavas
Michael Gish
Jean Gralley
Hardie Gramatsky (d.)
Barbara Gray
Eric Gurney
Nancy Gurney
Lee Gustaveson
Robert Hallock (d.)
Roe Halper
Neil O. Hardy
John Held, Jr. (d.)
Albert Hubbell
Constance Kiermaier
Jack Kovatch
Robert Lambdin (d.)
Robert Lawson (d.)
Susan Lemieux
Tom Lovell (d.)
Susan R. Malloy (d.)
Estelle Margolies
Ellen G. Marsen
John McDermott (d.)
Gordon Mellor (d.)
Becky Roger Meciless
Mike Mitchell
Howard Munce (d.)
Al Parker (d.)
John Prentice
Nancy Prevo
Garrett Price (d.)
Ray Prohaska
Frazier Purdy
Lev Purdy
Noa Purdy
Paul Rabut (d.)
Henry Raleigh (d.)
Leslie Randall
Walt Reed (d.)
Nancy Reilly
Mort Rosenfeld (d.)
Alex Ross (d.)
Barbara Rothenberg (d.)
John Russo
Lucy Sallick
Bernard Saunders
Eric von Schmidt (d.)
Harold von Schmidt (d.)
Amos Sewell (d.)
Jim Sharpe
Noel Sickles
Bob Skemp
Tracy Sugarman (d.)
Susan Swan
Lynn Sweat
Norm Tate
Thornton Utz
Ed Vebell
Barbara Wilk (d.)
Al Willmot (d.)
Cynthia Wilton
Jean Woodham
George Wright (d.)


EDITOR’S MENTION CHARLES REID

I’m playing favorites to mention this Westport painter, teacher and author. His portraits and scenes, in watercolor and in oil, are universally serene, yet intimately expressive. Join a watercolor workshop with the master: Sept. 10–14, Maine; Sept. 17–21, Vermont. Details at charlesreidart.com.

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