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Westport Historical Society’s new exhibit

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As part of the tribute, the Westport Historical Society will host “Framing the Past, Present and Future: 20 Years of The Westport Arts Awards,” which opens Sept. 27 and runs through Jan. 2.

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Since their inception in 1994, the Westport Arts Awards have honored 49 visual artists, including painter and stamp designer Stevan Dohanos, painter Jak Kovatch, whose montage “Warriors Dream” is included in the exhibit, and photojournalist Lynsey Addario.

In all, the retrospective will feature more than 45 original works — paintings, drawings, illustrations, comics, etchings, photographs and sculptures on loan from regional museums, private collections, the Town of Westport, the Westport Schools Permanent Art Collection and the artists themselves.

Dohanos, who received a Westport Heritage Award, which is given posthumously, is remembered for his 1943 Saturday Evening Post cover of an elderly sign painter melancholically adding the names of Westport’s WW II veterans to the Honor Roll outside the former Town Hall.

Kovatch, the winner of a Westport Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012, is a faculty member at the Silvermine School of Art whose paintings and etchings have been exhibited at museums around the world.

Addario, a 1991 Staples graduate who received a Pulitzer Prize in 2009 for her photographs from Afghanistan, won a Westport Horizon Award given to artists under age 32 who grew up in Westport-Weston or still live here.

In addition to Dohanos, Kovatch and Addario, the artist lineup includes John Steuart Curry, James Daugherty, Arthur Dove, George Hand Wright, Kerr Eby, Robert Lambdin, Hardie Gramatky, James and Laura Fraser, Stanley Bleifeld, John Held, Paul Cadmus, Jean Woodham, Jordan Wolfson and Howard Munce, among others.

From 1900 to the 1940s more than 150 of America’s finest representational artists moved to the Westport-Weston area, prompting LIFE Magazine to state in a 1949 cover story: “There are probably more professional artists within a 25-mile radius of Westport than in any other comparable spot in the U.S.”

Drawn by proximity to New York’s magazines and advertising agencies, these artists created illustrations, paintings and designs that shaped 20th century America’s self-image. Their work appeared on the covers of magazines, books and record albums, on consumer products, U.S. postage stamps and coins, on the walls of public buildings and in major museums.

The opening reception is on September 27 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The museum hours are Mon.-Fri. 10-4 pm and Sat. 12 to 4 p.m. For more information visit http://westporthistory.org.

Warriors Dream – Westport Historical Society

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