WESTPORT, Conn. – For the last several years, Art About Town has turned Westport’s Main Street into a street festival for local artists. This year, they shared the event with a new art installation in the walkway by Acqua.
Art About Town attracts people from all over to come to downtown Westport to celebrate the arts. Wilton resident and painter Gini Frank Fischer has been asked to be a live painter at the fair for the last three years, and it has become something she looks forward to every year.
“I’m a show off,” Fischer said. “I like painting publicly.”
This year, she’s painting a portrait of her 17-year-old daughter, although Fischer says she’s currently focusing more on horse portraits. But the Westport event, she says, is especially good for the kids.
“It takes the mystery out of art,” Fischer said. By having painters working up and down the street, it shows the kids that art has a beginning, a middle and an end. They don't need to feel in awe of it, she said.
For first-timers such as Heather Lewis and her 7-year-old daughter, Charlotte, Art About Town is fun and unique.
“I saw it driving by and thought it was so cool,” Lewis said as her daughter got her face painted.
Others, including Jim Curran and his family, have been going to the event every year since it started. “It’s a great street party,” he said.
It was a great reason for Nancy Cahoone of San Diego to extend her trip to visit her grandchildren. After the event was rained out last week, Cahoone said that meant she had to stay longer to see her grandchildren perform.
“I’m amazed,” Cahoone said of the street fair. “The kids really enjoy it.”
But for many, this year's event was all about the new installation of “Tunnel Vision,” which was unveiled at the fair.
Artist Miggs Burroughs worked for a year to put together eight images to go on the walls of the tunnel in downtown Westport.
“The tunnel becomes an experience more than a utility,” Burroughs said. He said he hopes the photographs will give the people who walk through the tunnel an experience of love and compassion.
Westport Downtown Merchants Association President Steve Desloge said he was very excited to unveil the new walkway.
“This tunnel was due for a makeover,” Desloge said.