Starting Saturday, June 1, children may sign up for our Summer Reading Program, which continues through Labor Day weekend.

Read anything, anytime, anywhere all summer long.

Register online and keep track of minutes read. For every 100 minutes, you can decorate a summer sun that will be displayed in the Library. Earn a treat from Shake Shack at 500 minutes. When you reach 1,000 minutes, you can choose a book to keep from our selection of titles. For more summer fun and prizes, play summer bingo and earn more free books.

Signup begins: Saturday, June 1

Summer Reading ends: Monday, September 2

Our thanks to the Westport Young Women’s League for sponsoring our summer reading program and to Shake Shack for providing our 500-minute prize.

The Westport Library Summer Reading Challenge 2024

Come read with us: June 1 - August 31

Heyo, Readers! Get ready for the Library’s 8th Annual Adult Summer Reading Challenge, your chance to saddle up and out-read your competition.

If you have participated in the past, welcome back — the rules are all the same. If this is your first time joining us, we're thrilled to have you, and we've got a fresh round of 25 great categories to keep you busy this summer (categories to be unveiled June 1). You can do all of them or only one, or anything in between, just as long as you have fun reading! Challenge yourself; we dare you!

The rules are simple and there are only two: 

  1. Categories may only be fulfilled once.
  2. Each book can only be used for one category.

Once you have read a book that fulfills a category, you can submit it via the form on our website (also available starting June 1) and keep track of your progress on our leaderboard.

The leaderboard is an awesome place to see what everyone else is reading, and give recommendations to our community of readers. You can also join our Westport Reading Challenge Facebook Group and talk books all summer long.

Why should you join the challenge? Because as Rita L, one of last year's participants, said: “The Westport Library’s summer reading challenge is one of the best in the state! I love seeing what everyone else is reading and getting ideas about books that I end up LOVING but never would have read otherwise! Reading is my favorite hobby, and the Summer Reading Challenge takes me to the next level every year!”

Wednesday, April 3, is Library Giving Day 2024, a 24-hour online giving day to support the resources, programs, and innovation of The Westport Library. Every dollar raised today will ensure the Library continues to thrive and provide essential services and programs to our community.

Library Giving Day is a special day for supporters like you, who depend on and enjoy public libraries, to donate to The Westport Library, your community hub. And in turn, your support will go back to the community of Westport through the Library’s programs, services, and materials.

Make your Library Giving Day donation to The Westport Library today, and thank you for your continued support!

For more on Library Giving Day, click here. And please donate below!


Jesup Gallery

March 16 through June 10

From the collection of Ellen and Mark Naftalin, this exhibit features album covers of some of the pioneering jazz musicians who changed the face and sound of American music forever.

Jazz developed in the United States in the very early part of the 20th century. New Orleans, near the mouth of the Mississippi River, played a key role in this development. The city's population was more diverse than anywhere else in the South, and people of African, French, Caribbean, Italian, German, Mexican, and American Indian, as well as English descent interacted with one another. African American musical traditions mixed with others and gradually jazz emerged from a blend of ragtime, marches, blues, and other kinds of music.

After the first recordings were made in 1917, the music spread widely and developed rapidly in a series of different styles including traditional jazz, Dixieland, swing, bebop, progressive and modern jazz. At the same time, jazz spread from the U.S. to many parts of the world, and today jazz musicians — and jazz festivals — can be found in dozens of nations. Jazz is one of the United States' greatest exports to the world.

Jazz musicians like to play their songs in their own distinct styles, and so you might listen to a dozen different jazz recordings of the same song, but each will sound different. The musicians' playing styles make each version different, and so do the improvised solos. Jazz is about making something familiar into something fresh, and about making something shared — a tune that everyone knows — into something personal. Those are just some of the reasons that jazz is a great art form, and why some people consider it “America's classical music.”

Description excerpted from “What Is Jazz” on the website of The Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

Thank you to Ellen and Mark Naftalin for digging though their treasure trove of LPs and sharing this piece of unforgettable American recording history.

Exhibit support provided by The Drew Friedman Community Arts Center.

Return to the main "Art At the Library" page

Jesup Gallery

January 12 through March 12

Artist reception: Monday, February 12, 6-7:30 pm

Terry Tannen was born and raised in Connecticut. After graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design, she pursued a career in corporate design and branding working for iconic graphic designer Herb Lubalin, NBC TV, and co-founding her own firm G&K Design Group.

Capturing the beauty and natural design of nature has always been what inspires her creative work — whether it be through design, photography, painting, or sculpture. Her work has been exhibited in New York City, Westport, and Southampton, N.Y.

“This collection of sunrise photos is from a series taken over Mill Pond Beach in Westport,” Terry said. “It is a tribute to the last year of my beloved husband Charles Tannen's life. Chuck was an avid lover of nature, photography, and adventure. As his fight with Parkinson's progressed, our goal became finding the beauty in what was in our present moment, in gratitude. Thus, Awakenings.”

South Gallery

January 12 through March 12

Artist reception and talk with Miggs Burroughs: Wednesday, January 31
Reception 6-7 pm in the South Gallery; talk 7-8 pm in the Trefz Forum

Award-winning sculptor Lucy M. Krupenye creates hanging assemblages out of found objects such as stone, wood, metal, and bone. Her sculptures are organic and Zen in feeling. Although some are whimsical, most often Lucy searches for harmony among the diverse elements she uses to construct her pieces.

Lucy’s work is in tune with nature and the environment, and she uses a lot of "recycled" material in her work. What most people consider flotsam, jetsam, or garbage, she often considers treasure. Her creations are inspired by nature, music, and the world around her. She strives to create works of beauty, peace, and tranquility in a world that often feels chaotic.

Lucy has exhibited extensively in in New York City and around the Northeast, including solo exhibitions at The Hammond Museum, The Stamford Museum, The Silvermine Arts Center, The Carriage Barn Arts Center, The Simon Gallery in Martha’s Vineyard, The Ridgefield Playhouse, and others. She also has exhibited extensively in countless group exhibitions.

Lucy has been the featured artist on Channel 12 News, at the Katonah Museum of Art, in Westport Magazine, in Fairfield County Lifestyle, and in many newspapers, books, magazines. In addition, her sculptures have graced the covers of jazz and rock CDs and albums, and she has curated several major museum and gallery exhibitions. She has won awards for her sculptures in juried exhibitions and her work is in private collections in the United States and in Europe.

“My artwork is something that I see, not from the outside, but from within,” she said. “It is something that I feel. I rarely draw a piece before I make it. As I work with the elements the piece is just born — in essence, it creates itself. It is, in part, a reflection of my inner being and thus is extremely personal. If one looks closely into my artwork, one might see a part of my soul.”

The Pinwheel Galaxy

Sheffer Gallery

January 11 through March 12

Artist reception and lecture: Wednesday, January 17, 6-8 pm; reception 6-7 pm in the Sheffer Gallery, lecture by members of The Westport Astronomical Society 7-8 pm in the Trefz Forum

Discover the wonders that lie just beyond your backyard in How Beautiful, the Universe — an extraordinary art exhibition featuring more than 25 captivating works by members of the Westport Astronomical Society (WAS). Embark on a cosmic journey from the comfort of Westport and witness the breathtaking beauty of our universe through the lens of dedicated astrophotographers.

The universe, teeming with awe-inspiring phenomena, unfolds before your eyes. From the radiant glow of our closest star, the sun, to the intricate details of distant galaxies and nebulae spanning hundreds of light years, these images showcase the celestial marvels that grace our night skies.

In conjunction with the art exhibit, there will be an artists’ reception and lecture on Wednesday, January 17, where members of WAS will unravel the mysteries behind the creation of these mesmerizing images.

The Westport Astronomical Society, a not-for-profit scientific campus nestled within a former Cold War radar station, is home to the Westport Observatory and the KWAS Ham Radio Club. The observatory's radar tower has been repurposed into a dome, providing an ideal vantage point for observing the night sky. As part of their commitment to education, WAS offers a free monthly lecture series through webinars and live, in-person talks. Additionally, the campus features a National Geologic Survey seismography station, reflecting the Society's diverse scientific pursuits.

Once again in 2024, students are invited to enter a youth poetry contest sponsored by The Westport Garden Club, the Westport Arts Advisory Committee, Town Poet Laureate Jessica Noyes McEntee, and The Westport Library.

The contest is affiliated with the National Garden Club’s Youth Poetry Contest and enables youth to embrace their creativity through the art of writing.  

The theme for the 2024 competition is: “I Spy With My Little Eye, Something Green Outside – Celebrating Our Green World.” 

***

Who Can Enter:

- Students in kindergarten through ninth grade.

- Including public and private schools, home-schooled students, special education, English as a Second Language, and general education students.

***

Guidelines for Entries:

- All entries must be typed and titled.

- Include the participant's name, address, age, grade, and school on the back of the entry and the preferred email address for correspondence.

- All entries become the property of National Garden Clubs, Inc.

- Poems do not have to rhyme.

- Poems may be traditional verse, acrostics, blank verse, cinquains, diamond poems, limericks, or Haiku.

- The theme should not be used as the title of any poetry. (When judging, the title is worth 10 points.)

- Poems should be submitted by email to: [email protected] by January 5, 2024.

***

Scale of Points

Title: 10%
Content: 40%
Creativity: 30%
Style: 20%
Total: 100%

*** 

Entries are due by January 5.  The poems selected by a jury committee will then be submitted to the regional organization, New England Garden Clubs, for another round of judging. The region's final selections will then be submitted for National Garden Club Awards, where winning entries will be compiled into a booklet and made available to the winners.

Locally, poets will be invited to read from their work at a library event, open to the public to celebrate poetry in April 2024.

To view the 2023 winning entries, including local Westporter Owen Cloherty, click here.

“This is the greatest concert film ever, can we give it up please?! I’m going on record,” Spike Lee raved to the buzzing sold out Toronto International Film Festival crowd and IMAX audiences all over the world.

A24’s remixed, remastered, 4K, 40th anniversary rerelease of Jonathan Demme’s 1984 tour-de-force film, Stop Making Sense, has ignited a lovefest among original Talking Heads members David Byrne, Jerry Harrison, and Westport’s own Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth. The publicity tour extended from TIFF to reunited screenings in New York and Los Angeles, with everyone from Late Night’s Stephen Colbert to Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon to Khruangbin’s Laura Lee paying reverence and tribute.

Now it's coming to Westport.

On Friday, February 9, A24’s rerelease of Stop Making Sense lands in the hometown library and venue of Frantz and Weymouth, at The Westport Library and Verso Studios.

This event is a benefit for both VersoFest 2024 and beloved freeform community radio station WPKN, where Frantz hosts his monthly radio show, The Talking Head. Tickets are $20, with larger donations to these grassroots organizations encouraged and welcomed. The night includes a cash bar with beer provided by nearby BBQ restaurant, Walrus Alley, plus wine.

Doors open at 6:30 pm with WPKN’s ReHumanize Yourself Radio host Herman Olivera and assorted WPKN DJs spinning vinyl sets before and after the film. Stop Making Sense begins promptly at 7 pm, followed by a question-and-answer session with Frantz and Weymouth, moderated by Verso Studios Marketing Manager Brendan Toller, who is an accomplished filmmaker (Danny Says, I Need That Record!), musician (Dust Hat, Hilton Valentine Band), and DJ (Shake ‘N’ Vibrate).

Stop Making Sense is the landmark film capturing the Talking Heads over three nights at Pantages Theater in Los Angeles in December of 1983. The extended touring edition of the band included Bernie Worrell, Alex Weir, Steve Scales, Lynn Mabry and Edna Holt for an electrifying, performative document that has enraptured generations of audiences in fervent screenings and parties.

Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth at VersoFest 2023. Photo by Chad Anderson.

VersoFest is the Library's annual music and media conference and festival linking local and global artists in performances, panels, and workshops. Taking place Wednesday, April 3, through Sunday April 7, the 2024 edition welcomes legendary music producer Tony Visconti and rising power pop rockers the Lemon Twigs, with a host of acts and names yet to be announced.

Frantz and Weymouth have been glowing supporters of VersoFest since its inception in 2022. In previous years, Frantz has moderated discussions with acclaimed music producer Steve Lillywhite and Psychedelic Furs frontman Richard Butler. The inaugural VersoFest featured Frantz in discussion on his best-selling memoir Remain in Love with WPKN General Manager Steve di Constanzo.

Celebrating 60 years of listener-supported, freeform, community radio, Bridgeport’s WPKN 89.5 FM (online at wpkn.org) is cited by The New Yorker as “the greatest radio station in the world.” Approximately 130 multi-generational volunteers support 24/7 non-commercial radio programming spanning rock ‘n’ roll, jazz, blues, hip hop, avant garde, world music, news, environmental reporting, and more.

Verso Studios is an ideal film forum, equipped with an 18 x 10-foot Digital Projection Radiance LED 1080 screen and concert hall grade d&b soundsystem. In recent years, Verso Studios has screened Connecticut premieres of Todd Haynes Velvet Underground documentary and Larry Locke’s Heaven Stood Still: The Incarnations of Willy Deville, as well as innovative screenings with Psychedelic Cinema and documentary trailblazer Sam Green's 32 Sounds.

With Frantz consecrating The Westport Library as “the hippest library in the whole damn country,” there will surely be dancing in the aisles.

Winter reading is back at The Westport Library! So warm up with a good book and join us this winter for a fun reading program.

Click here to sign up!

Starting January 12 and running through March 10, log your reading minutes to earn paper mittens that will decorate the Children's Library. We will display the mittens in the Library for all to see!

Get an activity sheet when you sign up, a cool treat at 250 minutes, and earn a book to keep at 500 minutes!

Read anything, anytime, anywhere.

Related: Best Kids' Books of 2023

Norm Siegel, “Pieter Claesz’s Dinner At The Katz’s,” 2023

South Gallery

October 27, 2023, through January 8, 2024

Reception: November 20, 6-8 pm (reception: 6-7 pm; talk: 7-8 pm)

Artist Bio (from Norm Siegel)

I started out scribbling airplanes that I saw on WW 2 newsreels with pencil on the flyleaf pages of the few books my parents owned. Paper was scarce and my parents were understanding.

On a 6th grade field trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, I was mesmerized by a Willian Harnett still life and a huge Albert Bierstadt Yellowstone landscape. It was then and there I knew I wanted to become an artist.

That path started oddly enough at the High School of Industrial Arts in 1952. It was also a time when I fell under the influences of our brand new television set, Saturday Evening Post and Colliers magazine covers, 3D and science fiction movies and EC comic books. SIA encouraged me every step of the way.

Still with all these diversions I managed to get accepted into The Cooper Union. Tuition was free at that time and we did not live large in the South Bronx.

What a Wake-up Call!

For someone wired to draw comics and do realistic illustrations. ( I actually won a second place high school student award at the Society of Illustrators)^, abstract expressionism was the “soup de jour” at Cooper. And though I gave it my all, I wasn’t very good at it. Call it AAED (Acute Abstract Expressionism Disorder) or whatever, I was more successful applying my energies into my elective: Advertising Design taught by Rudolph de Harak. All the while unbeknownst to my instructors and fellow students, I was freelancing as an illustrator for Galaxy and Fantastic Universe SF pulp magazines. (A couple of my covers can still be seen on the internet.)

After graduation I embarked on my “madman” career as an art director and was reasonably successful. Even with a two-year interruption courtesy of the U.S. army. After many years in big agencies, I left to open a creative boutique in Southport with former NBC Creative Director Steve Lance. One of our proudest accomplishments was to help launch The Discovery Channel in 1989. 

In my off time, to escape the stress and politics of ad agency reality, I indulged my love of aviation by becoming a member of the American Society of Aviation Artists and the U.S. Air Force Art Program. Many of my paintings have homes in various aviation museums as well as the Pentagon. Plus, I had the opportunity to fly in many of our hottest and iconic aircraft.

Though rarely still active today as a freelance art director, (who in their right mind is hiring an octogenarian art director these days?) I decided to once again pick up the brush and return to the style of painting that my 19th century brain is “wired” to paint.

Interestingly enough, my advertising career seems to have meshed with my painting career. Just like creating an ad or commercial, what I paint has to have a concept. Sometimes literal, sometimes graphic, sometimes humorous and satirical, sometimes social, and sometimes political.

I’ve been fortunate to have my work exhibited at The Salmagundi Gallery in New York, The New Britain Museum of American Art, Billis Gallery in Westport, Kershner Gallery at The Fairfield Public Library, the Westport and Wilton Libraries, and Bendheim Gallery in Greenwich, with solo shows at the Newton Roux Gallery in Westport,  The Discovery Museum in Bridgeport, and WorkPoint in Stamford. Recently, my painting “Garden of Hope” is now at The Ukrainian Embassy in Washington, D.C.

^Footnote: One of my earliest accounts was The Famous Artists, Photographers and Writers School in Westport.

***

Artist Statement

Unlike many artists it’s difficult for me to put into words what I put on the canvas.

What you see is what I intend you to see.

I’m not one to experiment with new techniques, materials or mediums.

Spontaneity and intuition are not involved.

I do experiment with subject matter to satisfy my past and current influences and my sense of humor using the skills I’ve honed over decades with brush and paint on canvas or panel.

Any questions?

Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca in "Your Show of Shows, " Victor Keppler, circa 1950–1954

Jesup Gallery

October 27, 2023, through January 8, 2024

Showtime! celebrates the performing arts in Westport. Ballet, contemporary dance, and musical theater all thrive on the stages of Westport schools, the Library, and beyond. Many young performers who call Westport home have gone on to study at leading arts programs and today are performing around the country and world.

Westport Public Art Collections (WestPAC) are a cultural asset of the town, with more than 1,800 works of art in a broad range of media — paintings, watercolors, drawings, prints, illustrations, cartoons, photographs, sculptures, and murals — by notable American artists, giants of the international art world, and important artists who established their homes and studios in the Westport-Weston community.

WestPAC’s artworks were acquired primarily through gifts, mostly given by the artists themselves or donated by heirs and collectors. Artworks are on display throughout municipal buildings and public schools in Westport.

The WestPAC Committee cares for the artworks in the collections and carries out WestPAC’s mission of using original works of art to inspire and educate Westport residents, students, teachers, and the broader community.

Learn more about Westport Public Art Collections at westportarts.org.

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