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Birdhouse Stroll: Downtown atwitter with finest, funkiest avian abodes

Published 8:03 pm, Monday, March 18, 2013

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  • âÄúWeird, Wild, WackyâÄù is a ceramic creation by Judy Henderson of Weston. Photo: Contributed Photo / Westport News
    âÄúWeird, Wild, WackyâÄù is a ceramic creation by Judy Henderson of Weston. Photo: Contributed Photo

 

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18th BIRDHOUSE STROLL
What: Downtown merchants display elegant, whimsical and weird birdhouses made by artists
When: Thursday, March 21, 6 to 8 p.m.
Where: Main Street, Post Road East, Playhouse Square
Why: Precursor to auction of the birdhouses next month to benefit Project Return, which helps adolescent girls and young women in crisis
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If you've got a Twitter account, tweet this: Birdhouses are making their annual migration to downtown Westport.

Project Return's 18th annual Birdhouse Stroll is planned Thursday night, when downtown businesses will display some of the most creative avian abodes anyone is likely to encounter.

More than 130 artists from Fairfield County and far beyond have built birdhouses from a wide array of materials -- some expressing whimsy, others elegance, reflection or irony, stroll organizers said. Strollers on Thursday evening can examine many of them in the front windows of stores and restaurants, and inside the establishments, too.

The stroll is planned from 6 to 8 p.m. and is precedes the auction of the birdhouses at a gala next month -- the biggest fundraiser of the year for nonprofit Project Return.

The organization provides shelter and support services for adolescent girls and young women in crisis, and the colorful birdhouses symbolize the safe haven Project Return offers.

For Thursday's stroll, birdhouses will be displayed at 63 stores and restaurants on Main Street, Post Road East and at Playhouse Square.

Stroll festivities begin at 6 p.m. with a welcoming reception at West Elm on Main Street. Urban Outfitters on Post Road East hosts an end-of-evening reception, where door prizes will be awarded.

All Birdholuse Stroll events are free.

The Spotted Horse restaurant on Church Lane has said it will donate 10 percent of its evening dinner and bar revenues to Project Return, organizers said.

Strollers will be able to view a variety of birdhouses on display at downtown businesses.

Among them is Westport artist Nina Bentley's "Literary Lark," which uses a delicate, antique book as a component.

Judy Henderson, of Weston, worked in black and white ceramics to create "Weird-Wild-Wacky!," which stroll organizers said evokes visions of Picasso.

Lewis Schaffer, of Ridgefield, used bicycle parts and a cycling helmet to build "Bike Birdhouse #6 The Swing."

Milford artist Helene Dworski used 51,000 beads and spent 200 hours making "Cygnet-sure" in the shape of a swan.

Some items in the auction are not birdhouses per se, but follow the birdhouse or avian theme.

Westport jeweler Faye Kim designed a silver necklace with a ruby, pearl and birdhouse-shaped pendant.

Wilton artist Marcia Spivak, best known for her equestrian sculpture, switched species and combined driftwood and metal for her heron sculpture.

The 130-plus birdhouses will be auctioned at the gala on Saturday night, April 6, at the Rolling Hills Country Club in Wilton. Last year, the event raised $100,000.

Gala tickets are $125 and will be available during Thursday's stroll at West Elm and Urban Outfitters.

Tickets and information about sponsorships also are available at www.projectreturnct.org.

For more information about the Birdhouse Stroll and Auction or about Project Return, visit www.projectreturnct.org or call 203-291-6402.

18th BIRDHOUSE STROLL

What: Downtown merchants display elegant, whimsical and weird birdhouses made by artists

When: Thursday, March 21, 6 to 8 p.m.

Where: Main Street, Post Road East, Playhouse Square

Why: Precursor to auction of the birdhouses next month to benefit Project Return, which helps adolescent girls and young women in crisis