In a whirlwind of activity last Friday, the Westport Town Democrats vacated their new headquarters space previously occupied by Max's Art Supplies. For one night only, 68 Post Road East became a sparkling art gallery, showcasing a variety of local artists, all pleased to show their work in a celebration of Max's almost 60 years in that spot.

The event capped the era of Max's with a show that bridged the past and future of Westport's thriving but changing artistic community. As event organizer, I could not have made this happen without some key supporters.

First, John Hartwell and the Westport Democratic Town Committee generously lent us what is officially now their space, and the Westport Downtown Merchants Association and Rockwell Art and Framing, in the person of Steve DesLoge, offered all kinds of logistical support. Many local businesses stepped up to honor one of their own, including Parkway Liquor, Liquor Locker, Gold's Delicatessen, the Merritt Country Convenience Store, Java Coffee & Cafe, Ace's Crossroads Hardware, Painters Supply and Westport's William Raveis Realty.

Over 35 local artists showed over 60 works of art, which in many cases was influenced, or inspired, or facilitated in some way by Max's and the folks who worked there for so long. Along with a small group of fantastic volunteers, these local artists and businesspeople helped to honor Max's, and I hope also reminded us all that this is what our community is about -- a caring, connected place with a rich and vibrant artistic heritage.

Amy Kaplan

Westport