The Westport Historical Society will host an exhibit to honor both the town's history and the artists who chronicled it.

"Framing the Past, Present and Future: 20 Years of the Westport Arts Awards," opens Sept. 27. The retrospective will feature more than 45 original works by artists honored in the awards' 20-year history.

The artwork -- paintings, drawings, illustrations, comics, etchings, photographs and sculptures -- are on loan from museums, private collections, the town of Westport, Westport schools' permanent art collection and the artists themselves.

Westport has a long history and reputation as a haven for artists. The historical society cites a 1949 Life magazine cover story that said, "There are probably more professional artists within a 25-mile radius of Westport than in any other comparable spot in the U.S."

Since its 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. Dohanos is remembered for his 1943 Saturday Evening Post cover of an elderly sign painter adding the names of Westport's World War II veterans to the Honor Roll outside the former Town Hall. The exhibit will be accompanied by lectures, films, interviews with the artists and other events. Westport arts organizations will also celebrate Westport's artistic history with events throughout the month.

The art exhibit runs through Jan. 2 in the Sheffer Gallery of the Westport Historical Society, 25 Avery Place. The opening wine and hors d'oeuvres reception will be held Friday, Sept. 27, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. "Framing the Past" is being organized by the Westport Historical Society and the Westport Arts Advisory Committee, which selects the annual award recipients.

For more information, call the Westport Historical Society at 203-222-1424 or visit For information about events sponsored by other organizations in conjunction with the exhibit, visit the Westport Arts Awards website