Bridgeoprt Mayor Bill Finch’s speech today at Housatonic Museum of Art credited the arts community here for having “turned the city around.”
“We sold the Read’s Department Store building, which had been vacant for 30 years, to artists,” the mayor said. “And I think as a result of that, many other residential projects downtown followed. Like the CityTrust building and the Arcade and the State National Bank building. All of that was because of artists.”
He also praised the Housatonic Museum, which is part of the college. The college has what is probably the best art collection of any American two-year college. Picasso, Matisse, Miro, Chagall, Rodin, Cassatt, DeChirico, Warhol and Rauschenberg are among the artists represented in the college’s collection. Robbin Zella, director of the museum, said that the next major acquisition, a work by Yoko Ono, is expected at the end of the month.
“When I meet with other mayors at the U.S. Conference of Mayors, they’re really envious of Housatonic and it’s art collection,” Finch said