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Ten Minutes With Matt Davies

Pulitzer Prize Winning cartoonist



Matt Davies has won the Pulitzer Prize and his editorial cartoons have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Newsweek, Time, and Mad. Currently drawing for Tribune Media Services and The Hearst Newspaper Group, the London-born artist moved to Westport in 1983, but now calls Wilton home. Davies’ first children’s book, Ben Rides On, debuts this spring.

So how did you get involved in editorial cartooning?
I planned to study English Lit and creative writing, but decided to take a year, and go to art school at Savannah College of Art and Design. The South, especially then, was bizarre politically—not in your face, but occasionally something flared, especially racial issues. My political sense of right and wrong switched on. I started getting published—the Village Voice, the Norwalk Hour. Gannett Newspapers, including USA Today, hired me after a year of freelancing.

Not everyone agrees with you…
Early on, a right winger objected to a cartoon and called me. He was much more informed than I, much better at arguing. Until then, I’d never encountered a real right winger, only people who agreed with me. I learned—never weigh in on anything without knowing both sides. Listen to conservatives and liberals, and consider both. You might think, ‘They hate me’, but feedback helps you grow thick-skinned, and you can learn from it. It’s really a two-way conversation.

Who’s fun to draw?
W., Bill and Hillary Clinton, Obama. And Mitt Romney—he’s so Ken doll-ish. Cartoonists want the most hideous, out-there politicians. I think our country would fall apart with a President Cheney, but he would be cartooning’s future. Rick Perry—great looking, slightly crazy. Anyone crazy enough to run for President. It’s why cartooning was invented.

What is Ben Rides On about?
The story confronts bullying without trying too hard to make a point. Ben must decide whether to save his tormentor. Ben looks exactly like me as a kid. I thought long and hard about whether the character should be a girl or a minority, but I didn’t want to push an agenda. I decided, “First book—do what I know.” It’s semi-autobiographical—fantasy, but the essence is very real.

Your wife is from Westport, but you moved to Wilton.
We wanted a barn, something rural, but not too far away from anything. Wilton may as well be 100 miles from Westport. It feels like Westport used to—small town, but also cosmopolitan-ish. I’ve met many creative people here. I don’t wear a tie or look professional. Joey Pants once came over to me and an illustrator friend at Starbucks and asked, “What are you guys, filmmakers?” He sat right down. I love that about Wilton. It also has better schools, balancing insane, rigid teaching-to-the-test with vital creative areas like music and art. We came for the schools, but stayed for the beer, now that we can buy it here.      

 

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November 2017

Come create new memories in a magical setting of over 100 holiday trees, elves and pixie dust. Enjoy shopping, live entertainment, raffle prizes and more! Featuring special kids events:...

Cost: Admission: Adults: $10 • Children & Seniors: $5• Kids under 5: Free

Where:
Crowne Plaza Hotel
18 Old Ridgebury Road
EXIT 2, I-84
Danbury, CT  06810
View map »


Sponsor: Ann's Place
Telephone: 1-866-907-2314
Contact Name: Jack Bouffard
Website »

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Exhibit on view November 4 – 26, 2017 A comprehensive exhibit showcasing the achievements, careers, designs and personal accomplishments of the architects at the center of New...

Cost: Free

Where:
Carriage Barn Arts Center
681 South Ave.
Waveny Park
New Canaan , CT  06840
View map »


Website »

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Giant Helium Balloon Parade Spectacular presented by Stamford Advocate/Hearst Connecticut Media Group The parade is one of the largest helium balloon parades in the country, featuring...

Where:
Summer to Broad to Atlantic Streets
Stamford, CT


Website »

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Robert Gregson will give a talk on the impact of New Canaan’s modern architects throughout Connecticut and beyond. FREE / reserved seating for exhibit patrons For more information visit...

Cost: FREE

Where:
New Canaan Historical Society
13 Oenoke Ridge Road
New Canaan , CT  06840
View map »


Website »

More information

How is Mark Twain connected to Norwalk? Join Norwalk historians Madeleine and Ed Eckert to discover the connection during their lively lecture: “Norwalk & Mark Twain: Being Some...

Cost: $5.00

Where:
Norwalk Historical Society Museum
141 East Ave.
Entrance and Parking at Norwalk City Hall Parking, City Hall Drive
Norwalk, CT  06851
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Sponsor: Norwalk Historical Society
Telephone: 203-846-0525
Contact Name: Samantha Kulish-Fargione
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Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Paradigm Shifts,” a group exhibition featuring paintings by Charles Arnoldi, Ricardo Mazal and Manuel Mérida.  The show opens...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Exhibit on view November 4 – 26, 2017 A comprehensive exhibit showcasing the achievements, careers, designs and personal accomplishments of the architects at the center of New...

Cost: Free

Where:
Carriage Barn Arts Center
681 South Ave.
Waveny Park
New Canaan , CT  06840
View map »


Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Paradigm Shifts,” a group exhibition featuring paintings by Charles Arnoldi, Ricardo Mazal and Manuel Mérida.  The show opens...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Exhibit on view November 4 – 26, 2017 A comprehensive exhibit showcasing the achievements, careers, designs and personal accomplishments of the architects at the center of New...

Cost: Free

Where:
Carriage Barn Arts Center
681 South Ave.
Waveny Park
New Canaan , CT  06840
View map »


Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Paradigm Shifts,” a group exhibition featuring paintings by Charles Arnoldi, Ricardo Mazal and Manuel Mérida.  The show opens...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Exhibit on view November 4 – 26, 2017 A comprehensive exhibit showcasing the achievements, careers, designs and personal accomplishments of the architects at the center of New...

Cost: Free

Where:
Carriage Barn Arts Center
681 South Ave.
Waveny Park
New Canaan , CT  06840
View map »


Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Paradigm Shifts,” a group exhibition featuring paintings by Charles Arnoldi, Ricardo Mazal and Manuel Mérida.  The show opens...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Exhibit on view November 4 – 26, 2017 A comprehensive exhibit showcasing the achievements, careers, designs and personal accomplishments of the architects at the center of New...

Cost: Free

Where:
Carriage Barn Arts Center
681 South Ave.
Waveny Park
New Canaan , CT  06840
View map »


Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Paradigm Shifts,” a group exhibition featuring paintings by Charles Arnoldi, Ricardo Mazal and Manuel Mérida.  The show opens...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Exhibit on view November 4 – 26, 2017 A comprehensive exhibit showcasing the achievements, careers, designs and personal accomplishments of the architects at the center of New...

Cost: Free

Where:
Carriage Barn Arts Center
681 South Ave.
Waveny Park
New Canaan , CT  06840
View map »


Website »

More information

The much anticipated Great Trains Holiday Exhibit at the Wilton Historical Society opens the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, November 24, with Santa on December 9! Decorated for the holidays, the...

Cost: All kids free, non-member adults $10

Where:
Wilton Historical Society
224 Danbury Road
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Paradigm Shifts,” a group exhibition featuring paintings by Charles Arnoldi, Ricardo Mazal and Manuel Mérida.  The show opens...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Exhibit on view November 4 – 26, 2017 A comprehensive exhibit showcasing the achievements, careers, designs and personal accomplishments of the architects at the center of New...

Cost: Free

Where:
Carriage Barn Arts Center
681 South Ave.
Waveny Park
New Canaan , CT  06840
View map »


Website »

More information

Saturday, November 25 at 4-6pm at the Carriage Barn Arts Center Curator Alan Goldberg will give a guided tour of the New Canaan Modern Architects: 50 years of Achievement 1947-1997 exhibit. Set...

Cost: 0

Where:
Carriage Barn Arts Center
681 South Ave.
New Canaan , CT  06840
View map »


Website »

More information

The much anticipated Great Trains Holiday Exhibit at the Wilton Historical Society opens the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, November 24, with Santa on December 9! Decorated for the holidays, the...

Cost: All kids free, non-member adults $10

Where:
Wilton Historical Society
224 Danbury Road
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Paradigm Shifts,” a group exhibition featuring paintings by Charles Arnoldi, Ricardo Mazal and Manuel Mérida.  The show opens...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
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