Letter: Darien artist thanks editor for support, paints a tribute

A painting by Darien artist Nobu Miki of the Corbin Building, the longtime home of The Darien Times from its beginnings.

A painting by Darien artist Nobu Miki of the Corbin Building, the longtime home of The Darien Times from its beginnings.

Nobu Miki / Contributed photo

To the Editor:

While you may have differing opinions of The Darien Times editor Susan Shultz, I’d like to share my unique experiences with her in her final publication as editor. When I moved to Darien 17 years ago, I had only one friend for the first five years. The Darien Times was the only window into the community, and I enjoyed reading it to learn more about Darien. In 2015, I decided to organize an outdoor art show — “Artists at Grove Street Plaza” — from scratch, and many people thought it would not be successful.

However, The Darien Times generously sponsored the event, and Susan featured the event for five years until the pandemic hit. The event grew to become a Darien fall tradition, and I don’t think it would have been possible without her support. In the spring of 2020, she asked me if I could paint something to cheer up the community. I created the “Hope” painting, which The Darien Times published on the front page, and I received many positive comments from the residents.

But Susan didn’t stop there — we discussed whether the painting could be auctioned off to raise money for Corbin Cares, an effort to feed first responders and the food insecure while keeping local Darien eateries going during the pandemic. I loved the idea, and I offered more of my paintings to the auction. Corbin Cares, the Darien Foundation, and I auctioned off my 20 paintings and raised about $12,000.

Needless to say, articles about the auction were published in the paper. Last year, she published many articles about local Black Lives Matter movements. Seeing the efforts of the young organizers in the paper inspired me to become a local activist. I have since submitted multiple letters to the editor. As editor, Susan has been very fair and has published all opinions — including those that criticize her. I have seen her only once (when I visited the office in Corbin building), but I have felt that she’s been my running mate to tackle projects which I believed would be good for this community. I admire your strength and professionalism as a journalist, and I painted a new artwork to thank you for your hard work. Thank you so much for your 16 years of dedication, and good luck on your new position.

Nobu Miki