WESTFIELD — Artists of all genres are gearing up once again to donate their works so that local residents can embark on an art treasure hunt on Sept. 7, World Art Drop Day.
“I enjoy participating in this event primarily because I like how happy and excited people are when they find one of my art drops,” said Susan Buffum. “I always get such wonderful emails from people who find my art.”
Buffum has chosen two works — “Tiger” and “Is That Peanut For Me?” — to drop somewhere in Westfield on Sept. 7.
“It makes me happy to know that what I draw makes other people happy, too,” she said.
World Art Drop Day was created by Utah illustrator Jake Parker with the intention to bring random strangers together through creating and giving away art.
The global scavenger hunt encourages all artists — students and professionals, painters and cartoonists, sculptors and illustrators, animators and fine artists, photographers and printmakers, authors and poets, jewelers and soap makers, musicians and dancers — to drop their creations around the region where they reside — and post hints and clues on social media so that others can find them.
“The ArtWorks Westfield team launched the very first World Art Drop Day in the city back in 2016 under the direction of former board member and local photographer Richard Cowles,” said Bill Westerlind, president of ArtWorks Westfield. “The idea stuck! Year after year, World Art Drop Day has developed into a Westfield tradition, to the point where community members gear up in anticipation of a day of art treasure hunting in the city.”
The process for participating — either as an artist or a seeker — is simple, said Westerlind.
“Create, collect or purchase a piece of art or literature and hide that piece somewhere in Westfield,” said Westerlind, noting that during past art drops, art was hidden in downtown businesses and shops, in parks and recreation areas, as well as on the Green.
The person leaving a piece of art is asked to take a photo of either the art or the hiding spot or a combination of both, and then post the image and clues about where it was left, on any social media outlet of one’s choice and the ArtWorks Westfield group page. Additionally, artists should include the hashtags #artdropday and #artdropdayWestfield with all posts and clues.
For persons unable to make the drop on Sept. 7, it is suggested to make the drop only a day or two before, and keep the location a secret, since the art cannot be collected before Sept. 7.
Artists should also leave instructions for whoever finds the art to share a photo of the found artwork and where the piece was discovered for everyone to see.
“The fun is seeing all those happy faces with a selfie,” said Westerlind.
A downloadable PDF of the art drop insert form can be found on a link at the ArtWorks Westfield Facebook page.
Shannon Chiba is also among the artists eager to hide her art on Sept. 7.
“I will be dropping small works of handmade art, bookmarks and refrigerator art all around town,” said Chiba. “Many of the works will be placed in city parks and near public art installations.”
Chiba added she enjoys creating small works that are concept pieces.
“I save them all year long, and some I laminate in case of rainy weather or moisture outdoors,” she said. “I hope that folks will take selfies or post on local forums what they find. It is such fun to see who gets the pieces!”
World Art Drop Day is just one example of the countless ways that ArtWorks Westfield members promote the arts.
“Our mission is to bring creators and community together in the spirit of unity to share talent and creativity,” said Westerlind. “World Art Drop Day exemplifies this mission — community unity through art!”