WESTFIELD – The “cozy confines” of Old City Hall will be the setting for a holiday pop up gallery art show, hosted by organizers ArtWorks Westfield.
“The inaugural 2016 Images of Westfield Pop Up Art Show exclusively showcased the work of the Images of Westfield Artisan Group, a group of visual artists who love the city of Westfield and share the beauty they experience every day in the city through their work,” said Bill Westerlind of ArtWorks Westfield. “In 2017 the Images of Westfield artisans are back and we’ve expanded the mix to include hometown Westfield and regional artists.”
Westerlind added that several characteristics of the show create a unique experience.
“The setting, a historically significant building in downtown Westfield, has served as Town Hall and after, City Hall, a police station and the first formally organized Westfield High School classes from 1855 until 1867,” said Westerlind. “It most recently served as the Carson Center for Human Services. The many different rooms, alcoves and hallways create a uniquely distinctive and idiosyncratic display space that enhances the gallery experience.”
An opening reception is planned Dec. 1 from 6 to 8 p.m., and the open gallery show is Dec. 2 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Old City Hall is located at 20 Broad St. Westfield Gas & Electric is the show’s sponsor.
“The community engagement of the Westfield Gas & Electric is fantastic,” said Westerlind. “We also would like to recognize the support and generosity of the members of the First Congregational Church for allowing us to stage pop up art shows like the Images of Westfield and our Celebrate Autumn Pumpkinfest event. It is a truly unique venue to present wonderful works of art.”
At next month’s show, 18 artists will be showcasing their work, including photographers Bill Curran, John Nardacci, Jr., Danny Nason, Jamie Toomey and Vincent Caruso; metal sculptor Sebastin Glebocki, and mixed media artists Lucille Nason and James Johnson-Corwin. Artists also participating include Donna Carmel, scratchboard, pen and ink, watercolor and printmaking; Ashley Boettcher-Read, acrylic, pastels, watercolor and guache; Steve Jones, abstract art and acrylic; Emily Kiefer, oil on canvas; Craig Perras, acrylic on canvas; Robert Bard, watercolor, mixed media, acrylic, collage; Natalie Avery, artist, and Julie Marie Perry, acrylic, watercolor and photo transfer.
The expansion of the show this holiday season from eight to 18 artists reflects the growth of the ArtWorks Westfield organization since its inception in April 2016, according to Westerlind.
“Through trial and error and lots of dedicated work by our organizers and local artists, we have gained significant credibility and operational expertise which in turn attracts more interest in our events,” said Westerlind. “We engage and inspire local artists to share their very best work and extraordinary talent with the residents of Westfield and the surrounding communities.”
Boettcher-Read echoed those sentiments.
“Word of mouth and a very positive community and artist experience at last year’s event has attracted interest in the 2017 show,” said Boettcher-Read. “I have had several friends approach me about my paintings and murals, encouraging me to show my work. I did not know where to start but they guided me to Images of Westfield.”
Westerlind noted that a “truly unique and intriguing addition” to the show will be Words & Pictures, a collaborative presentation of photographic prints by street and landscape photographer and painter Richard Cowles, coupled with poetry written by his daughter, Erin Seibert Cowles.
“There’s such an incredibly vast array of artwork that encompasses the diversity and community of Westfield,” said Boettcher-Read. “There is also a very large number of artists this year, young, middle aged and older. You’ll get to see budding artists and seasoned experts at their trade.”
Richard Cowles concurred.
“This is a great opportunity to shop for truly unique additions to your home or office as well as holiday gifts,” said Cowles.
The price range of artwork for sale will range as low as $5 for postcards and note cards to more than $1,000 for some of the larger metal sculptures, with a wide and varied price range in between, according to Westerlind.
“These unique and very special works of art could make wonderful holiday gifts or great additions to office or home settings,” said Westerlind. “The artists are contributing 10 percent of all sales at the show to ArtWorks of Westfield to help fund future art and cultural events in the city.”