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Deadline nears to sign up for ArtWalk Westfield

WESTFIELD-Artists are still being sought for ArtWalk Westfield on Aug. 7 in the downtown Gaslight District, with a deadline of July 30 to submit images for consideration.

Artists are being sought for ArtWalk Westfield on Aug. 7 as part of the Downtown Westfield Art & MusicFest celebration. ArtWalk will be conducted along Elm between School and Arnold streets in the downtown Westfield Gaslight District. (LORI SZEPELAK PHOTO)

ArtWalk Westfield, planned from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., is part of the Downtown Westfield Art & MusicFest that will feature art, dance and music from 10 a.m.-9 p.m.

“The Downtown Westfield Art & MusicFest idea was hatched about a week ago,” said Bill Westerlind, president of ArtWorks Westfield. “Since so many of the Downtown Live! Friday Concert Series sponsors were so generous with their support, we had an event budget surplus so we decided to add one more show as the season finale.”

Westerlind said discussion among ArtWorks members centered on a “larger cultural experience” and the ArtWalk and live dance performances were added to the event.

“We are still looking to add incremental experiences like buskers and en plein air painting,” said  Westerlind.

Westerlind noted that since COVID-19 vaccinations have become more readily available and area residents are feeling more confident about being in public spaces, he is hopeful that artists will also have their chance to share their talents and sell their work.

“We have seen live music in Westfield explode out of the COVID pall and explode to the upside,” he said. “We would like to see the art community experience a similar explosive break out from the COVID doldrums to vibrancy and interaction with the community.”

Artists will have a display space up to 10’ x 10’ and are encouraged to have a tent, tables, display panels, and chairs. The show fee is $25 which is the annual supporting membership payable upon acceptance in the show. The fee is $10 for current members.

Accepted media for ArtWalk includes painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, pottery and mixed media. Artists must submit three jpeg images of their work by July 30 to [email protected] and include name, email, phone, medium, and a link to one’s work online.

Westerlind said when artists show their work under tents or on display tables along a city sidewalk it creates a “street art, urban community feel and allows the community and artists to directly interact.”

“Artists love to talk about their work and the creative process and visitors can experience that one-on-one engagement with the artists and the art work,” he said.

Westerlind added that the high quality and ingenuity of the work is best experienced in person with the artist available to answer questions or provide background context and color.

“All art work will be available for purchase which will inject some economic life back into the art market and beautify local homes, businesses and offices,” said Westerlind. “We are hopeful ArtWalk as part of a greater cultural celebration and experience will achieve a gallery art break out.”

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