WESTFIELD – The Esplanade by the twin bridges is about one-quarter into a beautification project by ArtWorks Westfield and the community.
A mural, titled “Westfield is Fantastic,” is being painted and was inspired by children.
“When we were painting the ‘Heroes are Everywhere Mural,’ kids were coming up to us and the mural begging to paint,” said Shannon Chiba of ArtWorks. “We let them as long as a caregiver was around, and some returned with homemade cards, flowers and encouraging words.”
That first mural, located at the tunnel entrance to the Rail Trail on Taylor Street, was created last summer when the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown many businesses and heroes – first responders, nurses, doctors, retail workers and more – were recognized. ArtWorks members spearheaded the mural effort, depicting the heroes of the time. Chiba said the second mural continues the spirit of beautifying the city.
“This mural is fantastic in three ways — first, the fantasy creatures on the wall represent fantasy in a literal sense. Next, the natural flora and fauna in the mural depicts the fantastic natural elements we have in Westfield and the surrounding area — as well as where the mural is situated – and the third fantastic element are the kids and the community that help to paint it,” said Chiba. “Some of the kids from the boys and girls club’s mural club actually designed some creatures and elements that will be on it.”
ArtWorks members and community participants paint every other Saturday and will continue to do so until Aug.7.
“Targeted completion is mid-September,” said Chiba. “Additionally the boys and girls club’s mural club will be painting with us every Tuesday starting in July. They will be filling-in, adding texture and adding creatures to the wall.”
Chiba said ArtWorks would love to continue adding color to Westfield.
“We are always open to suggestions for more murals,” she said. “Some ideas are to paint under more bridges, the backs of dilapidated buildings and to replace the old Steed mural that was on the north side years ago. With community, the city and Artworks, we can add beautiful art wherever we have a mission to beautify, uplift and make better a space.”
Anyone who wishes to participate should sign-up for community painting days by following the signup link on the Westfield is Fantastic- The Mural Facebook page.