‘Pop-Up’ Show Reflects City’s Beauty

WESTFIELD-A group of visual artists who “love” the city and want to share the “beauty” they see here every day have formed Images of Westfield and will showcase a variety of their works during an upcoming “pop-up show.”

Images of Westfield members participating in a December show include Julie Desharnais, Richard Cowles, Danny Nason, Bill Curran, Lucille Nason (seated) and Vincent Caruso.

Images of Westfield members participating in a December show include Julie Desharnais, Richard Cowles, Danny Nason, Bill Curran, Lucille Nason (seated) and Vincent Caruso.

The old Town Hall at 20 Broad St. will be the setting for the Images of Westfield’s Gallery Art Show which opens with a reception Dec. 2 from 6 to 8 p.m. to meet the artists, and the show which is planned from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Dec. 3. Light refreshments and beverages will be served with live acoustic entertainment during the reception. Both events are free and open to the public.

“Old Town Hall is a perfect space for a pop-up show,” said Bill Westerlind, president, ArtWorks Westfield, which is sponsoring the event. “There are many different rooms in the building to present an art show and the high visibility to hundreds of passing cars each day offers excellent advertising and marketing opportunities.”

Westerlind also thanked the “wonderfully supportive” members of the First Congregational Church for allowing ArtWorks Westfield to use the space.

“Historically significant to the city of Westfield, Old Town Hall is a very unique and compelling space to display gallery art,” he said.

Westerlind noted that one of the “strategies” of ArtWorks Westfield is to develop performing venues by leveraging some of the underutilized store fronts and buildings in the downtown Westfield corridor to stage performances and art shows.

“These events are designed to pop up in these various locations, generating a burst of excitement and energy during a short period of time to avoid the long-term, fixed expenses of maintaining a permanent venue,” said Westerlind.

The mission of ArtWorks Westfield is to create and promote the widest variety of cultural arts, literary arts, musical events and performing arts for the Greater Westfield area, and to collaborate with businesses and invested groups to develop and maintain venues for presentations and performances.

“These events breathe some life into otherwise shuttered properties, our local artists get the chance to showcase their talent in prominent locations in the city while providing the property owners the opportunity to market the space to potential clients,” said Westerlind.

Westerlind added that the ArtWorks Westfield team is exploring “many sites” in the downtown area and along Route 20 to the Westfield Shops for potential pop-up show sites.

“The ArtWorks Westfield modus operandi is of, for and by the artists,” said Westerlind. “Our group is all about the artists and this show is driven by the artists. Several months ago the idea of an Images of Westfield art show was floated and just last month, the group decided to go for it.”

Artists representing Images of Westfield at the December show include Lucille Nason, Vincent Caruso, Danny Nason, Richard Cowles, Richard Nowak, Bill Curran and Julie Desharnais.

“What you will experience is the creation of the Images of Westfield artisan group,” said Westerlind. “It is very exciting to see the event develop, evolve and fall into place. I encourage everyone to stop by and take a look.”

Westerlind noted that the artists are donating 15 percent of all sales at the show to ArtWorks Westfield which will be used to fund future events and shows in the city.

“Attending this event shows support for local artists and furthers the growth and development of the arts and culture in Westfield,” said Westerlind. “Supporting this event and similar events in the future creates a market for our local artisans to sell their work and gets pieces of fine art into the hands of folks who admire and appreciate the creativity and talent of local artists.”

The artists are especially engaged in the process and look forward to meeting local residents and sharing their new group’s endeavors.

“I love to find beauty in the simple places of life,” said Lucille Nason. “Twenty-plus years of being a clay artist taught me that mud can be beautiful. So now I am hoping to take the first step with photographs to say a thousand silent words and showcase the simple beauty we call everyday life.”

For Curran, a “full-blooded Westfieldite,” he enjoys nature photography, especially capturing landscapes, gardens, water, birds and animals.

“Finding something unusual, out of place or ironic are some of my favorite subjects,” said Curran. “Shooting objects from unique angles and in interesting light makes photography exciting for me.”

Danny Nason has been a resident of Westfield since 1959 and has had the “good fortune” of experiencing downtown Westfield for many years which has been a driving force in his photography.

“Sharing past and present memories and photos of Westfield has become a great passion,” said Nason. “I share the pictures of downtown Westfield in hopes it will get people and businesses interested and to help restore vibrancy of downtown Westfield that I was able to experience as a child, growing up here.”

For Cowles, a “365 project” a few years ago taking and posting one picture a day for 365 consecutive days opened his eyes to the beauty of the city.

“The 365 project forced me to focus on and see the beauty that is all around us every day,” said Cowles. “There is much that is beautiful about Westfield. IOW is a group of like-minded artists who choose to focus on that and share it through our work. We hope it might help rekindle/reinforce viewers’ appreciation of this place we call home.”

Nowak echoed those sentiments.

“Westfield has a great deal of beauty with its parks, Westfield River, etc., that many of us take for granted,” said Nowak. “I endeavor to paint the beauty of nature that is in Westfield and surrounding areas so that the viewer can appreciate what is all around us.”

Caruso concurred.

“As a former resident, portrait and landscape photographer, I’ve had the privilege of photographing Westfield residents,” said Caruso. “Sharing some local pictures is just a bonus. It’s fun and I hope it makes them smile.”

Among the artwork that will be available for sale will include Cowles selling notecards for $3 each, calendars for $15 and prints ranging from $35 to $225; Curran also be offering a 2017 calendar, and Desharnais is offering photo magnets for $5 and photo transfers ranging from $10 to $100.

“What is important to me about the show is that people can support local artists, and not only that, I am passionate about art,” said Desharnais. “I love the city I live in and think people would appreciate the city more if they could see it the way I do. I focus on the parts that I love and that makes me happy.”

Westerlind added he is bullish about the event.

“The work of the Images of Westfield group is well known and loved on social media,” he said. “Attending the show will offer citizens the opportunity to meet the artists behind these wonderful paintings and photographs.”




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