Around Town

Senior artists painting city parks for 2022 calendar

WESTFIELD — As artists put the finishing touches on paintings of local parks, 2022 calendars can now be pre-ordered by calling the Westfield Senior Center.

The calendar is priced at $6 and the artwork featured promises to capture the essence of parks across the city.

“The calendars designed by the Art Unlimited group always sell quickly,” said Tina Gorman, executive director of the Westfield Senior Center. “They are uniquely Westfield and certainly one-of-a-kind.”

The Major General William Shepard monument will be featured in one of the 2022 calendar paintings centering on parks in the city. (LORI SZEPELAK PHOTO)

Gorman added that the calendars make “wonderful, affordable holiday and thank you gifts for friends, neighbors, and family.”

While thoughts of Stanley Park or Grandmothers’ Garden may first come to mind when one considers parks in the city to visit, there are also numerous parks that are specifically managed by the Westfield Parks and Recreation Department, including Apremont, Sgt. John Hussey Memorial, Dowling, General Shepard, Highland, Holcomb, Kane/Wojtkiewicz, Half Mile Falls, Mary Noble, Park Square, Soldiers Monument, Stephen Budzak, Tekoa and Women’s Temperance parks, Woronoco Soccer Complex, Westfield Skate Park at Amelia Park, Cowles Court pocket park, White Street pocket park and the Court Street islands.

Elaine Lees, an artist who leads the Art Unlimited classes at the Westfield Senior Center on Thursdays from 1:30 to 3 p.m., said her class participants are working tirelessly to meet an Oct. 15 deadline.

Elaine Lees facilitates the Art Unlimited group that meets Thursday afternoons at the Westfield Senior Center. Lees is working with class participants on paintings of local parks for a 2022 calendar. (LORI SZEPELAK PHOTO)

Lees is also working on a painting for the calendar that will feature the Maj. Gen. William Shepard statue.

“We are also asking artists to provide a brief bio that can be featured with their artwork,” said Lees.

The calendar project, now in its second year, is made possible with the collaboration of Matthew Seklecki, department head of the Graphic Arts Department at Westfield Technical Academy, and his students.

“Matt needs the artwork by Nov. 1, which gives his students time to create the calendars that will be ready for early December,” said Lees.

Gorman shared a similar sentiment.

“Partnering with students from Westfield Technical Academy makes the project an intergenerational collaboration,” said Gorman, adding, “funds raised through the sale of the calendars goes back to the art group for supplies.”

Seklecki agreed.

“This type of project gives students the opportunity to showcase their skills,” said Seklecki, noting students are currently working on layouts. “It also broadens their view of the community they live in and provides a way for them to be a positive contributor to that community.”

Students participating in the community project include senior Anthony Lombardo and junior Annete Alforova.

To order a 2022 calendar, call Mary Lou Niedzielski, program director at the Westfield Senior Center, at 413-562-6435.

“Quantities are limited so don’t delay,” said Gorman.

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