WESTFIELD-Beginning Feb. 7, artists of all ages are invited to share their whimsical and “weird” creations as ArtWorks of Westfield, Inc. launches the 2021 Weird Art Show on Facebook through Feb. 28.
“This is whimsical and outside of the usual event intended to unleash the creative energy of local and regional artists whose work may be out of bounds for the more usual, customary and traditional art shows,” said Bill Westerlind, president of ArtWorks.
Westerlind explained that after the success of the Online Westfield Youth Art Show last year, ArtWorks members, led by board member Shannon Chiba, came up with this new idea.
“So many people loved the youth art show – both artists and community members – that we felt the next logical step was another online show open to everyone,” said Westerlind. “We also noticed that in the beginning of the new year the online engagement and reactions to posted art work was much higher than posts during the course of 2020 and far more enthusiastic.”
Westerlind added that the time seemed right for an online art show.
“Shannon Chiba floated the idea of a very different type of show specifically focused on the strange and unusual, pieces of art work that may not fit into a traditional gallery art show,” said Westerlind. “Our board loved the idea and the concept of a Weird Art Show was born.”
The link to the online gallery is http://bit.ly/2021WeirdArtShow
“During this pandemic, people have been creating more art at home than ever,” said Chiba. “Art has no boundaries and ArtWorks wanted to engage and create a platform for these artists to show their work and to have a chance at earning an award for their creations.”
Chiba noted that the youth art show showed ArtWorks members how “powerful and fun” a virtual art show can be.
“Even in this ongoing pandemic, ArtWorks wants to continue to have and make art shows that impacts our community,” she said.
Chiba said the word “weird” came about because it signals fun, alternative and different art.
“This show is for anyone that makes art that defies traditional mediums, subjects or themes,” she said. “Artists often downplay their art and compare their works to realistic oils or the ‘masters.’ Weird is wonderful, and so is art that is created in a unique way.”
The show will create a virtual and interactive gallery since people can comment and even buy a piece if the artist chooses to sell it.
Chiba said that the show promotes artists, their studio if they have one, and provides feedback for artists on their work.
“The voting takes place with ‘likes’ and ‘hearts’ on Facebook,” said Chiba. “Each time an artist shares the page, they increase the audience for the show and possibly generates more votes for their piece. Unlike past shows, this show is open to everyone and anyone.”
Chiba added that the work must be the person’s own creation and must have the rights to it to share and post it.
“Each ‘like’ or ‘heart’ is a vote for your piece to win,” she said.
Both Chiba and Westerlind said that artwork can range from pieces made of wire, resin, stone or paper mache, to caricatures, painted furniture and tattoos.
“Traditional mediums are perfect too, just make sure the theme or subject is different, funky, weird or somewhat odd,” said Westerlind. “Let’s see what you make and what brings you joy!”
The “Best in Show” winner will receive $100, thanks to Mina’s Wine and Spirits in Westfield, who is sponsoring this award. The prize will be determined by the ArtWorks board of directors.
All other prizes will be awarded to the artists with the most ‘likes’ and ‘hearts,’ and the count will stop at midnight on Feb. 28. The first place winner will receive $75 thanks to an anonymous donor; second place winner receives $50, sponsored by ArtWorks of Westfield, and a third place winner will receive $25, also thanks to an anonymous donor.
“As the show grows, we hope to secure more prizes and to boost winnings,” said Chiba.
Each submission must include the name of the artist, location, medium used and dimensions of the piece. Artists may also include whether or not the piece is for sale and a link to one’s studio if applicable.
Images and posts of art cannot contain anything that violates Facebook standards, and artists are reminded to know what those standards are since posts that violate this policy will be removed.
“We are excited to bring this show to everyone and hope it will brighten our days in this, the weirdest time of our lives,” said Chiba.