Recap: The Sketchbook Project

Our first Art In The Park event was a resounding success!

Along with our friends in the Roselle Art Association, we hosted the Sketchbook Project on Saturday in Warinanco Park. Despite an overcast day with a little light rain, we welcomed over 200 visitors to our tents to view a worldwide selection of artists’ sketchbooks. The one constant among the visitors, who ranged in age from 3 to 90 years and included local artists, students, families and community leaders, was the big smile on each and every face.

This free event was fully funded by a public grant from the Borough of Roselle and enjoyed the sponsorship of the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the Office of Parks & Recreation. Special guests who attended the event on Saturday were Freeholder Bette Jane Kowalsky, Nicole DeAugustine from the Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs, and General Assembly member Jamel Holley, who addressed the happy crowd. We were also pleased to offer free, blank artist sketchbooks to each child in attendance, a gift made possible by the generosity of the Freeholders and Dick Blick Art Materials.

Also among Saturday’s attendees was the founder of the Sketchbook Project, Steven Peterman. This event was special for the Project as well, for although they have travelled to nearly every state in the country since 2006, our event marked their first-ever visit to New Jersey. After such a long wait, Steven was thrilled by the impressive size and enthusiasm of the NJ crowd.

This event has been a long time in the making, so its success is a great joy, especially to WAA board member and Education Outreach Coordinator Laura Brown. Upon joining our leadership board last year, Laura immediately announced her goal of finding a way to host the Sketchbook Project here in New Jersey. Many moths of meetings, emails and paperwork later, we have made her vision come true. The real benefactors of her vision and hard work are all of the people, young and old, who came out to the park on Saturday to be inspired.

With the success of this event, we are looking ahead to our next Art In The Park event. In the meantime, please enjoy these photographs from last Saturday.

New WAA Member Exhibit at Limani in Westfield

The new WAA member exhibit has been hung and is ready to view. Please stop by Limani Seafood Grill in Westfield to see artwork by various WAA members. Thank you to Maxine King and Virginia Puskar for curating and coordinating this exhibition. It’s a good one!

You can check out more about Limani Seafood Grill by clicking here. 

WAA Brings 4,500 International Artist Sketchbooks to Union County on September 12

The Westfield Art Association (WAA), in collaboration with the Roselle Art Association, will be bringing the Sketchbook Project Mobile Library to Union County on September 12, 2015, offering the opportunity for the community to explore 4,500 sketchbooks by artists from across the world. This event is funded by a generous grant from the Borough of Roselle.  

The Sketchbook Project is the flagship endeavor of the Brooklyn Art Library, with a permanent exhibition space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The project is a crowd-sourced library that features over 40,000 artists’ sketchbooks, contributed by artists from over 135 countries.
The Sketchbook Project takes its collection on the road each year to share sketchbooks with communities far and wide. Their mobile library, with over 4,500 sketchbooks on board, is currently on tour in Canada, but will be making its first-ever visit to New Jersey on September 12th in Roselle’s Warinanco Park. For more information about the project, please visit them by clicking here.
On September 12th, from 1pm to 4pm, the Sketchbook Project Mobile Library will be located adjacent to the boathouse in Warinanco Park. Along with opening the library of artists’ sketchbooks to the public, there will be picnic tables, tents and a welcoming environment in which to view the art. People of all ages are encouraged to attend and to touch with their own hands original art from around the world. There is a special enticement for children; each student will receive a free, blank artist sketchbook, compliments of the sponsor organizations. It is our hope that children will be inspired by this experience to explore their world and their imaginations and create their own artwork in their own books.

WAA Got Jazzy This Summer

The Westfield Art Association participated in this year’s summer event, The Downtown Sweet Sounds of Jazz. Sponsored by the Downtown Westfield Corporation, The Sweet Sounds of Jazz stations jazz bands throughout Westfield on Tuesday evenings for the community to enjoy. 2015 was their 19th session, which brought in many visitors from out of town as well as Westfield residents.

The WAA set up a pop up gallery for members to exhibit and sell their work each Tuesday night in July and August as part of the Sweet Sounds of Jazz. All members were welcome to participate. It was a wonderful opportunity for WAA members to talk about their art and engage with the community. It was the perfect opportunity for us to promote the arts in Westfield and we hope to do this again next year.

WAA pop-up gallery at jazz location on Elm St

We made the cover of the Westfield Leader the next day!