WHAT WE ENVISION
Westfield is a town of arts and artists. From the Town’s new Public Arts Commission bringing murals and painted butterflies to public spaces, to the Westfield Art Association, a collaboration of artists providing art education and public exhibitions since 1922 (nearly a century!), the Town has long supported, encouraged, and provided opportunities for artists of all types and in all mediums to create lasting works of art.
The Town has always had a strong arts education program in its school system. Its WHS woodshop, led by Industrial Arts Teacher James Hart, has long been a place “where artistry takes center stage,” and the emphasis is on craftsmanship and high-quality work. Its Visual and Performing Arts Program is award-winning and recognized as one of the best in the State. And the District’s partnership with the Westfield Coalition for the Arts, which acts as an advocate for the arts in our schools, including music, fine art, theatre, visual art and dance, has long brought all types of art not only to the Town’s school-age population, but to all of its residents, by speaking out on behalf of the arts, maintaining public awareness and utilizing sources of community, financial and philosophical support.
Perhaps one of the biggest losses in the last decade to adult artists and art enthusiasts of all kind was the closing of the Westfield Adult School in the summer of 2015. The Adult School provided an outlet for both the serious and the simply curious artist, usually offering over 130 courses each semester in everything from quilting, knitting, and crochet; glassblowing; painting; woodworking; and so much more. While the closing of the Westfield Adult School may have made the creation of arts and crafts a more solitary, less social and communal pursuit, it has not stopped the thirst for adult learners to create.
The vision and mission of the Westfield Arts Collective, Inc., is to raise the level of creative energy in downtown Westfield, NJ and its surrounding areas, by providing a creative workspace where makers and artist of all ages and experience can connect, create, learn and experience new things together. Westfield residents are yearning for new and different things; and attractions that connect them with their neighbors and friends. That’s exactly what the Center for Creativity at the Rialto will do.