Nov 18, 2022
The artwork communicates the aims of the Center for Creativity at The Rialto.
WESTFIELD, NJ — In large, colorful lettering the words “Dream Create Inspire” shout from the brick face behind the Center for Creativity at the Rialto.
Below the words are musical instruments, theater masks, flowers and a camera — images representing the mission of the arts center. Artist Olga Muzician finished the painting earlier this week, a project that took her about eight days to paint.
“They wanted something on this wall that would speak to that creative spirit of this new arts community that they’re building,” Muzician said, after lowering the lift from which she was painting. "So I came up with a quote with a little ‘Dream Create Inspire,’ and then we went from there.” The art is funded by a Union County mural grant and is the largest Muzician has painted, she said. Muzician started by projecting her design onto the wall at night and tracing it out — the process, she said, took three hours.
“It was definitely one of my most complicated transfers. It’s the biggest mural I’ve ever painted,” Muzician said. “So, a lot of it ends up being very generally drawn, and then I have to redraw it with chalk as I’m going through and painting it.” The Westfield Public Arts Commission secured the grant for the mural earlier this year.
“Her images captured all the different parts of what we want to see happening inside the Rialto with theater and studio art and performing arts,” said Margaret Smith, who chairs the commission.
The commission is covering the cost of paint while the county’s $5,000 grant pays Muzician for her time, even though the usual cost of a project of that scope would be significantly more, Smith said.
Muzician completed the project on Tuesday.
“It’s happy. You just look at it, and it makes you happy,” Smith said. “It was just that huge, massive, ugly brick wall. It was begging for something fun and colorful and exciting and happy to look at.”
The large mural comes as volunteers have painted other murals nearby in the alleyway for the Center for Creativity. Those improvements are part of a series being funded by a Main Street New Jersey Transformation Grant that also includes the installation of Wi-Fi, speakers and landscaping.
The smaller works of art in the alley include a large shark, a painting of the Addams Family’s Gomez Addams and a blossoming cup that invites people to “Get Your Daily Fix.”
The goal, Smith said, is for the art to be “Instagrammable.”
Councilwoman Dawn Mackey serves as the liaison to the Westfield Public Arts Commission. In 2019, the council had approved a local law setting guidelines for the installation of murals.
“What we’re seeing is the momentum started with the creation of the Westfield Public Arts Commission, the passing of the mural ordinance, widespread community support and our wonderful volunteer artists,” Mackey said. “Westfield is blooming with color and creativity.”
By Matt Kadosh, TapInto Westfield