'ArtWalk 2012' Will Feature Painting of Community Mural and Much More

Creation of a community mural which will be displayed at West Hartford Town Hall and decoration of white paper bag luminaria for 'Light Up the Night' are some of the many activities scheduled for West Hartford's ArtWalk festival on Saturd

The is looking for 150 artists of all ages and abilities to participate in the painting of a community mural as part of its annual ArtWalk Festival.

Each volunteer will have the opportunity to paint their own canvas at the Saturday, Sept. 15 event, and the finished canvases will be combined together to form one large mural painting of the West Hartford Art League Schoolhouse building on Mountain Road.

The prototype image of the Schoolhouse building has been painted by WHAL instructor Brian Colbath, and will be broken down into 150 separate pieces for volunteers to paint.

The completed mural will be displayed in the lobby of later in September.

WHAL Executive Director Roxanne Stachelek emphasizes that artistic talent is not a requirement for participation.

"I wanted to have a project at ArtWalk that everyone could participate in, regardless of talent or expertise. I called Brian asking him to help with a mural, and he came up with the idea of the 150 individual canvases. I love this idea because ultimately, everyone can be involved and feel ownership. It's a great way for a community to work together," Stachelek said in a news release.

Elmwood art supply retailer is sponsoring the mural.

The ArtWalk Festival will take place on Saturday, Sept. 15, beginning at 11 a.m. on the organization's campus at 37 Buena Vista Rd.

There will be faculty art exhibitions occuring throughout the day. Other activities taking place as part of the festival include:

  • Dedication of sculptures by Connecticut artist Philip Grausman at 3 p.m., which is part of the WHAL's mission of bringing art to the community.
  • "Off the Wall," A Juried Clothesline Art Exhibit and Sale will be held under a tent on the Art League grounds from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Artists are invited to enter unframed work that will be hung from a clothesline. This exhibit will be juried by artists Joan Jardine and Paul Batch. 
  • "On The Wall," a one day exhibit and sale will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Saltbox Gallery. Artists are invited to enter one piece of work in this exhibit which will be hung floor to ceiling.
  • An exhibit of work by Olof Aspelin, the Best of Show winner in the West Hartford Art League’s regional juried CT+6 exhibit that juried by MASS MoCA curator Susan Cross, will open on the same day in the Clubhouse Gallery. 
  • Live Concert by Calypso Caliente Jazz trio from 2 to 4 p.m., sponsored by Sanborn Mortgage Corporation. Bring blankets or chairs.
  • Sidewalk Chalk competition for kids, beginning at noon on the blacktop. Cost of purchasing chalk will be donated to the West Hartford Food Pantry.
  • Asian Performing Arts Society will perform ribbon dancing, tai chi and more beginning at 4 p.m. From 1 to 3 p.m., kids will have the opportunity to decorate a mask or ribbon pole that they can then use to join the dancers. 
  • Pottery throwing demonstrations will take place at the Schoolhouse building between 2 and 4 p.m.
  • Picnicking on the grounds. 
  • Four psychic readers and one astrologer will be available for 20-minute readings for $20. Half of all proceeeds will be donated to the West Hartford Art League.

The ArtWalk Festival will be capped off by "Light Up the Night." For a $5 donation, the public will have the opportunity to decorate white paper bag luminaria that will be placed on the hillside as part of a public art "installation."  All proceeds from "Light Up the Night" will be split between FoodShare and the Town of West Hartford Food Pantry. A dessert reception in the Saltbox Gallery will close out the evening.

For more information on ArtWalk and a schedule of events, visit the West Hartford Art League's website at www.westhartfordart.org/special-events.


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