There are so many reasons people love New England, from lobsters and lighthouses to fall foliage, mountains and rivers. You could even create a mosaic of images from across the land, and that’s exactly what the Agawam Community of Artists and Artisans is asking people to do.
It’s called the New England Mosaic Project. The artists have distributed a total of 144 6-by-6 inch canvases to libraries in Southwick, West Springfield, Agawam and the Westfield Athenaeum. The public is being asked to take one home and use any art medium to create their favorite New England scene on the canvas. The canvases are free and available on a first-come basis.
The deadline for decorating and returning the canvases to the libraries is June 1. The Agawam Community of Artists and Artisans will then collect and use them to create a mosaic.
“This is the first time we’re creating such a mosaic and we decided on a New England Theme,” says Ceil Rossi, organization president. “New England is so colorful in the fall and in the summer we can get out and plant flowers. You have the seashore, which I love. The seasons here are fabulous, some other parts of the country can be blah. ”
The group plans to display the mosaics at its third annual arts and crafts festival on Aug. 27 and 28. During the festival, people will be able to buy the canvas tiles for between $ 15 and $ 20. All proceeds from the sale will go towards funding scholarships for local students studying visual arts. The scholarships will be available to students in Agawam, Southwick, Westfield and West Springfield.
“We’re trying to bring everyone together and involve the entire community. We’re happy to be doing something that helps our students pursue careers in the arts, ”says Rossi.
For her part, Rossi is painting an image of two huge snapping turtles she saw on a walk near her home. She’s hoping other people will create their favorite images. Rossi thinks the project will spark community interest in the arts.
“It creates enthusiasm in the community. With everything going on in the world it’s good for people to get away and see the beauty of what’s out there in the arts, ”says Rossi. “It’s very important.”