Art Around Town Creates a Strolling Art Gallery in Our Backyard
After what seemed like a week of never-ending rain, the sun came out on Friday and shone brightly on the town. On this beautiful evening, Chappaqua was packed with members of the community as they enjoyed the opening reception for the fifth installation of Art Around Town, an event hosted by the Northern Westchester Artists Guild (NWAG). Pairing artists with merchants and transforming Chappaqua into a strolling art gallery, Art Around Town gives artists the opportunity to install their work in local shops for the month of June. A vibrant celebration of art, music, and community, the opening night kick-off included receptions at the participating merchants with wine, food, and the artists to discuss their work, which is all for sale via NWAG. All over town, community-members excitedly observed the artwork and engaged with the artists, entering stores and mingling with merchants in the process.
Between the beautiful weather, the breathtaking work of the 29 participating artists, and the live music from Jimmy Tate, it was a truly lovely evening. “Art Around Town is a great event that provides artists with an opportunity to showcase their work while bringing our community together to support our local businesses. Our merchants need and deserve our support and it was great to see so many residents doing just that,” stated Robert Greenstein, Town Supervisor.
When asked about the inspiration behind the idea for Art Around town, Peg Kafka Sackler, Co-Found of NWAG, adds: “There was a group of us trying to find something that could put Chappaqua on the map, and re-engage our community as a hub for visual arts. We are a typical small town, surrounding NYC and looking to capture some of the vibrancy that the arts can infuse into a community. This collaborative event connects the artist, the merchants, the town governance and the community members with a sense of pride and town spirit.” And for everyone in attendance, the electric spirit of the event was palpable. From Randi Childs’s beautiful photographs, to Jessie Rubin’s striking pop art which many described in awe as “happy art,” to Rhonda Hurwitz’s paintings inspired by her daughter’s jewelry line, town was saturated with art of every kind. The talent possessed by these artists is nothing short of spectacular. If you find yourself in town during the month of June, you won’t regret taking the time to walk through the stores and appreciate the artwork hanging proudly on the walls.
Rachel White, whose impressive equestrian paintings are up for display in town, shared with me the most important thing she learned from her transition from a corporate career to her art career, stating: “What I have learned from all of my experiences is that it is important to surround yourself with things that you find beautiful.” In saying this, she perfectly captured how the event transformed our town: it surrounded us with beauty. But beauty wasn’t just found in the incredible artwork. With the juxtaposition of lively conversation and silent thought, beauty could also be found in the way our town came together to appreciate art, celebrating local artists and the beautiful things they create in the process.