There are so many reasons people love New England, from lobsters and lighthouses to fall foliage, mountains and rivers. You can even create a mosaic of images from all over the country, and that’s exactly what the Agawam community of artists and artisans asks people to do.
It’s called the New England Mosaic Project. The artists distributed a total of 144 6 x 6 inch canvases to libraries in Southwick, West Springfield, Agawam and Westfield Athenaeum. The public is invited to take one home and use any artistic medium to create their favorite New England scene on the canvas. Canvases are free and available on a first-come basis.
The deadline for decorating and returning canvases to libraries is June 1. The Agawam Community of Artists and Craftsmen will then collect them and use them to create a mosaic.
“It’s the first time we’ve created such a mosaic and we chose a New England theme,” explains Ceil Rossi, president of the organization. “New England is so colorful in the fall and summer, we can go out and plant flowers. You have the seaside, 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 August 27-28. During the festival, people will be able to buy the canvas tiles between 15 and 20 dollars. All proceeds from the sale will be used to fund scholarships for local students studying the visual arts. The scholarships will be available for students from Agawam, Southwick, Westfield and West Springfield.
“We try to bring everyone together and involve the whole community. We are happy to do something that helps our students pursue careers in the arts,” says Rossi.
For her part, Rossi paints a picture of two huge snapping turtles that she saw on a walk near her home. She hopes other people will create their favorite images. Rossi believes the project will spark community interest in the arts.
“It creates excitement in the community. With everything going on in the world, it’s good for people to get away from it all and see the beauty of what’s happening in the arts,” says Rossi. “Its very important.”