The Student News Site of Westfield High School

Hi's Eye

The Student News Site of Westfield High School

Hi's Eye

The Student News Site of Westfield High School

Hi's Eye

The wicked and wild windows of Westfield

Photo by Sara Burrick
WHS senior Hannah Plummer and her mother Stacy Plummer painted the windows of Boxwood Coffee on E.Broad St.

While walking in downtown Westfield, you may notice abstract murals on the local shops’ windows. These murals are a part of the Wicked Windows of Westfield, a program where artists of any age and background can volunteer to create designs for local shops. The designs on the windows go up Oct. 1 and stay up through Nov. 8, allowing everyone over a month to enjoy and admire each and every design.

The creation of these murals are all volunteer-based. The town council calls for volunteers on its Facebook page. Anyone from a sports team to a skilled artist can sign up to paint a window. Once all the names are collected, the council pairs the artists with merchants who asked for their window to be painted.

As this festival became more popular over the years, more people have been wanting to volunteer. Councilwoman Dawn Mackey said, “Artists and grown-ups talk about how fun it is for them to have a day to create something for the community. This is something that they genuinely enjoy doing. ”

Not only does this program help local businesses, but it has also brought joy to many aspiring artists as well.  WHS senior Hannah Plummer painted a mural at Boxwood Coffee for Wicked Windows and thinks these murals help to bring the Westfield Community together. “Valuing creativity is the most important thing we could do as a town,” she said. As she painted, she was stopped by many onlookers complimenting her work. Plummer added, “It made me happy to make them happy.”

Mackey created this tradition in 2018 as a way to get more movement in town and to bring more business to local shops and restaurants. She wanted something original, something no other town could replicate. She said, “Charles Addams was that light bulb moment.”

While these murals are not exclusively connected to the AddamsFest event, most designs mirror the gothic style of Charles Addams. A New York cartoonist for most of his life, Addams created abstract artwork integrating his own sense of humor. Mackey encourages the artists to lean into his sense of humor while still maintaining the family-friendly atmosphere.

This year’s theme was “The Wild and Curious Creatures of Addams and Gorey” which is why there are fantastical creatures displayed on windows. This year, spectators can see creatures from Where The Wild Things Are on the windows of Boxwood as well as mythical creatures on Salad House.

Volunteers work with the store owners to incorporate their business into the mural to create a more personal connection. An employee from J.McLaughlin, a small boutique on Elm St., said, “Our painter researched our store extensively and tried to incorporate items we would see in our shop.”

Merchants can also request things to incorporate in the design. J.McLaughlin managers asked for the mural to have pink items to support Breast Cancer during the month of October. With the murals set to come down next week, this is the last chance to see the local artists’ hard work. Next time you are walking downtown, be sure to check out all the designs.

Leave a Comment

Comments (0)

All Hi's Eye Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *