Art exhibitions and musical performances coming to Westgate
Over the last year a revival of art and culture has blossomed from the Westgate community.
Residents consider the neighborhood is a hidden gem on the Westside, but recent initiatives aim to unearth the creative spark of those who live there.
The Westgate Neighborhood Association will present the inaugural Arts in the Park every Sunday through September from 2-4 p.m. at Westgate Park on the south side of its pond.
According to event coordinator Patti Von Niessen, the idea sprung from a visit to Goodale Park’s summer music series. Knowledgeable of the amount of artists living in her community, she said there was no reason they could not hold their own festival.
Every artist, musician and performer featured at Arts in the Park either lives in Westgate or has strong connections to the neighborhood.
Niessen secured $10,000 in grant money from the Greater Columbus Arts Council, United Way and the city of Columbus. Most of the money went toward renting a stage for musical performances.
Visitors will hear a variety of musical styles, ranging from country rock to folk and pop.
The diversity of Westgate’s residents is highlighted through the Irish tunes of the General Guinness Band, African drums styling of Imani and a performance in American Sign Language.
Local artist Aaron Grover will spearhead a new mural project at the park, which celebrates the bicentennial of Columbus. The mural will be 8-feet tall, 20-feet wide and placed opposite the history of Westgate and Camp Chase mural.
“The mural will depict 200 children playing in Westgate Park. We are very fortunate to have an artist in the neighborhood to take on a project of this magnitude, especially one that captures the spirit of the community and the event,” Niessen said.
The children playing in the park during the festival will be the youthful figures captured in the mural, becoming a visual time capsule.
Niessen said the festival includes activities for children, like face painting and a sugar skull workshop. Sugar skulls are a Hispanic custom that commemorates loved ones who have passed away.
“This is a chance to see art on the Hilltop and all the neighborhood offers,” Neissen said.
For information, find Westgate Arts in the Park on Facebook.com.
Arts in the Park schedule