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Community Art Club: a happy medium between art and volunteering

Miller School
Club leader, sophomore Allie Lu, works at the Miller School.

Chloe Morbelli, Arts and Entertainment Editor

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One of WA’s newest additions – Community Art Club – joined the network of clubs as of September 2017. The club, a happy medium between community service and traditional art, is different from the rest. Sophomores Allie Lu and Vaidehi Patel collaborated with art teacher Ed Hardy to make their idea a reality.

The initial inspiration for the club stemmed from Lu volunteering at two local organizations, Cameron Senior Center and Partners for Youth with Disabilities (PYD). Lu has experience working with these groups, having previously volunteered and worked as an art teacher, and decided to partner up with them to execute their club.

“I wanted to bring the Westford Academy community together with these two [organizations] through this club. We thought it was a great way to bring volunteers and artists together in the community,” Lu explained.

Both Lu and Patel have an interest in art, and through the classes and their club they can tend their niche.

Creating the club was a long process that required much planning. Mid-freshman year, Lu came up with the idea and shared it with Patel. Deciding to collaborate on this project, final plans were made over the summer. Dean Betsy Murphy reviewed a presentation explaining the club’s concept and goals. The girls’ struggle was differentiating Community Art from two of WA’s other clubs, Community Service Club and Art Club.

From the start, the club received a decent amount of popularity. Freshman orientation filled over two sign up pages. Upon the school year commencing, Community Art Club’s first meeting was successful, with students curious after hearing about the club’s neat concept. A typical club meeting brings in around 10-15 students.

The club’s agenda revolves around different art projects that give back to the community. Community Art Club’s first project was creating Diwali decorations and flyers for the Cameron Senior Center. Others include making and sending cards to veterans through PYD, repainting the playground at the Miller School, and “Meals on Wheels” where the students made cards that were given out with each meal at the Cameron Senior Center.

The club’s current venture is the “Memory Project”, where students create portraits of children from third world countries and send their final work to the children.

“We get a picture of them, their favorite color, name, and age. We draw until our due date. It makes them so happy, and that’s so nice. They get to keep them forever,” Patel described.

Lu and Patel describe meetings to be relaxed and different upon each gathering. There is always a variety of activities for all skill levels with each project, ranging from concept design to calligraphy and electronic art. The club’s purpose, strong and intentful, drives the growth and energy of Community Art Club.

Patel said, “the purpose is to bring people who don’t think they are good enough for art, together, to be able to help out, and for [the club] to not be pressurizing. We want to be inclusive of everyone.”

If interested, Community Art Club meets every other Thursday in room 115. Students of all art skill levels are welcomed and encouraged.

“At our club, we want to stress the importance of how you don’t need to be an amazing artist to join. As long as you want to help out through a creative way,” Lu said.

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Community Art Club: a happy medium between art and volunteering