WA Art Calendar creates nostalgia


Srinithi Raj

Hana Usmani’s front cover piece.

Srinithi Raj, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Every year, the Westford Academy Art Club curates 14 student artworks to adorn the club’s yearly calendar. This year’s artists were recently named, including students from grades ten to twelve, with junior Hana Usmani’s work on the cover. Art teacher Kelly Lampert cites how this year’s calendar is especially unique because of the more personal art pieces that were chosen. 

As the calendar is sold throughout the Westford community, most students opt to draw landmarks around the town for their entries. While this year’s batch continued to capture the Westford community, much of the focus was on students’ own experiences in town or their own day-to-day lives.

“Originally, students mostly drew things in Westford, so there was a lot of Roudenbush, Westford Common, and things like that. But since those buildings and landscapes have been done often, a lot of students decided to do things a little bit more personal, like many pets and artifacts to the artists that you can see in the yearbook,” Lampert said.

Echoing this idea of composing works that are both relatable to the community and also showcase one’s own experiences, artists such as Hana Usmani found it difficult to find this balance in choosing her submission piece. 

“I actually was stuck between choosing the farmers market picture and another picture which had a fun composition of donuts from Dunkin Donuts. My classmates gave their input and all of them chose the donut picture, but, I went with my teachers and parents’ advice and my instinct and chose the farmers market. I’m very glad I chose it,” Hana Usmani said. 

Choosing a piece that also captured one’s best artistic abilities was another factor that further complexified the process. 

“Drawing [my dog], I had the ability to play with fur texture and values. Fur is often a difficult characteristic to work with, so to successfully draw fur in this picture made me feel proud and showed my skills as an artist effectively,” winner Ivy Howard said. 

Nostalgia was a common theme for the winners of this year. Sophomore Daanya Usmani, who was also a winner this year, stresses the importance of choosing the right piece that can convey a message to those who see one’s work. 

“I feel a drawing should have a meaning, that you should be able to ‘read’ a drawing, in this case, Westford. My inspiration was my personal experience and the experience some of us can share from when we were younger; going to the park or playground and having fun, back in the good old days,” Daanya Usmani said.

Under Lampert’s guidance, each student was able to grow as an artist and experiment with new designs. For example, Daanya Usmani’s piece allowed her to tackle a new style of portraying condensed areas. 

“How I would draw the more condensed areas, trees, and show light concerned me as it was something I was yet to tackle. I improvised on these areas and went by the common technique of “trial and error” for the trees and light. I was scared to touch the paper because even my practice trees scared me, but I went along with my pencil strokes and was happy with the outcome,” Daanya Usmani said. 

Ultimately, to become a better artist, artists such as the Usmani sisters and Howard stress the importance of perseverance to not only excel in competitions but to also solidify one’s identity as an artist. 

“Be patient with yourself, you’ll get there, even if you are slow like me. […] The most important thing is to enjoy creating art, for the process and for the end result, and have a focus and know what you want,” Daanya Usmani said.