WAS this Weekend

Mark your calendars- February Open Studios at Western Avenue Studios not only comes at a great time to pick up a few things for your Valentine but also features our Gifts from the HeART event. Visit participating studios, collect stickers, and enter for a chance to win a Western Ave Studios gift card. Open Studios is Feb 6th from 12:00 to 5:00 and is free to park and attend.

The Loading Dock Gallery at Western Avenue Studios continues to feature “Fresh Visions,” an exhibit with over a hundred works created by Lowell High School student artists.


Garry D. Harley, in studio #310, is featured in the anniversary issue of Art Tour International.

“Love & Murder: Art to Die For!” an exhibit featuring work from more than two dozen Western Avenue artists, curated by Liz Stewart and Regina McGearty, with an interactive storyline created by Renee Mallett continues at the Ayers Loft Gallery.

Copies of “The Alice in Wonderland Anthology” featuring artwork and a story by Renee Mallett are now available at the “Love & Murder: Art to Die For!” exhibit at the Ayers Loft Gallery and online from Amazon.



Featured Artist – John Welch – John Francis Designs – Studio 102

Our newest Featured Artist is woodworker John Welch! You’ve seen his beautiful work, now learn a little bit about the man behind John Francis Designs!

Q: Tell us a little bit about your background. Where are you from? Where did you study? How long have you been an artist?

A: I am a native Lowellian and still live in Lowell with my wife Kara. I’ve always been a maker and doer of sorts, though the type of woodworking I’m doing now has developed over the past few years. My interest in carving began with making cooking spoons in our garage. I enjoy cooking and I thought it would be great to be able to cook with a spoon I made by hand. It grew from there, until I ran out of room in the garage and rented a studio at Western Ave in September 2014.

Q: What is the first thing you remember making/creating by hand?

A:  I am fortunate to have grown up in a very hands on environment. I remember making Christmas ornaments with my parents when I was about 5 year old. They saved the metal lids of frozen juice containers, my mother would make dots with a marker in the shape of snowflakes, trees, etc, and I’d use a hammer and nail to punch out the pattern. That was one of the many creative activities my family would do together. I’ve been told a lot of family and friends still hang them on their trees!

Q:  What is your biggest obstacle with your art?

A: I would have to say time! I have more ideas kicking around than I have time to make. I try to work as efficiently as possible, and I’m slowly working my way down the list. I’m always discovering new techniques and directions I’d like to take my work, but my biggest obstacle is always time.

Q: Describe a typical art creativity session. What is it like? For example, do you work in silence, or do you work to music? Do you prefer to be alone, or do you need people around?

A:  I typically work alone, but I almost never work in silence. I listen to a lot of audio books and podcasts which sometimes help inspire my creativity. If I am doing any work that requires measurements or I’m feeling a little burnt out, I’ll switch over to music to help me zone in…or out.

Q:  What advice do you have for someone just starting out as an artist?

A:  Start making art! It doesn’t matter what your medium is, just start creating. Chances are it won’t be great to start, that’s OK! That is good, that shows you that there is room to grow. For me that is where the fun is, growing from one piece to the next.

Q:  Tell us about some of your goals for the next 6-12 months.

A:  Currently I tend to make functional pieces. I’m planning on dedicating some time for purely sculptural pieces. I really want to explore some free form carving and experiment with different carved textures and see where that leads me.

*You can meet John in his Studio 102 on First Saturday Open Studios. Stop by and say Hello!!





WAS this Weekend- January 2016 edition

Western Avenue Studio’s artists are starting the new year off right with a host of new work, new shows, and new opportunities for art lovers. 

Don’t forget to join the artists of Western Avenue Studios this Saturday for the first Open Studios of 2016. The studio building will be open to the public from noon to 5:00. Free parking and no cost to attend the event.

This month Loading Dock Gallery at Western Avenue Studios features “Fresh Visions” over a hundred works created by Lowell High School student artists.Reception to be held on Saturday January 2nd from 5:00 to 7:00

Renee Mallett (studio #A411) has both artwork and a story included in a new anthology that has just been released this past week. The “Alice in Wonderland Anthology” features a collection of work by dozens of writers and artists that were inspired by the classic Lewis Carroll books “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking-Glass.” The new Alice anthology can be purchased online on Amazon in both a deluxe full color version or a black and white edition. Copies will be available soon in the studio.

Walk on the Moon Jewelry will be debuting their new “October’s Tale Candleworks” line of small batch, hand poured, all natural Soy Wax Candles! This month’s fragrances include Lemon Pond Cake, Lavender, Coriander & Tonka, and Unscented! Stop by Studio A206 each month for new fragrances & original blends!

Nan Hockenbury has an exhibit of her work “Myths of Creation” at the Groton Library, 99 Main Street, Groton until January 17th. Nan will be speaking on Sunday, January 10th at 3pm, the reception is from 2-3:30.

Kathy Clericuzio’s colored pencil artwork titled “Ears Two You” is part of the Invitational Members Exhibition at the Whistler House Museum of Art, 243 Worthen St., Lowell from November 18th through January 16th


Linda Branch Dunn, in studio #512 is having an excellent sale in her studio this Saturday. 50% off of all Christmas items.

The Onyx Room, Western Ave Studios premier event space, is showing artwork by the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Lowell through January 22nd. A reception for the show will be held in the Onyx Room on January 2nd from 5:00 to 7:00.

Happy New Year from all of us at Western Avenue Studios!