Featured Artist – Laurie Simko – Studio A512

Our newest Featured Artist is oil painter Laurie Simko! Here’s her story!

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 grew up in Needham, MA and went to California Institute of the Arts to get a BFA degree. I’ve drawn and painted throughout my life though not much when I was working full-time as a graphic designer, and as a mother of 2. My children are now self-sufficient and have tapered off my graphic design work. I devote most of my time to art-making which has been a life-long dream.

Q:  What do you love most about your art?

A: Art-making for me has elements of joy and struggle, satisfaction and frustration, confidence and doubt, which I think reflects the macrocosm of life. It’s a worthy and engaging struggle though and very much a part of my life. The best part of art-making for me is the mental challenge and contentment I feel producing my work.


Q: What is your biggest obstacle with your art?

A: One aspect I find difficult is the marketing and promotion of my work. It’s hard to both create and market one’s art. I’m not that good at it but am trying to “get out there” more in social media, galleries, etc.

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 almost always have music to listen to when I work. I love all kinds of music – it both sets the mood and inspires me. After working alone for many hours it’s nice to have a break and chat with neighbors. Then you can go back to look at your work and say, Wow, what a mess, or Hmm, looks okay.


Q:  Did you always know you wanted to make the art you make today? Did you start out in a different medium in the early days?

A: One painting leads to and informs the next, so it’s an ever-evolving process that unfolds organically. I couldn’t predict where I am now and have no idea where I’ll be in 5 years with my painting. I try to stay positive – hopefully growing and in a very good place.

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

A:  As with anything you want to do in your life one needs to be persistent – keep at it, stick with it and work hard through all the ups and downs. And always come back to what joy you had when you started out.

*You can meet Laurie in her Studio A512 on First Saturday Open Studios. Stop by and say Hello!!






WAS this Weekend- February 6th edition

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 is pleased to announce it’s latest exhibit- “The Painted Lady & The Glass Man: A Modern Fairytale.” The reception for this exhibit of works by Tracy Levesque and Peter Zimmerman will take place this Saturday immediately following Open Studios.

Art Ferrier, of studio #503, will be hanging his latest color photography at Bishop’s Legacy Restaurant in downtown Lowell this Sunday.

“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. There will be a special Valentine’s Gift Shopping event held at the gallery on February 11th, starting at 5:00.

Renee Mallett of Amaranth & Rue Handmade Soaps (available in studio #A411 and the Loading Dock Gallery) and Liz Stewart of Lush Beads (studio #A205) will be sharing a space at the 10th annual Great Burlesque Expo in Cambridge, MA this weekend.

Walk on the Moon jewelry, in studio #A206, has two great specials this weekend for Valentines. All heart jewelry will be 15% off. And limited edition Creme Brulee candles will be debuting this weekend in the studio.

On March 5th Pop Culture Place (studio #108) will be hosting the 2nd Annual Doll Show and Meet-Up in the Onyx Room. They currently have vendor tables available for people who make or sell doll specific items. You can find more info about being a vendor at the Doll Show at  www.BJDnerds.org

Jack Attack Clothing will be having a prom dress sample sale this weekend in studio #223. Long and short prom style dresses will be on sale with prices starting as low as $85! The sale will run for 12 to 4.

Diana Zipeto, of studio #A505, is currently showing her collage paintings at Brew’d Awakening on Market Street in Lowell. The show continues through Feb. 19th.

The COPPER MINE COLLECTION has moved across the hall into studio A315, combining space with WREN & ROSE STUDIO.  Please stop by and see our newly arranged accommodations for our JEWELRY and PHOTOGRAPHY. Mention that you saw the WAS this Weekend blog and take 10% off any purchase greater than $50.