In a year like this one it should come as no surprise that the “Primped Out Pumpkin Contest,” one of the annual events at ARToberfest, had it’s share of political commentary. Shanna Thompson, of studio 210, took things a step further and let ARToberfest visitors vote for their choice for President.
The results of this pre-election by artists and art-lovers followed national polls. Hillary took the lead over the Trumpkin – but not by as much as you’d think (or hope depending on your political bent.) So take that as a warning, when it comes to elections nothing is ever for certain. In keeping in this spirit, Western Avenue Studios is an early voting location this year. Lowell residents are invited to skip the long election day lines and cast their vote early on Sunday October 30th, from 10:00 to 2:00, at Western Avenue Studios, located at 122 Western Ave, in Lowell, MA.
Also on the ballot is your chance to voice your opinion on your Representative in Congress, the Governor’s Councilor, the State Senator, State Representative, and Sheriff. You’ll also have your chance to weigh in on ballot Question One (an additional slot parlor), Question Two (expanding charter schools), Three (quality of life rights for farm animals) and Question Four (legalizing recreational marijuana.)
And don’t fret- early voters still get nifty “I voted” stickers!
Each year during ARToberfest weekend, Western Avenue Studios artists transform simple pumpkins into dramatic works of art! From fanciful fairy tale pumpkins to fretfully frightful abstractions, you’d be amazed at how a building full of artists use their creativity in an effort to win the coveted “People’s Preferred Pumpkin” prize. During ARToberfest weekend visitors were invited to wander the hallways and vote for their favorite creation.
This year the winner of the contest was in line to recieve The Great Pumpkin Trophy, created by artist Bruce Wood of studio #427, a $50 COOL gift certificate, and a Pumpkin Spice & Chill gift set, created by Amaranth & Rue Handmade Soaps, of studio #A302. Most importantly the winner would earn bragging rights for the next year.
Here are some of the creations that were entered into the contest:
The winners of the 2016 Primped Out Pumpkins Contest are . . . . . .
Third Place: Cheryl Polcaro, studio 323, with her Caterpillar Pumpkin
Second Place: Bruce Wood, studio 427, with his Scary-Go-Round
And our first place winner: Derek McGearty, studio A210, with his Scrapsapien Workers
Congrats to everyone who took part in this year’s contest!
The Whistler House Museum of Art has given their 2016 juried members exhibit a “wild” theme this year – and many of the artists at Western Avenue Studios have been included in the show. “Kingdom Animalia” shows off the animal loving side of art with more than eighty original pieces in a variety of mediums.
“The Kingdom Animalia exhibition came out of discussions of people’s love for pets, and we chose to expand the subject to include all animals,” says President and Executive Director Sara Bogosian. “The result is a wondrous array of paintings, drawings, sculpture, and fiber art of creatures large and small. It is an overwhelming and lovely exhibition that all ages will enjoy.”
Among the many works on display are several by WAS artists. Valerie Borgal, Joe Lapiana, Jack Homes, Art Ferrier, Kathy Lennon Clericuzio, Nita Leger Casey, Laurie Simko, Suzanne Hodge, Margot Mam Thach Ilene Richard, and Denise Rainis all have works represented in the show. Congratulations to Laurie Simko, who has three pieces in the show, one of which earned her a Whistler Award.
The “Kingdom Animalia” exhibit runs through June 18th. The museum is open to visitors Weds through Saturday, 11:00 to 4:00. Or visit the artists themselves in their studios the first Saturday of every month during Open Studios to see more of their work.
Happy National Proposal Day! Of course the artists at Western Avenue Studios are very inspired by love and marriage . . . and many have work that they cater specifically to couples looking to get married.
Any currently engaged couples, or people dreaming of the day the ywill be engaged, Western Avenue Studios will be having their very first Bridal Fair during Open Studios on May 6th in the Onyx Room. This unique wedding expo will be accompanied by three nights of a wedding themed Wearable Art Extravaganza – part fashion show, part performance art, part art exhibit the event will be a fun night out whether you’re wedding planning or not.
“Swarmed,” the new experimental novel by author Renee Mallett in studio A411, will be released this week. The book is fully illustrated by Michael Crockett, with cover art by Adam Miller. “Swarmed” will be debuting at the 3rd annual Beverly Comic Con on April 2nd. Renee most recently had artwork and a story included in the “Alice Anthology,” a collection of art and writing inspired by Lewis Caroll’s children’s classic.
|Tickets are now on sale for the third annual LoveCraft Wedding Event to be held March 20th in downtown Providence. Amaranth and Rue Handmade Soaps, studio #A411, will be part of this wedding expo that features elegant and unique vintage and handmade items from local makers. Tickets are $10 in advance and the first 50 couples through the door will recieve a swag bag.|
The Tewksbury Public Library will be showing “Landscapes,” an exhibit featuring artwork by local artists, including Western Avenue Studios artists Tom Borgal (studio 504), Val Borgal (studio 504), and Robert Crooker (studio 120. The exhibit begins March 3rd and will be on display through April 5th. There will be a reception for the event at the library on March 22.
There’s a lot of good reasons why artists decide to get studios at Western Avenue Studios. Community, a place to create, a beautiful historic setting. The dog-friendly nature of the building is just one great added bonus. Studio dogs are such a day to day feature of being an artist at Western Ave Studios that the hashtag #Dogs ofWesternAve has popped up on Instagram and Facebook. The life of a studio dog is a pretty exhausting one, as you can tell by seeing these hard-working pups in action:
Of course, if you’re going to put a bunch of creative people in one spot and then add some dogs into the mix you’re going to end up with lots of art about pets and for pets and for their owners.
Many of the dogs of Western Ave have become the subjects of the colorful dog paintings done by artist Ilene Richard in studio 325
Lois Mitchell in Loft 213 can make a custom pet portrait for you based off a photograph
Ron Weed, in studio 205, offers airbrushed pet portraits
Here’s studio dog Madeleine modeling her handmade dog sweater from As U R Studios, #513
Ceramics by Nooshin, in A303, makes a variety of custom pet keepsakes
Amaranth & Rue, studio A411, recently expanded their line of naturally luxurious soaps and skincare to include pet products like paw and nose balm and doggie shampooch as well.
Of course not every place is as quick to allow people to have or bring their pets. Luckily Jay Hungate, studio 524, has some adoptable beasts of a much different sort that should appeal to those who don’t have the space, time, or inclination for a dog.
Katherine DuBose Fuerst is offering 3 day “Introduction to Paperclay” workshops in her loft for $135. Classes fill up fast so reserve your spot by contacting Katherine through her website here.
Jacki Robichaud of Jack Attack Clothing, studio 223, will be debuting a 28 look collection at the 7th annual Finding Hope With Fashion Show. The show begins at 6;00 on March 13th at the Wyndham Boston Adover Hotel in Andover, MA. Tickets are $20 and 100% of the proceeds from this show will be donated to Into Action Recovery, Inc.
As the old saying goes, home is where the heart is, so maybe it should come as no surprise that house portraits have seen increasing popularity in recent years. Whether you’re looking to honor your own house, give a thoughtful housewarming gift, or to create a gift that will remind your parents of your beloved childhome home Western Avenue Studios has many artists that create custom house portraits. Here are some artists to consider if a custom home portrait is in your future.
Nita Leger Casey, Gingerbread Art Studios, studio #407
Valerie Borgal, Studio #504
Lois Mitchell, Loft #213
Gary Destramp, Studio #A508
Amaranth and Rue Handmade Soaps, in studio #A411, will have several items from their new line of petcare items for sale in their studio. Dog shampoos and pet nose & paw balms will be debuting this weekend.
Take a trip to Maine’s Monhegan Island without ever leaving Western Ave Studios. Val Borgal will be showcasing six years worth of watercolors of this beautiful Maine island in studio #504 for the next two months. Unable to make the Open Studio event? Contact
firstname.lastname@example.org or call 978-658-4693 to make an appointment.