WAS this Weekend – March 18th Edition

Dogs rule at Western Avenue Studios. Check out the pampered life of a studio dog and how the furry visitors in the building have inspired some of our artists.


The Loading Dock Gallery at Western Avenue Studios is featuring “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird,” an exhibit of work by three different visual artists who were inspired by the Wallace Stevens’ poem of the same name. The exhibit ends March 27th so be sure to check out this great show before it’s gone.

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“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.

Putting on the Dog

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:

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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

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Lois Mitchell in Loft 213  can make a custom pet portrait for you based off a photograph

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Ron Weed, in studio 205, offers airbrushed pet portraits

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Here’s studio dog Madeleine modeling her handmade dog sweater from As U R Studios, #513

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Ceramics by Nooshin, in A303, makes a variety of custom pet keepsakes

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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.

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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.

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WAS this Weekend – March 11th edition

Among the talented artists at Western Avenue Studios there are several who do custom house portraits. Check out this blog with a quick overview of these artists online here.


The Loading Dock Gallery at Western Avenue Studios is featuring “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird,” an exhibit of work by three different visual artists who were inspired by the Wallace Stevens’ poem of the same name.

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.

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Cheryl Polcaro, studio #323, has two pieces in the First Annual Juried Exhibition at The Milton Arts Center. This show was juried by Kaveh Mojtabai, the founder and director of Artscope magazine. The show runs from March 11th to April 1st with an opening reception on Friday March 11th from 7-9pm. One of her pieces, “Lepidoptera,” won a blue ribbon.


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.

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.

Our house, is a very, very fine house . . .

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

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Valerie Borgal, Studio #504

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Lois Mitchell, Loft #213

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Gary Destramp, Studio #A508

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WAS this Weekend – March 5th Edition

Come visit the largest artist studio building of it’s kind on the east coast during March Open Studios at Western Avenue Studios  Open Studios is March 5th from 12:00 to 5:00 and is free to park and attend.


The Loading Dock Gallery at Western Avenue Studios will be having an opening night reception for it’s latest exhibit. “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird” features three different visual artists work inspired by the Wallace Stevens’ poem of the same name.

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.

October’s Tale Candlewicks, part of Walk on the Moon studio in #A206, is featuring their new Gentlemen’s Candle Collection. The handpoured, small batch soy candles come in manly scents like Elementary (Hints of Tobacco & Cherry), Sparrow (Clean Bay Leaf and a spike of Caribbean Rum), Johnny, Jack & Jim (Bourbon Whiskey & Vanilla), Barbershop (like a real old time Barbershop)!


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. The exhibit begins March 3rd and will be on display through April 5th.

 


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
vjb@valeriejeannesart.com or call 978-658-4693 to make an appointment.

Featured Artist – Laurie Simko – Studio A512

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

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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.

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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.

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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.
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*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.

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.

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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!