Architectural Paintings with a Twist. Featured Artist: Mike Gruber. Western Avenue Studio: 112.

Experimental, Whimsical, & Lighthearted – Western Avenue Studios Artist Association (WASAA) member Michael Gruber enjoys distorting architectural compositions.  This father of two received his architectural degree from Iowa State.  Born and raised in Lowell, he enjoys painting local scenes and iconic buildings that evoke nostalgia.  Approximately 10 years ago, he started taking art lessons at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education.  Prior to joining the Western Avenue community in July 2018, he painted above his garage in Lexington and in a small commercial space in Arlington.

His Process of Manipulation – Mike begins each piece by experimenting with various compositions through a series of thumbnails in his sketchbook.  Once a strong distorted composition emerges, he begins his oil painting process by transferring his sketch onto a black canvas using a grid system.  Using a reduced color palette, he develops sweeping curves or focal points that create unique architectural perspectives. While painting, Mike likes to listen to podcasts.  Once a piece is finished, Mike encloses the canvas with a white or black wooden frame that he makes himself. 

Significant Influences – During his childhood, Mike’s parents encouraged him to pursue art by enrolling him in art classes.  In high school, he took drafting classes and spent a lot of his free time drawing buildings and city scenes.  According to Mike, Linda McCluskey and James Michalopoulos are the two artists that have influenced his work the most.

Visiting Western Avenue Studios and Lofts – Mike is often in his studio Monday through Friday from 9:00am to 3:00pm.  He will also be open during our next Open Studios on Saturday, April 6, 2019 from 12 – 5 p.m.  Stop by and see his pieces for yourself!

 

Feeling Lucky? Here’s Your Chance to Win Our “Patches for Pets” Quilt

Several Western Avenue Studios artists and friends have created a patchwork quilt to benefit the Lowell Humane Society.  During our March Open Studios (12-5 p.m.) on Saturday, March 2nd, the Lowell Humane Society will be onsite selling tickets for the quilt raffle in the A Mill Loading Dock.  Tickets can also be purchased online: http://bit.ly/patchesforpets

 

Contributors to this quilt include: Cornie Forster, Liz Smith, Sarah Stewart, Anna Belle Davis, Opal Goff, Shanna Rose Thompson, Annrose Thompson, Susan Stranc, Christine Quiry, Michele Boll MacKenzie, Suzanne Hodge, and Mary Dumas.

At 4:45 p.m. on March 2nd, the winner will be selected.  You do not have to be present at the time of the drawing to win.  The quilt can be shipped to winner, but a shipping fee will apply.

 

We also hope you will visit our artists’ studios and lofts.  There is so much to explore and see.  Admission and parking for this event are free.  Navigation Brewing Company will be open and Daddy’s Bonetown Burgers food truck will be on site that day as well.

If You’re an Art Lover, then You’ll Love Western Avenue Studios and Lofts

Whether you’ve been here before or it’s your first time, February is a great time to visit the artists at Western Avenue Studios and Lofts with your loved ones.

Make a Day of It!  Studios and lofts are open to the public from 12-5 p.m. Check out the variety of works created by the members of our creative community.  Grab a craft beer, grab lunch from Chicks and Dogs, visit the Onyx Room, or see Loading Dock Gallery’s member show “I Heart” from 4-6 p.m.

Gifts from the HeART Promotion. This fun activity happens during February Open Studios! Take a “Gifts from the HeART” postcard as you enter any of our buildings, explore Western Ave, and pick up stickers from participating studios and lofts. Turn in your postcard as you exit our buildings to be entered in for a chance to win a $25, $50, or $75 gift certificate!

Show Your Love on Social Media. If you love visiting Western Avenue as much as we enjoy sharing our passion with people like you, please show your love by posting some pictures of your visit to your social media account.  Be sure to tag your posts with #westernavearts.

Artoberfest at Western Avenue Studios and Lofts

Letting go of summer can be difficult especially in New England.  But, there is an incredible silver lining that comes with this annual change: the Fall.  For most of us, Fall brings forth an array of exciting stimuli such as: the crisp autumn air, aromas of all things apple, spectacular leaf displays, the soaring cheers of football fans, and all kinds of pumpkin flavored treats.  For Western Avenue artists, fall is also a very special time because we hold our annual Artoberfest!

Here’s what’s happening during Artoberfest this year…

  • Artists open up their studios and lofts to the public for two days ─ October 6th and 7th from 12-5 p.m.
  • Our historic mill buildings are the home of over 300 artists and have many corridors you can weave your way through – embark on your own art maze adventure.
  • Artist demonstrations will be held in a range of mediums so you can see how art is made.
  • Our artist designed pumpkin contest will once again delight visitors with the unusual and unexpected.  In addition, you can vote for your favorite pumpkin and be entered in for a chance to win a gift certificate.
  • The Loading Dock Gallery will be hosting a New England Regional Juried Show with Annual Poetry Convergence ─ not to be missed.
  • Navigation Brewery and Food Trucks (Phoenix Rising Pizza – October 6th; Chicks and Dogs – October 7th) will be onsite ─ enjoy a tasty snack and a handcrafted cold one.
  • The Onyx Room will be open for viewing if you are looking to rent a venue for an upcoming event.

Bring your family and friends ─ there is something for everyone to love!

Because our artists use a variety of mediums, there is bound to be something in our complex that will speak to every member of your family.  Both admission and parking for this event are free.  So, save the date for this awesome autumn celebration and join us for an artful experience your senses will surely not forget!

Check out our Facebook Event Page for further details!

Open Studios at Western Avenue Studios (Lowell, MA)

On the first Saturday of every month, Western Avenue Studios & Western Avenue Lofts artists open their doors to the public so that you can come browse their latest works. Come take a peek inside their work spaces and learn more about our artists.

We will be open on Saturday, mAY 6th, 2017, from 12-5PM.

Our artists always have new work to show, and new artists are opening, some of them for the first time. This is a great place for browsing art, chatting with the artists, and purchasing unique gifts for all.

Gift certificates available too!

This is a free event. Free parking available right next to our building.There will also be a new show in the Loading Dock Gallery with a reception from 5-7pm.

See you there! Invite your friends!

Open Studios at Western Ave Studios

On the first Saturday of every month, Western Avenue Studios & Western Avenue Lofts artists open their doors to the public so that you can come browse their latest works. Come take a peek inside their work spaces and learn more about our artists.

We will be open on Saturday, June 4, 2016, from 12-5PM.

Our artists always have new work to show, and new artists are opening, some of them for the first time. This is a great place for browsing art, chatting with the artists, and purchasing unique gifts for all.

Gift certificates available too!

This is a free event. Free parking available right next to our building.

We will also be joined by Mill City Grows this month who will be selling fresh fruits and vegetables from the C/D Mill Loading Dock.

Our food truck this month will be Souped up food for all of your food needs as you wander our huge mill buildings.

There will also be a new show in the Loading Dock Gallery with a reception from 5-7pm.

See you there! Invite your friends!

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:

doggies

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

ilene

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.

petcollage

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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