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.

Creaticity: Lowell Art & Maker Festival

The Cultural Organization of Lowell (COOL) is excited to announce Lowell’s first Art & Maker Festival will be happening this weekend, September 16-17, 2017 in downtown Lowell. CREATICITY will fill Market Street with art and culture of all types – artists and makers, writers, performers, music, interactive public art, and so much more.

Many of the artists, writers, and makers of Western Avenue Studios will be featured at this event. WAS artists vending on Market Street will be:

WAS artist Lisa Hertel will also be doing a free workshop, “Grow Your Own Wire Tree,” on Saturday at 4:30. Stephan Anstey is doing a workshop at 4:30 on Sunday entitled, “Coming Unstuck through Poetry.”

Creaticity is free and open to the public.Visitors can expect to see over 50 booths lining Market Street exhibiting fine art and artisan goods for sale, featuring works by local artists. Makers will showcase their creations or projects promoting science, technology and art. Stage and street performers will delight young and old alike, with music, theater, and dance. Free interactive workshops and demos will be held throughout the two-day festival, allowing visitors to learn and create their own art. Visit the writers corner to speak with local authors and listen to their works. The Revolving Museum will be creating a large public art piece, where the public can join in making the artwork over the course of the weekend. Walking tours will be led by members of the community, allowing visitors to learn more about Lowell’s public art scene, dance in Lowell, and innovation & invention.

May Open Studios

Pick up a unique Mother’s Day gift for Mom while you come visit where art is made!

On the first Saturday of every month, Western Avenue Studios and Western Avenue Lofts artists open their doors to the public so that you can come browse their latest works. Come take a peek inside and learn more about our artists. 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. Art at Western Avenue Open Studios is available in all price ranges.

This is a free event. Free parking available right next to our building or by a short, free shuttle ride away at the Stoklosa Middle School. See our guides at our building entrance if you need parking assistance.

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.

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.