Navigating uncharted waters.

Getting creative in new ways.

Making art during a pandemic – words I never thought I would say in the same sentence. Covid-19, commonly known as the Coronavirus, has thrown the world quite the knuckleball. But the human spirit is a beautiful thing, coupled with our potential for creativity. As non-essential businesses continue to be closed and large gatherings canceled, people have started coming up with creative ways to stay connected during this time – from Zoom meetings and  Facebook Live sessions to offering new services. Our community has been adapting as well, learning from our recent first-ever Virtual Open Studios. We are learning new ways to engage with supporters of the arts during a time where they can’t fill our building with their questions and warmth.

Learning new tricks.

Resident artist George Middleton is a fine art painter specializing in nature and landscapes. In the days leading up to our first Virtual Open Studios, George spent countless hours researching and learning how to do a Facebook Live session. In his many years of painting, George never thought that live streaming would become part of his process. Come Virtual Open Studios, George kicked off his live streaming with an introduction of who he is and what he does, bringing viewers into his space, from the comfort of their own homes. The live stream continued as George took viewers on a tour of his loft, showing and discussing the various paintings of his on display. A Facebook Live session from a painter wouldn’t be complete without some actual painting, so George worked on a painting for the viewers. The experience was terrific – and George will be doing it again.  Check out George’s latest artwork on his website.


George Middleton working on a painting inside his loft.


Alicia Thomas’ latest batch of pet portrait prints.


Kristen Higgins showing our new norm.


Henry Marte’s latest Lowell based prints.

Sketching with love.

Resident artist Alicia Thomas is a well-known tattooist out of The Boston Tattoo Company in Somerville MA. Alicia is a printmaker by education and a tattooist by trade, giving her lif the perfect balance between her artwork and process. With her tattoo shop closed for the foreseeable future, Alicia took her talents and love for animals and morphed them into a new service she could offer. Beautifully detailed sketches of pets as portraits, sketched with love, as Alicia is a fellow pet owner herself. With each line and shade, she makes sure to perfectly capture the beauty of each pet. While most of Alicia’s pet portrait commissions have been cats and dogs, she has drawn some unique pets as well like bunnies. Would you like your special pet captured in a unique portrait? Alicia is still taking on new inquiries for commissions, send her an email at the following address. [email protected]

You can also see more of her work on her website.

Photographing in a time of social distancing.

What do photographers do when their events and sessions are canceled? Kristen Higgins of K.H Photography and Henry Marte of Marte Media shifted their focus, building online stores to sell prints, showcasing their work, and making their photos more accessible than ever before. They made sure to offer a wide variety of photographic artwork, so as their online efforts found new customers they were guaranteed to find the perfect piece that speaks to them. A new photography innovation that both Kristen and Henry have been diving into is remote photoshoots. Photographing people using today’s technology and doing it from many miles away, even beyond borders. Like a collaboration, Henry did with fellow photographers in Toronto Canada at the Neon Demon Studio.

You can find prints for sale and their websites by clicking the links below.

Kristen Higgins: Prints | Website

Henry Marte: Prints | Website

Building off the success from our first ever Virtual Open Studios, we are hosting another one in place of our June Open Studios. This VOS promises to be even better and bigger than our previous virtual event. Our artists are excited to show you what they’ve been working on. We’ve got studio tours, demos, talks, artwork, and more planned for this virtual open studios!

So make sure you RSVP on our Facebook event page, so you don’t miss out on anything!

June Virtual Open Art Studios at Western Avenue