ARToberfest celebrates Fall October 5th and 6th on Western Avenue

Art. Food. Beer. Soul. Lowell.

Western Avenue is the creative soul of Lowell for a reason. Here you’ll find over 330 artists making what moves them. You’ve seen their work at galleries, art centers, library shows, sculpture parks, coffee shops, fairs and festivals. They teach in your kids art classrooms.  Their wares can be found in local gift stores and boutiques. And maybe on the walls and shelves of your friends homes, in their closets and kitchen cupboards.  What makes WA Open Studios so special is now you get to meet them and bring their art to your home and community.

Join us October 5th and 6th as the artists open their doors to share their creative passions with you, celebrate the changing of the season, and how New England and the Merrimack Valley inspire them. It’s a fun day to chat it up and discover the life of an artist or craftsperson. How they came to their medium, what training they have had, how it has influenced their lives. In return – you’ll have an incredibly soul nourishing day.

ARToberfest runs from noon until 5pm each day. There is no admission and plenty of free parking as well as an overflow lot with shuttle bus service.

WA is made up of two sections – the 5 story STUDIOS buildings and the 2 story LOFTS that the artists call home.  Make sure it stop in both sites and explore our repurposed mill buildings – they will amaze you almost as much as the art hanging in them!

Make sure to stop by the Loft’s second floor Storage Closet Gallery for their show : CHILDREN: artists unified against family separation.  The exhibition brings together artwork from 35 artists who demand change on the government’s policy of undocumentd family separation. The closing reception is from 3-5pm. There will be two participatory events from 2-4pm. Raise Up Your Hands is a community mural project.  1000 Gifts of Decolonial Love by artist Ju-Pong Lin is a performance and epic instructional video poem.

So What Else Goes On During ARToberfest?

We’ve got two Make and Takes! Saturday from 1-3pm in Studio A303 you can paint your own ceramic pumpkin with Nooshin for $5. And both days in Studio 417 Suzanne Hodge will be having fun helping you customize your own coaster for just $1 each. Kristen Higgins will be hosting a free photography mini-workshop in Studio 121. Focus will be on upping your manual shooting skills on a DSLR camera and as a refresher for your basic skills. It will run from 1-1:45 each day. Bring your camera and learn from @captainkbombs!

Ongoing demos will be happening all weekend on the 4th floor. In Studio 407a Nita will be  doing demos on traveling sketchbooks, easy ink work and water colors. In Studio 418 Denise will have an ongoing demo in pastels of her recent trip to Eastern Europe. In Studio 420 eKnits4U will be doing knitting and crocheting demos. And finally Tarja in Studio A412 will be creating decorative patterns with paper, which she will use in her weaving demo.

Saturday features the Loading Dock Gallery’s reception from 4-6pm for their New England Regional Juried Show entitled “Repetition, Replication, Variation”, which showcases how artists use repetition and replication of images, patterns, shapes and other elements to convey an aesthetic, a message, movement or a feeling to showcase evolution, contrast and variations of ideas and concepts.  Afterwards from 6-7:30pm the Lowell Writers Group will feature a Poetry Convergence that will respond to the art hanging in the Gallery. The words will be bouncing off the walls!!

We know it’s a big place to walk around so we’ve got sustenance. Brew’d Awakening will be serving up coffee and tea.  Saturday’s food truck is Empanada Dada and dessert vendor is Sweet Lydia’s. Sunday’s food truck is Chicks n’ Dogs and the dessert vendor is Clyde’s Cupcakes. Navigation Brewing will be serving up their craft beer on into the evening.

And because they are so awesome, Sunday a crew from Dick Blick‘s Cambridge store will hang out from noon until 4pm with some arty give-aways, coupons, and their Prize Wheel for free swag – sweeeeeet!

Artwork in this post: George Middleton, Storage Closet Gallery, Wendy James, Karen Christians, David Drinon.

Art for the giving.  Art for the keeping.  Art for the tasting.  Art for the making.

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