LIVE, WORK, BE INSPIRED
CELEBRATING ART AND THE ART OF THE HANDMADE
The raison d’etre for Western Avenue is to nurture the arts and the artist. We give artists the basic tools necessary – space, access, affordability, community – and let them take it from there. We hope reading this will inspire you to consider making it your creative home.
Western Avenue is made up of artists, artisans, musicians, photographers, architects and designers who have come together to create a supportive and vibrant community that values the personal endeavor that is the making of their art. The community is the heart and soul of Western Avenue and those who work here go on to spread their creativity into Lowell, the Merrimack Valley, all of New England and beyond.
It is our goal to give stability to that effort by keeping Western Avenue a permanently affordable home for artists.
A LITTLE HISTORY
Western Avenue Studios came into existence in 2005 with 35 artist studios sharing the old textile mill complex with commercial tenants in 265,000 square feet of space. By 2012 the Studios buildings were 100% artist occupied. Also in 2012, the former spinning mill renovation was completed, and Western Avenue Lofts opened up the doors to 50 live / work lofts and the artists moved in. By 2016, the entire Western Avenue campus had been renovated and turned into creative spaces for over 350 artists and a brewery. We believe this makes Western Avenue the second largest artist community in the United States.
You can see the vestiges of the years of wear and care in the worn wooden or metal machine shop floors. The giant beams that line the ceilings. Brick walls everywhere. Layers of paint that speak to almost two hundred years in service. And its location on the Pawtucket Canal – the power source for running the mills’ operations.
WESTERN AVENUE STUDIOS
Western Avenue Studios provides 250 affordable work only studios ranging from 150 to 800 square feet.
- Ceilings are 14’ and walls 8’ high – every studio has at least one window.
- Common seating area for socializing or discussion groups on each floor.
- Common utility and sink room and restrooms on each floor.
- 24/7 access to the building with loading dock and freight elevator.
- Storage space available for rent.
WA Studios rent for approximately one half to one third of comparable studio space in Boston. Rent is inclusive of heat, basic electric and wifi, off street parking.
While usually full, studios do become available throughout the year – please check our website for availability and for information on how to be put on our wait list. July is the time of year when the Studios have the most space available for rent as it is the start of our lease year.
The Studios along with the Lofts host Open Studio event year round – either in person or virtually.
WESTERN AVENUE LOFTS
Western Avenue Lofts provides 50 live/work spaces for working artists who are juried in to the building. The Lofts range in size from 850 to 1650 square feet. Residents pay for electric and water. The Lofts have:
- Concrete floors and large windows.
- Simple, full kitchen and bath
- High ceilings (from 12 ½ – 14’ on the first floor; up to 25’ on the second floor).
- Choose from canal side with southern light or street side with northern light.
Artists are allowed to build out their spaces in a manner that best suits their lifestyle and work habits within building code.
- The Lofts are pet friendly
- Each Loft has two parking spaces
- On site laundry room
- Shared community garden with raised beds
- Outdoor space to both work and relax
Western Avenue is just a short walk from the commuter rail line out of Boston’s North Station and is easily reached by car from the Lowell Connector.
If you are yearning for a community of like-minded creatives in which you can share your work, be inspired by others, and come together to engage and share your vision – Western Avenue might just be the right home for you.
Please email [email protected] or call our office at 978-710-8605.