Art: Brickbottom Open Studios
As part of this OpenIDEO challenge, they asked that we go out and experience our own communities, and to see whether we felt vibrancy or decline. Since this was the weekend of the Brickbottom Open Studios, I headed there. I’ve lived in Somerville on and off for 6 years, but hadn’t been to their open studios yet. I found it to be a really fun and vibrant experience, with some really excellent art, music, sculpture, and installation pieces. And most everyone there was welcoming and friendly. Here’s a short slideshow of highlights from that visit:
The Brickbottom is an industrial area of Somerville, between the elevated McGrath Highway and bordered by train tracks. These lofts, an old factory, have been for a long time an artist enclave, with their own gallery space and annual open studios. Their open studios in the fall mesh well with the broader Somerville Open Studios in the spring, which open people’s houses and studios from across Somerville to the public. It was exciting to find such a sense of community in an area of the city that is literally cut off from the rest by the urban structures, and consequently not an area with a high walking score. Highlighting the arts and finding a way to draw in visitors is a wonderful way to bring people to that area.
There are future plans for the Green Line subway extension to put stops in the Brickbottom area, which will go further toward invigorating that space. But for now, these open studios are an excellent way to bring people over for a visit.
Some of the artists I visited:
Jill Valle, jillvalle.com
Marjorie Forte, marjorieforte.com
Wally Gilbert, wallygilbert.artspan.com
Lois Fiore, loisfiore.com
For more information:
Categories: Photography, Urban Planning
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