Arlington Open Studios 2012 – the best yet!

Thanks to everyone who made Arlington Open Studios 2012 the best yet – Artists, Visitors, Volunteers, everybody – we can’t do it without you!

We heard so many great comments this year about the quality & variety of our artists and awesome musicians, the delicious food from our friends at Arlington’s flora restaurant , and the happy, fun, community vibe and spirit of the whole weekend.

Here’s a few of our favorite photos from the weekend:

Howard Lizotte’s encaustic paintings and Gloria Jewel Leitner’s photographs made the Atrium pop with vibrant color.

The Wicked Pickers performing their unique blend of jazz/swing/bluegrass & country music… a great sound and a fun soundtrack for Open Studios on Saturday!

Grace Schust (far left) came all the way from New Hampshire to participate in AOS. The paint on her brand new piece, “Surfacing,” was still drying the night before Open Studios!

Viewing all that artwork makes you hungry! Luckily, Arlington’s flora restaurant was on the scene, with Bob Sargent’s legendary flora faire!

The lovely Eileen deRosas with her beautiful ceramics. The next day, Eileen was off to Viet Nam for an artist residency – congratulations Eileen!

Batik artist Leora Mallach explaining the batik process to some Arlington Open Studios visitors.

A vibrant, seasonal display of pumpkin artwork by Lisa O’Connell.

Everyone got into the art-making act in our “Big Draw” room, joining up with “The Big Draw” Festival, celebrating drawing around the world with events all through October.

Arlington’s favorite Greek potter, Mike Stratatkis gave entertaining pottery wheel demos in the Gibbs Gallery. Does Mike look familiar? Maybe you know him from his “day job,” running My Brother’s Place Pizza on Broadway in Arlington!

The next big ceramics artist…! This little gal had a blast at Arlington Open Studios!

There’s more!
See the whole Arlington Open Studios Slideshow online.

We hope to see you for next year’s event, always the third weekend in October!


Kids’ “Images of Arlington” exhibit on display at the Mass State House

Senator Ken Donnelly loves Arlington – he grew up here, raised his children here, and now represents the town in the Massachusetts Senate.

Senator Ken Donnelly with one of the “Images of Arlington” Artists

So when Senator Donnelly and his staffers heard about ACA’s annual Kids’ Images of Arlington exhibit featuring artwork by all the town’s 5th graders, they wanted to help get the artwork seen – and for the second year in a row, highlights of the exhibit are now on view in the Senator’s offices at the State House, and will remain on display through the end of the summer.

At the State House reception for the Images of Arlington artists and their families, hosted by Senator Ken Donnelly, with special guests Sean Garballey and Jay Kaufman.

At a special reception for the young artists last month, Donnelly thanked the students for sharing their artwork, saying the drawings and paintings of the town help show people all the special things about Arlington, and help him convey the spirit of the Arlington community.

Visiting the Senate Chambers on the State House tour with Senator Donnelly

Before the reception, Senator Donnelly took the students and their families on a private tour of the State House, where we also met up with Arlington Representatives Sean Garballey and Jay Kaufman.  We even had a quick greeting from Governor Deval Patrick, which was a special and unexpected treat! 

ACA bling for the Senator! ACA Communications Director Linda Shoemaker, and Executive Director John Budzyna with gifts from the Arlington Center for the Arts.

Want to see more?

More photos from the State House Tour & Reception

Photos of the Award-winning artwork and Gallery Opening in April 2012

Blog Story about the Exhibit

Kids Remembering the Thompson School through Art

Last week, we shared some great moments from the Kids Images of Arlington (IOA) 5th grade art exhibit and opening reception awards ceremony.  Today, I want to share a small subset of images with a big story to tell.

Each year, Arlington’s 5th graders are asked to choose something they think is special or important about Arlington, and then to create a piece of art depicting their own special piece of A-Town.   The children’s artwork is always a wonderful, colorful, exuberant, and sometimes poignant look at the town through the eyes of our kids.

This year, a number of students in the Thompson School district chose to pay tribute to Thompson in their artwork, creating a moving mini-exhibit that marks the end of an era in Arlington.  When the town made the decision to rebuild Thompson, this group of 5th graders were moved to the Bishop School, where they will graduate this spring.  But for many, their hearts are still at Thompson.

Pamina Mejia, “Thompson School.” Pamina says, “Thompson was torn down and I wanted to honor Thompson School in a Special Way.”

Max Fritsch, “Torn Down Thompson.” In his artist statement, Max wrote, “I used to go to Thompson. When I heard it was getting torn down, I grew very sad.”

Nicholas Laroche, “Thompson School.” “Thompson was my old school,” says Nicholas, “and it means a lot to me because I never got to graduate from Thompson.”

Eleanor Leto, “My Side of the Story.” Eleanor says, “I chose this subject because the Thompson School is where I grew up. I have learned to love this school, so I thought I should draw it.”

Ethan Moore, The Awesome Wall of Ye Old Thompson.

Eva Mir, Bus Stop. While not technically a Thompson tribute, Eva captured another change in the neighborhood, saying, “The Bus Stop just started this year.”

Grace Hogan, “Our Beloved Thompson.” “I chose Thompson Elementary because it was my first school before I came to Bishop,” says Grace. “I will never forget anybody who I met there and became good friends with. When Thompson’s rebuilt, I will miss it a lot, but I will be glad they could rebuild it.”

Where the Thompson School once stood, there is now a flat expanse of land waiting for construction to begin.  I haven’t seen plans for the new design, but thanks to these young artists, we’ll always remember the “Old Thompson” and what it meant to its last group of students.

Now in its 7th year, the Kids Images of Arlington Exhibit is a collaboration between the Arlington Center for the Arts and the Fine Arts Department of the Arlington Public Schools.  For more information about the program, please visit our website.

“Regeneration” Opening Reception & Awards Night

A great crowd turned out for the Opening Reception for “Regeneration” ACA’s 2011 Member Exhibit, juried by Sand T Kalloch.  The Gibbs Gallery was packed to overflowing as the artists and art-lovers enjoyed the festivities, which also included live music by jazz players from Dan Fox’s Morningside Studio, and ACA’s Open Studios Holiday Sale.

A festive night in the Gibbs Gallery for the Opening Reception of "Regeneration" ACA Members Exhibit, juried by Sand T Kalloch.

Juror’s Awards were presented to five artists: Margaret Demille (Arlington), Adrian Johnston (Malden), Ruth Lieberherr (Winchester), Karen McCarthy (Arlington), and Lorraine Sullivan (Arlington).

Margaret Demille (right) received a Juror's Award for her sculpture/assemblage entitled "Propagation (Even in the Most Unlikely Circumstances.)"

Adrian Johnston received a Juror's Award for his paintings, "Nine Schools," "Pick Up Your Mat," and Untitled.

Painter Ruth Lieberherr received a Juror's Award for her work in "Regeneration."

Karen McCarthy received a Juror's Award for her handprinting pieces, "Shades of Autumn #1 and #2"

Lorraine Sullivan (right), received a Juror's Award for her assemblabes. Lorraine and husband Phil Young had just arrived from the Cambridge Art Association "Red" Show, where Lorraine had also won an award!

More photos from the Opening are posted on Flickr:

Open Studios Inspiration, part 2: Happy Reunions

A couple of weeks ago, we shared the story of a child’s sidewalk chalk drawing that Henry Olds transformed into a work of “Pattern Play” art, and we then selected to be the iconic image for Arlington Open Studios 2011.

We had the chance to catch up with chalk artist Leah Lombardi and photographer Henry Olds during Open Studios weekend, when they reunited at Open Studios to celebrate their unique creative collaboration.

Leah and Henry at Arlington Open Studios

We first caught up with Leah and her family in the Gibbs Gallery, where Henry’s photograph was on display as part of the Open Studios group exhibition.  Leah was thrilled to be known as the creative inspiration behind Henry’s work, and to see the piece on display in a real gallery!

As we talked, we discovered that Leah and her friend Sara had both taken classes at ACA, and especially loved their “Art Explorers” class with Pam Shanley, ACA’s Open Studios Director, Facilities Manager, and popular art teacher.  It was another happy reunion at Arlington Open Studios!

Sara, Pam and Leah - students and teacher reunited at Arlington Open Studios

Behind the design… introducing Henry Olds, Jr. and an unexpected artistic inspiration

We’ve been getting a lot of compliments on this year’s Arlington Open Studios postcard design, and wanted to share a great “story behind the story” about the colorful image we’ve been using in the graphics for AOS 2011 (and in our blog header, above!).

The colorful image in the card is a digitally manipulated photograph created by Arlington artist Henry Olds, Jr.  Henry has exhibited in Arlington Open Studios for the past several years, and last year won an award for “Best Use of Technology” for a piece in ACA’s Annual “Images of Arlington” Exhibit.

Henry Olds, Jr. at Arlington Open Studios, October 2010

Henry uses a process he calls “Patternplay,” digitally manipulating a single-image photograph (or piece of a photograph) to create colorful, rhythmic prints, often creating compositions that bear little resemblance to the original image.

Part of the fun in looking at Henry’s work is trying to figure out what the original image was that he used to create the piece.  So when we selected Henry’s image for the Open Studios postcard, we just had to ask…

“Where did this image come from…?”

Can you guess the source of this pattern play image by Henry Olds, Jr.?

Here’s what Henry told us: “The pattern I used for the print was actually created by a young girl who lives across the street from me. She was using chalks to color the pavers on her front walk. First, I took several pictures of her at work. Then I realized that I should take a picture of the pattern itself for my own pattern play purposes. It did work out very nicely!”

The "before" shot -- Henry's neighbor at work on her chalk drawing.

Want to see more?

View Henry’s artwork on his website.

Visit Henry (and 80+ other local artists!) at Arlington Open Studios 2011, October 15 & 16, 12 noon – 5:00 pm.

Kids’ “Images of Arlington” artwork on display at the State House

Ben Lindner with Senator Donnelly

A group of young Arlington artists were honored last week at the Massachusetts State House, where their award-winning “Images of Arlington” artwork is on display in the offices of Senator Ken Donnelly.

Senator Donnelly and Representative Garballey with the group in the Hall of Flags

Senator Donnelly and Representative Garballey with the group in the Hall of Flags

The students, all rising Arlington 6th graders, were treated to a reception in Senator Donnelly’s office, and a personalized tour of the State House by Senator Donnelly and Arlington Rep. Sean Garballey.

We learned that when Rep. Garballey was a high school student, he worked as a State House tour guide, but even he couldn’t find the Arlington town flag in the hall of flags!

Presentation of the Official Citation. Pictured, from left to right: Linda Shoemaker, ACA’s Communications Director, Senator Donnelly, and John Budzyna, ACA’s Executive Director.

At the Reception, Senator Donnelly presented an official Senate Citation to the Arlington Center for the Arts in recognition of ACA’s promotion of arts and culture in Arlington.

Want to see more?  Check out our  Slideshow of the State House Exhibit, Tour and Reception