A Picture is a poem without words. – Horace
Over the years I have been to Western Ave Studios a number of times for a variety of reasons. I say a variety because of the number of options you have when you visit this large artist establishment. Western Ave Studios is truly in a league of its own, with five floors of artists/creators studios that work with a plethora of mediums. I have always wanted to write something about them because of what they provide to our community here in Lowell and the reach they have far outside the city limits.
Western Ave is a welcoming place, inclusive of all art forms, people and what they believe they can share with the world. While at the studios I have seen photography shops, handmade pottery, silk scarves being dyed and crafted, beautiful paintings, jewelry, woodworking and so much more. I walk up and down the halls always glimpsing some new thing I never saw before. You can get lost in these hallways, but by the time you leave you will have had your mind opened up to so many possibilities.
I consider myself a creative for sure, but as a kid when I was painting or drawing I knew my skills didn’t lie there. You’re lucky if you can get me to draw a stick figure and my owls ( as you all know I am obsessed) look like fat cats and my cats look like pointy trees. I try. I grew up singing and playing the piano – two things I loved and it was a form of art. Then as the years when on, this evolved into writing and blogging which allows me to write my thoughts into a way that shares my ideas, style, travels and food suggestions with the community and the world around me. Western Ave. makes me feel like I belong in the world of the creative by exposing me to things I wouldn’t normally see every day.
It leaves a mark this place. Finally I am sitting down to write about them because I just can’t contain it anymore. Now that I have photography as another medium I can share my views through photos. Both me and Roosevelt took some lovely photos at Western Ave that allowed us to get just a little closer into what these artisans do and how they live their lives through their art. I hope you will all take a trip to one of the best places in Lowell and learn a little about how art shapes the world around us.
Join me in exploring Western Ave. through the lens of our camera and through our experiences. Just in time for their Holiday Open studios December 7th & 8th + December 14th & 15th from 12pm – 5pm. (The holiday one is my favorite, make sure you stop by!)
- Do roam the hallways
So what do I even mean by roaming hallways? Well the walls, doors and hallways have such fun little nooks, art. colors and more. It is so fun to explore all these super cool areas in all five floors.
These shirts were so fun!
Pottery intrigues me. Loved these so much!
Maybe you’ll find this roaming the hallways
Can you find this doorway?
- Do visit during an open studio event
There are usually open studios at Western Ave once a month and during the holiday season we get typically two full weekends. These events mean that many of the artists are on site showing of their wares. You can talk to the creators in person, learn about their craft and more. This particular time we went it was during an open studio and we learned so much and met so many new people. It was so much fun!
- Do visit Navigation Brewing Co.
Yes you read right, there is a brewery attached to Western Ave. Studios. Many times Navigation has events alongside open studios where food trucks come out and its pretty epic. They have some chill beers, great vibe and great space. It is really a fun setting. And in the summer?? Mind blown.
- Do talk to the artists
It was so interesting to hear stories from the artists. The first shop we visited during this open studios was Images from Near & Far. We loved learning about Jack’s travels, and how he took his photos. Now that me and Roosevelt are amateur photographers it was really interesting getting into the nitty gritty of what makes a shot. We even picked up a cool photo he took on one of his travels. He told us all about his adventures all over the world. He has been a photographer for 6 decades!!
Roosevelt & Jack discussing photography
Admiring some of the great photos!
Watching some silk dyeing
- Do explore the unknown
Don’t be afraid to venture into an art form you may not be familiar with. Take risks, learn about something new and exciting. Maybe you have never seen glass blowing or silk dying and making. Something I try to do so much of wherever I go is explore those things which may be unfamiliar to me. At Western Ave. Studios there are so many local artisans you will leave with your mind and eyes open seeing the art of the world around you by the time you leave.
Some of the places we visited on this trip:
- John Francis Designs | Woodworking
- Jack Attackk Clothing | Handcrafted unique clothing
- Images from Near & Far | Photography
- Lush Industrial | Handmade jewelry
Talking to John about his inspiration and his different pieces was wicked cool
Is that a chocolate bar hiding there?
All the textures
Dragon scale raindrops… so cool
The details were everything at Jack Attackk
Loved that pop of color
Also check out:
There aren’t enough good things I could say about Western Ave Studios and the community they foster. Every single interaction I have had with this gem of a place has been eye opening. I hope to continue to learn new things every time I go and continue to learn to accept the world around me and see the art everywhere I look.
Travel often even if its in your own backyard,
Life as a Maven
*All photography taken by us. Western Ave Studios holiday photo is from their Instagram.