Thursday, April 30, 2015

Maynard's Spring ArtWalk is This Weekend—Saturday, May 2nd!

If you haven't made it to the Spring ArtWalk, what are you waiting for? This is the ideal kind of small-town community celebration that makes everyone feel good.

In various locations around town, you'll find art on display and music to listen to. I'll be at ArtSpace Downtown, where you can see the student work of three ArtSpace art teachers, plus ArtSpace's very own classical guitarist, Berit Srong performing with her students. You can also check out the chairs that we're auctioning to help raise money for the Maynard Public Schools' arts budget. Mr. Mark's new throne will be there, too. Stop in and write him a note that we'll give him when we give him the new chair.

ArtSignals Studio: Come paint-your-own pottery.
Excelsior Comics and Legends Comics: Don't miss Free-Comic-Book Day! Who doesn't love free comic books?
Look Optical: See ArtSpace artist, Dianne Pappas' work on display and music by Alex Kucich.
The Community School: Catch their art show and open house.
Explore Pathways to Wellness: This is where you'll enter to win a free work of art. Be sure to stop in and check it out.
Marquess Photoworks: Enjoy artwork by Natalie Gardner and Todd Fulshaw. Music by Indian Hill Cello Ensemble led by Cynthia Forbes and Jazz Trio "Brothers Rule".
Gallery Seven: See the show "Playing the Exquisite Corpse" while listening to the Egg Rock Quartet.
Serendipity Cafe: Hear Three Rivers Chorus while eating the best cinnamon buns around.
Studio Insitu: Get a peek at the architectural firm that's having an open house.
ArtSpace Downtown: See student work of Garro Studio and Silk and Clay Studio, while listening to the Classical Guitar of Berit Strong and her students.
Flash Mob in front of Serendipity at 6pm. Learn the dance moves and be part of the scene!
And throughout the downtown you'll find the student work of Acton Art.

Maynard Public Library: Later in the evening, at 7pm, the Maynard Public Library will have their "Arts Night Talent Show" put on by Maynard Hight School students.

Both El Huipil and The Blue Coyote are offering dinner specials or discounts.

Make it a point to be present on Saturday—the more the merrier!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

What's Happening With the Old Church on Summer St.

The site of the former Saint George's Episcopal Church is right across from ArtSpace, so I couldn't help but notice when, about two weeks ago, dumpsters appeared on the property and it appeared as though workers were gutting it. When I went to check it out, they were gone.

Today, I saw men out painting the exterior of the building, so I made it a point that, once I dropped my things off in my studio, I was going to be nosey.

I met a man who told me he was the owner. Evan Gorman is his name. I told him that I keep this goofy blog about Maynard and asked him what the scoop was. They're getting ready to put it on the market. I asked him if he'd mind if I checked it out. I love old buildings. I know you all are as curious as I am, so I asked him if I could take some pictures. He was gracious enough to say yes.

I know of another old church in Maynard that was converted to a house. It's nice. I wonder if the same could happen here. I guess the only trouble is that the area in the photos would have to be the main living space—the only other area is the basement. I didn't bother going there.

Not sure when we'll see it on the market, but there's a bit of scoop for you. Maybe you've got a good idea for the space?

Friday, April 17, 2015

Are You Interested in Being Part of a Movie Club at the Fine Arts Theater?

Interested in being part of the conversation about what movies could come to the Fine Arts Theater? Yes? Me, too.

A bunch of people (myself included) are getting together with the owner of Maynard's Fine Arts Theater, Steve Trumble, to plan a movie club. Though we think block busters are great, as a group, we're hoping to advocate for the showing of some less-main-stream movies. The idea would be that the movie club would have a monthly (or bi-monthly) movie night, showing a movie of the club’s choice in the Fine Arts theater. Through the club, we'd like to ensure that the theater is getting lots of use, as well as increasing its exposure in the community—we want it to continue to thrive and be around for generations to come! 

If you want to join us in our efforts, please plan to attend a meeting on Saturday, April 25, 3pm, at Fine Arts Theater. We will be talking about how a club could be formed.  

If you have questions feel free to call 978-902-3952. Or see you on April 25 at 3pm at the theatre for this initial planning meeting.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Not sure about Maynard's future? Well, Jimmy MacDonald is.

Not sure who Jimmy MacDonald is? Well, by the end of this blog post I hope you'll know, and remember, because Jimmy likes Maynard enough to settle in.

I first heard of him when the old, dilapidated and condemned building (the Coco building, I think it was called) on the corner Nason and Summer Streets got torn down and turned into a simple, brick apartment building (in the early two-thousands, I think it was). I have a friend who has an apartment there and when I got to go inside, I was pleased with the thoughtfulness that went into building it. Later I learned that the owner was Jimmy MacDonald. Several years later he went on to build the apartments on the corner of Parker and Waltham Streets. Did he know something about Maynard that others didn't?

A couple of years ago, when I heard that he had bought more property on Main Street, and that he was going to build another apartment, I thought, Jim MacDonald is obviously convinced that Maynard is a place that people want to live. Now I'm even more convinced —I've learned that within the walls of the new apartment building he has built himself the place he expects to call home for the rest of his life.

During the renovation of the Fine Arts Theater, I got to meet Jimmy MacDonald's twin daughters Melissa and Meaghan, who were helping Steve Trumble (owner of the theater) with the remodeling work. These two charming, construction-worker women are now back helping their dad finish up this impressive and fascinating building on Main Street. On Saturday Melissa was kind enough to show me how it's coming along.

Let me just say that this blog post has no pictures because I promised that I wouldn't include any. Jimmy doesn't really want people to see the place until it's finished and looking its absolute best. So as much as I'd like to show you, I can't. Besides, the pictures don't really do it justice.

Some great news is that the first floor retail space is already under agreement with a tenant. A dentist will be taking up the entire space. Considering how much of a buildout the dentist is going to have, we can assume that they'll be sticking around for a while. Hooray!

At the time of my visit, tile was being grouted (by Jim and his daughters), carpet was waiting to be installed, doors put in place—all for the expected finish date of May first. I stepped over and around things, and climbed some flights of stairs to get to the residential section.

I'm not quite sure which floor I was on, but the apartment I got to tour was splendid. I'm guessing that the ceilings were about ten feet high. Windows were large. The cabinetry in the kitchen was beautiful—not what I expected in rental property. Counters were poured concrete. Anyone would be proud to live there. I asked some questions: Units will be available in both one, and two bedroom, and the higher the floor, the higher the rent. I asked about cost. Less expensive units will be $1350, while the most expensive go as high as $2300. They have no worries that they'll be filling these spaces—a few of the units already have deposits on them.

But what's really remarkable is the space that Jimmy has built for himself. He decided that he really wanted to live in a Victorian-style home, so he built one—façade and all—on one end of the inside of the building! It sounds crazy, I know, but it's completely brilliant! Try to imagine that you are standing at the far end of a hallway in an apartment. Looking down that hall you can make out, what would appear to be, the front door of a beautiful house. I stood there looking in wonder at it. Jimmy's home was designed around a y-shaped, antique Victorian staircase that he got in Wellesley. It's gorgeous. The façade of the "house" has both horizontal and diamond-shaped siding, windows look down from two levels over the front door, wood ornaments are painted in three colors—people, it's the front of a house! And the ceiling above the area in front of his front door has sky lights, so it kind of feels like it's outside. He plans on planting a little patch of grass and some bushes there! As I stood there, I pictured the outside of the building. As nice as it is, it completely belies the gem that lies within.

As I left the building (stepping over the grout work that Jimmy was doing), still in awe at what I had seen, I told him how beautiful I thought the whole building was. He said, "The first night I spent in this wonderful country was in Maynard. I left from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia when I was 17. Over 40 years later I'm back in Maynard."

Jimmy MacDonald has helped clean up some major eye sores in our beloved town. When he's done with this project, Maynard will be his home, as well as the home of many others. I expect that they will be reshaping the feel of the downtown, especially the east end of Main street—an area that has been underutilized for some time. Let's hope this marks a change in that.

Thank you Jimmy MacDonald, and welcome back to Maynard! We're so glad you're here.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Get Ready to Welcome "Scrub-a-Dog" to Maynard!

My friend Liz sent me a note letting me know that there seemed to be a new business—a dog groomer with a self-serve angle—moving in on Main Street down by Aubuchon. She told me to check it out, so I did.

I parked on Main and saw a man who looked like a contractor standing outside the spot where Bon Marche used to be located. I commented on it being a new business and he told me it was his wife's. I promptly introduced myself, shook his hand, and welcomed Robert McCart to Maynard.

Robert told me that he and his wife have been long time Sudbury residents and that his wife has been running a dog grooming business from their home. I asked him what made him decide on that location. He said it seemed like it was just what they needed and that they had been planning on opening a shop outside of their home. When I asked him what brought him to Maynard, he said, "I've always liked Maynard—pretty little town, and it just seems to be getting better." Of course that made the Maynard cheerleader in me smile, but then he said something that I didn't expect. He said, "I'm good friends with the guy that owns the Fine Arts Theater." When I told him that I know Steve Trumble he continued, "He told me that I should bring my business here because Maynard is really up and coming." (Well done Mr. Trumble, well done.)

I was invited into the shop to take a look around. Oh, it's darling. It's like a little dog salon. It's bright and clean. Stone-tiled columns topped with dog-bone shapes add whimsical elegance to the space. The tubs of each self-serve station have doors on them—no lifting that one-hundred-pound lab. And they're raised off the floor, so you won't break your back leaning over to clean. I was told that dryers will be in the corner of each station, ready to be used as soon as your pet is done with their bath.

Scrub-a-Dog plans to open its doors for visits and introductions—an open house, really— on Friday, April 10th. Please join me in welcoming this business that, given the dog-loving community we have, is sure to be a big hit!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Get in on Some of the Maynard Arts and Culture Scene April 11th

Announcing The Next ArtSpace Second Saturdays Event
ArtSpace Maynard Studios, 63 Summer Street
Opening Reception Saturday, April 11
Exhibit Runs April 8 - May 1, 2015

Looking to get a little more arts and culture? You can get it right here in your own community. This exhibit, showcasing the diverse work of forty-one artists, promises to be a lively, art-filled event. Come early to see the working space of some of the artists of ArtSpace Maynard Studios.

Gallery Reception: 5:00-7:00 p.m.
Mini Open Studios from 4:00-6:00 p.m.

Artifact: An idea or object, historical or contemporary, that may represent or remind one of someone or something... a fragment, an experience. A object created by human action, often for a practical purpose.

(Juried by Katherine French, Director Emerita Danforth Art Museum, Framingham, Mass.)

Selected Artists

Magdalen Abe                Rachel Korn
Meredith Abenaim          Christine Latini
Jennifer Ablard               Natalie MacKnight
Miranda Aisling              Valerie Maser-Flanagan
Brian Alves                     Steve Miller
Bob Bass                       Jeanette O'Connor
Robert Beauvais            Dianne Pappas
Elizabeth Carter             Roy Perkinson
Teresa Coates                Richard Perry
Andrew Child                  Walter Philips
Roy DiTosi                      David Phoenix
Eleanor Elkin                  Kimberly Quint
Michael Frassinelli          Gerri Rachins
Susan Funk                    Randy Shore
Wendy Gonick                Lorraine Sullivan
Robert Hess                   Michelle Vitti
Barbara Ishikura            Catherine Wilcox-Titus
Judith Jaffe                    Neil Wilkins
Bradford Johnson          Timothy Wilson
Nathan Jones                Carolyn Wirth
Anne Kneller