Thursday, December 17, 2015

Maynard's Arts Community Keeps on Growing

Over the last year and some change, Main Street has seen a big increase in the filling of vacancies by arts based business. 6 Bridges took over the old Brazilian Market, I don't even remember what used to be where Denault Studios was, and smARTroom took over Tish's. It feels like there's something in the air.

When La Rosa nail salon left a few weeks back, we all feared another empty store front. Yesterday I was pleased to see some people inside doing a little work. I thought maybe there were people working for the landlord to get it ready to rent. I was wrong. Today when I went by, there were skateboards in the window, eclectic fabric, a Christmas tree that looks like it has been in a tussle with some spools of ribbon, and a motorcycle—yup, a real motorcycle.

As I went to get coffee and work my shift at 6 Bridges Gallery, acquaintances I ran into asked me if I knew what was going on, and who was moving in to the location. I didn't have the answer. But when my shift was done, I walked through the rain to go get a quick bite for lunch, and as I passed La Rosa I saw two young men stepping inside. I couldn't resist, so I knocked.

Let me introduce you to Ian and Dillon. They were nice enough to let the weird lady on the street take a picture of them. (Sorry the photos are blurry; it was chilly and I was in a hurry.)  These young guys are adding to the fabric of our arts scene. I didn't get to talk to them much because I needed to go, but they were very friendly. In the brief time that we chatted, I learned that they will be running it as a studio space. I think they said they're thinking of calling it "Dissonance Archive". If I'm correct, and I may not be, I think they said that they would be doing both audio and visual art.

Hopefully I'll get a chance to talk to them again soon, and get better details.

In the meantime, let's welcome them to the neighborhood! We wish them luck and we'll be watching as they transform their space to reflect their creativity.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Really Cool Art Show at ArtSpace Maynard “From Cave Drawings to Selfies: #painting people”

I missed the 2nd Saturday art opening at ArtSpace last weekend, and now that I've had a chance to see the show, I'm really sorry that I didn't make it. I would have loved to have met the artists. The work is phenomenal and the combining of the images of these two artists' is spot on. I heard that there might have even been some important people in the art world who attended the opening.

In a suggestion of an urban setting, Ann Strassman and Youngsheen A. Jhe paint images of people in all their raw and imperfect beauty, either juxtaposed with mannequins that seem to be imitating their stiff and impersonal posturing, or in deliberately incomplete settings where the negative space seems as important as the positive. Strassman's paintings done on unfolded cardboard boxes, use the surface to add another layer of depth and meaning to the work. The large scale format of these pieces is striking.

I am not doing this show any justice with my writing or my photo. You just have to see it in person. I think you'll be impressed.

This show will only be up through December 31st. If you have family in town for the holidays, this might make for a great visit. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday, from 11:00 am- 3:00 pm. The gallery will not be open on Christmas Day. 

Here's the description that is posted on the ArtSpace Web site:

“From Cave Drawings to Selfies: #painting people”
Featuring Ann Strassman and Youngsheen A. Jhe
The ArtSpace Gallery is pleased to present an exhibit by Ann Strassman and Youngsheen A. Jhe.  The work of both women is contemporary using clothing, objects and architecture of current culture that reflects the choices of our times by depicting the human face and figure and how it has changed over the history and mankind, which gives the viewer a greater appreciation of this discipline.

I hope you enjoy this show as much as I did.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

I Heard the Vietnamese Restaurant is Supposed to Open on Friday 12/4

Yesterday ArtSpace artist Jen Maestre (you know her as the Pencil Woman) mentioned that she happened to be walking by the soon-to-open Gigi's Vietnamese restaurant and saw someone inside, so she walked in. She asked if they were open yet and they told her that they were planning on opening tomorrow, Friday, December fourth. They gave her some business cards (and maybe some menus) to share with people. Jen said she'd have them in her studio during the ArtSpace Maynard Holiday Sale this weekend.

The menu is available online. I'm looking forward to sampling some Vietnamese cuisine soon!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Free Screening of "Codegirl" at Fine Arts Theatre, Sponsored by Yieldbot, Monday, December 14th

I'm really proud that my husband and the company he helps run (Yieldbot) out of Mill & Main thought the subject of girls in technology was important enough to bring "CODEGIRL" to Maynard. And I'm so pleased that our local theater (Fine Arts Theatre Place) agreed. 

On December 14 at 7pm, Yieldbot is sponsoring a free screening of "CODEGIRL" at Fine Arts Theatre Place. 

"CODEGIRL" is a recent documentary that centers around an app competition (specifically the 2014 competition) that is held yearly worldwide that encourages girls to get into technology. My husband watched it during a brief period when it was being offered by Google on Youtube for free. He felt it was important and thought that we have a great chance to get even more people to see it.

Back in college he was part of a team that did a study that found that one of the big reasons that girls, even at a young age, don't go into technology is that they don't identify with the image of who they think is good with technology. This is slowly changing, and competitions like the one in the movie are doing their part by giving girls direct access to working with technology, working towards a goal, and being successful with it.

But the movie itself can play a big role as well, by giving visibility to these girls and their struggles and success. It reminds everyone that there's no reason they can't do it, and provides an opportunity for our girls to see these girls as an example and inspiration for what they can do if they want to.

We have a daughter, and we don't ever want her to believe that the things she might want to do could be limited by her gender. Whether or not you have a daughter interested in technology, the film inspires thinking. Reserve your free ticket now because this is an important topic. 

Here's a link to the trailer.