Arts

Meet Artisan Asylum’s New Executive Director

Lars Hasselblad Torres will take over as executive director at Artisan’s Asylum on Aug. 6. We spoke with him about why he wanted to join the local makerspace and what his vision is for its future. Tell us a little bit about yourself. I’m an artist. I work in the collage media, and these days […]


Getting Art Buyers to Say ‘The Price Is Right!’

Pricing artwork can be a real challenge for artists, Heather Balchunas of the Somerville Arts Council explains. Artists have to factor in time spent on the piece and the cost of materials and space, and find the perfect balance between making sure their pieces sell and not undervaluing their work. Figuring out pricing can be […]



Artist Spotlight: JJ Gonson

Over JJ Gonson’s shoulder at Diesel Café is a striking photograph she took of a now-deceased friend, Kurt. She first met him in 1989 at Green Street Station, a now-defunct venue steps away from the actual T stop in Jamaica Plain. Kurt and his bandmates crashed at Gonson’s apartment after their set, rolling out foam […]


Artist Spotlight: Rachel Mello

“Most people look at my work and say, ‘Oh god, it’s so obvious you were an architect,” Rachel Mello says. While the business of zoning maps and floor plans can easily overwhelm the blueprint-illiterate, Mello’s house-shaped canvases bearing painted images of nature evoke the ephemeral state of neighborhood development and time’s passage more than anything […]


The Curiosities of Somerville

The stories behind some of the city’s most bizarre buildings Written by Kat Rutkin and Reena Karasin. The Center for the Arts at the Armory 191 Highland Ave. “It’s one of those buildings that only its mother could love,” Executive Director of the Historic Preservation Commission J. Brandon Wilson says about the Somerville Armory. Its […]


Finding Room for Art

Abandoned buildings laid the groundwork for Somerville’s artists, but as rents rise and space fills up, what’s next for the art community? The vibrant arts scene in Somerville, which has defined the modern era of the city and made it a cultural destination, has been nourished over the years by studio communities established in abandoned […]


Artist Spotlight: Jen Epervary

Articulating struggles with mental health through art can seem like a daunting task, but illustrator Jen Epervary broaches the subject with warmth—and occasional references to the Travel Channel’s “Ghost Adventures.” “It’s about this super buff Hot Topic cashier that yells at ghosts, but [it’s] this idea that there is a different world living within our […]


Take A Peek Inside Somerville’s Museums

Check out local museums that highlight the tiny, the bad, and the historic The Friend Smithsonian Museum Martha Friend is, by all definitions of the word, an artist. After retiring from full-time work a few years ago, she dove headfirst into full-time creativity. “I was just dying to do something big and creative,” she says. […]


Artist Spotlight: Ian Berg

When you Google Ian Berg, the first video result shows a circle of 20- and 30-somethings gripping Solo cups and cheering loudly over his tap dancing. Berg’s long curly hair bobs seconds after the rest of his body as his feet move at hummingbird speed. I tell him the crowd is so energetic and youthful, […]


Passim Awards Grants to Local Musicians

Passim doled out $42,000 this winter to musicians with ties to New England as part of its annual effort to help artists advance their careers. The Harvard Square-based nonprofit’s Iguana Music Fund is designed to enrich local communities by supporting musicians and making it easier to be a full-time artist. “It’s really to help the […]


Behind Somerville’s Painted Windows

Mandee Martin has loved letters ever since she was a kid. She dreamed of perfect cursive and worked at her bubble letters. She took to graffiti in her 20s, enjoying how the medium let her designs stretch. She painted her first window about 10 years ago while working at Beth Israel Deaconess — “I felt […]