Arts

‘Nuestro Arte’ Showcases Work From Latino Artists

Nelson Salazar has worn many hats in Somerville, from executive director at the Welcome Project to graduate student at Tufts. Art is a passion for him, which he finds time for in between his two jobs. He started the “Nuestro Arte” exhibit last year, aiming to highlight work from Latino artists. “Nuestro Arte” will be […]


‘Are You Buying?’ Explores the Price of Advertising

Catherine Siller is used to commanding the attention of people around her—especially on harsh truths they might not often face. The Somerville-based dancer and multimedia performance artist interrogates beauty standards in her newest work, “Are You Buying?,” which will be performed in an empty storefront window by Downtown Crossing. The theatrical piece combines an interpretive […]


Zombie Apocalypse Game Aims to Build Community Resiliency

What’s the magic ingredient to turn disaster preparedness into public art? According to Rebecca Michelson, it’s zombies. “What’s most important for people to know is that there is a massive zombie apocalypse coming, and they need to be aware that it’s on its way, and preparing is the first priority,” she says. Michelson and her collaborator […]


‘Moon Eaters’ Creates Platform for APIA, Femme Voices

Somerville resident Lily Xie and her fellow creators choose the words of their mission statement with great care, laying out the groundwork of a zine at the intersection of Asian Pacific Islander American (APIA) and femme identities. “Moon Eaters is a place for us to talk to each other about representation and cross-diaspora experiences. We […]


The Arts Council’s Rachel Strutt On the Language of Food

Rachel Strutt, program director at the Somerville Arts Council, has always been interested in helping to amplify marginalized voices. She got her master’s degree in medieval art history at Tufts, studying the “people on the margins.” She continued with her passion of promoting people’s stories as a journalist, and eventually carried that drive to the […]


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 […]