What’s it like being an artist in Swampscott?
Artists are highly independent individuals. What’s needed is a connection to know what each of us is doing, an avenue for dialog, for mutual support both in the form of exchange of ideas and in practical matters. For example, if I need a printer or a graphic designer, who do I call? If you want to get into galleries or bid on a job in Boston, who do you ask about how to do that?”
Is that why you’re on the board of ReachArts?
I’m interested in fostering communication among a loosely organized group of artists. We need to support each other in our various styles. Most people would like to own a piece of art by a local artist, or maybe they need a little band for a party. There are so many new families moving into Swampscott. Where do they get information about the arts?
What do you envision artists doing together?
Maybe we would come together for a community art project, or an annual themed exhibition, or even a regular painting time. It would be great to be able to get artists together and ask them directly. Simple life drawing would be wonderful—we could chip in and pay for a model. Even a still life would give us the chance to paint in company. It’s not a social, but a painting thing. It's important to know what the artists and community want to do.
How will the proposed building on Burrill St. help you accomplish that?
The building is perfect, a blank slate on the second floor that’s suitable for dancing, readings, exhibitions and performances. It’s nice and bright. It has a feeling of being a home; it’s big enough, but not too big to take on as a new organization. The space downstairs needs work and would be multi-purposed for art and music lessons. The kitchen and lower level would be great to rent out for community functions and cooking lessons.
That sounds like a lot of work!
People will do it if there's something in it for them and it's fun. Life is an adventure. Wherever you live, I think it’s important to really live there. To dig in and get involved like it’s forever.