If the heat of the semester and/or the New Year is beginning to stress you out, there are special places that can help you to de-stress. A recent article from The Guardian found that a great deal of people under 30 years old turn to art galleries or museums to help them relax. Lowell can deliver this times ten, as the city is known for its saying, “Art is the Handmaid of Human Good”. Here are some ideas to plan for the next time you need to unwind:
Home is Where the Art is…
The founders of Western Ave Studios and Ayer Lofts understand that you’ll have blocks in your life where you may need a little inspiration. They created a community for artists to live and create together. This sense of family is apparent when one visits the lofts for private and public exhibits, and it makes for a more intimate and comforting setting for visitors looking to repose.
The Ayer Lofts offers exclusive exhibits, and their upcoming events can be found on their website or their Facebook page. For an exclusive event, you can request a private show for $150 per month. For more wallet-friendly happenings, Western Ave Studios offers various open door events and exhibits. In particular, you can stop by for the “First Floor Final Fridays” until June 28th, in which the first floor will be open to the public for viewings on the last Friday of each month.
A Trip Back in Time
For those that would like a trip that blends both art and history, the Whistler House, New England Quilt Museum, and Boott Cotton Mills museum have just what you’re looking for. The mission of the Whistler House is to maintain the birthplace of James McNeill Whistler. They pride themselves in sustaining Whistler’s art, in addition to offering classes about his and other 19th Century artists’ works. You can visit the house for a guided or self-guided tour any time from 11am-4pm Wednesdays through Saturdays. Like the Whistler House, the New England Quilt Museum (NEQM) is a favorite to visit. At NEQM, you can delve into the world of quiltmaking that began from the founding of this country. With each hand-crafted quilt you see, you will be in awe at the artistry created when these colorful cloths came together. NEQM is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10am-4pm, and Sundays from 12-4pm.
The Boott Cotton Mills is one component of the Lowell Historical National Park that brings to life the uses of water, steam, and electricity that powered Lowell mills from the mid-1830s to the start of the 20th century. The museum’s winter hours are Monday through Thursday from 12-4pm and Friday through Sunday from 12-5pm. For a new experience at the Cotton Mills, there will be a “404 Festival of Technology and Art” on February 16th from 1-4pm, where students and families can enjoy interactive pieces and technological wonders together.
A Taste of Creation
As you’re quenching your thirst for all things art and history, you should add actual food and refreshments during your visit. Galleries such as UnchARTed offer an out-of-this-world menu, and Gallery Z has a café and espresso bar that will keep you energized while you explore. UnchARTed prides itself as being a central place where, “art, live music, food, drinks, and Lowell-folk get together”. They do an exceptional job in bringing the community together and offering them something new. They offer a delightful assortment of pizzas that satisfy any cravings. The gallery is generally open from Tuesday through Saturday from 12pm-1am for those looking to enjoy this eclectic experience. Some upcoming events to mark on your calendars will be concerts from Street Kult & Tahj Ace on February 16th at 10pm. There will also be a special album release from Zach Boudrot on March 8th at 8pm.
At Gallery Z, the café and espresso bar is one of the many treats you’ll get a taste of here. You can sink your teeth into a meal at the weekly Sunday Brunch until December 30th from 10am-2pm. In addition to the sweet morning treats, there are various music, poetry and theater events throughout the year. Upcoming, there is an “All Things Red” art exhibition you can view until February 24th. The Gallery is open on Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday from 12-5pm, and Friday and Saturday from 12-9pm.
For the Artist in You…
So far you have read a great deal about places to unwind. Now, the time has come to put the paint brush in your hands. If you unwind more effectively by painting, the Brush Art Gallery and the Art League of Lowell (ALL) provide art classes. Brush Art Gallery is currently made up of a team of nine studio artists who present “quality exhibitions, educational programs, and collaborate with many other nonprofit groups”. At the Brush, you can find anything from paintings to jewelry in their halls. Coming up next for the Gallery is the “Four by Four Gallery Event”, which begins with a blank canvas. You can request a 4 inch by 4 inch canvas to fill with any “media and materials” you choose that will get submitted to the event. Beyond submitting your own work here, you can visit other artists’ creations for free admission on Wednesdays through Saturdays from 11am-4pm and Sunday from 12-4pm.
ALL Gallery is a society founded in the fall of 2003 that “fosters and celebrates creativity and artistic expression in Lowell and the surrounding areas”. ALL members meet to discuss the arts and support one another in their artistic journeys. The Gallery hopes for “all” lovers of art in Lowell to convene here. You can find more information about their mission and upcoming exhibits on their website, or visit their location on Wednesday through Saturday from 12-6pm, and Sunday from 12-4pm.