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Seasonal Art: Exhibits,Museums, and Galleries

Lowell’s art scene has generated great interest in recent years. Galleries, studios, and museums have grown in numbers, offering interpretations for several genres of visual art. They’re hosting a number of exhibits during the month of October.

The Loading Dock Gallery (LDG) presents Repetition, Replication, Variation. This exhibit focuses on using repetition of patterns and shapes within imagery to create a unique aesthetic meant to showcase the evolution of art using elements of contrast and other techniques. This show conveys a message of creativity, sparking new ideas and emotions for the viewer. Repetition, Replication, Variation begins October 2nd and runs until the 27th. Following this show, LDG presents Orbs: Spheres of Unity from October 30th through December 1st. This presentation observes the significance of circular shapes that create a unifying principle. These shapes hold complexity, but portray perfection, balance, and unification. Discover how these shapes play a role in the world.

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The Ayer Lofts Art Gallery is a high-ceiling gallery designed to present several pieces of artwork within a well-lit room. Their exhibits consist of local artwork that evokes emotion, challenges minds, and creates welcoming atmospheres. The gallery, opened in 2000, invites select groups of Lowell artists for annual shows, and presents live music, dance performances, and student projects. Local artist Steve Clements will have several pieces of his artwork on display from October 4th until October 27th. The exhibit is open 12 to 4 p.m. on each day throughout the month.

“Benefits of the Lowell’s Urban Environment” is a series of activities raising awareness of Lowell’s urban setting. Arranged by The Brush Art Gallery and Studios, the events run until April of 2020 in partnership with the Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust, Lowell Cemetery, Lowell National Historical Park, and Lowell High School. The Quiet World of Aging, a collection of observations by Melinda Reyes, shows facial photographs of the elderly, depicting themes of beauty, sorrow, joy, despair, and dignity. The exhibit takes viewers “into direct contact with a diversity of emotions within the aging process.”

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Macabre, an art show by local artists’ co-op, Gallery Z, begins on October 3rd and runs until October 31st with a reception on Saturday October 12th. The exhibit introduces grim forms of artwork perfect as Halloween approaches. Several exhibits will open daily until Halloween Night. Following on Saturday the 26th, Gallery Z’s A Hell Raising Fundraiser opens from 7 to 10 p.m. This event celebrates the gallery’s 5th year by presenting visual and performing arts by Lowell artists. The event includes raffles, a costume contest, food, music, and an Edgar Allen Poe reading by Leo Jordan’s Balefire performers.

Tom Gill brings his collection of oil paintings to TreMonte Ice Bar and Pizzeria at the end of October. The collection Impressions: New Work, by the Lowell artist, highlights city life through glimpses of events, street views, landscapes, and gatherings.

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The Arts League of Lowell (ALL) wraps up Earth, Wind, & Fiber mid-October; the event examines pottery, artwork, and quilts by Paula Eldridge, Pamela Wamala, and Louise Abbot. Hosted at All Greenwald Gallery, the company encourages and supports the art local creators make. Exposed 2019: Black & White, the succeeding exhibit, showcases black and white photography until November 10th. This juried exhibition emphasizes the effect of this method of photography that has become stylized in recent years.

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The New England Quilt Museum (NEQM) hosts artist, Sue Bleiweiss, to demonstrate how fusible web, a man-made fiber, can be used in several applications. She shows how to add color, apply metal and foil to fabric, and how to transfer shape outlines. Learn expert techniques in quilt making on Thursday, November 7th. NEQM is also open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for quilt exhibits.

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The Whistler House Museum of Art galleries are open every Wednesday and Sunday from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. The Whistler’s galleries include a large collection of 19th and 20th century paintings by artists like Marie Danforth Page, Mary Earl Wood, and William S. Elwell. The galleries are on three floors, including a main gallery and “Francis room,” showing artwork inspired by Lowell. The museum also hosts a special exhibit until October 26th, Titled, Fiber Fusions, an exploration of quilted creations by contemporary quilt creators. The focus is on how fiber and related materials are fused together to form creative works of art.

Lowell: Tours, History, and Trolleys

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 Food Tours, Lowell Walks, and Bird Watching

October has a wide variety of walks and tours to get us moving as the weather cools down. Opportunities to examine and explore the historical city will give new perspectives of how Lowell’s mill manufacturing city developed over the years. Off the Beaten Path brings their unique food tour to Lowell. The tour explores restaurants and history, to share delicious food and support local businesses. Off the Beaten Path’s Mill No. 5 specialty food tour opens in November with Sunday tours beginning at 3 p.m. The tour of local and independent restaurants allows for a unique opportunity to discuss the history of mills that have now been renovated. Learn about bitters, vinegars, pastries, milk shakes, soda, and a wide variety of cheeses made by local businesses.

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            Continuing the movement, two upcoming walks in early October explore Lowell and explore history in a unique way. Beginning with the Lowell Cemetery Mausoleum Walk, tour guides will lead you to seven different mausoleums and other notable monuments within the Lowell cemetery. This self-paced tour begins from Knapp Avenue or Lawrence Street gates where guides will help point you in the right direction and share stories of the monuments and the people interred within them. This tour begins October 5th at 10 a.m. and runs to 1 p.m.

            Following the Mausoleum tour, the Lowell Cemetery hosts a bird watching event presented by The Brush Art Gallery and Studios and is part of a series of activities to bring awareness to urban environments. Funded by the Theodore Edson Parker Foundation, this event starts at 8 a.m. on October 6th.

            Finally, another Lowell walk focuses on Ben Butler. A 90 minute walk around downtown visits several places that influenced the life of Benjamin F. Butler, a Civil War general, governor of Massachusetts, and member of Congress. The tour begins at 1 p.m. on October 12th and runs to 2:30.

For more info visit

Lowell Parks

Lowell Walks: Ben Butler

Lowell Walks: Cemetery Walk

Off the Beaten Path

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Lowell National Historical Park Tours

If you are looking for more ways to explore Lowell and its sights, the Lowell National Historical Park hosts several tours throughout October. Beginning with the Archaeology of a Textile Mill Walking Tour on October 5th and a second tour on October 19th, the event explores the insides of several prominent mills and highlights past technologies and architecture.

Following on October 11th and October 26th, Decoding Recent LGBTQ+ History in Lowell Walk focuses on important people and places within the mid-nineteen hundreds. Similarly, Wellness on the Walkways, discusses women’s history with a hike through the city that begins at the corner of Thorndike and Summer Streets. The hike visits locations where women’s suffrage activists gave lectures, held meetings, and supported their cause. This is a great opportunity to learn about local activism and follow their footsteps, honoring the passage of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. This walk will be held on October 20th.

Finally, ending October, Wellness on the Walkways holds their downtown photography walk. Join park rangers and explore significant downtown locations for photography and historical discussion. The tour starts at the Lowell National Historical Park Visitor Center on October 27th, at 10 a.m.

For more info visit the National Park Service Calendar

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The Trolley

If you prefer to relax with a movie instead of walking around Lowell, you can take in “The Trolley,” a film about the history of electric trolleys throughout several cities in America, once one of Lowell’s most memorable features.  Learn about a most amazing invention as Lowell celebrates with a trolley presentation by operator Ryan Boucher that follows the screening. Presented by the Moses Greeley Parker Lectures and the Lowell National Historical Park, the screening and presentation will be held starting at 2 p.m. on October 6th.

For more info visit Parker Lectures.

Fall Markets – Arts, Crafts, and Food

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This Saturday, from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., the North Common Park & Community Garden will be home to the 8th Annual Harvest Festival to celebrate the year’s most abundant season. This free, family friendly event will celebrate the year’s harvest by showcasing food traditions with hands-on activities. The festival includes a farmer’s market, cooking and gardening demos, garden tours, and food trucks. Hosted by Mill City Grows, this event happens rain or shine.

Another market offering locally grown, healthy, and quality food, is Community Teamwork’s outdoor market which runs Fridays from 12 – 5 p.m. in the Lucy Larcom Park. Since 1979, the Lowell Farmers’ Market has provided access to fresh goods, meats, honey, and crafts right in the heart of Lowell. The urban setting is a unique contrast to the rurally produced goods. With the goal of supporting a healthy community, the market is committed to increasing access of fresh food from nearby farms to urban customers, while offering educational entertainment. Enjoy entertainment, demonstrations, and fun activities every Friday until October 25th.

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Mill No. 5’s A Little Bazaar begins the weekend on Saturday, September 28th, with The Itty Bitty. A collection of vendors will display an array of pins, stickers, patches, and jewelry. Various local artists who work with metal, fiber, and wood will offer unique wares. Boston local crafter and artist, Danielle Robichaud, will be there to show off her inspired jewelry, brainstorming process, and physical tinkering. Meet Danielle and other creative minds at A Little Bazaar on Saturday from noon till 4 p.m.

            Sundays there’s The Farm Market from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m., featuring produce from local farmers and other locally sourced products that celebrate homegrown talent and experience. The Farm Market takes place year-round at Mill No. 5 strengthening the connection between local farmers and Lowellians and improving access to quality, healthy, and diverse foods. The Farm Market also hosts live music each week--this Sunday’s band is Hashtag Hoedown.       Mill No.5 begins October with Ghastly: The Oddity and Horror Marketplace. Those who are fond of the unusual will love the collections of antiques and trinkets meant to get you in the fall spirit with this market of the strange and scary. Ghastly opens on Saturday, October 5th from noon - 4 p.m.

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Early October also brings a unique art style that stands out. On Saturday and Sunday, October 6th, and 7th, Western Ave Studios hosts their monthly open studios with a large display of autumn themed artwork. From noon-5 p.m. this two day event offers shopping opportunities, the ability to meet the artists first hand, learn about the inspiration that drives them to create spookier designs. The repurposed mills will be filled with creative and seasonal themed handmade crafts, photos and art, wood and glass creations, and jewelry. Meet the large artist community while enjoying coffee and brewery pop-ups, as well as a few food trucks.