Hatch Street Studios held its winter Open Studios over the weekend, and it was the most well-attended one they’ve ever had, artists said.
New Bedford has been ranked the 7th most artistic city in America by Atlantic Monthly and artists said they think their art might be reaching wider audiences.
“We’ve seen a lot of new people this year,” said Pat Kellogg, who shares a studio space with her husband, Michael Hecht.
Hecht, who does drawing, paintings and prints said a customer from Boston visited the event on Saturday who had previously bought one of his pieces at a gallery in Provincetown. Hecht said he knew someone had bought the piece, but didn’t know who purchased it until Saturday.
“With any luck, word spreads from year to year and we keep expanding our audience,” Hecht said. He said they’ve been in the building since 2003.
“We’ve sold a print, a painting. I’ve sold some jewelry and some t-shirts,” Kellogg said. The t-shirts were made by Kellogg’s son who has a t-shirt company in Brooklyn, she said. He’s in grad school and couldn’t be at the event, Kellogg said.
In a studio next door, Michael Pietragalla said he’s been in the building for 16 years and “this is by far the largest audience that I’ve seen come through this building since I’ve been here.” He said he noticed the parking lot on Saturday was so full that some cars were blocked in and others had to park on the street. He said the event has been going on for the past 10 years.
He specializes in custom wooden furniture and wooden utensils. “I’ve been selling these things like crazy,” he said, pointing to the utensils such as cheese knives, spatulas, scoops and spreaders. He said they’re made from recyclable, repurposed wood.
His furniture is made from “managed, renewable forests.” He had a cushioned chair with no legs next to a short table for sale. “My furniture is influenced by the Asian culture,” Pietragalla said.
Michelle Lapointe, who’s been in the building for 10 years, had various stained glass pieces, abstract paintings and photography. She said she thought the glass work was selling best.
“It was steady all day,” she said Sunday, noting that she sold quite a few pieces. “I’ve never seen so many people come through here.”
Lapointe explained how she does her work, pointing to glass of various shapes and colors that she first cuts and then grinds to smooth the edges. Then, Lapointe uses small machines and tools to boarder the glass and connect different pieces. “It’s a process, and people sometimes don’t get the work involved,” she said.
Jayne Pallatroni said she’d been to the event before and likes it.
“It’s fun to see what’s going on in New Bedford,” she said. “It’s nice to see all the art.”
Rose Lewis was with Pallatroni and said it was her first time there. “I was just curious,” she said. She had fun talking with the artists and seeing some of the work they produced, she said.
Janice Hodson purchased a necklace from artist Lindsay Mis on the third floor.
“I’ve been here multiple years, sometimes with friends, sometimes with relatives,” Hodson said.
Sunday, she was with her 10-year-old niece Ava Travassos who said, “I was lucky today.”
Hodson said last year Travassos got an ostrich egg from artist Scott Currier after they talked about things they collect in nature. This year, she got a bird feather on top of a nest placed in a box that Hodson was holding. Travassos has to tell Currier what birds the feather relates to when she returns next year, Hodson said. She also got a necklace from Mis.
“People are very generous with their time and talking about what they do,” Hodson said.
Follow Aimee Chiavaroli on Twitter @AimeeC_SCT.
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