The Arts Come Alive

Downtown Lynn has been the gallery's home for the past four years. In those four years, I have been asked a million times, "Why Lynn? Why not Rockport, or Boston, or any other place?" My answer is that every community not only deserves, but needs, a thriving arts community. When I got here, LynnArts and RAW had already opened the floodgates for the rest of us. They moved in when others wouldn't. The foundation for such a community was built, and (sadly) I believed that Lynn had no place to go but up. I wanted in. Who doesn't want to be in on the ground floor of something amazing?

Since the opening of the gallery:
  • The Lynn City Auditorium has opened.
  • LynnArts has continued their gallery and community programming and is now upgrading it's black box theater to include a professional lighting track and stadium seating for smaller and more intimate performances than could be housed at the auditorium.
  • RAW has purchased and transformed their space making it more visually accessible from the street for all those who pass by and enter.
  • Gulu-Gulu, which exhibited art work, moved in and out.
  • Turbine Wine Bar, has moved in - with art work by local Sean Lobdell.
  • The Blue Ox has a fantastic collection of original paintings hanging on their walls.
  • LYNNHappens media guru Seth has begun to interview artists for his publication.
  • An opera group, Mass Theatrica, has made a home in the LynnArts building.
  • The steel drum Pan Jammers have a space right across the hall from me, and I have the pleasure of hearing them every Saturday (come stop by and you can listen too).
  • There's a place down across from the Salvation Army, "Fernando's" that is showing Brian Joyce's work.
  • The hair salon Zensationals, which is a little further up the street from the core downtown area, regularly exhibits the art work of previous TLGUTS exhibitor, Trinidad Martinez, amongst others.
  • The Lydia Pinkham building has gone through major renovations and boasts a growing artists community.
  • There is a new little space over near Capitol Diner filled with paintings - not sure what's going on in there, but go check it out.
  • Katerina started a Lynn Concepts blog including urban planning ideas and more.
  • People are writing blogs like nobody's business.
  • The Lynn Museum and LynnArts have both hosted musical events, exhibitions, and more.
  • Third Thursdays brought Central Square to life every Thursday night for years.
  • A break dancing group started at LynnArts
  • Building Bridges Hymnal Group secured a new space at LynnArts
  • Master Calligrapher Michiko Imai opened the Michiko Imai Studio at TLGUTS and began offering traditional calligraphy studio workshops.
Did I forget anything? (Sorry, it's pretty late and I've had a long day!)
Add it to the comments section below! Let's make this list grow and keep on growing!

In a nut shell, people in Lynn are catching on. The arts are important. There are people making and sharing work and ideas. There are also people traveling to Lynn to see those works and listen. This past year, over 70% of those who visited TLGUTS drove a half hour or more to get to the gallery. Many came from different states! People are paying attention.

We've exhibited over 200 artists over the past four years, greeted thousands of unique guests, have people from all over the world connecting to us via the web site and learning about Lynn for the first time, and it just keeps getting better.

Let's keep this going. Together. We are hosting a four year birthday party on April 9th at the gallery, which is also the closing reception for our VOICES: Mothers Who Create Exhibition, from 7-10pm. This event is NOT open to the public, you must email us and be put on our guest list. Sorry folks, but we are limited by our size, so email me soon. The list is getting full.

So why Lynn? Because I moved here to take part in the Renaissance of a community of diverse people, knowing that the one thing that can lift a city as diverse as this one is finding a common ground amongst us all, and celebrating it. Through the arts, we need to make the noise of celebrating our common humanity, our accomplishments, our positivity, our resourcefulness, and our pride -- so loud that it scares and scatters those who would try to stop us.

If you know me at all, then you know that I love a good challenge. I play to win. Once I put my mind to something, try and stop me. I am determined to do everything in my power to keep the arts alive in Lynn, to support my artists, my art community, and to continue to advocate for Lynn as an arts destination. Courtside is filling up, the ball is rolling and we need more players. Step up and play.