LZ Nunn of the City’s Office of Cultural Affairs and Special Events reports that the art market in Lowell is surprisingly strong even as the Great Recession holds back the economy in general. Lowell has hundreds of artists of all kinds. Each one is a small business even if that’s not how people always think of artists. Whether it is Steve O’Connor selling a book of short stories, Tom Gill or Pamela Wamala selling a painting, or Bob Martin selling a music CD, the cultural producers are the foundation of the creative economy and broad regional economy.
LZ says that Maxine Farkas of Western Avenue Studios counted 1,900 visitors or customers at WAS last weekend. The artists, according to Maxine, have had the best sales month ever, reaching almost $40,000 in sales.
web photo courtesy of wrenandrosestudio.com
At the Brush Gallery & Studios in Market Mills, Eileen Byrne told LZ, “We did unbelievably well. We had great sales of original paintings….” In one weekend, The Brush had $6,800 in sales.
In its new gallery at 22 Shattuck Street (former Revolving Museum), the Arts League of Lowell also did very well over the weekend, says LZ.
Add to this the increased cinema activity generated by “The Fighter” and recent ticketed performance and sports events at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium, Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell, and Merrimack Repertory Theatre, and you get a picture of a vital arts and entertainment sector in Lowell and Greater Lowell.