Posts Tagged ‘SOWA Vintage Market’

Paula Ogier Cat portrait

“Trudy” by Paula Ogier

I’ve made a lot of new art over the past year. From painted city photographs to poster design to animal portraits to humorous illustrations, and more, I’ve been painting my fool head off with my electronic pen.

If you haven’t visited my artist website lately (or ever, for that matter!), I invite you to step inside.

In May 2014, I moved into Studio 203 at 450 Harrison Avenue in Boston’s South End. Having a studio that is open to the public has been, as they say, “game-changey.” Initially, the only thing I even hoped for was a dedicated space for my art making. That was good enough! But once I started getting visitors and hearing feedback about my work – and even better, selling my work – I saw the opportunity in meeting people who come to see art. Sure, it’s great to be able to sell artwork online and through companies, but really wonderful to stand in front of the person who wants to buy my art. I had no idea how different that would feel.

May through October, while the outdoor SoWa Sunday market was going on, I was in my studio every Sunday. I worked on projects while people, many of whom simply came into the building to use the bathrooms, wandered into my studio and looked around. My studio mate Barbara makes clay jewelry (shaping and baking the beads before stringing them) and pretty decoupaged glass trinket plates, so between that and my collection of art prints, there’s a good eclectic selection of things for visitors to explore.

Paula Ogier art print

“The Footbridge” by Paula Ogier

Since November, the crowds have shrunk. People still come down to the SoWa art + design district on Sundays for the indoor Vintage Market next door, but until the farmer’s market, artisans’ tents, food trucks and warm weather return in May, it’ll be much quieter.

That’s okay. I’m using this time to experiment with creative ideas that have been kicking around in my head all year. I recently got myself a large flat file cabinet for storing prints. The top of it gives me an additional work space.

I’m listening to podcasts about operating an art business, and going to one-on-one training sessions at the Apple Store to learn to better use my Mac laptop. And I’m listening to music! The creative and productive juices are flowing, and this wintry semi-alone time is enjoyable, too.

Again, I invite you to visit my website, and if you’re in the Boston area, please visit my studio. You are welcome to call me at 617.780.1245 to see if I’ll be there.

Above images property of Paula Ogier.

1) “Trudy” Copyright © 2015 Paula Ogier

2) “The Footbridge” © 2014 Paula Ogier


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SoWa Vintage MarketMeandering through the vintage market usually stirs my artistic imagination. Today is no exception! There are so many patterns, colors and motifs to take in. These sunny scenes are from this Sunday morning at the SoWa Vintage Market in Boston’s South End neighborhood.

SoWa Vintage Market SoWa Vintage Market

It was also a treat to see the sunlight filtering in on this day after some pretty goopy, gloomy weather.

If you’re not familiar with the SoWa Vintage Market, it’s open every Sunday, 10 am-4 pm, year-round in the South End. Here’s more info.

SoWa Vintage Market

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DSC02278Another season of SoWa Sundays begins! Sunday, May 5 marks the first day of this neighborhood staple that runs 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. through mid-fall. There is an outdoor artisans’ market, an outdoor farmers’ market, an indoor vintage market and delicious food truck meals in an open air shelter in the parking lot on Harrison Avenue between Gaslight restaurant and Randolph Street.

Some artists at the 450 Harrison Avenue studios will even open their doors to the public on Sundays. There’s a sandwich board sign just inside the building’s Thayer Street entrance that will tell you which artists are in that day.

Here’s a handy map of the South End’s SoWa (South of Washington Street) District.

A very cool event happening Sunday, May 19th is the SoWa Plant Swap. If you’ve got too much of something growing in your garden, you can take some of it there and trade it for something else. What a neighborly idea!


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Cover of LIFE Magazine, September 5, 1969

Cover of LIFE Magazine, September 5, 1969 with story titled “Peter Max: Portait of the artist as a very rich man”

The SOWA Vintage Market has a little something for everyone. Open every Sunday in Boston’s South End neighborhood, it has three long rooms housing a variety of vintage ware dealers. Some dealers are there regularly, while others rotate in and out. The fun, energetic music adds to the charm of discovering clothes ranging from glitzy 50’s-era cocktail dresses and sparkly baubles to clear acrylic platform shoes, feathered hats and Jackie-O style jackets with big buttons and 3/4-length sleeves. Non-wearables might be anything from record albums and old paintings to repainted furniture, ceramic ramekins, lamps, signs, curious storage containers and carry-alls, and giant metal mixing paddles for commercial mixers. This past weekend, one of my companions picked up a pair of square-toed black velvet Ferragamo pumps in great condition for $22.

This winter I found a copy of LIFE Magazine there from September 5, 1969. I bought it for $15. What attracted me to this particular issue was the image on the cover of the head of a then young Peter Max floating upon a pastel pink, blue, lavender and yellow sea of his own artwork. The artwork is made to look as though it is being peeled away like an onion skin to reveal rows of dollar signs behind it. And the headline — Peter Max: Portrait of the artist as a very rich man.

"The Mark of Max is Everywhere" from LIFE Magazine, September 5, 1969

“The Mark of Max is Everywhere” from LIFE Magazine, September 5, 1969

In 2010, I wrote a blog piece called Circling Back to Peter Max in Another Galaxy, reminiscing about his artistic influence on me and about meeting him at an art reception in Providence, RI. Naturally, I was interested in this LIFE Magazine issue, published when I was 11 years old and just becoming aware of Max’s art. I knew he’d gained fame and wealth at a young age, so I wasn’t surprised that this article described him as a tycoon at 29, owning five companies and licensing his designs to 50 other companies.

Images of Peter Max at work and at play from LIFE Magazine, September 5, 1969 issue

Images of Peter Max at work and at play from LIFE Magazine, September 5, 1969 issue

Its author, whose name is not given, describes Max’s art at the time as “a savory rehash of art nouveau, pop and op. It’s every bit as exotic and eclectic as his three-continent background: he was born in Berlin and brought up in Shanghai, Israel, Paris and Brooklyn.”

One of several two-page spreads in the article is captioned “Self-portrait of the artist voyaging through a kaleidoscopic cosmos.” It features a poster which, “created especially for LIFE, is a pictorial autobiography of the artist. Entitled Portrait of the Artist at the Dawn of the Golden Age, it chronicles Max’s terrestrial and spiritual journey through life.”

"Portrait of the Artist at the Dawn of the Golden Age" from LIFE Magazine, September 5, 1969

“Portrait of the Artist at the Dawn of the Golden Age” from LIFE Magazine, September 5, 1969

It’s a weird little slice of 20th-century American history in the Art section of this old magazine, beside a story about Japanese GI babies coming of age, and another about Richard Nixon’s five-acre retreat at San Clemente, complete with photos of top aides H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman bare-chested and preparing their sailboat for a cruise off the California coast. There are ads for Del Monte canned creamy-style corn, for Sony’s Digimatic Forget-You-Not clock radio in Deluxe Hardwood sporting a handy speaker that hides under your pillow, and for Viceroy and Marlboro cigarettes. The magazine’s cover price: 40 cents.

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The outdoor season for Boston’s SOWA Sundays is in its final weekend. Tomorrow (Sunday, October 30) is the last chance for 2011 to experience the open air magic at this fun, sprawling, dog-friendly site that hosts a farmer’s market, an artisan market, a vintage market (indoors), occasional live music, and a mouthwatering line-up of food trucks, amidst a collection of galleries, shops, and artists’ studios in Boston’s South End. SOWA stands for South of Washington Street, and these markets-within-a-market inhabit these spaces on Harrison Avenue, one block south of Washington Street:
The SOWA Farmers Market  – 500 Harrison Avenue
The SOWA Open Market – 460 Harrison Avenue (at the end of Thayer Street)
The SOWA Vintage Market  – Indoors at 460C Harrison Avenue

This casual and stylish neighborhood tradition, while still young, has grown immensely in the last couple of years. Its many offerings bring a bustling crowd to the Harrison Street area every Sunday for everything from herbs, honey, fresh produce, free range chickens, baked goods and smoked fish, to paintings, jewelry, baby clothes, home decor, stationery, refurbished furniture, antique typewriters, vintage shoes, miso-seared salmon wraps and foot-long chili dogs.

The rotating selection of food trucks has included BBQ Smith, Bon Me Foods, Boston Frosty, Boston Speed Dog, C-Cups Cupcakes & More, Clover, Eat, Go Fish, Grilled Cheese Nation, Grillos Pickles, Lefty’s Silver Cart, Lincoln Street Coffee, M&M Ribs, Rhode Illin Ice Cream, Roxy’s Gourmet Grilled Cheese, Silk Road BBQ, Staff Meal, The Cupcakory, The Dining Car, The Froyo Truck, and Trolley Dogs.  

The Go Fish food truck, one of many tasty options available

After this weekend, I will miss this great excuse to get outside on Sundays and wander five minutes down my street to all the colors, creativity, energy, dogs, and delicious aromas. All the outdoor artists’ tents won’t be back again until May 2012.

Fortunately, the SOWA Farmer’s Market will continue through the winter beginning November 13, so fresh, locally grown produce can still be found in this neighborhood. The indoor SOWA Vintage Market will also remain open on Sundays after the SOWA outdoor season ends. It will be closed on Christmas and New Year’s Sundays.

And on the first Friday night of every month, the SOWA First Fridays tradition continues, with SOWA Artists Guild artists opening their studio doors to the public for art, conversation and refreshments. Pay these talented folks a visit!

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