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Arlington Open Studios: A Success!

The Arlington Center for the Arts was bustling with artists and art-lovers this weekend for their annual Open Studio. 80 artists came together to display their art to be sold to festival goers. A collection of new and old artists, the weekend encompassed all that ACA is about – the presence of art in the community.

Connie Mooney, a new artist to Open Studio, discussed her stress leading up to the weekend. With her table and adjacent wall covered in her homemade jewelry around her, she stated, “I couldn’t stop making things, just in case.” It was clear that this new artist was someone to keep an eye on, as she explained that after registering for Open Studio, she was offered to teach a Mala Bead workshop at ACA.

The Mala Bead workshop will entail the class to create mala necklaces and bracelets for themselves, or even to be given as gifts. Woven into the mala necklace and bracelet making will be the history of the Mala beads, as well as a short meditation practice. The workshop will show students how they can use Mala beads as a means to bring peace and serenity into one’s own life. The workshop will be $40 and will take place on Saturday, November 12th from 3 to 5pm for Teens ages 13 to 16 and Friday, November 18th from 7 to 9pm for adults. To register for this workshop, please call (781) 648-6220.

Henry Olds was also in attendance for his third year at Open Studio, as well. His work, based heavily on the patterns one can see in everyday life, was the “face” for this year’s Open Studio. A piece that depicted a pattern of colorful blocks was used on each Open Studio flyer and generated positive feedback. Inspired by his young neighbor who had been working on a chalk pattern in her driveway, Olds took a photograph of her uncompleted work and manipulated it into the picture that would eventually be on display in the Gallery. “I see things and I want to emphasize the pattern,” he states.

In the Gallery, festival goers were lucky enough to get a live demonstration thanks to Mike Stratakis, local potter and pizza shop owner. Onlookers discussed how mesmerizing it was to watch Stratakis form perfect clay pots, mugs, bowls and cups in such a short amount of time right before their eyes.

The children onlookers were the most amazed. There was consistently a group of children huddled around the pottery wheel, watching in astonishment as they called out suggestions and Stratakis would create it all for them. “It’s like magic!” one girl exclaimed. “It is magic,” Stratakis responded, never taking his eyes off of his work.

The Open Studio weekend was a great success, allowing the local artists and the community to continue to show their appreciation for the arts. If you would like to get involved with ACA, please go to to see how!

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