Creative Ventures Q&A
GP: How long have you been around?
BC: I’ve run Creative Ventures for four years. We were in Amherst in a split-level set-up. That wasn’t working, neither was the rent. So, we found a space that’s larger here. We’re able to have larger classrooms, in fact have two of them. We have a room specifically for a gallery room. I have a rotating different artist, and different shows in that room. We have shows every month. Since we came here, we do all these different things. We started a first Friday of the month art event in the evening, where we have an artist coming in to demo, or talk about some art-related subject and in fact, in September, we’re bringing art history back in.
GP: How is it going, with regard to attracting artists?
BC: Attracting artists in is fine. Right now, we’ve got the student show up. In November and December, we’ll have a show for local artists. We had roughly 50 artists in here last year for that show. So as far as getting the word out to the artists, we’re okay. The difficult thing is getting the word out to the people who are looking for art.
GP: There are a lot of great artists in this area.
BC: Yes, there are.
GP: Do you do a lot of classes here?
BC: We do a lot of classes. We have a lady in the back-class area, she has a teaching studio. We’re a combination of six different artist studios. Her classroom has a teaching area. She teaches watercolor, three times a week. The artist in this studio is a print maker. He does two drawing classes. And then I teach the pastel classes. And I have some outside teachers who come in to teach.
GP: What’s a good class size?
BC: We have had some that swell to about nine. Usually it’s more like six.
GP: Do people come in with a specific interest?
BC: Sometimes. Often people come in and say, “I want to get back into art. Where do I start?” If they don’t have a good drawing background, I try to start them with at least a month of drawing. At least four classes of drawing. I understand that it can seem boring because sometimes it’s with a pencil. But it’s also training your eye. That’s what people don’t understand. If you spend some time doing drawing, your painting on various kinds of formats will be so much better. They’re going to be so much happier with them. Simply because, drawing not only are you getting the graphic shape of what the object is, you’re looking at those shapes, you’re looking at relationships. You’re looking at all these things you need to do when you’re painting. Even when you’re doing sculpture, you need to be doing that.
GP: Do you rent space to artists just for them to work?
BC: I do. That’s what these six studios really are.
GP: Are there a lot of places for artists to show here in Milford?
BC: We put stuff up here. I know some people show in the Frame Depot. Some of the larger banks have artist programs. The restaurants don’t have a whole lot of space. I’ve poked my head into a few. The hospitals usually have rotating art.
GP: What’s the most popular class?
BC: Watercolor is popular, I think because of the teacher. Acrylic comes and goes. It’s with a brush. It’s similar to oil in appearance but it dries quicker. Sometimes it can have a texture to it. Our teacher also recently started working with palette knife, and when you work with palette knife, you’re laying the paint on, like plaster.
GP: What about multi-media?
BC: I’ve tried some of that, but I think people are more interested in playing with that at home. We tried to run a class in different ways, but none of it ever took.
GP: How do people sign up for classes?
BC: They can come in, or call. We have a really nice website. It allows people to go on, and they can even pay for a class on the website. The variations in cost depends on the numb—-er of weeks. Most of the classes are two hours. I set things up by each month. Not the workshops, but the classes.
GP: How do you feel about the support that Milford provides to the artists?
BC: It kind of comes and goes. Lately, it’s been a battle with construction and the street people. That’s not been real helpful.
GP: What about you- what do you like to do?
BC: I like pastel. I have been doing it for about twelve years. I used to do furniture and all kinds of things.
GP: What about other art shows in the community?
BC: We need more. Keyes used to do one. But there were a couple of years with storms. They tried to go inside, but that didn’t work at all. It would be nice to have one.
For more info, visit the gallery, located at 411 Nashua Street in Milford, call at 603.672.2500, or visit creativeventuresfineart.com.