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Locally renowned artist reaches out to all artists to join free workshops

By Melanie Petrucci, Contributing Writer

Sid Solomon with his portrait titled “Melissa” (Photo/Melanie Petrucci)

Region – Locally renowned artist Sid Solomon is an integral part of a thriving community of artists in Worcester and neighboring communities. Since 1980, Solomon has nurtured his art in his home studio in Worcester. Although a modest individual, Solomon’s studio is anything but, as it contains an impressive collection of his works which range from sketches and portraits to landscapes.

Solomon was born in Springfield and grew up in Worcester and remembers loving the arts since he was about 4 years old. He has enjoyed a career spanning six decades that has taken him down south, to our nation’s capital, and across the globe to Germany. Now in his 80s, Solomon isn’t slowing down. He recently held a solo exhibit of his work in July at the Northborough Free Library.

Always looking to share ideas and gain knowledge, Solomon stumbled upon The Free Peoples Artists’ Workshop in the 1970s. This Worcester-based group includes artists from all spheres, including painting, poetry, music, dance and more. Members meet informally, once a month, to offer critique and feedback on one another’s works.

Solomon described the first meetings.

“We met in a room in the basement of a house on Elm Street that was owned by Becker Junior College. People sat in a circle around a pot belly stove and everybody took a turn reading something that they had written or to share something they had created. I was one of two painters in the group.”

Presenters benefitted from hearing comments and suggestions from other artists.

Sadly, the group disbanded after the group’s leader relocated. In the meantime, Solomon continued his exploration of drawing and painting the human figure at weekly sessions of the Worcester Life Drawing Group, which he coordinates.

“Some years ago I was interested in joining other groups and I would do demonstrations at these groups,” he explained. “That’s how I got involved with the Shrewsbury Artists Guild. It was dormant for several years but John Gaston started it up again and they meet at Southgate. I helped him run the group and I was once vice president. It’s quite active now.”

He is also a member of the Princeton Arts Society.

Solomon always kept the thought in the back of his mind that The Free Peoples Artists’ Workshop should be revived. No other group had filled the void in bringing together segments of the art community.

“Worcester needs such a group,” he said. “It is about creative techniques and possibilities. It is open to artists of all descriptions, art lovers and everyone curious about the arts. It is a learning experience in the development of aesthetic taste.”

Solomon, along with his friend Sam Lalos, approached the Worcester County Poetry Association with their idea and the poetry association agreed and lent their support. Lalos knew of a small bookstore called Annie’s Book Stop in Worcester which had the space. Solomon went about bringing back old members and recruiting new.

Solomon is a graduate of Worcester’s now-defunct Classical High School where he won the Service Clubs Essay Competition which led to a scholarship to the Worcester Art Museum’s art program. He received a certification in art while earning a Bachelor of Arts from Clark University in 1955. He eventually received his master’s in art education from Florida State University and, much later, a doctorate in art theory and criticism from the University of Georgia in 1981.

He enlisted in the Army after college, spent three years serving, then moved south to teach art courses for the U.S. Army Arts & Crafts Program at Fort Benning which led to a similar post in Grafenwoehr, Germany. During this stint in Europe, he had access to major centers of arts which greatly informed his doctoral dissertation.

Solomon’s primary medium is painting. He studied portraiture under nationally known painter and teacher Edmund Archer and he taught at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C. A self-described cubist, Solomon is also prolific in the plein air method, and has produced many stunning New England landscapes.

Solomon hopes that artists coming together through The Free Peoples Artists’ Workshop will result in “better art by better artists and a better society.”

Meetings take place the fourth Monday of the month from 7-9 p.m. at Annie’s Book Stop, 65 James St., in Worcester. Coffee and tea are provided for small donations and members may bring snacks to share. For more information, contact Sid Solomon at 508-852-8860, or by email solomon_a1@yahoo.com.

Short URL: http://www.communityadvocate.com/?p=93722

Posted by on Sep 21 2017. Filed under Byline Stories, Neighbors in the news, People and Places, Region. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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