By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer
Marlborough – On Dec. 6, a relatively new group known as Marlborough Makers began its 10-week art show called “Nautical Nonsense” at Tackle Box Brewing Company, located inside Strange Brew at 416 Boston Post Rd. E. in Marlborough. Some of the 16 artists displaying pieces are exhibiting their artwork publicly for the first time.
The group’s founder, Jamie Andrade of Marlborough, received a bachelor’s degree in fine arts at MassArt. She chose the name Marlborough Makers to broaden the group’s appeal.
“The term ‘makers’ is more acceptable to people who maybe don’t have formal training or don’t see themselves formally as an artist,” she explained.
In June 2018, Andrade launched a Facebook page on which she announced, “Marlborough Makers is a collective of volunteers who work to create a networking platform for artists, musicians, writers, tinkerers and budding entrepreneurs in the Marlborough and surrounding Central Mass. area.”
Clicking the “Community” tab on its Facebook page offers artists an opportunity to interact and share resources.
“It’s potentially a great space for community conversations about art without necessarily traveling,” Andrade noted.
Meetups are held at Marlborough cafés or bars as casual get-togethers with other likeminded community members. The first meetup helped artists create or improve websites to display their work.
Marlborough Makers has access to the vacant storefront at 266 Main Street to display artwork in the windows. The first exhibit there was Labor Day weekend, featuring two- and three-dimensional shadowboxes. Andrade is hopeful that a community art gallery will be housed inside this or another space in the future.
The group has promoted its mission at community events including the weekly summertime Farmers Market at Union Common, Marlborough Junior Woman’s Club’s Trunk or Treat and the city’s downtown trick-or-treat.
Ten of the artists exhibiting in “Nautical Nonsense” are Marlborough residents. In addition to Andrade, they are Mary Watson Avery, Vinnie Basile, Wendy Fullam, Robin Hackett, Kevin Pagan, Melissa Stratton Pandina, Robert Preciado, Barbara Wechter and Demetrious Zouharis. The others hail from the Metrowest area to Boston.
The “Nautical Nonsense exhibit is varied, Andrade noted.
“It’s a really wide range of styles from more traditional to very contemporary, almost pop-surrealist,” she relayed. “Some people took the ‘nonsense’ part and ran with it, so there’s a lot of humor in their art.”
Marlborough Makers didn’t charge artists a submission fee and won’t take a commission. The artists will receive 100 percent from art sales. Andrade deems this arrangement a win-win for everyone involved including patrons of the arts.
“Having no submission fee opened it up to people who wouldn’t consider exhibiting a piece in a public show,” Andrade said. “When there’s a commission taken, artists raise their price in order to make any money. No commission makes the artwork affordable. By not taking a cut, I’m hoping people can walk away with pieces of art that they really love in a price range they can afford.”
The group’s next meetup will be Thursday, Feb. 13, from 6 to 8 p.m., at Tackle Box. “Nautical Nonsense” will continue through Friday, Feb. 14, during Tackle Box’s business hours: Wednesdays and Thursdays, noon to 9 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays, noon to 10 p.m.; and Sundays, noon to 6 p.m. For more information, visit marlboroughmakers.com and facebook.com/MarlboroughMakers.