Hull Artists – a regional association of more than 120 fine artists and craft artisans – is looking forward to hosting its 26th Open Studios on July 9 and 10 in support of local artists and Hull businesses, which will benefit from the influx of local and visiting art patrons.
This year’s sponsors, who enable Hull Artists to better promote the event, are the O’Brien family and Jake’s Seafood, which is the lead sponsor, Charisma Realty, Rockland-based Panopticon, Inc., and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. The group’s leadership encouraged community members to repay these businesses for their support with patronage throughout the season.
Many artists will display their paintings, prints, mixed media, pottery, jewelry, and other works from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the Open Studios weekend. A similar event is planned for Sept. 17 and 18.
This is an opportunity for residents on the South Shore and beyond to experience local art at its best and to connect with the artists in their home studios and at various community locations around town.
Through 2019, Open Studios was supported in part by paid advertising in the event’s fliers or brochures. Due to the pandemic, the event was canceled in 2020.
“The HA Open Studios team decided last year not to produce a 40-page brochure filled with paid advertising from local businesses that were probably still under duress from the pandemic,” Bart Blumberg, president of the Hull Artists board of directors, told The Hull Times.
Accordingly, HA decided to seek sponsorship support from one of its past supporters and selected Jake’s Seafood.
“The owners immediately agreed to sponsor the event,” Blumberg said. With limited funding, beyond the registration fees paid by the participating artists, HA cut back on printed marketing as well as advertising.
The strategy for 2022 was to approach only four businesses, each in their own field, to solicit sponsorships.
“We sought sponsorships from a restaurant (Jake’s Seafood), a Realtor (Charisma), a builder/developer (not obtained), and a hotel (not obtained),” Blumberg explained. “When the builder and hotel sponsorships didn’t materialize, we decided to venture outside of Hull and approach businesses that were known to support arts and cultural events regionally. This led us to our relationship with Panopticon in Rockland.”
Jim O’Brien of Jake’s said his family supports the event to allow the artists to share their work. “They are local artists and community members, and I love the fact that they are creating and sharing their beautiful art with the community on a regular basis” O’Brien said. “An important ingredient in today’s life is to have some balance to the chaos, and the Hull Artists and the Open Studios are a wonderful counterbalance to all of that.”
A big plus, he said, is that art patrons who participate in this event are not only supportive of the artists but also their community, including local businesses.
“Hull’s art community has grown to the point, offering such a diversity of art, that it has really put Hull on the map. This will be a wonderful weekend excursion,” O’Brien said. “The table tent set up at Jake’s promoting the Open Studios has drawn a lot of interest.”
Panopticon Imaging Inc. owner Paul Sneyd said his company has done work for a number of Hull artists and that he has attended some of the Open Studios in the past as a “lover of the arts” and to support his HA clients. Panopticon provides both digital and darkroom services, as well as custom framing, digital restorations, and matting and mounting.
“Having such a great art network in a community is a good thing,” Sneyd said. “People love to go to the Open Studios, and it’s a good way to draw visitors to the area.”
Charisma Realty owner Kendall Wright Salluce said she was honored to be asked to be a sponsor. “All the Hull Artists are their own small businesses, and being a small businesses owner myself, I know how much the support from the local community keeps us going,” she said.
Over the years, Charisma has partnered with a few artists to display their work in the office. “When clients come in, they can see the art, purchase a piece, and hopefully place it in their new house,” Salluce explained. “We have also given art as housewarming gifts, which is a nice way for them to start the process of making their new house a home.”
What makes the Hull Artist Open Studios so special, she said, is how the event brings people into Hull “and lets them experience our small community and see the beautiful surroundings. These beaches, sunsets/sunrises, sand, and sea glass can be seen in a lot of the artists’ work – and as inspiration – and allow us all to bring nature into our homes.”
The Massachusetts Cultural Council grant will help cover costs of the Open Studios, audience development, and engagement activities. MCC grants are awarded for “festivals” that “bring culture home … build community, encourage cultural dialogue, and drive tourism and economic development.”
Open Studios has proved to be a success for artists, visitors, and local businesses in the past, attracting more than 1,000 art patrons each year who enjoy experiencing Hull’s eclectic neighborhoods as they go from one venue to another.
The vision of the original Hull Artists Studio Connection (now known as Hull Artists), founded in 1995 to promote local artists through the “open studios” concept, has remained ever since.
This annual event is in keeping with Hull Artists’ goal of promoting locally created fine art and artisan crafts – and Hull, as a seaside arts destination.
For full Open Studios details, including downloadable listings of participating artists and maps of their locations, visit hullartists.com/openstudios.
Printed material will also be available at many businesses around Hull, including Hull Artists’ Gallery Nantasket at 121 Nantasket Ave. The retail gallery exhibits a full range of art, including painting media (oil, acrylic, watercolor), pastels, pencil drawings, photography, as well as artisan-crafted jewelry, fiber and fabric arts, clothing, pottery, cards, and more. Hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For information, visit hullartists.com, email info@HullArtists.com, call 781-780-1188, or follow Hull Artists and Gallery Nantasket on Facebook and Instagram.