Monday, January 14, 2013
When Somerville Hugs You Back
This is my second time living in Somerville. The first time was in 2001, when I graduated from college, started working full-time, and after a sleepless summer realized that I needed to be out of the student neighborhood in Allston. So I looked on Craigslist and found a room in a big house in Teele Square, just around the corner from a good friend, and lived there for two years with a revolving cast of roommates. At that time, zines were the main creative force in my life, and purely by chance I was recruited by a fellow zine-maker to take part in the very first Bazaar Bizarre craft fair at the VFW in Davis Square. This was the beginning of something, but at the time I didn't know that.
My second Somerville residence began in mid-2009, when a friend living there let me know that the apartment below her was vacant, and should I be interested in living there, we could drink tea and work on art projects all the time. You know, in case that appealed. It did. Although part of a fantastic living arrangement north of the city, I'd been getting weary of being so far from "the action" or whatever, and found myself hoping to live somewhere with more community and more art and more places to hang out. So I moved back, and for the first time I lived alone, and even though I was doing a decent job of making it work, I was really REALLY scared of messing everything up for a solid six months or so. But eventually I got a couch, and I made a budget, and I started working on a lot of projects, and over three years later I'd say that it's been going better than well. I've met some interesting people, worked on lots of artwork alone and with friends, I've drawn several posters for Bazaar Bizarre, and I joined the community of artists at WSAC, or The Art Center, as I usually call it.
All of which is to say that Somerville and I have been getting along quite well, creatively. It is a good place and it is good that I am here.
What was good got even better last week, when I found out that I've been awarded a fellowship grant from the Somerville Arts Council this year. Yes! This is based on the work I've done so far, and will essentially be an investment in the work I'm going to do this year, which is very exciting. It is an honor, and all the more special as it means I'm representing/being recognized by a place that I am quite fond of. I want to make lots of great things this year, and make Somerville proud. And I want you to come see these things, and experience this place that means so much to me.