Past, Present, Future

A Message From Arleen Olshan

I had a difficult experience last night. For the first time in a year, Linda and I walked together on Mt. Airy Avenue past our former building for the Mt. Airy Art Garage. We witnessed the lights being on, our logo being removed from the glass front and people working in the space.

As I looked at the walls that were the gallery, the pod that our architect designed for the bathrooms, the studio walls that were 1/2 rippled plastic, seeing the light and openness of the space with the fans turning, I realized how my heart was broken when this lovely creation was taken from us. The move probably affected all the artists, art-loving neighbors, and supporters who helped us build out the location too. The six years we celebrated the arts in that space was beyond all of our dreams and expectations. We have moved forward and are rebuilding, but neither of us expected the emotion that poured out when seeing the property once again.

So, where are we now? How have we been doing during this period of transition? The Mt. Airy Art Garage is currently operating a fine art and handcraft gallery at 6622 Germantown Avenue, in partnership with Mt. Airy USA. We are waiting for the promised buildout of our new space (across the street) at 6651– 59 Germantown Ave. with the current proposal for completion being Fall 2018. This new location will be transformed into a multi-use space for MAAG with new apartments above our digs.

We have been very active this year in local public schools, working with children on murals, partnering in a variety of artistic endeavors and businesses in our area. We have partnered with Philadelphia Theater Company and will deepen that partnership in 2018. We continue to work with artists of all disciplines, spreading creativity into Pleasant Playground, showing work in City Hall, and, of course, highlighting the work of Northwest artists, from emerging to professional.

Next week, Saturday, August 26th, we will be hosting our first fundraiser at Summit Presbyterian Church with Never Gonna Give You Up (particularly appropriate today) 80s Dance Party with DJ Robert Drake. We have reduced the ticket price to $20 to make it more affordable for everyone. It will be a great night of dancing, making new friends, and enjoying donations from local businesses like Earth, Bread, and Brewery, McMennamins, Night Kitchen, High Point, and more. Remember, in supporting MAAG, you are supporting community artists — your friends, neighbors and family members.

Visit us at the Gift Shop. We are open Wednesday–Saturday, from 12–6 PM. All are welcome. Artists, continue to bring your work. We will make space to show and market your creations. And tell your friends.

See you this Saturday night where we’ll all come together for the 80s and for MAAG and “Rock The Casbah.”

— Arleen Olshan