Building Community in the Northwest

Celebrating Together To Make The Mt. Airy Art Garage A Reality After completing our second weekend of the Mt. Airy Art Garage, we are all being struck by an unexpected experience. It’s not about how many visitors crossed the portals of our doors. It’s not about artists’ sales, and it’s not about more Holiday marketing ads to bring you in. It’s about community. We have been deeply moved by the warm embraces of visitors thanking us for what we are doing. We become teary-eyed at unexpected (and ongoing) dropoffs of home-made food for everyone at our festivities. We are touched by the musicians who have stepped forward to volunteer their time, for the love of art, to add warmth to everyone’s spirits in a cold Garage. We laugh with our artists as they run through the aisles in glee having sold a painting of the highest caliber. Everything is offered with a smile, or an embrace, and open heart. The crossroads of cooperation. Weavers Way has embraced our vision with their support. Our brainstorm, our vision became theirs, employees and managers alike. They have provided us with space, with opportunity, with moral support. Businesses in Germantown, Mt. Airy, and Chestnut Hill have stepped forward with food donations to feed the soul, provide Holiday cheer, and add some chocolate to the mouths of babes—old and young alike. Some of the businesses who have opened their hearts to us include High Point Café, Little Night Kitchen, Bredenbecks, Baker Street Bread, Point of Destination Café, Mi Puebla, Platinum Grill, Urban Café, Metropolitan Bakery, and more. Our first weekend, Meg, owner of High Point Café, welcomed us into the neighborhood with wonderful signs, coffee, and scones for all. Neighbors come by with baked goods, home-made treats, and cider! Our Mt. Airy Art Garage musicians have come from all walks of life, all volunteering their time—professionals such as Richard Drueding, Terri Rambo, Barry Goldstein, Zak Stock, Jerry Allender and his trio, Slippery Slope, to name a few. And then we are thrilled to have new, emerging artists like Mark Robinson, Ian Zolitar, Sondra Rodriguez—and that’s for starters. Some have already played, others will come soon. Perhaps Barry put it the  best this past weekend when he said “This place is really cool, and I am here to play and be a part of it.” That’s what it’s all about—cooperation, making art happen, all for the love of doing it. So, wish us well for our final weekend. We will have the largest, most diverse offering of fine art and handcraft yet—with live music all day long! In 2010, we move on to the next phase of our vision and dreams—to create an Artist Cooperative at 542 W. Carpenter Lane. The Mt. Airy Art Garage is not a competition—we are an Art Collaboration in its purest form. We are artists, creating art for you, our neighbors, our community. We are a magnet for energy, support, laughter, song, and for sharing. So join us, celebrate our last weekend, this Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 19-20 from 10 am-6 pm at 542 West Carpenter Lane. We welcome you with open arms.

Mt. Airy Art Garage Launches Weekend Arts and Crafts Market at 542 W. Carpenter Lane

Northwest Artists Create Unique One-of-a-Kind Art While Building Vision With Northwest Community Mt. Airy Art Garage started out as a vision for cofounders Arleen Olshan and Linda Slodki:

  • To launch an ongoing weekend Fine Arts and Handcrafts Market where neighbors can bring their families and friends to eat, drink, buy special gifts, and support artists.
  • To create an art cooperative where art, studio space, and galleries would become a reality in 2010.
  • To highlight artists and bring neighbors into a new venue that is part of the developing Northwest Village of Germantown, Mt. Airy, and Chestnut Hill.

Last week this vision began moving toward becoming a reality. Twenty artists met at Weavers Way, representing custom leatherworkers, jewelers, mixed media and fiber artists, sculptors, photographers, painters, you name it—talent all from the Northwest! They rolled up their sleeves and are working hard to make this a reality. The Mt. Airy Art Garage already represents new faces, familiar faces, professional artists, emerging artists, older artists, younger artists. Linda Slodki added, “You may just find a rainbow of work, culture, and experience. We believe we are in the beginnings of a truly diverse and cooperative effort.” The Market will launch it opening in December. It will be open from 10 am-6 pm on Dec. 5-6, Dec. 12-13, Dec. 19-20. We invite artists to attend our meetings, and join us. Be a part of our vision. Become a volunteer. Help us to make this vision a reality.