Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Bit of Progress

Well things are getting interesting. A local gift shop wants to take the Seasons image prints on consignment. Despite the famed "bargain" mentality of the Worcester, MA buying community, I have a good feeling about this. Now I should say a word about this mindset. It's perfectly understandable in a town like this which was an old mill town just like a lot of them are here in MA. Central MA in particular has a history of manufacturing that goes back at least a century or more. Whole towns were kept going by companies like AO in Southbridge, and Wyman Gordon in Grafton. AO now is a shell of what it once was, and the towns surrounding it are not the better for it. Wyman Gordon was huge, and it's much smaller now. So much has been outsourced or shipped overseas where there's supposedly "cheaper" labor. In some ways, Worcester, the hub of Central MA has not ever quite been the same since this mass exodus. Now of course, the city is seeking to re-invent itself, but the sort of utilitarian mindset still lingers. Art that you can use is what a lot of folks here understand. Like a chair, or a dresser, or jewelry, and these are all good things.

Now, factor in this little shockwave we've had called "The Great Recession" and you see why people are holding onto their funds a little tighter. I get it. Having said that, I also believe that people here are understanding the value of visual art. No, you can't wear it, or eat out of it, or store things in it, but a piece of well-executed visual artwork just does something for you that nothing else quite does. Maybe you can't explain what it evokes in you, what feelings it draws out of you, but you feel something.

That's what good artwork will do, and that's what I'm expecting at Bhadon Gift Gallery on Pleasant St. in Worcester, open since the mid 1970s, and as much a part of this town as any factory or college. Come check it out.

More Later