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Welcome back to the 100 Delightful Things in Worcester Project, 2017 #RHPFF edition \o/ This year the lovely Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival interns, Sarah Meigs & Alli Jutras* are taking the reins & bringing us the good stuff. This week they were treated to a tour of local art staple, Arts Worcester.

xoxox,
Apple

ArtsWorcester is a delicious little art-filled organization, located in the renovated Aurora – a hotel that once existed in the heart of Main Street. The non-profit organization works to showcase the art of locals, and publicize the importance of the arts within the community. Most importantly, they encourage artists of all skills and ages to be a part of the thriving association, which unifies over the enjoyment of art.

On a sunny Thursday afternoon, Sarah and I made our way to 660 Main Street (after taking a few wrong turns). We were welcomed enthusiastically upon our arrival by executive director Juliet Feibel. Juliet took us on an extensive tour of the downstairs gallery, introduced us to the staff (including Scarlett Hoey and Tim Johnson), and gave us a run-through of the history of the organization and building.

ArtsWorcester was founded in 1979 by a group of artists and supporters, who originally named it the Cultural Assembly of Greater Worcester. After changing the home base of the organization multiple times, its headquarters and main galleries now reside in the old Aurora Hotel. ArtsWorcester has always been known for its celebration of the arts, and is eager to promote artists of all sorts. While touring the gallery located in the basement of the building, I was shocked to see the multitude of styles that each exhibiting artist portrayed. There were artfully carved sculptures, water color paintings massive in size, detailed still life paintings, simple drawings, and intricately designed ceramics. After noting each work of art, you can comparatively conclude that no two artists are alike at ArtsWorcester.

The exhibiting artists contribute to a huge part of the success at ArtsWorcester. Worcester artists are constantly seeking to display their work in the accompanying galleries. There are 3 main galleries extended from ArtsWorcester, including The Aurora, The Hanover, and The Hadley. The Aurora is the main gallery, and is located at the main location of ArtsWorcester, at 660 Main Street. The Hadley is right across the street from the Aurora location, at 657 Main Street. And the Hanover is located at the Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts.

Becoming a part of ArtsWorcester is a piece of cake (Wayne Thiebaud…anyone?) and a membership makes a variety of artist opportunities possible. With an ArtsWorcester membership, you’ll have the chance to exhibit your art, receive feedback on it, learn from other artist members, and establish lasting relationships with artist in your community. Exhibiting artist memberships are $55, Dual-Artist Household memberships are $90, Student Artist memberships are $20, and memberships for Worcester college students are free! Financial assistance can also be applied to, which helps artists who are in need financial support to afford the membership. A few membership perks include exhibiting work in members-only shows, complimentary entry to Artist Business Skills Workshops, discounts at C.C. Lowell, and 60% commission from personal gallery sales. I’m also happy to say that I requested a membership following our meeting with Juliet, and I’m now a proud member of ArtsWorcester!

To check out the gallery, find out more information about a membership, or visit an awesome spot in Worcester, head to 660 Main Street (or the Hanover/Hadley locations).

  ~Alli

*#TeamSalli FTW! Thank you Clark LEEP Program!

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Scattered – I’ve been truly scattered this last two weeks. Some of it is that Jack’s passing, and the anniversaries of other friends who have passed has me distracted (and, sister, I am distracted), but that’s just part of it. It isn’t that things aren’t happening, or that there’s been too much happening, even; I’ve just been having a tough time of organizing what it all is. Welcome to my January – I’m pretty sure that January and February are like this every year, to be completely honest.

So! Random thoughts, no particular order:

1. Chard-
Where have you been all my life? How could I have not known about you until I’m properly in my forties? Holy carp, chard! I want to eat you and eat you and eat you. I want to eat you with rice and tuna, I want to eat you in soup. I want to eat you gently wilted with garlic and olive oil. I want to chop up your delightful rainbow-colored stems and put them into my salad. Oh, chard, I adore you!

So we had soup  last night. Lentil soup with sausage, chard and garlic, to be precise (Oh, Smitten Kitchen,  I adore you!) and it called for this new vegetable. It’s not often I run into a vegetable that I haven’t tried at some point, so I was a wee bit excited in the produce aisle, I’ll admit. I set up the soup and ribboned up the chard to be ready for the last few minutes of cooking, and then while stirring said soup, decided to sample the chard and see what’s up. I called Dearest Will in to join me and my puzzled expression. He took a taste and promptly brought his own puzzled expression to the party. We couldn’t figure this stuff out – there are flavors of bok choy, beets, and citrus in there, alongside a slight astringency reminiscent of spinach, and a delightful crunch. Love. I went back for seconds on the soup because the soup was delicious, and the chard made that happen. So, um, chard may be my new favorite vegetable.

2. Meditation-
I’m trying.* Clearly, I am a slow learner. At least I’ve set up a nice space to focus.**

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