Did you follow the orange balloons downtown this weekend? If so, you were on the trail to vibrant and unique local art during the Nashua ArtWalk.
Seriously, the balloons were such a smart detail for the walk. I did not grab a map but followed the balloons to great success! In fact, they led me to what is, hands down, the coolest building in Nashua – the Picker Building on Factory Street.
I’m obsessed with the history of the mills, probably since I read Lyddie in 8th grade, and I’ve been aching to get into a mill building in Nashua. Cue the Picker Building, an old mill that’s been converted to studios for artists. Yep, an entire building dedicated to artists! Even as I type this I’m still amazed it exists. It hasn’t been completely updated, so I could still picture mill girls walking up the spiral staircases to the hot factory rooms.
The highlight of the weekend was walking into each of the studios in the building and seeing the skills and perspectives of people in the community. The variety of talent blew me away! There were glass makers, ceramics, photographers, painters, a quilter, and a jewelry maker. And in almost all the cases, the decor and atmosphere of their studios were as beautiful as the pieces they create. What an inspiring environment to create in, and a stimulating place to visit. If you missed the building this time, don’t fret! The next chance to get into this historic gem is Sunday, December 6th from 11am-4pm at the Picker Building Holiday Open House. And when the new Broad Street Parkway exit opens, it will take people right past Picker. A boon I’m sure, to these local artists. Below are some of the studios and artists you can check out. (I had so many holiday gift ideas I’ll be back to buy. It makes shopping at the mall or online seem pretty boring.)
Saturday was the kind of beautiful weather that pushes you outside, and by late afternoon the artwalk trail was bustling with people. Local bands livened up various spots downtown, and the trail from the parking lot behind Darrel’s to the Picker Building was a particularly colorful stroll.
Trying to squeeze all the art into one day was tight! Even after spending 4 hours downtown on Saturday I hadn’t seen everything, and ended up coming back on Sunday, although the rainy weather wasn’t as conducive to walking. I love coming to an event like this not just for the art itself, but the idea of being around so many people who put their passion to paper and follow through on an idea. The mere process of work can be art itself. I loved this note I found hanging up in the Picker Building, which says it all: