Today we’d like to introduce you to Tom Tipton.
Tom , let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
For over 20 years Out of the Blue has been a space for local artists, musicians, poets and performers who represent diverse backgrounds and abilities. The Gallery evolved into a place for creative expression, from those performing or showing art for the first time to seasoned professionals, to express their hearts and souls, learn, teach and for the community at large to gather and enjoy their efforts.
Two years ago we had to move from 500sq. feet and landed into nearly 6,000, at the proverbial location location location. The Gallery expanded quickly from a tiny room, barely able to contain itself, to a massive space that not only includes a wider variety of performance but also acts as a home for a number of micro businesses, artist spaces and vendors. Handmade African clothing and gifts, vintage records, vintage clothing and junktiques, Ethiopian coffee ceremonies, Solstice ceremonies, workshops..and more.
The Gallery is an eclectic space that has been built on the experiences of the artists who work here and the people who support them. In the face of various challenges, both negative and positive, it continues to learn, grow, adapt, and become an even more inclusive space for the entire community of not only Cambridge but the entire metropolitan area.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I like to say, tongue in cheek, that the Gallery sells things people don’t need. Rocks, old bottles, art. Define need. Art, no matter which form it takes is something that is unique to each person whether they are creating it or appreciating. It is something that comes from the heart and soul and cannot be weighed or measured or quantified in some manner. It is who we are and who we want to be. It is an interpretation of life, from something that is just plain pretty and makes you smile to that classic soul searching gut wrenching masterpiece of humanity.
So the biggest challenge ? Staying alive in a world that is increasingly becoming more and more bar coded standardized and wrapped in plastic. Out of the Blue Too, Gallery & More offers something that is human and comes from the heart and soul of other humans.
Out of the Blue Too – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Out of the Blue began as several “art parties” in Boston’s Chinatown. They were a mixture of artists displaying, musicians playing, and poets reading. It seemed a natural mix of several disciplines of Art. They were fun and I noticed the vibrant interaction of those various disciplines and people involved. Artists go to art shows, poets go to poetry readings, and musicians go to shows. It didn’t take long for them to interact and cross pollinate creative ideas and paths and discover new ways to grow and expand their individual efforts. The public in general also responded in a very positive way. Surrounded by art, both visually and audibly, people opened up to the same creative and very human energy. Something I have always said; it is not about the art, it is about the people. Art is just the best excuse because it is the one thing that comes from our heart and soul.
OOTB quickly became known for making it easy and accepting to all to display their art or have some kind of show. Especially those that were not able to find opportunities in the usual venues available for art and music. We have worked with everybody from children as young as four years old to seniors. There is likely to be artwork hanging created by someone who is challenged in any number of ways to someone who makes a living through their efforts. Either one is just as likely to sell or be enjoyed as a performance.
The Gallery is well known for offering opportunities to all in a way that gives the artist or performer as much creative license as they need, and keeping the process as simple and affordable as possible.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
Though it is not exactly on one hand a big moment, on the hand it is a quiet moment hardly noticed by the public. An artist who was autistic and had participated in a group show came back several months later and asked if he could have a show of his own. He came alone and when I brought this up to the woman who ran the program, her jaw dropped to the ground as she asked me “he did that all by himself ?” The artist statement that i asked him to write ? To this day I will make people read it and I keep his work hanging because together it demonstrates the individual empowerment that art can bring to a persons life.
- There is original art priced from as low as $25. to several thousand dollars.
- Most pieces are priced between $200. to $500.
- Address: Out of the Blue Too
541 Mass Ave.
Cambridge, Ma. 02139
- Website: outoftheblueartgallery.com
- Phone: 617 354 5287
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Keytar Bear, Eli Portman, Dug McCormack, Lorenzo Geraci, Sweetree Ink