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Thought-Provokers: Middlesex, Essex & New Hampshire

Boston has always had an artistic soul.  The culture and heritage of our city, like most great cities, owes a tremendous debt to the arts community.  Supporting local art is something we care deeply about and we’d like to do everything we can to help the local arts community thrive.  Unfortunately, too often media attention is monopolized by corporate interests and tabloid gossip – but culture doesn’t come from a focus on celebrity breakups it comes from a focus on the arts.

Below, you’ll find some incredible artists from in and around Middlesex, Essex & New Hampshire that we hope you will check out, follow and support.

Autumn Aguiar

I was homeschooled from 3rd grade until 9th grade. As you can imagine, the transition to high school was rough. To this day, I can still remember sitting in my guidance counselor’s office looking over my grades (which were all practically F’s), and her turning to me and saying, “Which one of these electives stands out to you?” I remember responding, “Photography 101. I’ll do that!” and it seems like the rest is history. I don’t know about you, but if I were the guidance counselor, I wouldn’t have suggested adding any more classes to my course load. Read more>>

Nancy Gruskin

I completed a doctorate in art history at Boston University and spent several years teaching in area colleges and universities. Frustrated with the scarcity of tenure-track jobs, I applied to New England School of Law’s night program. After some lost years as an attorney–in all seriousness, they were good years, spent clerking and then representing indigent criminal defendants on appeal–I knew I had to return to my first love, painting. Read more>>

Siena Okuno

When I was a child my parents were more than eager to indulge my curiosity and signed me up for soccer, hula, ballet, tap, hip hop, tennis, soccer, karate, sailing, and probably a few others I don’t remember. As I got older, ballet started to take priority in my life along with robotics. I was dancing almost every day and loved every second of it, while on the engineering side I would eagerly await the next competition. Between these two passions I barely had time to sleep! I definitely don’t regret it though. Read more>>

Keith-Alan DeFranca

I fell in love with photography through old motion pictures actually. Loved how they were lit and relied a lot on minimal lighting and creative shadow work. I was fortunate enough to move from upstate New York halfway through my senior year of high school to NH and as a result of the different state subject requirements. Read more>>

Rachel Halsey

I’ve loved photography for as long as I can remember. My parents were above-average when it came to documenting mine and my siblings’ childhood with the family 35mm camera (which I’ve probably never properly thanked them for). We had a big apothecary cabinet with what seemed like 100 drawers and each one was filled with those printed photographs. Read more>>

Matt Darcy

Music and photography became big aspects of my life back around 2009, it’s when I first obtained a DSLR camera and I was booking death metal and hardcore punk concerts around the Boston and Worcester areas. I would take pictures of the bands performing, but aside from some candids, this was all I shot for quite a while. Read more>>

Sarah Graziano

I loved being creative. I always had a project that I was working on from writing detective stories to sewing clothing for my dolls. Drawing, however, came the most naturally to me. I remember once my grandfather told me that he was not “able” to draw. Confused, I explained, “you just pick up the pencil.” Then, as I got older, I became more critical of myself. Many of my other hobbies diminished. Read more>>

Tori Miller

I first picked up a film camera in December of last year when Jay presented me with a thrifted Nikon Lite Touch. I named her Becky, and she was the catalyst for my film photography exploration. Since then, I’ve been shooting the only film, and if you ask my friends, they’ll tell you how many times I stop to take a picture. I’m never without my camera(s). Read more>>

Ja’rae The Creator

Being hands-on and creative has always come to me naturally. Art continues to provide an outlet where I can express myself freely with others. I was in born in 1997 and grew up in Lynn, Massachusetts. Ever since I was a kid, I would draw on EVERYTHING! LITERALLY! Walls, doors, the seats of my dad’s car, my own face, you name it. Read more>>

Lina Kang

I’ve drawn as long as I can remember. My mom always likes to tell me how I would go through stacks of printer paper by drawing all day long. What began my love for storytelling through art was when I first moved abroad to Canada from South Korea. I didn’t have many friends at first because of the language barrier and basically lived in the library so I could improve my English faster. Read more>>

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