When Barbara Gagel returned to Lowell from Santa Fe, N.M., earlier this year, she discovered Steve Clements, a local musician, who does "open mike" at the Back Page on Wednesday nights and helps aspiring musicians have a platform.
"I was so impressed with his enthusiasm and energy, seeing him scuttle about with backup and sound for the various novices and talents," says Gagel.
She also heard him perform one night and was impressed with his voice and the lyrics to his original song "Launderama."
"I could not stop listening to it on YouTube -- it made me smile and evoked color and images in my head constantly," said Gagel.
It also inspired her to work on a series of 12-inch by 12-inch encaustic panels and create the show Launderama, a Trip to Lamara at UnchARTed Gallery, a multi-media art space that offers a fresh, innovative approach to art in its 66 Merrimack St., Lowell, location.
The show opened last week and will be on view again Friday and Saturday, Aug. 23 and 24, from 4-8 p.m. In addition, Clements offers a song-writing workshop on Thursday, Aug. 22, from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
"The show is a happy tribute to my move to Lowell, since my goal was to collaborate with other creative minds -- musicians, poets, writers. It's a fun intro to that pursuit and I am glad that I initiated my Lowell studio time with humor, color and just plain fun," said Gagel.
If interested in the song-writing workshop, contact Clements at email@example.com.
- MEET THE ARTIST: Lowell artist Vassilios "Bill" Giavis of the Brush Art Gallery and Studios begins his partnership with Lowell National Historical Park's Artist in Residence program on Tuesday, Aug. 20, with a free talk at 7 p.m. in the park's Visitor Center, 246 Market St., Lowell. Giavis will show his work and talk about growing up in Lowell's Greek neighborhood and his inspirations as an artist. Giavis will host a series of free painting workshops at the Boott Cotton Mills Museum on Saturdays, Sept. 14 and 28 and October 12 and 26, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. He will focus on his specialty -- urban landscapes and painting from photographs -- and the program is geared towards intermediate and advanced artists. Reservations required and participants must provide easels, supplies and materials. Call 978-970-5000 for info.
- RUSSIAN ICONS ART: The Museum of Russian Icons in Clinton features Alexander Gassel, Rediscovering the Past, a contemporary painting exhibit on view through Oct. 5. Upcoming is Clinton's Olde Home Days on Saturday, Sept. 7, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., featuring family activities, food, entertainment and museum admission for $2. Visit www.museumofrussianicons.org for information.
- GARDNER ART HEIST: Hard to believe, but it's been nearly two decades since thieves ran off with 13 priceless works of art from Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Stephen Kurkjian, a long-time investigative reporter and editor for The Boston Globe, will discuss the robbery and how investigations are going in a lecture at the Whistler House Museum of Art in Lowell on Wednesday, Nov. 6, at 7 p.m. Kurkjian, now retired from The Globe, still freelances for the paper and is working on a book on the Gardner case. The talk is part of the Moses Greeley Parker Lecture Series.
Nancye Tuttle's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.