Fenway Studios, Open Studio - Boston

One of the ways that I help stave off the re-entry blues is continuing to let my traveler spirit flow while at home. I try to do things I would do on the road but locally. I stay curious and I explore.  In a place like Massachusetts this is quite easy. We have incredible museums, hiking, green spaces and food. Unique events always pass by my radar and believe it or not I heard about this one on the radio.

If you have ever driven the Massachusetts Turnpike (Mass Pike) to say Logan airport, you have passed the “Fenway Studios.” The Fenway Studios are now a protected national landmark. Constructed in 1905, the building consists of wide open spaces for artists to live and work in. It is the oldest purpose built artist enclave in the country. The building and studios were designed for optimum light exposure and all of the studios face the same direction to take advantage of that light. The artists reside here for many years and it has a waiting list that moves very slowly. It is also unique in that it is still being used for the same purpose as it was built for in 1905. Very few buildings in the country retain their original function like this.

I have lived in Massachusetts my whole life and I never knew this place existed. I have been a frequent visitor of Boston my whole life and I’ve barely even noticed the building just a few blocks from Fenway Park. If not for the radio show I heard touting the open studio weekend I never would have known at all. I am thrilled I heard it and made my visit on Sunday of the open studio weekend.
Open studio weekend happens once a year and it is the only time the public is let into the building. It is an incredible opportunity to see local artists that have been a fixture in Boston for decades. There is no pretension, no obligation to buy, and the artists are available to talk about their work. I found that everyone I spoke to was more than happy to talk about their work and answer any questions no matter how silly. They were all engaged and excited to share. It was fantastic.

Each artist has the option to open for open studio or not, but the majority did. A listing of artists was handed out when I entered the building on Ipswich Street. The building has four floors and I started at the top via a rickety old elevator and worked my way down. It wasn’t long before I found an artist that would turn out to be my favorite in the building. He was a gracious abstract painter who spent more than a half hour speaking with me. He was so open and friendly and shared many stories with me including how he begins his art. He was also very versed in sculpture as well as the abstract art. He has been in the building since 1967. His studio was also a carefully cultivated home and I was happy that this year he decided to open it up, as he had not done in five years, (not all of the residents live in their studios, about half that I saw did). I was inspired by our talk and floated out of the studio wishing I could afford to buy one of his incredible pieces. (Ernest Andrades )

Not only is the art and their creators incredible in this building but the studios are as well. Each resident has built it to their own spec and they are just as interesting to view as the art itself.  It was a truly unique experience. I cannot recommend this event enough. If you are in Boston during this weekend next year, get yourself to Fenway Studios.


The studios open once a year in November for this event.
There is no entrance fee but a donation to the Greater Boston Food Bank is requested in the form of non perishable food items.
Many of the residents are also professors at local colleges.
To get an up to date artists list, Fenway Studios

Added Bonus:

You can walk around a deserted Fenway Park after visiting these studios.