Today we’d like to introduce you to Anastasia Vassos.
The Dedham Square Artist Guild (the Guild) has had a laser-like focus on promoting the arts in Dedham since its founding in 2011 by Kerry Hawkins, Marietta Apollonio and Jen Barsamian. The Guild is Dedham’s first artist cooperative, owned and operated by its members.
The collection of work at the Gallery & Shop at 553 High Street encompasses a diverse range of art. Art media include painting, photography, ceramics, jewelry, monotype, wood, glass, textile and much more. The Guild provides members of the cooperative a home for their work and the opportunity to connect with the Dedham community. The shop is open 5 days a week, Wednesday through Sunday; the artists work every shift. This gives visitors the opportunity to meet an artist each time they enter the gallery.
The Guild’s members include: Marietta Apollonio, Kevin Becker, Wendy Birchmire, Sandrine Colson, Alice Donaldson, Mark Dooley, Gretje Ferguson, Bill Fiolek, Claire Griffin, Kerry Hawkins, Sue Hoy, Gillian Jackson, Gary Koeppel, Matt Miller, Cindy Mootz, Mona Podgurski, Dennis Stein, Barbara Trainer, Anastasia Vassos, Lisa Walker, Rali Weaver, Jane Wojick, and Kathy Zola.
Since 2011, Guild members have engaged with the town of Dedham on many fronts. Members have hosted “Artist of the Month” receptions and lecture-demonstrations at the Gallery, open to the public; Artist Challenge Group Shows are open to outside artists as well as local high school students. The Challenges are curated around a specific theme and are routine in the lower gallery of the Dedham Community Theatre; the Parish Players at the Unitarian Church present an annual play, whose title and theme are mirrored by the themed group shows at the Gallery. The Dedham Farmer’s Market during the spring/summer/fall has also provided a venue for Guild Artists to showcase their work.
Guild artists have participated in Art In Bloom, sponsored by Friends of Dedham Library. In addition, the members routinely donate artwork for charitable causes and non-profit auctions throughout Norfolk County. The Dedham Exchange is a wonderful champion of the Guild, interested in the work and carrying the textile patterns of member Kathy Zola, and the ceramic Dedham Bunny dishes of member Lisa Walker. The Endicott Estate’s annual concerts feature community art projects led by members of the Guild. And locals out for an evening of dining can view artworks in many of Dedham’s restaurants.
The Guild has proudly sponsored a number of local events including the Dedham Portrait Project; the Catching Joy Project, which includes making artful cards for people in need; and a Utility Box Project (sponsored by Dedham Pride), which invites artists to artfully decorate unsightly utility boxes into works of art.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
For the most part, it has been a smooth road. Constant challenges are how to attract clientele during slow summer months; engagement of the community in art in general.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
We are a cooperative of artists who engage in showcasing our artwork in our storefront in Dedham. We sponsor Artist Challenge shows, displaying artworks from the community at large at the Dedham Community Theatre, in local libraries and retail establishments in and around the community.
We are proud to have survived 7 years, that we were pioneers in the art scene in Dedham when we started, that we were the first artist cooperative in Dedham.
What were you like growing up?
The Guild Artists all come from different backgrounds, and we are multi-generational. What were we like growing up? Curious! Creative!
Address: 553 High Street Dedham, MA