Western Avenue Studios

Marc’s Miracles

About a year ago I had asked Marc Clermont to be a subject for my artist portrait series. He is the Facilities Manager at Western Avenue Studios, in Lowell, MA, and the founder and  President of the Board of Directors of The Miracle Providers NorthEast, a non-profit organization that helps raise money for children and their families impacted by HIV/AIDS. Among their many fund-raising events, they regularly produce musical extravaganzas at the Onyx Room, also at Western Avenue.

I really didn’t realize what kind of preparation was involved for Marc to get into character, which was of course how I wanted to photograph him. I thought, a little mascara, a wig and a dress… what’s the problem? Well a couple of weeks ago Marc asked if I could show up at the Onyx Room for the next Miracle Provider’s show, at which time he could sit for my photographs before the show. I think it took Marc about an hour and a half to get ready. It was worth the wait! I hope you enjoy my take.

Please go to the Miracle Provider’s web page, or Facebook page to see what incredible work they do! They also have shots on the Facebook page from that, and other shows, expertly done by other photographers.


Part of Our Rich Fabric

I had the privilege again of photographing Yary Livan, my neighbor at Western Avenue Studios, this time for Merrimack Valley Magazine. I created a portrait of him in my “Basic” series of black and white images. I spent a little time in his studio with him back in October for the story and he gave me some insight into his process, from inspiration to his sketches, sculpting and firing. To say that his story is an interesting one does not do him justice, so see David Iverson’s excellent story in the magazine.

No Going Back for Western Avenue Studios

Today we saw one of several vestiges of Western Avenue Studio's former life as a mill be dismantled. The old smoke stack was taken down today. When I arrived it lay on the parking lot in sections, having been cut into sections. Here is a shot of the stack as it was, late one summer afternoon in 2009:


And here it was today:


While not apparent, it is about 5 feet in diameter.

This is one of several changes that are being made to the building that will put any future as a textile mill in doubt.


The Big Door Portraits

My studio has, among other nice attributes, a set of really large green barn doors. I am on the 4th floor, so if they opened, it would be quite a drop. Fortunately, they don't. I imagine that in the days in which this Western Avenue Studios building was a textile mill, this was a kind of loading dock door for raw materials in and goods out. Today, it's just dark green awesomeness.

I feel a portrait series coming over me! Here is my latest shoot with sports photographer, Liz Cardoso, who specializes in photographing runners.

There will be more to come!


The New Studio

It has taken me a while to get my new photography studio into shape, but after having moved in a little over a month ago, and having done a number of shoots here already, I am finally able to show it off. Thanksgiving week is always a reliably slow week and therefore makes a great time to catch up on things that had been impossible for months. I needed to move in to the studio over a weekend because the following Monday I had two shoots, back to back, but I never had the chance to really organize it or hang work on the wall. I am almost there!

Western Avenue Studios, Suite A405

Western Avenue Studios, Suite A405


So there won't be any misunderstanding, I am still at Western Avenue Studios, in Lowell, Massachusetts! I have simply moved to a larger, brighter space, two floors up. The new space is on the 4th floor in what is known as the A-Mill; studio A405. This floor itself is much brighter and more welcoming even as you come off the elevator. Restrooms conveniently located just to your left as you get off the elevator, and my studio only several doors down the hall.


The Green Doors - I have mentioned the green doors before, but most people are not aware of their size until they actually enter the studio. These are what must have been loading dock doors years ago through which raw materials and finish products were moved. Today they are sealed, and make a really cool background. Here are some shots done in front of the doors. In fact, these are from my first author portrait photo shoot in the studio; the one done that Monday morning after moving in.


Nadia and the Green Doors

I haven't made much noise about my new studio space yet, mostly because I haven't had an opportunity to make it presentable. I have a big blank wall and a stack of prints that are waiting to be hung. I will definitely get to it! But, along with more space and better window light, I have these great (in both senses of the word) green doors at one end of the studio. The old mill building apparently used to have a mechanism to load or unload large items to or from the upper floors through large, wooden barn doors. They are currently a rich dark green and are closed for good. I am holding out hope that the landlord refrains from covering them from the inside as they are a real feature in my space.

I recently photographed Nadia Clifford (http://www.nadiaclifford.com), a local writer, in front of the doors. She and I are pretty happy with the results.


An Artist and Her Creative Space

Susan Iserbyt

It seems like just a week or so ago, but in January I met artist Sus Iserbyt. She asked me to do some portraits of her in her studio. Web site environmental portraits. Her studio is bright and airy. Her art is beautiful, but arguably, sometimes dark. I prefer to do these kinds of shoots without assistance and without a schedule. This lets both of us create the look and mood of the session, which is different from every other session, just as is every subject.

If you are interested in her work, click here to visit Sus Iserbyt on the web.
(As of this writing, the photos on her site are not from our photo shoot.)


If you like my work, please do "Like" my Facebook page, link to my web site and follow me on Twitter. And if you would like to set up a shoot, you can contact me here: http://www.adrienbisson.com/contact/

Check out more of my recent work too:


In an Instant

I haven't had a chance to blog is quite a while, mostly because I have been busy preparing for an exhibition that painter Bill Tyers and I are presenting at Western Avenue Studios, in Lowell, Massachusetts. We hung the show last week, opening the doors on the show last Wednesday, October 27th, 2010, so I thought I would share a couple of installation shots. We are all very happy with the show and hope that you call all make the reception, Friday evening, November 5th, from 6 to 9 PM. Please scroll down for the details. I hope to see you!

In an Instant - Adrien Bisson and Bill Tyers

In an Instant
Photography by Adrien Bisson and Paintings by Bill Tyers
October 27th - November 21st
Artists Reception: Friday, November 5th, 6-9pm

The Loading Dock Gallery
122 Western Avenue
Lowell, Massachusetts 01851

Click here for directions and a map to the gallery.

That Was The Week That Was

My apologies to the grownups of my youth for using that title (Google it ;-), but it was quite a crazy week last week. Last Friday, Amy and I attended the Westford, Massachusetts, Parish Center for the Arts Regional Art Event presentations. We were both informed during the week that we had both won a prize for one each of our entries. They don't tell you what place you may have made until you arrive at the ceremony and look at the program. When we did arrive, I looked down at the pro category to see that I had won 1st prize! Wow! This is the picture as it was hung in the gallery.

I have posted it before, but here is the original:

Then I checked the amateur category to see that Amy had also won 1st prize! She was already nervous, but that news was surreal to her. It was a fun night!

Here is a link to her blog where she shows her work and talks about that night: http://amybisson.wordpress.com/2010/03/27/traveling-in-my-discomfort-zone/

The week ended with a Tweetup, hosted by Kathleen Pierce, AKA bistrobroad@ (http://bistrobroad.com), and myself, at the La Boniche restaurant, on Merrimack Street in Lowell (http://www.laboniche.com).  There was a nice group there and we all got to finally meet many people with whom we had only tweeted. Thanks to everyone who could make it!

But Tuesday was marked by a really big happening at Western Avenue Studios. The Mary Richardson and the WCVB television show, Chronicle HD, came to WAS to do a feature on the studios and several of the artists. I was one of them! It was a pretty exciting day. I was asked to follow the crew around and document the day.

I, unfortunately, don't have shots of myself being interviewed, but they did video me as I photographed Lindsey, who very kindly agreed to spend the day in my studio and participate. This shot is one that I took while being videoed for the segment.

I will post another blog as soon as I know when the show will air, along with any information that I have about the video on their web site. It is here, if you want to check: http://www.thebostonchannel.com/chronicle/index.html


Let's Meet

When you come to my studio to have a pre-shoot conference, we can relax and have coffee, or a beverage of your choice, or maybe even lunch at the cafe at The Space. I recently finished up the shots of the interior of the rehearsal space and recording studio at the Western Avenue Studios complex, called The Space. The second part of this shoot was necessary because the recording studio had not been finished until recently. It is complete now, and is a really amazing place, right at Western Avenue Studios, in Lowell.

And last Friday evening, just after I finished shooting, The Space held one of its Open Mic nights. Here's the venue, just before people started to arrive:

But when you come to my studio for a conference or for a shoot, the cafe provides a great place to talk and relax. It's in the same complex of buildings as my studio, so access is just down the hall.