The very best part of our job is when artists open their studio doors to us so we can see where all the magic happens. On a recent trip to Boston, I had the privilege of exploring the super artsy South End with Boston artist Jessica Burko as my guide. Burko's studio has been in the Wareham Street Artist Building for more than 10 years. The building is fascinating in itself as its four buildings are connect through stairs and passageways on the interior but have separate exterior entrances with four separate addresses (35, 47, 49 and 59 Wareham Street). The entire building is filled with artist studios and has been for many years. It is, however, a private space that is only open to the public twice a year for the SoWa Art Walk (coming up on May 3rd) and the South End Open Studios (3rd weekend in September)----both events are not to be missed! The building is in the SoWa Art District, which stands for South of Washington, and the neighborhood spans east-to-west from Massachusetts Avenue to Herald Street and north-to-south from Shawmut Avenue to Albany Street. Formerly a warehouse and mill district, the beautiful, old brick buildings have been repurposed into artist studios and contemporary art galleries along with restaurants and high-end lofts.
In Burko's studio, she shared with me all the new encaustic work she's been experimenting with over the past couple of weeks and we also looked at the work she'll have featured in the guestrooms at the Hotel Commonwealth over in Kenmore Square. We talked about how her work has changed over the years as she's learned new techniques and discovered different materials and what parts have remained consistent and true to her artistic vision. I was better able to understand her image transfer process and how her control over her materials is so important to get the piece to come out just the way she wants. It was great fun to hear her explain her process and where she is looking to go next.