ArtUp – Member Love Monday

Michael Gallagher, Dorcas Grigg-Saito (Lowell CHC CEO), Maura Smith (ArtUp Donor), Dave Drinon (artist)Lowell is widely known for the cultural impact it has had on the residents and visitors of this wonderful city. Now, there is a new program called ArtUp adding to its cultural diversity. Just over a couple of years ago, the Lowell Community Health Center (LCHC) opened the doors of its new facility on Jackson Street which was a renovated mill with over 100,000 square feet, and a lot of empty walls to cover. This led to the idea of ArtUp. Why not fill the empty wall space with the work of talented local artists? This innovative program seeks to create a permanent collection of work done by local artists for permanent display by the health center, to be enjoyed by any patient, visitor, or staff member that walks through its doors.

For those that aren’t familiar with the Lowell Community Health Center, their mission is “To provide caring, quality, and culturally competent health services to the people of Greater Lowell, regardless to their financial status; to reduce health disparities and enhance the health of the Greater Lowell community; and to empower each individual to maximize their overall well-being”. Currently, they serve nearly 50,000 patients a year which is almost half of the population of Lowell. Many studies have shown that art has the ability to calm, sooth, and heal, and the LCHC is thrilled to provide their patients with beautiful pieces of artwork to enjoy in their new state-of-the-art facility.

You can learn even more about this wonderful program on its website. To sum it up, ArtUp has 249 pieces of art listed on their site, all of the artwork was done by Lowell-area artists and was selected from over 500 submissions. Patrons can view the artwork on the site, choose to purchase artwork which will then be donated to the health center. Half of the purchase price will go towards the LCHC and their fundraising efforts, and the other half will go to the artist. Not only will patrons be providing a beautiful piece of art to a worthy cause, they will also be supporting local artists and continuing to grow the cultural impact of Lowell. Once the art is purchased, it will go up on the walls of the health center as part of their permanent display with a plaque mounted near the piece of art listing the donor, artist, name of the piece, and the medium used.

The best part about this program is that not only does it benefit the patients of the LCHC, it benefits the artists as well! The City of Lowell has made an effort to entice artists to live and work in the restored mills, but artists have been finding it difficult to make a living at times. There are now over 400 artists in the city and this program provides them with the opportunity to sell their work at a reasonable price.

ArtUp officially launched last week with a kick-off party at the health center which was attended by over 130 people. To date, they have sold 35 pieces of art, an amazing accomplishment if you ask us! If you are interested in learning more about ArtUp or donating a piece of art, visit their website.

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