SoWa Spotlight: Goosefish Press, Inc.

In 2005, just a few years after graduating from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Rob Charlton founded Goosefish Press, Inc. He had wanted his own print shop for some time, anticipating that it would become a weekend job in which he collaborated with artists to print a variety of works. Letterpress, his medium of choice, quickly changed the course of his business, opening the doors to printing stationery and invitations. Goosefish press developed into a full-time job, complete with a storefront and line of beautiful paper goods. Rob says he never thought he’d be known for making wedding invitations, but he’s thrilled to own and operate one of Boston’s most beloved stationery shops.

Opening a storefront has changed the way Rob works. Prior to moving to SoWa, he describes himself as a hermit, hidden away in his shop. Being a part of a community has opened up Rob’s process and expanded his art to include cards, coasters, and books he and his team produce in-house for the more casual visitor. Rob has created a space for people who love fine printing, paper, and books; he finds great joy in seeing visitors delight in his shop.

Yet, his favorite part of operating Goosefish Press is and has always been the invitations. It’s what he does most often. An extensive range of clients keeps things interesting, project after project. Rob describes the satisfaction that comes with making a product from start to finish. There’s nothing quite like designing, printing, then finally holding a physical incarnation of an artistic vision.

Rob is an artist member of the Center for Book Arts in New York, and a member of the Letterpress Guild of New England. He has shown his fine artwork in galleries across the country, has taught printmaking at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston's Adult Learning Program, and has been a visiting artist at the Museum School, Massachusetts College of Art, Art Institute of Boston, the University of New Hampshire, and Endicott College.

Goosefish Press is located at 450 Harrison Ave, #65. If you’re interested in a consultation for custom invitations or other work, you can email Rob at rob@goosefishpress to schedule an appointment. If you would like to visit Goosefish Press, call (617) 728-2822 to check if they’re open!

SoWa Spotlight: Arnie Casavant

When Arnie Casavant paints, he is constantly chasing light. Light, as he describes it, brings beauty to the eye. He finds this beauty in the city of Boston and the land of New Hampshire; both landscapes breathe life into Arnie’s work. His changing surroundings produce a dramatic contrast between his urban paintings and his depictions of the north country. Whether he paints on location or in his studio, the dramatic effect of light remains a constant.

The three pieces featured above depict varied subjects, yet they are unified by the exploration of the dance and play of light. Here’s what Arnie shared about each one. 

"Walking Alone" is a rendition of the Old South Church inspired by the dancing glow of streetlights. A lone figure walking the streets of Boston during a recent snow storm screamed PAINT ME! "Mad River" depicts a New Hampshire snow scene and the playful exchange of warm light on the cold river. "Lunch Time" explores the stark contrast of black and white patterns on Hereford cows, enhanced by the gleam of sunlight. A trip to the Maryland countryside, with its rolling hills and endless farmland, brought forward this scene, a scene Arnie had contemplated painting for years.

Arnie is a retired High School Art Instructor and Administrator. He is passionate about teaching and painting, which he developed upon leaving the secondary classroom 12 years ago. 

You can find Arnie in Studio 218 at 450 Harrison Ave. View his work on SoWa First Fridays, SoWa Open Studios, or upon request.

SoWa Spotlight: Stephen Silver

Stephen Silver is a lifelong artist and beloved member of the SoWa community. After just a year of painting in his SoWa studio, Steve founded the SoWa Artists Guild in 2005. An association of studio artists, the Guild fosters community around art through SoWa First Fridays and other events. Since its inception, the Guild has nearly quadrupled in size.

Steve now devotes all of his time to painting and to supporting other artists. He has studied at the Museum of Fine Arts School in Boston and has been a student of master artist Tom Ouellette. We asked him about his creative process, and here's what he shared.

“I love to paint. Almost ten years ago, after years of painting representational landscapes, I felt a push to experiment. I picked up my palette knife and started spreading paint on the canvas. I had no plan, however my love of nature and landscape subconsciously impacted my direction.  

“My process usually begins at the top of the canvas, where I apply paint as areas of color. As I work my way down the canvas, I get a feel from the developing composition. The direction is not always obvious, so I’ll continue to layer paint, using color and shape to resolve the composition. Abstract or somewhat realistic, the ultimate interpretation is up the viewer.
“Through my continued experimentation, two alternative styles have evolved. They find their roots from my years of doodling through boring meetings in my corporate life.  I’ve expanded those doodles, drawing upon color and line to create an exciting organic flow. Each of these paintings represents a season, expressed through the color palette I choose. 
“The second of these experimentations are composed of geometric shapes that appear to expand the dimensions of the canvas and fool the eye. Elements jump off the canvas, while others settle into the background. I play with shapes and shadow as well as focus to give the illusion of movement and depth.”

You can view Steve’s striking work in his studio, Studio 211, 450 Harrison Ave. 

From SoWa to South America: Diseño’s Art, Design, and Cultural Tours

Diseño has called SoWa home for almost 10 years, sourcing gorgeous handmade home decor from the capitals of Latin American design and craftsmanship. After 8 years at 409 Harrison Ave, Frank Campanale moved his shop across the street to 460C. What remained was his stunning curation of high quality contemporary art, furniture, textiles, and decor. 

From Buenos Aires to Lima, from Bogota to Antigua, Frank has carefully selected vintage textiles, cowhides, pillows, and handmade accessories. When you step into his store, you can see that his passion for design and travel have paired perfectly, bringing a taste of international style to Boston. 

Frank's extensive travel has led him to a second endeavor - organizing Latin American tours. For several years, he has helped friends, neighbors, and clients plan trips to his favorite destinations. This year, he is offering three types of tours: art & design, food & wine, and history & culture. Tours will be available in Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Bogota and Lima. 

If you've been dreaming of a getaway rich with culture and beauty, these tours are the perfect opportunity. You’ll explore incredible architecture, top culinary attractions, design and shopping sites, and world renowned museums. For a little R&R, tours can include day trips to vineyards, beaches, and breathtaking countryside that rival big city attractions. 

Dates are flexible. Contact Frank at with inquiries!

Kingston Gallery’s Relay: Art, Innovation, and Social Change

This January, SoWa’s Kingston Gallery is using the power of art to foster dialogue and create social change. Their current exhibition, Relay, was developed as a conversation between artists. The innovation of this exhibit begins with its curation, in which a finished art piece by one artist is passed along to another, who then responds with a work of their own. The result of this exchange is a conversation allowing each artist to share in another's perspective and respond with their most authentic voice. The concept of Relay runs parallel to conversations occurring in our wider community about how to move forward in unity and strength through a charged political climate.
In an effort to offer support to vulnerable populations, the Kingston Gallery will donate their share of proceeds from Relay art sales directly to the Boston Medical Center Immigrant & Refugee Health Program. Located near Kingston Gallery on Albany Street, the Immigrant & Refugee Health Program provides comprehensive primary care services to immigrant and refugee health patients. The funds raised through proceeds from Relay will go directly towards hiring a full-time AmeriCorps member. This staff member will help newly arrived refugees navigate the complicated processes of applying to jobs, learning English, and obtaining a Green Card.
Kingston Gallery believes that art has the ability to make a difference. Through Relay, the gallery strives to demonstrate the power of art, to create visual conversations, and to raise needed funds for the South End community.

Relay will be on view through January 29, 2017. Kingston Gallery is located at 450 Harrison Avenue, #43.

SoWa Art Galleries Partner with Company One Theatre

This winter, Company One Theatre (C1) is partnering with two SoWa galleries - Matter & Light Fine Art and Gallery Kayafas - for its production of REALLY by Jackie Sibblies Drury. Directed by C1’s Artistic Director Shawn LaCount, REALLY explores the elusive way in which photography freezes a moment in time, and what effect that image has on memory. 

“The South End is our home, and we’re beyond excited to partner with our neighbors at Matter & Light and Gallery Kayafas,” says C1’s LaCount. “These partnerships provide a unique opportunity for us to blur the line between audience and stage, and bend the limits of what theatre can be.” 

C1’s production of REALLY marks the first time a theatrical performance has been held in Matter & Light. With a 45-seat house, the gallery provides an intimate space for audiences to interact with the play and experience this striking, lyrical new work. Audiences will begin their REALLY experience in Gallery Kayafas, with the opportunity to enjoy cocktails and view the gallery’s evocative photography, before transitioning downstairs to Matter & Light Fine Art, where the performance will be held. In correlation with the show, Matter & Light will also present an exhibit titled REALLY, which asks guests to determine what makes experiences 'real.'

REALLY runs January 25 - February 12. Buy tickets here before they sell out!

SoWa Vendor Spotlight: Black Magic Coffee

Black Magic Coffee Company is a Boston-based mobile coffee and espresso bar freshly "brewed" from Somerville, MA.

Coffee has become far more than just a beverage. It is making it's name in the food and beverage world creating it's own niche. Mobile cafes are becoming a well known standard and who doesn't like their coffee to be mobile?! David Simon owner of Black Magic Coffee Co. has created a comfortable and delicious cure to the caffeine need we all seek to fulfill throughout the day. Their menu is simple: only the highest quality espresso-based beverages and hand-crafted coffees. Black Magic Coffee Co. provides premium coffee catering services for all kinds of occasions including open markets, weddings, private parties and corporate events. 

When he's here: Every Sunday!

SoWa Vendor Spotlight: Q’s Nuts

Q's Nuts is a small family-owned & operated artisan nut company started by husband and wife team, Beth and Brian "Q" Quinn. It was founded in 2000 with a simple philosophy that wholesome ingredients, a love of good food, and a passion for creating in the kitchen would create some of the best tasting roasts around. Q's is constantly experimenting in their Somerville kitchen and store front. Only making small batches at a time to always assure a fresh quality product.

When they're here: Every Sunday through October 30th!

SoWa Vendor Spotlight: Frames With a History

Frames With a History is a unique custom picture frame, mirror and rustic furniture shop creating unique work from reclaimed and aged materials. Located in Ayer, MA, Bill Phaneuf and his team travel Massachusetts on a weekly basis collecting from salvage yards, antique shops and other great rustic outlets to find the best materials to create one of a kind rustic and reclaimed pieces for your home. Their materials may include exterior shutters, doors, trim, molding, flooring, siding and columns. Frames With a History focuses on original painted surfaces and natural barn / attic finishes. Only years of history can provide the unique colors and patinas found on their creations.

When the'll be here: August 28, September 4, September 11, September 18, September 25, October 2, October 9, October 23 and October 30

SoWa Vendor Spotlight: Gina deWolfe

deWolfe Leather Goods is a Boston based company pioneered by the amazing Gina deWolfe. Her venture began in 2014 after inheriting leather-smith tools from her grandfather and has quickly grown in recognition. These days, Gina is a regular feature in fashion publications and was recently honored with the 2016 Best of Boston award for her bags! Aside from catching her at the SoWa Open Market on Sundays, you can check out her items online at Also don't miss the first ever deWolfe Pop Up boutique this Fall at 177 Newbury Street, and rediscover the value in handcrafted, high quality luxury leather goods with a price point that is within reach.  

When she's here: August 21, August 28 & future dates TBD