The Artists Group of Charlestown's mission is to showcase artists' work and to promote high quality cultural programming for the local community.
History of the Artists Group of Charlestown and
and Development of the StoveFactory
Founded in 1996, the Artists’ Group of Charlestown (AGC) was formed by a small group of local artists with a vision to foster the visual arts in Charlestown. A shared studio space, ARTeria, was established on Terminal Street. The AGC held its first Open Studios event there in December of 1996.
A fundraiser was held so that necessary upgrades could be made at ARTeria in order to host more events. Utilizing a large space to show art outdoors, the AGC created Art in the Park which was held in the fall of 1997 at City Square Park.
The ARTeria space proved to be too small for the big dreams of the AGC! In 2002, a milestone fundraising campaign called “Savoring the Arts” raised nearly $20,000. With these funds, the AGC was able to secure and build out a new space at 523 Medford Street, a former 19th century stove factory. The three-floor building, the StoveFactory Studios and Gallery, would eventually house 24 artists’ studios and a 950-square foot gallery space.
The Artists’ Group of Charlestown became a non-profit organization (501c3) in 2003. With grants, generous donors, and dedicated member volunteers, the AGC exists to fulfill its mission: to showcase artists’ works and to promote high-quality cultural programming for the local community.
Since its inception, the AGC has worked to provide consistent annual art events such as Art in the Park and Open Studios, which continue to this day. Other regular events include AGC-sponsored seasonal art exhibits as well as group and solo shows. AGC-sponsored shows and events are always open to the public and free of charge. (Click here for Boston Magazine article April 4, 2019)
In addition to annual and seasonal programming, the AGC welcomes community organizations and individuals to hold events and activities at the StoveFactory Gallery. In some cases this happens in the form of rental agreements, which provides income for the AGC.
The StoveFactory Studios and Gallery has valuable partnerships with local agencies and institutions, such as Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital’s Peace Gallery, and the Charlestown Coalition, which brought in survivors of violence and substance abuse for a collaborative art-making project in the StoveFactory Gallery (see WCVB-TV Channel 5’s Chronicle piece here and BNN TV here). AGC is a member of the Charlestown Chamber of Commerce and has a long standing relationship with ArtScope Magazine promoting all events.
The AGC continues its efforts to serve the Charlestown community even through a challenging pandemic year when most in-person events were forced to cancel. The AGC received generous support from both within AGC membership and from the community in raising over $7,000 for our Gallery Fund Campaign during the pandemic (click here for article in Charlestown Patriot Bridge September 9, 2020). In addition, the AGC received a City of Boston Mayor’s Office of Arts & Culture COVID-19 Relief Grant.