MODSPOKE is seeking to open the doors to a gallery and art studio space in Berwick Maine
4.20.17 UPDATE: The next Town Planning Committee meeting is a public forum on May 4th at 6:30 pm
MODspoke co-founder Liz McGranaghan appeared at the Town of Berwick Planning Committee meeting on April 6th in support of a planned usage change to the One Sullivan Building in downtown Berwick Maine.
Along with the support of the building owners at One Sullivan, MODspoke and Corner Point Brewing would like it made available to them as a leasable space to open the doors as new businesses in town, which would require approval for a change in building usage by the Planning Committee.
The previous occupants, Summit Church, relocated after their lease ran out and have recently left the building unoccupied except for limited church counseling services which will be relocating to a new space on Saw Mill Hill within The House of Hope Mission.
The Berwick Planning Committee is currently addressing parking, building capacity, esthetic and safety issues and plans a site visit and walk through in the upcoming month to address the concerns before approving the plans.
as well as provide a network base of operations for other creative endeavors and projects throughout the area. MODspoke is also exploring the possibilities of offering custom framing, art preservation or graphic design and photographic services.
Corner Point Brewing is hoping to open their doors on the first floor, facing the state line bridge.
The Envision Berwick Committee recently completed a vision report on Berwick outlining the goals and desires of the town as it rebuilds. Thomas and McGranaghan are confident that MODspoke upstairs and Corner Point and a potential restaurant sharing the first floor will fit in well with the Vision Statement for the community. MODspoke is planning on utilizing many of the results from the Envision Berwick plan within their final business plan.
Envisioning Downtown Berwick's Vision Report:
Several talented emerging and professional Maine artists have already expressed a commitment to the studio space and to the One Sullivan Gallery while they are in the process of getting approval to enter and utilize the space. Erin Thomas also stated that there is currently one or two potential studio spaces still unreserved and available for lease. Thomas founded The Berwick Art Association in 2012 and formed MODspoke not long after to insure that area artists had promotion, representation and guidance for their work, represented a handful of local artists and since then MODspoke has hosted and assisted several creative initiatives in the Berwick area, including events for The Berwick Art Association, the MAINERS mural and several events designed just for artists for a day of networking and creative creation, they are also working closely with watchdog non-profit Arts Industry Alliance to insure that the needs of the artists are being properly met through representation.
Photographer Liz McGranaghan came on board as a partner in MODspoke in 2015, and the pair spent the last year researching the needs of both the artists and art buyers to formulate a sustainable plan that would also cultivate a creative culture around downtown Berwick.
"When Erin approached me a couple of years ago with her ideas and business plan of opening an art gallery - I realized what a force she was in the art world and couldn't resist collaborating with her. Berwick is begging to have its own local and neighboring artists celebrated. There are so many talented folks in the area, that are creating amazing work, but are currently struggling with exposure and sales-that's where Modspoke will step in and assist. Artists shouldn't be working for free - they deserve to be paid just like any other professional. Berwick is the perfect location to have an art gallery - it's a quick stop off Route 95 North for all those who travel to their coastal summer homes and vacation destinations during the summer-yet it's a quiet enough town to avoid the beach crowds. It's an old town with a young heart, and is on the cusp of a great re-transformation. We are truly fortunate to be in a small, country town where are agriculture and farming will continue their traditions but also allow for growth in culture that it is currently lacking. Erin and I are truly excited to be part of the town's vision of the future, and to support our local artists along with the incredibly important part of humanity - the arts." - Liz McGranaghan
If you would like more information about the plans for MODspoke's Gallery at One Sullivan or would like to assist in it's launch, please call Erin Thomas at 207.337.3713 or EMAIL
written by A. Bowman
Art, Culture, Unity and Soul