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Community Space

While Somerville Open Studios is based on the concept of artists showing their work where it is created, we recognize that not all artists have suitable studio space that they are comfortable opening to the public. The SOS Community Space program allows Somerville artists who are unable to exhibit in their home or work-space an opportunity to participate by exhibiting in a public space with other artists.

2014 Community Space

The 2014 SOS Community Space will be held at The Armory, 191 Highland Avenue. The space will be open to the public from 12 pm to 6 pm on May 3rd & 4th, 2014. Community Space will not be available for the "Friday Night Preview."

The 2014 community space fee is $45. This is in addition to the $55 Event Participation fee.

Community Space Eligibility

A polite reminder: This space is reserved for Somerville artists who are unable to show out of their home or studio. Space is limited, so please help us reserve this space for community members who have no other place to show. Because of the size of the Somerville artist community SOS is not in a position to open our event to artists from neighboring communities.

Also note that artists can only register at one location. Artists cannot be registered for both community space and a home or studio.

During the Event

The community space is an extension of Somerville Open Studios, which visitors come to in order to have a direct experience with artists and their own work. Please plan to be present and with your work for all of SOS.

Showing at the Armory

While the Armory is a popular show location, there are limitations inherent to the space. Please understand that we all have to work within these limitations.

Wall space is extremely limited and not guaranteed. Most of the walls of the Armory are exposed brick with no means to hang work. If you need to hang your work you will have to provide your own free-standing apparatus that must fit into the given space per artist. If there is sufficient interest, we will hold a short demonstration on how to make a low-cost, free-standing structure for hanging art. Please email communityspace@somervilleopenstudios.org if you would like more information.

There isn't an abundance of natural light at the Armory. There is general lighting throughout the room. If you need more direct light you may bring your own free-standing lamps and extension cords, however understand there are also a limited number of power outlets.

Space Allocation

Spots in the community space are available on a first-come, first-served basis. However, a small number of the spots will be reserved for artists who have not shown in community space in the past two years (SOS 2012 or 2013). In the event that the community space is full, the option to select community space during registration will no longer be available. While registration for space in the Armory is first-served, location within the Armory is not, and will be determined separately to best accommodate everyone's needs and ensure a good mix and variety of art.

This year we will be allotting specific spaces and enforcing the space borders to keep aisles clear and to be fair to all artists. Spaces will vary in exact dimensions and proportions, but each artist will have approx. 50 sq. feet of space, marked in advance on the floor with tape. Artists will receive a floor plan with a specific space assignment after registration closes, but in plenty of time to plan their layout.

If you have shown in the community space in the past, you will likely have a different space as we are trying to keep the show fresh for visitors and artists. We will do what we can to accommodate requests within these constraints, but please stay flexible. We are not able to refund registration if you don't like your space. Please remember that the first intention of community space is as a back-up plan for Somerville artists who have no other way to participate.

Tax IDs

Massachusetts state law requires that SOS collect and report tax id numbers from artists participating in Community Space. You must register in advance with the state for the ability to pay sales tax, and must provide your sales tax id number to SOS no later than two weeks before load-in so that we may comply with the law. The state will expect you to file and pay your sales tax individually. There will be a workshop scheduled to help artists register with the state.

Alternatives to Community Space

If do not have a suitable place to exhibit and for any reason you do not wish to or are unable to exhibit at this year's community space at the Armory, please contact communityspace@somervilleopenstudios.org. We will provide what assistance we can connecting artists to alternative spaces.

Please do not list a restaurant, cafe, or gallery as your exhibiting space. While Somerville has a rich assortment of businesses that exhibit art, the SOS guide provides a listing of spaces where visitors can see art in locations where they cannot ordinarily view it. It's simply not practical for us to list all businesses exhibiting art.

Community Space Questions?

If you have questions, comments or are able to volunteer during SOS weekend to help with coordinating, setting up or breaking down community space, please email communityspace@somervilleopenstudios.org