WORCESTER - On Harlow St. in Worcester sits a large, unassuming brick building with a booming, creative hub for artists and performers inside.
The Sprinkler Factory, located on 38 Harlow Street, is a relic of Worcester's history as the building it calls home once served as Rockwood Sprinkler Co in the early 20th century.
In the decades since, it has transformed into an art gallery. The gallery uses the name the Sprinkler Factory as a way to pay homage to the buildings' beginnings. Now, it is a space for artists to create and display their work.
From now until next Sunday, Aug. 18, Sprinkler Factory is holding an exhibit called ‘Signals’, which features artwork from 250 artists.
As the exhibit’s curator Luis Fraire puts it,"The Signals exhibition is a special show...Each participating artist in the show has just one work presented in the show, making the show extremely diverse and wide ranging."
Fraire continued to say that many of these artists were new to the Sprinkler Factory and the local art scene, making it a refreshing and new wave of artists and their work in Worcester.
Corey Marsh, a 24-year-old graduate of Brown University and West Boylston resident is one of the 250 artists displaying their work at the Signals exhibit.
Marsh, a local and humble artist with great talent, submitted a colorful piece called "Midnight Madness."
He exercises his multifaceted talents through a diverse range of artistic outlets, including photography, graphic design, sculpting, and painting.
ThisWeekinWorcester.com sat down with Marsh recently and asked him about his creative process, the Signals exhibit and what’s next for him.
TWIW: How did you originally hear about the Sprinkler Factory and what has your experience at the Sprinkler Factory been like?
Marsh: I heard about the Sprinkler Factory my sophomore year of college. I was looking for an internship that was art related and my high school art teacher messaged me, informing me about an internship and I learned that it was for a non-profit organization in an old sprinkler factory.
The curator was actually an old student of hers; she gave him my name, and it worked out from there. I mostly served as a photographer for them. I got to see a lot of art and performed a little bit in wearable sculptures; I don't like just calling them costumes. They are wearable sculptures. From the beginning of my experience with the Sprinkler Factory to now, the gallery has grown a lot. At first, only the front room was used and the rest was unfinished space. Recently, they've expanded so they can show three different shows.
TWIW: How did the theme of Signals inspire your work?
Marsh: As you know the gallery is named Signals. The motivation for the artwork was to send your signal to the world. We had to pick a work that we thought sends our signal to the world, and which work represents ourselves. This show was very personal.
TWIW: What was your inspiration for your piece 'Midnight Madness,' which was featured in Signals?
Marsh: My work up until now was about anxiety, depression, and trauma, trying to make a manifestation of that. For this painting, I was not trying to create an accessible meaning. I threw on some music and let it grow organically from there. I felt free to explore my own painting abilities and I explored color; I was able to be bright, to be a cartoonist, and to show a fun but slightly scary style.
TWIW: What is next for you?
Marsh: I would like to be shown elsewhere and continue my work. My main focus has been in travelling and looking for opportunities.
TWIW: What do you think the Sprinkler Factory would want people to know about their art space and exhibit?
Marsh: The Sprinkler Factory is an important supporter of art and a place to get a focus of art in a smaller city compared to Boston or New York. This is a place people can see quality work and quality shows, not just paintings. They have three dimensional art like sculptures, too, and they host plays as well as other more interactive events.
The Signals gallery will be running until Sunday, Aug. 18. The public can view these paintings Saturday and Sunday from 1 PM to 4 PM and admission is free.
For artists who are interested in submitting their work for future Sprinkler Factory events, Luis Fraire encourages them to keep a look out for other “calls to artists” and other exhibition opportunities coming up by visiting their website, sprinklerfactory.com.
Corey Marsh Headshot Credit: Suzy Pekar for RAW Artist Showcase
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