Jessica Taylor is opening a new art space in Bristol Borough — with a little help from her friends.
Called The Mill Arts Collective, it’s designed as a “space to make” where painters, photographers, graphic designers and other creative people can share resources, ideas and encouragement for their pursuits.
“We value working in community and sharing ideas with other people,” said Taylor, taking a break last Friday afternoon before the space’s grand opening that night.
The night itself was a collaboration of fellow local artists and artisans: Food came courtesy of the King George Inn and Mill Street Cantina, and Philadelphia-based Loud Dog Brewing provided exclusively-brewed beers for the occasion.
Various artists displayed their work at the space near the corner of Mill Street and Old Route 13 while live music was provided by borough regulars Daniel Hale and The Poet, Ebenezer.
It’s the kind of cultural crossroads that attracted Taylor, an “oil painter by heart” who loves working with abstract concepts and occasionally in sculpture and installations, to Bristol Borough nearly a year and a half ago.
Originally from Chicago, she came to Bristol on the advice of a mutual friend, and set up shop nearly instantly.
“I saw a really quaint town with a lot of potential,” she said. “It’s exciting to be here as all the new businesses pop up.”
Originally, she had a smaller studio nearby with the hope of starting a collective sometime in the future. When this space became available, she jumped at the chance to make her dream come true, even if it was a little ahead of schedule.
Now, the grand opening under her belt, Taylor’s looking forward to establishing regular programming that furthers her ideas for the collective. She’s launching a poetry and music open mic next month, and is planning regular artist critique events. At these events, painters can bring in their works to talk about them with fellow artists.
“It’s a little soul-bearing to do that,” said Taylor, “But a lot of people like to capitalize on the opportunity to get feedback.”
The Mill Arts Collective is located at 447 Mill St. in Bristol. For information, visit www.themillartscollective.com.