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Hamilton MAD Art opens in grand style

MAD Art opens in grand style

Art space is off center and under ground in the center of town

By Willie Kiernan

MAD Art celebrated their Grand Opening with a surprising number of visitors and sales. The community art space in downtown Hamilton downstairs in the Lebanon Street Alley has the look and feel that it has been there a while and not just hatched in a month's time. Sami Martinez and Kathy Herold, with Dwayne Martinez in the background, put it all together in the blink of an eye.

"There were about 10 to 12 people who came up with the idea," said Sami Martinez. "We were the ones who put the petal to the metal. So although we didn't have the idea, we implemented it."

MAD Art, Inc. is a non-profit organization. It is a community gallery for show and sales and performance arts as well.

"It was a great opening night. We were packed," said Herold. "It just shows that the community has a need for something like this, or maybe it was the free food."

With the purpose to revitalize downtown for college students and town people, Hamilton Initiative Director Roger Bauman agreed to a manageable rent schedule.

"We wanted to get a list together from different mediums," said Susan Schoonmaker. "We thought we could be more together by addressing different artists' needs and collaborate. There's a way that artists work in isolation often. But with us being together, we can have a space."

Yet to be scheduled are adult art classes, children's classes, felting, ceramics, figure drawing, watercolor and business related workshops on marketing and photography.

"I teach theater and music in the school and we're thinking of more community projects," Schoonmaker said. "It's another aspect, thinking about performing arts and what people can do together. We were even offered the Palace as a performing space."

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