Church02

St John’s Parish

Birth, marriage, death – a church contains the hopes and prayers of so many lifetimes. When a community loses its church, a part of its spiritual core is lost. By bringing art, creativity and ideas back into this building, we can re-energize this space, return the church to the community, and create a connection between the lives of artists and the local community. – Richard Widmer, project founder

The St. John’s Parish church was built in about 1900, possibly one of the earliest churches designed by one of New England’s most prodigious ecclesiastical architects, Timothy G. O’Connell. The building is 6,400 square feet (600 square meters), with two floors, a choir loft, a large community kitchen, a bell-tower and beautiful stained-glass windows. It stands upon a lot of 0.79 acres (5 mu), on a bluff above the historic village center.

Vacant since 2009, to prepare the church for arts activity, exhibitions and performances, the first half of 2015 will be spent renovating the electrical, plumbing and heating systems, repairing the bell tower, converting the nave into a multi-purpose artists studio and building accommodations for MFAB’s artist-participants.

When complete, St. John’s Parish church will be a studio space for painting, sculpture, photo and video, a place to gather for exhibitions, cultural performances and community events, as well as a residence for artist-participants, with a communal kitchen and library.

 

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