February 15, 2011 – An old wire goods factory building at 406 Lincoln Street, Marlborough houses the luxury Renaissance Lofts, the Mad Hatter Gallery, White Rabbit Studios and soon the Loft Coffee Shop. All of these ventures spearheaded by developer/owner Deborah Fairbanks, come together seamlessly to create an exhilarating new arts hub in the city.
Fairbanks has invested much time, money but mostly passion into the realization of this artistic adventure in Marlborough.
Upon entering the building through the still to be opened coffee shop, one literally does gasp in surprise and awe as you wend your way though seemingly endless corridors into the gallery space and nine artist studios beyond. Mad Hatter studio artists include Mona Bhoyar, Verna Friedman, Anne Gilman, Jessica Jones, Joe Kleber, Judy Schneider, and Elisa Sweig.
The old factory, non-descript from the outside, lends itself perfectly to a gallery space. While the old brick walls and typical factory style ceilings lend authenticity and charm to the site, the stark whiteness of the display boards that embrace a myriad of colorful explosions, mingled with modern furniture, lighting and random pieces of sculpture boldly announce the arrival of The Mad Hatter Gallery. The Loft Coffee Shop through which one enters the gallery is poised to become THE place to be from March onwards, offering delicacies for the appetite, while the art beyond will provide exquisite food for the soul.
Resident White Rabbit Studios artist Mona Bhoyar was excited about the upcoming opening of the Loft Coffee Shop which she hopes will draw more visitors to the studios and gallery. Mona’s work, some of it predominantly in black and reds tells stories of war, suffering and horror often with women as the centerpiece. One of her paintings, a depiction of the battlefields of Normandy was inspired by a visit to Germany. It is a multi-layered piece seemingly abstract, but with a soldier’s face shrouded in pain and suffering as the central theme. The more one looks at the painting the more faces and hollow eyes you are sure to see! Mona felt compelled, she says, to express herself after visiting the site of the battlefields. Another painting of women shrouded in white and encased in barbed wire tells of the tragedy of Indian widows, who are compelled to wear white and destined to a life of solitude and semi rejection after the death of their husbands. Mona views history, cultural norms and social upheaval as her emotional canvas and is never at a loss for inspiration.
Little do residents and officials of the City of Marlborough realize what a treasure they now possess, one that will put Marlborough proudly on the arts map of the region.