BAA History

Since 1987, Brickbottom residents have volunteered their time, energy and effort to make the Brickbottom Artists Association what it is today - a vital community arts organization in Boston's contemporary art scene.

The Brickbottom Artists Association was founded by residents of the Brickbottom Artists Building, one of the oldest living and working artists communities in the country.

In 1984, a group of artists came together, in search of a stable and affordable working and living environment. They eventually purchased two semi-abandoned buildings which were originally erected in the 1920's as the cannery and bakery of A&P stores.

The community, named after the section in Somerville for the clay deposits used for brick making, has become a well-known model for other artists' live/work developments throughout the country.

Today, the nearly 150 condominium spaces, each of a unique size, shape and design, serve as both home and work space to BAA member artists and non-artists alike.

Honors and awards:

2007:  The BAA received an Organizational Support grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.  The Organizational Support program nurtures the development of a robust cultural sector through three-year matching grants to organizations with track records of excellence and community service.

2005:  The Massachusetts Cultural Council awarded the Gold Star Award in 2005 to the Brickbottom Gallery for its innovative and creative programming.

BAA Mission

The Brickbottom Artists Association (BAA), a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, is dedicated to preserving and expanding the arts in Somerville and the greater Boston area.

We foster a stable, permanent artist community of Brickbottom residents and non-resident members. The BAA promotes and supports its members and their artwork through art openings, BAA gallery shows, membership benefits, and other programs.

The BAA's annual Open Studios is one of the oldest in Boston. Over 100 artists open their doors annually for Open Studios. This event has been expanded to encompass the greater Brickbottom District, which includes Joy Street Studios. We increased inclusion of the Somerville artist community by adding an "Affiliate" category to our membership.

Year-round, the Brickbottom Gallery presents thoughtful and professionally curated art exhibitions as Somerville's premiere not-for-profit contemporary art gallery, as well as events and classes open to the community. The Gallery has operated for 20+ years, bringing established artists from all over the world and showcasing both established and emerging artists from this community.

Through community outreach and involvement, free lectures, and scholarship awards, the BAA strives to expand an awareness of the arts that enriches the Boston community at large. For example, BAA member Riki Moss participated on the jury of the Edge of Center Competition, sponsored by the Boston Society of Architects, with the Mayor of Somerville and the Somerville Arts Council, to participate in the future zoning and planning of our district.

Our community outreach includes several years gracing the walls at the headquarters of WGBH, our local NPR and PBS affiliate; an ongoing innovative Arts+Schools Program (through a grant from the Somerville Arts Council) that partners Brickbottom artists with the Prospect Hill Academy; and salon events in the lobby and gallery offered free to the public, such as concerts and open rehearsals in the Gallery by the professional music group Schola Cantorum of Boston.

Looking for Info on Loft Space?

Brickbottom lofts are individually-owned condo units, and as a result, there is no single source of info on spaces that may be available for purchase or rent at any given time.

Units going up for sale will likely be listed on the MLS, and units available for rent may be listed on craigslist or through local real estate agents who handle rentals.

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