Aldermanic Chamber

Today J and I walked over to Newton City Hall for this weekend’s Newton Open Studios juried art festival. Newton City Hall is an impressive old building that houses an assortment of municipal offices, and today a variety of painters, potters, and other artisans set up booths in the hallways, right next to offices where locals pay parking tickets and register for marriage licenses.

Second floor women's restroom

Because Newton City Hall is an old building, it doesn’t have central air conditioning, so when I ducked into the second floor ladies’ room, I was met by a heaping pile of window AC units, including a surprisingly small one marked “Mayor.” More impressive than the crowded corner where air conditioners hibernate was the empty Aldermanic Chamber where each city alderman has a seat at a set of circled desks, each one piled with important-looking paperwork.

Goodies from the Newton Open Studios fall juried art festival

The whole point of an art festival, however, is the art, so J and I did our civic duty by purchasing a handful of locally crafted items, including a pair of figurative mugs by Emma Vesey and a ceramic tile by Lisa Blacher. All art tells a story, and when you buy an artwork directly from the artist, that piece forever has a face on it.