60 years, 1,600 watercolors
Ayer artists thrives on Main Street
POSTED: 08/21/2015 07:31:28 AM EDT
Harding Mudge Bush in his Ayer studio.
AYER — “Do what you love, share what you know,” is what propels artist Harding Mudge Bush out of bed each morning.
Bush opened his studio, school and store on April 1, 2013, 22 years after he closed his former Park Street frame shop in Ayer that he operated for 11 years.
“I love being here,” Harding said, as he hunched over his watercolor of the day dressed in shorts and with bare feet.
“I feel like I’m right in the middle of everything,” he said. “I live a half-mile up the hill from this building, I can go home for lunch!
“One of the best days of my life was when I got fired from my office job in 1975,” said Bush. “I stayed in my three-piece suit but instead of being in an office I went door to door in Boston selling my watercolors.
The Harding Mudge Bush studio on Main Street in Ayer.
There are over a thousand of my watercolors floating around Boston,” he said. Some of Harding’s work can be seen at North Middlesex Savings Bank, Harvard Financial, U.S Fish and Wildlife Services and many more.”It all began in elementary school,” Harding remembers. “All the boys in my class were constantly illustrating World War II, complete with all kinds of sound effects. Because of the war, school lasted all day and we enjoyed a full hour of art every day!
“In the seventh-grade, I discovered the art section of the library and pencil drawings in the ‘how to books.’ On rainy Saturdays my friends would gather and copy drawings from magazines and books.
“In my sophomore year (1953) my grandmother, who had been paying attention to my artist pursuits, gave me a complete oil painting set for Christmas. Soon after I loaded up on books about watercolors during a trip to the library and I have been hooked ever since — and I’m 77!”
He continued, “Of course my art career was interrupted by engineering college, the army and, well, that job from which I was happily fired. Since then it has only been watercolors for me!”
Early on I studied with the famous Roger Blum at The Atlantic Union College. From Blum, “Though it has been quite some time since my teaching days at Atlantic Union College where I first met Harding and painted with him, I can attest to his love of watercolor and his passion to paint. He painted when many others found reasons not to, which is the key to unlocking the mysteries and difficulties of self expression with this difficult and illusive medium.”
As I walked around Harding’s studio and admired his work, I said, “Jeepers, I wish I could paint, but I can’t even draw a straight line!”
He laughed, “Neither can I. That’s why I use one of these!”
He held up a ruler.
Harding Mudge Bush Watercolors
“When the yellow flag is out, Harding is in.”
30 Main St., Ayer
Step-by-step watercolor classes are held on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays; call or visit his website for complete details. A watercolor can be completed in 7-8 hours.
It’s never too late to tap into your inner artist.
Read more: http://www.nashobapublishing.com/community_news/ci_28678899/60-years-1-600-watercolors#ixzz3jpcfnFC0
By Jon Bishop, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ayer will be getting a new grocery store, according to David Maher, director of community and economic development.
In a press release, he wrote that Paul diGeronimo, owner of the now-vacant 22 Fitchburg Road property, has secured a new tenant. The previous one, Hanford, left at the end of January.
The tenant, Mike Szelest, runs Central Supermarket in Winchendon. The Ayer store will be under a different name, Maher said.
“It’s something that the town really wants,” Maher told The Public Spirit. “They’re going to be making it better.”
The store might not be as big as Market Basket, he said, but it will be family-owned.
Maher also said that its supplier will be Hanford.
According to the press release, the store will likely open in mid July.
AYER — The Ayer Office of Economic Development is hosting and invites you to an evening event to discuss bringing a makerspace to Ayer.
Makers, artists, tinkerers, hobbyists, and entrepreneurs join us on Thursday, June 26, from 6-9 p.m. in the Great Hall of Ayer Town Hall, 1 Main St., to meet others with similar interests who have a need for a place to grow an idea and initiate a business.
A makerspace is a learning environment rich with possibilities. It’s a place to share not only tools but ideas for creating and for fabrication. It is a place where many different disciplines can work and share together.
The Ayer Office of Economic Development would like to see what interest there is within the community to facilitate this concept and possibly secure space.
For more information call David Maher, Ayer Office of Economic Development, at 978-772-8206.
Come join us for some refreshments and to share in the maker camaraderie!
Read more: http://www.nashobapublishing.com/community_news/ci_25955711/talk-june-26-about-makerspace-ayer#ixzz34cNwzBiQ
By Julia Kacmarek, email@example.com
Posted: 11/01/2013 07:30:10 AM EDT
AYER — Markoh’s on Main will host its first Holiday Cooking Show Dec. 9, at 7 p.m., and is selling advance tickets to the event.
In accordance with a small business management class at Southern New Hampshire University, Chef Markoh will prepare three to four courses in the cooking class.
“We are hoping to make this a monthly thing,” Markoh said. The event will be televised by Ayer Public Access Cable and other local channels.
Ticket prices will be $55 and may be purchased at Markoh’s on Main. The event will benefit Loaves & Fishes. A silent auction of donated goods and a 50/50 raffle is planned for the event as well.
Christina Saunders is a student working on the project and hopes the show continues on after the first airing.
“The point of the course is to put us into real life positions to see how some actual small businesses run,” Saunders said. “One of the staff at SNHU also works with Chef Markoh. So through him my professor was able to find a project for us to work with.
“The whole process is really supposed to be a learning experience for us,” she said. “So we are doing a bunch of different things for him like making fliers, setting up the floor plan for the actual show, coming up with a solid name for this show and future ones.
“We are also trying to make a commercial for him,” Saunders said. “We really want to help him make this show a success and also help him so that he can continue doing shows even after we are gone.”
Markoh said the televised cooking class was something he began at his previous location in Brookline, New Hampshire.
“We did the show when some people wanted us to do the cooking class,” Markoh remembers of his previous show. “Someone videotaped it and sent it to the local access television. It ran for two or so months. Then we did the show every month for a couple of years, but since moving to Ayer, we haven’t done it. We’re going to start it up again as a monthly event and SNHU is helping us get it going.”
The night of cooking lessons and dining will include all courses and wine. Anyone interested in making a donation to the silent auction should contact Christina Saunders firstname.lastname@example.org. There are approximately 60 spots open to those wanting to attend the event. Tickets may be purchased at Markoh’s on Main.
“This is really just a great time for anyone who comes,” Markoh said.
To visit Markoh’s On Main Website, click here.