Looking for a place to hold a birthday party, or for your kids to attend art camp, or just to take a one-day workshop to brush up on an artistic skill?
Hammar’s Art Studio is officially up and running at 1934 Lakeview Avenue, the Beaver Brook Mill, nestled between Define Fitness and 5-6-7-8 Dance Studio. Dracut Economic Development held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on September 14.
Founder/owner Brianna Hammar Rolfs resurrected her grandfather’s business, Hammar and Sons Signs and Art Center, on Bridge Street in Pelham five years ago at the original site, 71 Bridge Street. Her grandfather, Al Hammar, started that business in the 1970s, and her father, Rick, soon joined his dad. But they sold it in the early 2000s when Al retired.
Fast-forward to 2017, when Brianna was volunteering for Pelham’s Economic Development Committee and raising four children. She saw a need for an art studio.
“It was a perfect storm,” she says. “I saw that the business community had a need for more diversity, and the same space where my grandfather’s art studio used to be was vacant.”
Then, the plaza was sold in 2020, and the new owner told Brianna she could no longer rent the space.
When she started looking into alternate locations, one of her clients, who happens to be the wife of Brian McGowan, owner of TMI Property Management, which owns Beaver Brook Mill, had a brilliant idea.
“She said, ‘I think your business belongs in Dracut,’” Brianna recalls. “She told me about the mill, and it sounded like a good fit. The experience has been phenomenal. Every person I’ve interacted with, from Town Hall to neighbors, it just really feels like we belong here.
She says starting a business is “grueling,” but she felt the work would be worth it, especially since Dracut officials were on board with her plans.
“It’s hard enough to go into business by yourself,” Brianna says. “But when you do it in Dracut, you’re not by yourself.”
While she was busy turning an empty mill space into an art studio, Brianna found another spot at The Mall Rockingham Park, and that space was actually ready for occupation before the Dracut space. But it doesn’t offer a kitchen for her cooking and baking classes. Dracut’s does.
“I knew there was a need for people to learn how to cook,” Brianna says. “We pass cultures on through food.”
Having a child with special needs, Brianna is well aware of the therapeutic benefits of art, and she brings that knowledge to the studio.
The Dracut site is equipped to offer many different forms of art, from drawing to culinary, pottery to acting.
Dracut resident Bill Bradbury, a well-known artist in the area, is teaching classes in Dracut, as he taught classes for Brianna’s grandfather before her.
Hammar’s Art Studio is hiring artists “who want to share their areas of expertise in the world of the arts.”
For more information or to find out about employment opportunities, call Hammart’s Art Studio at 781-739-2468, email Dracut@HammarsArtStudio.com, or visit hammarsstudios.com.