To experience the intensity, vibrancy and impact of Alison Well’s paintings, her New Bedford William’s Street gallery is the ideal place.
But Covid 19 Pandemic restrictions have been especially difficult for businesses that rely on the customer’s emotional experience of color, texture, scale, and atmosphere. “Gallery visitors, exhibition and the more traditional ways of getting my art out into the world were limited or unavailable,” says Alison, “so I had to get creative.”
Creativity comes in many forms, and Alison is a spectacularly creative artist, gallery owner, and now, digital marketing maven. “I wanted to survive so I had no choice – I had become a photographer, videographer, content creator, lighting specialist and digital platform expert.”
In her native Trinidad & Tobago, before earning her MFA at UMass Dartmouth’s College of Visual and Performing Arts, Alison spent four years at an advertising agency, “I never thought that experience would become so important. Now, I pretend that I’m my own client, and my marketing strategies are unconventional in the art world: Instagram, TikTok, email marketing, YouTube, virtual workshops.”
As a result, Alison now ships to collectors around the country and has thousands following the Alison Wells Fine Art Gallery on social media. “My TikTok video workshop on multimedia collage-making just blew up! It was wild!”
Alison stayed in New Bedford after graduating from CVPA, along with other artists attracted by reasonably priced studio space and a welcoming arts culture. “There was a collegial buzz in the artist community, and the city is a true champion of the creative economy.”
Free monthly events celebrating downtown New Bedford’s Art, History and Architecture known as AHA! Nights were important to Alison’s early years as an artist. Her first studio was in a downtown building renting space to many new CVPA grads. “On AHA! Nights, we’d put a sandwich board on the sidewalk and people would tour our studios and buy our work. That’s how I built a portfolio of long-term collectors and supporters. I still love the energy of AHA! nights. People come to my gallery, maybe they buy a postcard or a print and, over time, many become regular clients buying original works.”
New Bedford is inspirational for Alison. She sees unique shapes and colors in the city’s architecture and seaport vistas but expresses her subjects through a distinctly Caribbean lens. It’s a visual experience that’s hard to describe with words, but don’t worry, you can see it for yourself – if not at her Williams Street gallery, then through her creatively produced virtual exhibitions.