The Waltham Mills Artists Association (WMAA) comprises more than 70 artists working in a wide range of media who occupy studio space in two buildings at 144 Moody Street in downtown Waltham, Mass. The larger WMAA building was named The Ira B. Gordon Center for the Arts in 2011 for Ira B (Sonny) Gordon, a prominent local businessman, and a leader in the transformation of the downtown Waltham area. His family has named the building after Sonny in recognition of his commitment to the arts and his leadership role in developing a community in which artists could flourish.
Two hundred years ago, the Waltham Cotton and Wool Factory established its business along the Charles River in what is currently the location of the WMAA. Later, Francis Cabot Lowell, along with others, formed the Boston Manufacturing Company (BMC), which produced bolts of cloth by the thousands. The BMC was radical in two major ways: it produced cotton and woolen goods on a tremendous scale, and it used water-powered looms at least seven years before the mills in Lowell and Lawrence. Indeed, Waltham has been a city of many firsts, including one of the first artists' collectives in the area.
More than 30 years ago, a group of artists began to rehabilitate space in the same buildings that once employed hundreds and had fallen into disuse. Using our money, talent, and labor, we transformed the neglected and degenerated buildings into studios where creativity thrives.
The artists of the WMAA have a long history of community involvement as educators, arts events organizers, and community leaders. Each year, the WMAA hosts its annual Open Studios weekend, a free community event when the public is invited to visit WMAA studios and meet the artists who work here. Newly added is our gallery of WMAA Open Studios Posters.
Take Exit 26 on to Route 20 East (Main Street) to Waltham Center. Turn right just after the SOVEREIGN BANK on to Moody Street. The Waltham Commons will be on your left. Travel one block down Moody. Then, after you cross the railroad tracks, 144 Moody Street and the Ira B. Gordon Center for the Arts are almost immediately on your left, directly behind the Enterprise Rental Car.
Take Route 20 West to Waltham Center (Main Street). You'll pass City Hall and the Waltham Commons on your left. At the light immediately after the Commons, take a left on to Moody Street. Then travel one block down Moody and cross the railroad tracks. 144 Moody Street and the Ira B. Gordon Center for the Arts are almost immediately on your left, directly behind the Enterprise Rental Car.
Buses 70 and 70 A (Cambridge, Watertown); buses 553 and 554 (Boston, Newton Corner); and the Fitchburg Line Commuter Rail (North Station, Porter Square) to Waltham Station, Central Square in Waltham. The WMAA entrance is less than a block down Moody Street from the station.
There are several metered lots within close walking distance to the WMAA that are free after 6:00 p.m. and on Sundays and 25 cents per hour otherwise.
The city of Waltham provides this online guide to parking: Where are the public parking lots in Waltham.
Waltham also has a map of Off-street public parking in Waltham.
Building #4 (56 artists) has a wheelchair ramp, and an attended elevator will be available during Open Studios. Building #18 (16 artists) does not have handicapped access.