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Interview with Shelley Cardoos (New Bedford Open Studios Coordinator)

Eric Baylies
by Eric Baylies

New Bedford resident Shelley Cardoos is a painter, sculptor, singer, musician, promoter, tinker, tailor,  soldier, and spy. I spoke with her about the upcoming New Bedford Open Studios showcase and some of her art.

How did you end up down here?
Shelley: I went to UMass Dartmouth and Graduated with a BFA in Sculpture in 2003. I’ve been living in New Bedford ever since, working full time, playing in bands, drawing and painting when I can and selling t-shirts. I sell shirts with some designs I’ve drawn as well as local favorites such as “02740” the downtown zip code, and a newer hit “Linguica and Coffee  Milk” People often buy these shirts and tote bags for relatives from the area that have since moved away so they can show off their South Coast pride. I love hearing people’s stories about shipping Linguica and Coffee Milk to relatives when I sell the shirts.

Shelley Cardoos New Bedford Open Studios

What made you stick around here after college, rather than heading to a bigger city?
Shelley: The reason I stayed in New Bedford after graduating from college was because of the art and music scene. It was a small scene but I felt like I was part of it. At the time, it was much more underground. Now it is a lot easier to find out what is going on where. There area lot of opportunities to show work in different galleries, retail shops, and restaurants. The New Bedford art scene is very supportive and welcoming. I find it to be a lot more relaxed and less competitive than bigger cities, from what I hear from artist friends.

Tell me about the New Bedford open studios and how you are involved.
Shelley: New Bedford Open Studios is having it’s 6th Annual event this year where artists open up their studios to the public. It’s a great opportunity for people to see what is going on in different mills and art studios throughout the city. This year we have 96 artists showing in 14 locations. Some artists will be working throughout the weekend and there will be some demos and workshops as well, so visitors aren’t just looking at art, but seeing how it’s made. There’s a great variety of art that will be shown: Paintings, Textiles, Sculpture, Furniture, Jewelry, Glass, Printmaking, etc. I have been the Coordinator of NB Open Studios this year. You can contact nbopenstudios@gmail.com with any qustions. The website has a full listing of artists with details of their work as well as a map of the studio. Maps are also available at each studio and at the New Bedford visitors center. Check out www.newbedfordopenstudios.org

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