Photo, Film and Food

Downtown Holyoke is buzzing with creative activity – talent from across multiple disciplines have found the factory spaces and canal-lined streets the perfect place to cook up thier art.

PHOTO – On Saturday March 8th, approximately a dozen photographers and models traveled from as far as New Haven to Holyoke for a fashion-photo meet-up organized by photographer/model Stephanie Wohlers on social media.  Local studios Jeffrey B Photography (80 Race St.) and Paper City Pictures (62 Main St.) opened their doors to allow for a day of creative activity.    Photographers also explored downtown Holyoke and the canals as backdrops for their work.  Many were overwhelmed by all the unique, photogenic spaces within such a small, walk-able distance. “This has not only been a great opportunity for me to gain access to professional studio space and lighting gear, which I have been searching for, but also to learn first-hand what is happening up here” said Monty Rudze, one of the participating photographers.  Organizers plan to hold more photo meet-up events later this spring and summer.

FILM – Chris Perry, formerly an animator at Pixar and now a media professor at Hampshire College, will be shooting scenes for his short film titled “Seed” in Holyoke at the end of March.   Mr. Perry approached the city’s Creative Economy Coordinator in late January looking for a space that could be a “post-apocalyptic secret lab” – within a few weeks a basement location in the Wauregan Building on Dwight Street had been scouted and secured.  “It is exciting to see creative industries like film take root here”, said propery owner and artist Scott Reilly,  “I’m really glad I could help.”

FOOD –Deposit, a unique Dining & Art Experience, will be popping up inHolyoke on April 5th & 6th.  Deposit is a temporary dining and art experience created and organized by tech entrepreneur and designer Brendan Ciecko. The event features creative cuisine, art, music, film, and a unique philanthropic aspect.

Chefs from Boston’s top restaurants will bring an evening of unforgettable cuisine within the beautiful 1920’s banking hall of the Hadley Falls Trust building at 56 Suffolk Street.  Tasting dishes will be prepared by Whisk of Boston, featuring Executive Chef Jeremy Kean and Executive Pastry Chef, Philip Kruta, whose resumés includeBoston’s L’Espalier,Rialto, and No. 9 Park.

“Guests can expect an interactive dining experience. We’ve replaced the bank tellers with chefs, and after you hand over your “deposit slip” you’ll be presented with your dish.” said the event’s organizer Brendan Ceiko.

The event will also feature art by Amy Johnquest and Rob Kimmel, as well as music by Elizabeth Dobrska, and film from the 1920’s and 30’s.

Guests will participate in crowd-sourced philanthropy. Patrons will vote for their favorite non-profit on each deposit slip, and a portion of the proceeds from the event will be distributed amongst the charities based on popular vote.

List of non-profits on the ballot:

  • DakinPioneerValleyHumane Society
  • Food Bank ofWestern MA
  • Girls Inc. ofHolyoke
  • GreaterHolyokeYMCA
  • MassachusettsInternational Festival of the Arts
  • Nuestras Raíces

Tickets are available for purchase at


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