Hippo Manchester
December 1, 2005

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Arts: Free food, free music and plenty of art

Langer Place opens its doors for Holiday Renaissance 2005

By George Pelletier   gpelletier@hippopress.com

Langer Place will hold its annual holiday open house Saturday, Dec. 3, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“It is much like an artists’ colony here,” said Langer Place owner Jan Langer. “It was a natural progression, with more artists looking for reasonable, even cheap space. Our building became an area for working artists from all facets to create side by side,  feeding off each other. The energy and the beauty of their work is what the open house is all about.”

Langer Place and 15 of its tenants will open their collective doors this Saturday to allow the public unbridled access, which is usually reserved for galleries, not working studios. Featured artists range from portrait photographers to cabinet makers, painters to aspiring students.

“We bought the building in 1992,” Langer said. “Most people had no idea we were here.”

Eventually, artists sought out the historic brick landmark along the Merrimack, looking for an inspirational space to create their wares. And when the open house first began, the focus and its Rennaissance name, was about artists, food and talent.

“This was a stage for these many acts,” Langer said. “And now it’s become this great space, really enhanced by the myriad of creative people who work side by side each day. They really draw from each other and Saturday is an opportunity for the public to catch a glimpse from that, meet the artists and hopefully, buy some of their work.”

The response to the open house, said Langer, has been incredible.

“People are really hungry for this type of thing. And the most common remark from the public when they arrive here is, ‘Wow, I didn’t know this was here.’”

One tenant who shares Langer’s enthusiasm is photographer Jeff Dachowski, who has had a studio in Langer Place since 2002.

“I found out about this building through a friend,” he said. “And she said this is a great building. And I really liked the fact that the owners worked here as well. I wanted the owners to take pride in the space, which they obviously do. So I looked around at the artists here and thought, ‘what a great fit.’”

Dachowski especially admires the creative atmosphere.

“I have made friends here, some who are painters, and we talk a lot about light with regard to our work, for example,” he said. “And I always get the same thing from my clients: ‘what a cool building this is.’”

Dachowski also noted that virtually all the tenants of the Langer Mill share the common thread of imagination and creation.

“This place has an aura. It really lends [itself] to whatever you do.” Langer Place is located at 55 South Commercial St., Manchester, 626-4388.