Maggie Hunt, a Boston artist participating in the event for her third time, said her previous experiences inspired her to learn how to sew.
“I definitely could not sew four years ago,” she said, while working on two different dress designs. “When I was here two years ago, I was making quilts. After that, I asked myself why I was making quilts, when I could be making my own clothes. Now I can make my own patterns and my own clothes.”
Recent MCLA graduate Pam Buchanan, of North Adams, said she was stepping outside her comfort zone of creating work in the tradition of folk arts and printmaking, as she delved into magazines for her collage work.
“My goal is I want to be a lot more whimsical with my creations,” she said.
While the artists were being inspired to create new works, O’Conner was being inspired in another way.
“I want North Adams to be known as the place where the ‘Woodshed’ began,” he said. “This winter biennial is great, but it’s no longer enough. I want to see this tribe of artists grow. I want to see 100 artists come every year. I want to see this become a summer collage festival, where artists and others flock to the city to see art being made in tents on the street. I want to turn it into an annual event. That’s my dream now.”