The Gallery at the Old Schwamb Mill features several art exhibitions held throughout the year, focusing on a variety of media and the professional work of local artists as well as on history and Mill-related topics. The Gallery is open during regular Mill hours, Tuesdays and Saturdays from 10 am to 4 pm.

Now on Display in the Mill’s Gallery

Ways of Seeing: Painting, Photography & Printmaking

Featuring the Art of Cathy Garnett, Richard McElroy & Janet Smith

In the Old Schwamb Mill’s Gallery, Saturday, March 25 through Saturday June 10, 2023

Cathy Garnett is a visual artist, primarily a painter and printmaker. She holds a diploma in studio art from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.  Cathy was selected to be an artist in residence at Acadia National Park, Schoodic Point in the Spring of 2017. For as long as she can remember she has wanted to paint.  Recently, her work, “Tidal Creek”, an acrylic painting was selected as best in show at the Three Stones Gallery in West Concord’s emerging artist show. Cathy holds a Masters of Landscape Architecture and has worked as a professional landscape architect in the Boston Area. 

Richard McElroy is a painter who depicts the natural world and the place of man’s works in that landscape.  He has exhibited widely including the Arlington Center for the Arts, Concord Art Association, Danforth Art Museum, Whistler House Museum, Lexington Arts and Crafts Society.  In 2017 he received an Artist Residency at Lake Clark National Park, Alaska.  He holds a BFA in Painting from Massachusetts College of Art and a MS in Library Science from Simmons University.

Janet Smith is a photographer based in Arlington who enjoys photographing things that do not run away and occasionally things that do. In her early career, she learned techniques in landscape and nature photography in field workshops with Art Wolfe and David Middleton. She also studied black and white photography for a year at Harvard University with Christopher Janes. Her participation in master classes at the Maine Media Workshops with Lilo Raymond, Olivia Parker, and Same Abell helped her develop a personal style with still life photography. Her photographs are included in the permanent collections of the Children’s Hospital in Boston, and in private collections in the United States and abroad. In addition, her photographs have won awards in national shows at the Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester MA and have been included in juried shows at the Arlington Center for the Arts, Cambridge Art Association, the Concord Art Association, the Griffin Museum, and the Rocky Neck Art Colony in Gloucester MA. She has had solo shows at the Newton Free Library, the Cary Memorial Library in Lexington MA, and the Gutman Library at Harvard University.


Into the Woods: From Trees to Frames

She Did It: Women Saving History

In 1969 Patricia Fitzmaurice took a bike ride. Pedaling down Arlington’s Lowell Street, she discovered a quirky down-at-its-heels mill building. Peeking in the window, she was enchanted by a woodworking mill frozen in time with honey- colored wood, hand tools burnished from long use, and sturdy machines powered by leather belts. Told it was soon to be flattened, she rallied an intrepid cadre of backers to form the Old Schwamb Mill Trust to preserve the Old Schwamb Mill and its contents. 

Pat scrabbled for money, expertise, and personnel to save the old building. Working for thirty years Patricia Fitzmaurice did a bit of everything: she gilded frames and she turned wood; she wrote grants and she gave classes. Sweating every month when the mortgage came due, Pat even corralled friends in grocery store parking lots to garner contributions. Somehow, time and again, she did it. 

By the time of her untimely death in 2001, Patricia Fitzmaurice had succeeded: she had saved history. Enjoy this exhibition below. Graphic Design by Jennifer White, www.jenniferwhitegraphicdesign.com


Mill brook sign

From 1637 until the 1920s, Arlington’s Mill Brook bustled with industrial activity, ranging from grist and saw mills to large-scale manufacturing of saws, spices, wheat meal, fur clothing, wood products, and calico printing. The original source of water power from the cascading brook was gradually replaced by steam and electric power, but this fast-moving brook was a significant reason for Arlington’s early growth and development.

Informational panels, illustrated with historic photographs and maps, describe the mill owners and their businesses at nine mill sites along the brook’s three-mile course from East Lexington to the Lower Mystic Lake. The exhibit looks as efforts over the past 100 years to protect and restore the Mill Brook corridor as an ecologically healthy linear park linking public open spaces with the parallel transportation routes of the Minuteman Bikeway, Massachusetts Avenue, and Summer Street.

In the meantime, please enjoy this exhibit virtually: A Brook Runs Through It: Arlington’s Mill Brook Legacy.

Produced in conjunction with this exhibit, the video “Mill Brook Rediscovered” was created by Arlington resident Glenn Litton of DocuThis in partnership with curators at Arlington’s Old Schwamb Mill. You may view the video here.