Sometimes you have to reach for the dream with both hands. After all, when purpose, fulfillment and happiness are on the line – why compromise? Some years ago Jermaine Patterson – a longtime Attleboro, MA resident and full time-police officer – was given an opportunity to make modest inroads into the local art scene. Though the opportunity was a good one, Patterson decided that a humble step was not enough; he wanted to make a leap.

Patterson had a vision in mind – an innovative, art-oriented community and business space that would not only house his dreams, but act as an incubator for the aspirations of others. With his imagination spurring him on, Patterson went for broke and founded Patterson Creations – an innovative, multi-use art gallery with the potential to create a new paradigm for creative business spaces in the Attleboro area and beyond.

 

Patterson’s initial opportunity came in 2005, when a partnership with Attleboro Art & Frame seemed ready to bear fruit. When the city presented Patterson and a business partner the opportunity to open a picture framing store, Patterson decided to go all the way in. “If I’m going to do any store, I’m going to do what I want,” He says. In order to properly fund his venture, Patterson secured a federal block grant loan, as well as an additional loan taken against the value of his house. “It’s a good thing to be able to have a complete vision versus something partial,” Patterson says. “I would have been kicking myself in the butt, saying ‘aw man I wanted to be an art gallery too.’ So I was able to do everything I wanted to do right out of the gate.”

Patterson Creations is housed in a 1900s building at 52 Union Street in downtown Attleboro. Patterson Creations nearly came to be in a different location, but a basement water issue in the initial space motivated Patterson to find a new spot. Patterson’s lawyer had a vacant space next to his office and persuaded Patterson to take a look. Using the same powers of imagination that he used to envision the finished facility, Patterson looked beyond the years of accumulated bric-a-brac that crowded the building. “This place used to be a paint store, a liquor store, a police supply store, a sewing place, and a thrift shop,” Patterson says. “So it was five things… and all those things, they never took anything out of it. It took us three 30-yard dumpsters to load the crap out of here.” Using the aforementioned loans, Patterson embarked on an ambitious buildout, renovating the space at 52 Union to meet a variety of needs, as well as a set of very high standards. Patterson Creations is constructed with an eye toward versatility and modular use.

The main gallery floor serves as an event space, with a service counter doubling as a fully licensed bar, and potentially, a café counter as well. A semi-private mezzanine rests above the main floor, ideal for small meetings and use as a DJ booth. The main corridor is situated with alcoves that can serve as mini-storefronts.Patterson rents these out on a month-to-month, all-inclusive basis, and they are ideal for entrepreneurs who want to test their appeal before making a large commitment on traditional retail or office space. It took three years of hard work for Patterson to get the space just right. He spent countless hours at the renovations, while still working forty hours a week as an officer with the Attleboro Police Department. During the renovation period, Patterson became ill with an inverted hernia, which kept him from both his full-time job and the renovations. However, this setback did not make Patterson lose faith. He persevered, and watched his vision come to pass. “I literally sat here a year ago in a cloud of dust. Stained paper in the window. Cold, no walls no floors,” Patterson recalls. “And then a year later… To think something, believe it, then speak it, and then have it actually be created – it’s a good thing.” Patterson says the final results of the overhaul were so noteworthy that Patterson Creations received an award from the Attleboro Historic Preservation Society in May.

Everything at Patterson Creations has been constructed with an eye for detail. There are connections for flatscreen monitors, plentiful power outlets and alcove dimmer switches. Patterson Creations contains a set of rooms soundproofed for use as a recording studio. Audio gear is not included, but the control-room / live-room arrangement allows for clients to easily craft a quality setup. There is also a fully-plumbed kitchen, well suited for a catering business or any other culinary venture. In addition there is a coatroom and a large back parking lot, which can double as an outdoor event space.

Patterson sees the space as a springboard for the aspirations of others. He realizes that his facility is likely to be a stepping stone for successful tenants, but he does not grudge providing the leg up. In fact, Patterson is proud to contribute to the success of others, so long as they use the space responsibly. “I have to pay the bills here either way,” Patterson says. “So for me not to have the place be for people, is just foolishness.” Patterson is happy to rent the space for birthday parties, mixers, corporate events, meetings, product demonstrations or any other reasonable gathering.

 

 

Jermaine Patterson - Redefining The Art GalleryPatterson’s selflessness becomes especially clear in his relationship with artists. Patterson has a very acute knowledge of the business of gallery art. He knows the pitfalls – framing costs, gallery memberships, percentages on sales – that inflate the costs of finished pieces and keep artists starving. His model – including allowing painted edges instead of frames and the exhibition of single pieces – does away with many financial hurdles, giving artists the opportunity to keep both their costs and their prices down as they make names for themselves.

 

Artists have the opportunity to make impressions and sales at every Patterson Creations event. Patterson decided early on that he would trust his clientele – leaving the art on the walls during concerts, children’s birthday parties and other events. Patterson’s full-time job as an Attleboro police officer helped him to put this decision in perspective. “I’m not going to worry about not getting shot at work,” Patterson says, “and then come here and worry about of piece of art on the wall.” Artists are invited to the events, where they can speak about their work to interested attendees, making themselves familiar to the community, and making sales where there is interest. Soon artists will be able to dial in to Patterson Creations on Skype and speak to curious viewers in real time. This idea is just another way that Patterson is thinking out of the box in order to give his artists every opportunity for success.

 

Patterson’s job also includes considering the less glamorous side of art sales. As a police officer, Patterson is no stranger to thinking about security. Cameras, access codes and insurance are embedded into the framework of Patterson Creations. This may seem incongruous with the spirit of the art world, but Patterson’s focus on situational awareness and contingency allows his clients and tenants to focus on more creative matters.

Patterson Creations has been open since late 2013, and is just getting up to speed. Jermaine Patterson meanwhile, is still churning with ambitious ideas about his next moves. Besides hanging a number of sleek flatscreens on the walls, Patterson would like to purchase the Patterson Creations space, rather than renting it. He would also like gain full access to the upstairs portion of the building and build out artist lofts, for work and residence. If the opportunity is presented, Patterson would also like to rent or buy the space next door and expand his operation. On top of all this, Patterson has another big plan that is a bit more personal than the others. If you want to know-what it is, you’ll just have to stop by Patterson Creations and ask Jermaine Patterson himself.

 

Written By: David Sano

Published On 9/5/2014

 

www.pattersoncreations.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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