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Schwamb Mill: 'Alchemy of Autumn' through Nov. 5 

Old Schwamb Mill logoUPDATED Oct. 1: "Art & Music at the Mill" continues ...

The mill is the host for an exhibition called “The Alchemy of Autumn,” presenting 37 works created by 27 members of New England Sculptors Association (NESA).

Seven sculptures are expected to be placed in the outdoor garden of the mill site. Here is the schedule:

• “The Alchemy of Autumn” runs from Sept. 22 to Nov. 5.The Alchemy of Autumn at Schwamb Mill
• An opening reception was held Sept. 22 from 6 to 9 p.m.
• A closing reception, which includes Audience Choice Award announcements, is set for noon to 3 p.m. Nov. 5.

Special musical guests, Arlington jazz performers The C#s — featuring Louise Grasmere on vocals and percussion, Tino D’Agostino on electric bass and Peter Lehman on theorbo – are set to play from 2 to 3 p.m.

The events are free, with a suggested donation of $5. For more information, call 781-643-0554 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

ACMi News interviews Elisa Adams, sculptor:

NESA artists include:
Elisa Adams, Bayda Asbridge, Lisa Barthelson, Lisa Benson, Josie Dellenbaugh, Kevin Duffy, Douglass Gray, Memy Ish Shalom, Daniel Kovacevic, Tom Linville, Madeleine Lord, Maria Luongo, Brad Matthews, Julie Nussbaum, Tone Ørvik, R. Douglass Rice, Daniel Rocha, Kimberly J.B. Smith, Pete Spampinato, Karin Stanley, Al Weinstein, Mark Wholey, Daniel Zampino and Melanie Zibit.

About NESA
Established in 1948, NESA supports established and emerging sculptors in achieving their highest potential and in connecting with fellow artists, curators and collectors. Together with its partners, NESA promote excellence in sculptural art and seek to inform, educate, and inspire the public throughout New England and beyond.  

4th annual Oktoberfest held

Oktoberfest, a traditional German festival, is set to take place at the Old Schwamb Mill from noon to 4 p.m. on Oct. 1, rain or shine.

This family-friendly public event honors the Schwamb family’s German heritage. Music, beer, hard seltzer, apple cider, water, bratwurst, soup, pastries and more are being provided for the occasion. 

Seating with tables and chairs will be made available under a tent.

Various free tours and activities are planned both inside and outside the mill building.

The event is at 17 Mill Lane, between Lowell Street and the bridge over Mill Brook, in the Heights. Guests are encouraged to access the event from the nearby Minuteman Bikeway; bike racks will be available on the property.

The cost to enter is $5 per person or $15 per family. Food and beverages will be sold at $4 to $10 per item.

In 1838, Jacob Schwamb emigrated from Germany to Boston, becoming the first of the Schwamb brothers to settle in the United States. By 1857, six of the seven brothers had immigrated, and they all became dedicated Americans.

After not being able to hold Oktoberfest for two years because of Covid, the Old Schwamb Mill is delighted to bring back this celebration of the Schwamb family’s heritage with music, German-style foods, events for children taking place all day and more. 

  • Have fun with a beanbag toss;
  • See what you can find on a scavenger hunt;
  • Take a picture of yourself inside an oval frame;
  • Tour the Old Schwamb Mill building; and
  • Dance, dance, dance to the Grüvmeiners & Beantown Buckaroos.

Refreshments available for sale this year are to include specially brewed craft beer from Burke’s Alewerks, grilled bratwurst from the Heights Pub, fresh-baked pretzels from swissbäkers offered by Arena Pretzels, and pastries and more from Fräuleins Bakery.

The mill is grateful for the support of this year’s sponsors, including Classic Kitchen & Bath, Custom Contracting, Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty, and Intelligent Labor & Moving, as well as Cambridge Savings Bank, D’Agostino’s Deli, Maruichi Japanese Food & Deli, The John Mirak Foundation, Shattuck Heights Hardware and Wonder Yoga.  

Author discusses central Asian jewelry

Dr. Elena Neva — author of Ancient Jewelry of the Middle East, Tajik Jewelry and Jewelry of Central Asia – spoke at the Old Schwamb Mill at 2 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 24, on artistic features of Bactrian gold jewelry from Afghanistan and other central Asian countries.Neva20220904

According to National Geographic, the Bactrian treasure consists of thousands of gold pieces from all over the ancient world and was found inside six tombs dating from the first century B.C. to the first century A.D.

Neva is known for her expertise in Bactrian jewelry and the history of jewelry in general, for her books and lectures on art history and for her knowledge of the art and jewelry of ancient Asia including Tajikistan, where she was born.

She holds a doctoral degree in art history from the Institute of Art in Uzbekistan, a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history of music and art history cum laude from Moscow State University in Russia and a bachelor’s degree in music theory and history from Dushanbe College of Music in Tajikistan.

An adjunct professor in humanities and learning communities at Bunker Hill Community College, Neva was a guest lecturer at Harvard and Columbia universities.

She speaks Russian, Hebrew and English, and reads and writes in French, German and Tajik.

This talk precedes the mill’s annual Crafts Fair, to be held Nov. 19. Neva’s presentation is free, with a suggested donation of $5.

Mill reopens; Special exhibit opens Tuesdays, Saturdays

The Old Schwamb Mill, called the oldest mill site in the United States, reopened in February after it was closed through January because of then-rising Covid cases.

When visiting the mill's gallery, be sure to check out the special exhibit "Into the Woods: From Trees to Frames," tracing the steps involved in creating a frame from the tree to your living room, said Ed Gordon, director of museum programs. This exhibit continues Tuesdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For accommodations, call ahead of the visit to 781-643-0554 so that mill representatives can make the visit as comfortable as possible. For more information, call 781-643-0554 on Tuesdays and Saturdays or email the mill at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Old Schwamb Mill is at 17 Mill Lane. Admission is free, with a suggested donation of $5.

Dec. 7, 2021: Old Schwamb Mill publishes children's book

This news announcement was updated Sept. 10 with information provided by The Old Schwamb Mill. Preparing the announcement for publication was YourArlington intern Jingfei Cui. It was again updated Oct. 1.


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