Located in the north end of the city and about a 45-minute bus ride from campus, 270 Sherman is a hybrid of the old and new Hamilton.
Once a cotton mill during the height of Hamilton’s textile production industry in the 1900s, the five buildings that make up 270 Sherman have been re-adapted as studio space for artists. The space has also been the set of popular television series including Murdoch Mysteries, Nikita and Bomb Girls, and films such as The Art of the Steel.
Laine Groeneweg, a tenant at 270 Sherman, is one of few printmakers in the world who continue to practice mezzotint, a technique with origins in the 17th-century that involves carving images out of flattened copper plates. Groeneweg showed us how he goes about his craft and spoke about challenges he faced getting started as an artist and freelancer.
“After I graduated, I was terrified to go freelance…to live on doing my work or putting myself out there to run my business or live off my artwork,” he said. “And that fear was actually what ended up propelling me into doing this. I oftentimes, as horrible as it sounds, let the fear fuel me to keep on going, to keep on making more stuff, because I don’t ever see myself working in an environment where it’s dictated by somebody else.”
Originally from Calgary, Groeneweg moved to Toronto and then to Hamilton’s burgeoning arts scene.
“This is a bit of a fresh start kind of city right now. It’s cool – it’s starting to take on a bit of a new life from its industrial roots. Arts and culture is what’s really bringing this city back, I think.”