A little history


From a Newspaper Clipping…

The idea for The Southcoast Artists Index was inspired by this New Bedford Standard-Times newspaper ad from the mid-1980s seeking assistance in finding information on nearly 150 individuals with the plea:

“A name, a birthday, an exhibition date… Mary Jean Blasdale would like to know more about the works of the following New Bedford artists. She can be contacted at the Whaling Museum in New Bedford.”

Mary Jean Blasdale, was the curator of the New Bedford Whaling Museum until her retirement in 2006. She went on to publish the Artists of New Bedford: A biographical dictionary (1990) during her tenure there.

The Artists Index Website Project was launched in July 2012 as collaborative community digital archive by co-founders Ron Fortier and Jeff Wotton to document the creative community of the South Coast; its artists, art institutions, and art professionals of the past and present. The Artists Index also seeks to create a reliable resource for researchers, genealogists, and educators.

Incorporated as a nonprofit in 2023, The Artists Index continues to invite emerging, mid-career, or established contemporary Visual, Performing, Literary, and Culinary Artists and Art Industry Professionals with direct or indirect ties to the South Coast’s creative community. We also encourage individuals such as family members, friends, and acquaintances, who have information on any undocumented or unheralded artist from the area’s past, to please contact us.  

In short, we are building a collective digital archive for anyone who seeks or has information to share, about an artist from the creative community of the South Coast. We’d love to hear what you’re looking for or, about any memories or information you have about an artist from the past – please let us know!

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