Dream it. See it. Do it.
March 2010

Billtown Creative: Fostering the Creative Spirit in Williamsport

Bo Bower, a former marketing manager who recently moved back to Williamsport with his wife Treyci and one-year-old son Eliah, is launching Billtown Creative in his Pajama Factory studio.

Billtown Creative collaborates with and supports area artists and helps clients "take an idea for improvement and construct that idea in a way that helps to sell their product," says Bo. Sometimes it’s through innovative package design; other times it might be a unique marketing scheme. Either way, Bo is thoroughly enjoying building his business in what he calls “a great creative space.”



It has been a cold and snowy winter but the ice, snow, and frigid temperatures didn’t stop us from moving forward on many fronts at the Pajama Factory. We continued to add new studios, new tenants have moved in, and there is more and more ‘creative energy’ in the hallways and corridors.

As the existing studios have filled up, a waiting list is growing as new prospects look to join the incredible community that we have begun to form. Artists, entrepreneurs and students have brought a rich mixture of talent to the building and many have collaborated on projects, bounced around ideas with each other and even shared a cup of coffee or occasional beer.

Check out some our recent developments below: the new building improvements, the summer Artist-in-Residence program at the building and the huge success from our "Art of Romance" event in February which brought hundreds of visitors to the building.

As always, we hope that you spread the word of the Pajama Factory to your friends and family, to fellow artists, and to people you know who have big dreams. We welcome them here.

– Mark and Susie Winkelman

Building Update

click for a digital tour

“It’s time for some TLC!” says Pajama Factory Czar, Marshall Harris. Whereas the push for studio construction has been the focus over the last few months, Marshall says “it’s now about infrastructure and aesthetics. The focus in the next few months will be sprucing up the ground floor spaces and continued work on the bathrooms on the second floor.”

Lead architects on the project, Gary Rohrbacher and Anne Filson – both assistant professors in the College of Design at the University of Kentucky – have created a full digital model of the building and surrounding area. This will be used to help get funding for the next phase of construction.

Perhaps the most remarkable update is the growing waiting list of prospective tenants interested in Pajama Factory space. Jennifer Rixey, office manager, reports a list of nearly 20 individuals or groups interested in studio space. Some may need special tweaking to existing spaces and others are seeking smaller spaces which are now full.

Artist-in-Residence Program Gaining Momentum

Public Art Academy logo

This summer, the Public Art Academy (PAA) and Pajama Factory are expanding last year’s Artist-in-Residence program. Rebecca Reiser, director of the program, is looking to accept just under 10 artists who will be making their art in the Pajama Factory studios and living in homes on Williamsport’s historic "Millionaires Row."

Artists in the program will showcase their talents to the community through planned demonstrations, shows, workshops, or lectures. In return, she hopes the Artists-in-Residence will take full advantage of all Williamsport has to offer, including the many opportunities of operating their own working studio in the Pajama Factory.

You can get more information about the 2010 Artist-in-Residence program or download an information and application brochure (PDF - 460k).

First Friday at the Pajama Factory

The Art of Romance

Despite the predicted onslaught of a winter storm, on February 5th “The Art of Romance“ filled the hallways and studios of the Pajama Factory with people–it’s safe to say that somewhere between 600 and 700 attended. Merchants, artists, and tenants teamed up to "romance the senses," of the evening’s visitors with both a visual- and palette-pleasing buffet. Caterers brought trays of food; two wineries–Eagle Rock and Four Friends Winery–paired wines with chocolates; and Brewed Awakenings offered a variety of coffees and other warm beverages.

To round out the romantically inspired evening, more than 20 merchants displayed products and services for the newly engaged and romantic at heart. Florists, event planners, videographers, DJs, photographers, bakeries, jewelers, and even a Salon/Day Spa offered samples of their products and services for brides and grooms-to-be.

The Floating Gallery: U.S. and International Talent

Summoned by a simple request, a remarkable collection of artists from across the globe displayed their work in The Floating Gallery. "From my very informal request for a small ‘mail-able‘ work of art, I received a tremendous response from artists all over the world", says Chad Andrews, curator. Artists with addresses in the Netherlands, France, Spain, New Zealand, and 11 of the 50 States sent etchings, woodcuts, hand-embroidered textiles, embossments, ceramics, oils, bronze works and more.

By the time everyone went home, a few inches of snow covered the ground. The stars aligned for an inspired evening of art, food, drink and love.

Exciting Things to Come

There’s a sign on the Pajama Factory office door that says “This Place Matters.”

It certainly matters to us and all the folks we work with. It also matters to our tenants who are using "this place" as their creative home. And with the Pajama Factory’s eligibility for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, there is an acknowledgment that this place matters because it’s not only a remarkable building, but it’s a building linked to so much of the local history of Williamsport.

May is National Preservation Month, and we are planning to recognize the Pajama Factory’s historical importance during a special May First Friday celebration. It would be a great time to visit, especially if you’ve never seen the building or haven’t seen the recent improvements.

Mark your calendars–we hope to see you there!

– Mark and Susie Winkelman