From December 9, through the 24, Malden Arts hosted a Pop Up shop at 480 Main St. The pop-up shop consisted of pieces from local artists, in Malden and surrounding areas. Items such as jewelry, paintings, music, clothing, pottery, and candles were sold by the local artists and craftspeople. Tables were set up throughout the venue, which members of Malden Arts tried-and succeeded-at making look as close to a real shop as possible. Displays of paintings and other forms of traditional art gave the pop-up shop an art gallery like vibe. Music that was being sold in the form of CDs by local musicians was being played while locals viewed and shopped for last-minute holiday gifts.
The pop-up shop began when artist, Lisa Sears, sent an email out to a group of artists and arts organizers, after an empty commercial space, 480 Main St., appeared in a local newspaper. Robin Inman, Arts Advocate Assistant, says that Sears’ email had essentially said “what if?”. The pop-up shop idea was brought up about a week before Thanksgiving, and Inman, Sears, and several other volunteers and members at Malden Arts “pulled together this entire creation in probably less than three weeks.” The shop’s host, 480 Main St., gave the group the space for the pop-up shop free of charge, which Inman says, helped a lot with pulling the shop together.
Ginny Remedi-Brown, one of the artists who created the pop-up shop and sold some of her work there, notes most artists featured at the shop are from Malden, or neighboring towns like Everett and Melrose.
Ose Schwab, self-titled Chief Instigator for Malden Creates, notes the diversity of the 54 artists showcased at the shop. Artists from Vietnam, China, Iran, and Libya are some of the countries in which the featured artists are from, including several refugees. The pop-up shop, Schwab says, “created a canvas on which many of the hidden talented individuals who may not have places to show their work, or opportunities [to do so]” can showcase and sell their artwork and creations. Malden’s pop-up shop has created a stage on which “people are equal players no matter whether they’re immigrants or refugees; whether they’re poor or rich. They are all there together showing their work.”
Among the artwork and artistic creations being sold, were fine arts, paintings, water colors, jewelry, ceramics, prints, textiles, and cards. “There is something [there] for everyone,” Inman says on the wide selection of items for sale.
As a potter and Jeweler, Remedi-Brown, provided jewelery to sell at the shop. Remedi-Brown notes that she went to the pop-up shop to sell her work and “let people know that [Malden has] a lot of wonderful artists in the city.” Remedi-Brown attended the pop-up shop, and notes the “steady stream of people” who attended the shop. Around opening and closing time, the “steady stream” was of course smaller, but the number of attendees picked up during the day. “It’s been very successful,” Remedi-Brown says.
As a whole, Schwab believes, “it [had] been a tremendous success and an inspiration to artists” and those who came in and got “a lot of joy from the different colors and different creations.” Both the Mayor and the Chief of Police were attendees of the shop, and the pop-up shop as a whole have “shown the value of arts and how it can make community.”