Just in time for the holiday season, the New Art Shop is open at Trio Newton with an array of local, handmade products to offer. The pop-up store, open from Friday to Sunday from November 19 to December 12, is intended to pilot an artistic cooperative in Newton before the store opens permanently to Trio.
“We’re kind of doing a smooth launch [at] the market with the nine days of shopping that precede the holidays… ” Emily O’Neil, Executive Director of New Art said. “And our hope is that at the end of the nine days, we will find that the opportunity was successful and people really enjoyed doing it.”
The shop, which sells items ranging from handmade bracelets to pottery and knitwear, aims to promote local artists whose work could not be easily sold during the pandemic. All of the art sold in the store is made by artists from Massachusetts, about 60% of which are Newton, according to O’Neil.
“These are real people doing real work,” said O’Neil. “And creating a centerpiece or exhibition space for people creates visual value for the role of arts and culture in the community. “
An artist who displayed works in the shop, Ellen Weinberg, started making pottery 10 years ago as a hobby in her spare time.
“I’m a retired physician, and when I was still practicing I was looking for something to do outside of my practice, then in retirement I got more into that,” Weinberg said.
According to Weinberg, his pottery quickly sold at New Art. She also likes the place of a pop-up shop because she has the opportunity to meet people who buy her art.
“I love the idea of putting my coins in people’s homes, so it gives me great joy to meet people who potentially buy my coins,” Weinberg said.
Another perk of the store, according to Weinberg, is that a percentage of the profits go to the New Art Center, a nonprofit arts education organization.
“We are a community arts organization, so we offer both paid programming and free programming on a grant basis, so we seek to make art inclusive,” Aimee Anderson, Board member of the New Art Center, said the organization that owns the store. “So this money that people spend here goes to this scholarship program which is really important to us. ”
According to O’Neil, prices for in-store products range from $ 10 to $ 3,000, with an average cost of around $ 30.
To find artists like Weinberg to feature in the store, the New Art Center called for applications for local artists. According to Anderson, the board chose the artists based on their website and social media presence in addition to their artwork.
“We were really looking for a good mix of different types of art and at different prices – therefore, things that could be offered – because this is a holiday pop-up, and we wanted have the opportunity to hang some of the 2D art that’s more traditional at the New Art Center, ”Anderson said.
The location of the New Art Center in Trio was originally used as an overflow classroom for art classes, according to O’Neil. During the pandemic, the center realized that the Trio space would be more beneficial as a shop that could promote local artists.
“We realized it would be a better use of the space to turn it into a cooperative store where we can meet the need that we saw in the community to sell work locally,” O’Neil said.
O’Neil stressed the importance of showing his support for the Pop-Up Artist Shop as well as the future of the New Art Shop.
“We just need people to come and shop locally and you know that the success of the next few days of shopping will really help us assess how to make this a formal program to really support the community,” said O’Neil.
Images by Josie McNeill / Heights Editor