The New Art Shop launched a three-weekend pop-up store in late November selling the various wares of 45 local artists, with more than half of the artists from Newton and the rest of the Boston area. Emily O’Neil, executive director of the New Art Center, said her goal was to transform the space into a cooperative-style boutique allowing local artists to sell their work while running the boutique themselves.
Currently, artists earn at least 65% of the profits from sales of their work, O’Neil said, and if the store becomes fully a cooperative, the artists who run the store will also earn hourly wages. Artworks sold in the shop range from homemade candles and soaps, ceramics and wall art to books written by local authors.
“Our hope is at the culmination of our nine days of shopping we will have enough evidence to prove that there is enough community interest to support a retail business,” said O’Neil.
The New Art Center, a Newton-based nonprofit art education space, currently supports the volunteer-run boutique. If the store were to become a more permanent cooperative enterprise, it would be run entirely by the artists, more independently of the Center, according to O’Neil and Kim Spencer, who founded the initiative together.
“Sales have been strong,” Weinberg said, as 27 of his 39 pieces in the store had already sold and he was asked to bring more.
During the store’s six days of opening, sales have been “strong” and “above initial expectations,” Spencer said. There was an average of 30 transactions per day, she said, and the New Art Shop predicts that overall gross sales for the nine days of sale will reach nearly $ 20,000.
Sayaka Rawizza, ceramic artist and teacher at the New Art Center, said the store was “important in supporting the community.”
She said the store was “an ideal style” for her this year during the pandemic, as it was less crowded and better ventilated than more traditional art fairs.
Sarah Kahn, a multimedia collage artist and teacher at the New Art Center, said the first night she got a call from the store telling her that she had already sold four of her pieces and that they wanted her. reports two more.
“I was so excited to sell myself to the community,” Kahn said.
Weinberg said it was more important to her that people “have my parts at home” than the money generated from sales.
“Having a place where local artists can sell their work is really important to the community,” Weinberg said.
O’Neil said the New Art Shop is the only store in Newton to sell works exclusively made by local artists.
“We hope people will buy locally, support local artists, support the community, and get things done as a permanent retail business,” said O’Neil.
The boutique will be open for its last weekend of the season from Friday December 10 to Sunday December 12. Timetables are available on the website.
Katherine Hapgood can be contacted at [email protected]