Newton Pop-Up Art Shop opens for the holidays – The Heights

Just in time for the festive season, the new art shop is open at Trio Newton with a range of handmade local 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 permanent opening of the shop at the Trio.

“We are doing a soft 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 a success and that 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 artwork sold in the store is by Massachusetts artists, about 60 percent of them by Newton, according to O’Neil.

“These are real people doing real work,” O’Neil said. “And the creation of a centerpiece or exhibition space creates visual value of the role of arts and culture in the community.”

An artist exhibiting work in the shop, Ellen Weinberg, started making pottery 10 years ago as a hobby to fill her free time.

“I’m a retired doctor, and when I was still practicing I was looking for something to do outside of my practice, and then in retirement I got more interested in it,” Weinberg said.

According to Weinberg, his pottery sells quickly at New Art. She also likes the location of a pop-up shop because she has the opportunity to meet people who buy her art.

“I love the idea of ​​putting my pieces in people’s homes, so it gives me great joy to meet people who potentially buy my pieces,” Weinberg said.

Another perk of the store, according to Weinberg, is that a percentage of the profits goes to the New Art Center, a nonprofit organization for arts education.

“We are very much a community arts organization, so we offer both paid programming and free programming on a grant basis, so we seek to make art inclusive,” Board Member Aimee Anderson of the New Art Center, the organization that owns the store, said. “So that money that people are spending here goes to this scholarship program which is really important to us.”

According to O’Neil, in-store product prices range from $10 to $3,000, with the average cost around $30.

To find artists like Weinberg to feature in the shop, the New Art Center put out a call for entries from local artists. According to Anderson, the council chose 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 also at different price points – so things that could be gifted – because it’s a holiday pop-up, and we wanted to have the opportunity to hang some of the more traditional 2D art from the New Art Center,” Anderson said.

The location of the New Art Center at Trio was originally used as an additional classroom for arts classes, according to O’Neil. During the pandemic, the center realized that the Trio space would be more advantageous as a shop that could promote local artists.

“We realized it would be a better use of the space to turn it into a co-op store where we can meet the need we’ve seen in the community to sell work locally,” O’Neil said.

O’Neil stressed the importance of showing support for the pop-up shop for artists as well as the future of the New Art store.

“We just need people to come and shop locally and you know the success of the next shopping days will really help us gauge how to make this a formal program to really support the community,” O’Neil said.

Images by Josie McNeill / Heights Editor

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