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Supporting Boston-Based Artists and Makers This Holiday Season

Work by Lavaughan Jenkins (left) and Pelle Cass (right) on view with Abigail Ogilvy Gallery as part of the holiday pop up show.

Amazon doubling its profits during COVID while thousands of small businesses close? Gross! Consumers have the power to redirect spending back into our local economies by supporting small businesses. Not sure where to shop this holiday season? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with our non-exhaustive list of pop-up shops, holiday sales, and artist-run projects we think you should support. Check back in on this list throughout the month of December for more additions.

December Pop-Up Shops For Buying Art IRL


Black Joy Market
Black Market Nubian Square: 2136 Washington Street, Roxbury
Saturdays in December, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

If you missed Black Market while its doors were shut the past nine months, now’s your chance to (safely) get back in there. This market is dedicated to local Black-owned makers and businesses and functions as a space to “bask in the beauty of what it means to be Black.” If you’re a vendor reading this note and want to get involved, there’s still room to join the fun, and it’s free to do so! This shop will have limited capacity, so don’t forget to RSVP early here.

The Black Joy Market will run each Saturday in December. Image courtesy of Black Market.

Abigail Ogilvy Gallery x Beacon Gallery x Gallery NAGA x LaiSun Keane Holiday Pop-Up
460C Harrison Avenue, Boston
Friday & Saturdays from 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Sundays 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Through January 3, 2021

What happens when four powerhouse women team up to present a stellar lineup of local artists? Well, it’s like a supergroup, but for art galleries. From local legends like Lavaughan Jenkins to new work by Michael C. Thorpe, you really don’t want to miss this one. With over fifty artworks for sale starting at as low as $200, there’s a lot to be excited about. Get all the details here.

Image courtesy of Abigail Ogilvy Gallery with Beacon Gallery, Gallery NAGA, and LaiSun Gallery.

Central Square Popportunity Winter Market
Starlight Square: 84 Bishop Allen Drive, Cambridge
Saturdays and Sundays, 11 a.m – 5 p.m.

Every weekend in December, head on over to Cambridge’s coolest (and only) outdoor venue for art, music, theater, and more. Each week, a rotation of local vendors will be presenting their wares for you to peruse. We’re talking artwork, accessories, jewelry, vintage, and more. Did we mention there’s also live music and snacks? This just might be the most COVID-safe fun possible  since, well, COVID! Learn more about what to expect here.

Each week, a new rotation of makers with ties to Central Square will set up shop. Image courtesy of Central Square BID.

Dorchester Art Project Store
1486 Dorchester Ave, Boston
Wednesday through Saturday, 12 p.m. – 8 p.m., and Sundays from 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Seriously, what doesn’t Dorchester Art Project do? In addition to launching an online web store, the incredible folks at DAP have made their space into a venue for Boston-based artists to sell their work. The space prioritizes BIPOC, queer, emerging, and experimental artists, as well as artists born and raised in Dorchester. In addition to the work by visual artists, the DAP store sells music (vinyl, CDs etc.) and vintage and thrift clothing. See the online store and learn more here.

Homepage from the DAP Store Online. Image courtesy Dorchester Art Project.

Praise Shadows Art Gallery
313A Harvard Street, Brookline
Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Not quite a pop-up because this one is here to stay, but we don’t want you to miss the grand opening of Praise Shadows on December 9. This art gallery-meets-concept shop is the brainchild of founder and curator Yng-Ru Chen, who brings years of experience in the contemporary global art scene right to Brookline. The hybrid space will present rotating exhibitions by emerging and mid-career artists alongside more accessibly-priced art objects and books. Learn more here.  

Preview of items available at the new Praise Shadows Gallery and Shop. Image courtesy the gallery.

Zone 3 Window Shopping
Western Ave Corridor Between Allston and Harvard
Through January 31

Featuring goods from over 40 businesses, the Zone 3 Holiday Window Shopping Tour makes it easy to shop COVID-safe while getting your steps in. Shops along the Western Ave corridor between Allston and Harvard will become destinations for perusing locally made goods. Don’t forget to snag a copy of the latest Art in Print for just 25 cents while you’re out and about. This project is still in development so be sure to follow @Zone3WesternAve on Instagram to stay up to date.

Poster courtesy Zone3.

Shops And Groups We Love All Year Long, But Especially Now


Hourglass Collaborative

The folks at Hourglass recently relaunched with an all new, all-inclusive name and revived mission dedicated to creative communities, feminine perspectives, and the power of collective joy. This Boston-based organization has hosted a variety of pop-up shops over the years, but this year, they’re all digital. We’re loving their recent collaboration with iconic florist and designer Boston Pollen on a cozy clothing line. Online and at 25 Harbor Shore Dr, Boston, MA 02210.

ICA/Boston Store

The ICA Store is the go-to place for the hard-to-gift people on your list. They make it easy with curated guides for pet lovers and food lovers, design snobs, and even weed aficionados. There’s even a section dedicated to Boston-themed goodies. Online and at 25 Harbor Shore Dr, Boston, MA 02210.

Magpie Industries

We can’t get enough of the sweeties at Magpie. Not only is their Davis Square shop a cozy treasure trove of goodies, but the team there is dedicated to helping you find whatever your heart desires. They’ve got local art, self-care necessities, local zines and chapbooks (like Katytarika Bartel’s How They Love) and publications (including our very own magazine), and so much more. Online and at 416 Highland Ave. Somerville, MA 02144.

Black Economic Council of MA (BECMA)

Have an item on your list? Check to see if you can buy it from BECMA’s list of hundreds of Black-owned businesses in Massachusetts. Put your cash back into businesses that will directly support the economic well-being of Black businesses and communities. Visit BECMA’s site to learn more about their mission and the communities they support. Online resources + hundreds of participating businesses. 

Gift Guides by Thanks Artists Club

In addition to their preexisting database that aids in the discovery and support of Boston-based artists, our friends over at Thanks Artists Club are making curated guides to artists in the area you should buy from this holiday season. Just head on over and trust in the magic of its creators, Isabel Campbell-Gross and Joelle Riffle. Online Only

Sample guide from Thanks Artists Club. Image via their Instagram.

A Few Local Artists And Makers We’ve Got Our Eye On 


Ayana Mack

Visual artist, designer, strategist, and all-around star of a human—there’s nothing Ayana Mack can’t create. Mack’s artwork centers Black joy often in colorful depictions of radiant glowing faces or vibrant botanicals which you can purchase on tote bags, journals, greeting cards, prints, and more. Stay tuned for an interview with Ayana Mack by Jacquinn Sinclair in Issue 06 coming this January.

Portrait of Ayana Mack by Cassandra Rodriguez for Issue 06 of Boston Art Review.

Slow Hands Studio

Featuring the work of Leena Cho and Sam Kim, Slow Hands Studio is a space for two Korean-American makers who take things slow, and in turn, create beautiful, sensible, enrapturing objects. Their holiday shop is filled with clever earrings, delicate drawings, and whimsical ceramics.

Snake Hair Press

For the witches, the healers, the seekers, and all those working towards collaborative care and fighting oppressive systems, Snake Hair Press is the place for you. From zines and spells to herbal medicine, we hope you find healing and empowerment through these powerful creations.

Protection Set with evil eye, mano fico, and lemon hex talisman set of 3 risograph, light lime and black ink on white paper. 4.5 in x 6.5 in. Image courtesy Snake Hair Press.

Natalia Mirabito

With a new offering of small works for $100 a pop, Natalia Mirabito’s stunning little vignettes of coastlines and clouds will shake the winter blues. On Wednesday, December 9 she will host the virtual opening of “Seen/Unseen”—an exhibition dedicated to fostering dialogue around disabilities, mental health, and reduced mobility.

 

Where To Donate 


Want to round out your holiday gift shopping by donating money to great causes? Right on! Make a donation to some of our favorite organizations in honor of your mom, your best friend, your uncle you don’t really know how to shop for, or even just yourself; every bit goes a long way. Some organizations we love: 

BAMS Fest 

Black Trans Femmes in the Arts

Boston Center for the Arts

Boston Ujima Project

Danza Organica

Families for Justice as Healing

Now + There

United American Indians of New England

Urbano Project


Something else we should have on our radar? Email submit@bostonartreview.com to share your work with us.