Shopping opportunities just seem to pop up
Powertown Pop Up Shop here for the holidays
One of Greenfield artist Dan Brown's handpainted jackets seems to be watching pianist David Bartley perform during Sunday's opening of the holiday Pop Up Shop on Avenue A in Turners Falls.
Pottery by Jaye Pope of Good Dirt Pottery, Montague, is on display at the holiday Pop Up Shop on Avenue A in Turners Falls.
Domino keychains and beaded earrings made by local artist Star are among the many affordable offerings at the Powertown Pop Up Shop at 85 Avenue A in Turners Falls.
TURNERS FALLS — The briefly bare gallery space vacated in November by The Gallery at Hallmark is again full of art, this time home to a concentrated Christmas bazaar of local art, crafts and salsa.
The Powertown Pop Up Shop opened Black Friday in the 85 Avenue A storefront, having won approval from the Board of Selectmen to briefly occupy the town-owned space.
Photography again decorates the walls, now alongside paintings, beer caps and displays of stuffed frogs, jewelry, pottery, painted denim jackets and other products of local artists.
The shop is a collaboration between village boosters Turners Falls RiverCulture and Shop Western Mass, an online local arts, crafts and services shop.
Lisa Davol, RiverCulture director, said the purpose of the shop was to reanimate a very visible vacant space, to give local artists an opportunity to show and sell their work and as a pilot.
“We’re also hoping this will seed the idea for some kind of permanent gallery here,” Davol said.
Husband-and-wife team Don Kruger and Lynn Nicols of Gill are one interested business.
Kruger and Nicols own Shop Western Mass, a side-project to their web design business.
Davol said they are core members of RiverCulture and a natural partner to make the pop-up shop a reality, given their commerce experience and contacts.
Kruger said the pop-up idea was a good opportunity to help RiverCulture, make some money, and test the market for a longer-term shop.
“There are a few other galleries in the area, but I think for Turners this would be really nice,” said Nicols.
Nicols said a critical mass of options is necessary to attract shoppers to the village.
“Turners is getting there but I think it’s not quite there yet,” Nicols said.
In other efforts to promote business, RiverCulture is organizing “A Wonderful Night in Turners Falls” this year.
Local businesses led by “Nina’s Nook” owner Nina Rossi and painter and photographer Ariel Jones began the holiday shopping festival last year.
Davol said they hope to work in more music and festivities this year, including in the pop-up shop, and artists are preparing window displays to decorate empty storefronts in time for the Dec. 13 event.
As of Sunday, the shop offered products on commission from 24 vendors, mostly local and mostly artists — with the possible exception of the salsa and rubs produced by Belchertown-based Hedgie’s Hot Stuff — according to Kruger.
The offerings are primarily from Montague and sub-primarily from Turners Falls, as Kruger put it.
And up the hill ...
Up the hill, Kristi Burnett of Erving and mother Sandy Fortier of Montague were working Sunday to set up their own pop-up shop in the Jarvis Pools and Spas building at 72 Unity St.
The two plan to open Friday and are looking for other local crafters to complement their own line of bath and body products. Interested individuals can contact Burnett at 413-824-9317.
More information, contacts and links for the Powertown shop are available on the RiverCulture website, turnersfallsriverculture.org.
The Powertown shop is open through Christmas Eve, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.