• Uncategorized

    If You Start With a High School Band, Norman Greenbaum Proves You Can Make It

    By Sky Malbera Remember Spirit In the Sky, the rollicking rock hit from 1969 about spirituality?  Did you know the singer was a Malden-born-and-raised musician? Norman Greenbaum, an Orthodox Jew born in 1942, went on to create music but it was Spirit in the Sky that would reverberate through American culture. It was featured in almost fifty films, including Apollo 13 and the sequel to Wayne’s World and numerous television shows such as Law & Order and Big Love. Fun fact: the lyrics reportedly took all of fifteen minutes to write! Greenbaum was more than a one-hit wonder. He led in the charts with several other memorable tunes such as The Eggplant That Ate Chicago in 1966 and Canned Ham in 1970. A long-time resident of Santa Rosa, Calif., Greenbaum visited Malden on Oct. 16 2019, to cut the ribbon unveiling a mural on 110 Pleasant Street painted by Jesse Melanson to honor of the 50th anniversary of the famous song.  Greenbaum shakes hands with Malden mayor before the dedication of the mural honoring his hit Spirit In the Sky. Photo by Paul Hammersley. Fittingly, the mural envisions a hand raised up [...]
  • Arts

    Perle Fine: Painting Through Barriers

    By Sky Malerba In a world of male artists and curators, Boston born, Malden-raised Perle Fine never quite got the acclaim owed to her. An abstractionist and a constructor of collage, Fine was shaped by the avant-guard scene of the early to mid 20th century in New York City. Fine is the selection for Week Four of Malden Arts Mondays, a two-month long celebration of artists and figures who have lived in Malden. Fine’s career arguably picked up steam in May of 1943 when two of her paintings were entered into and featured in Peggy Guggenheim’s Art of This Century museum. Two years later Fine would enjoy her first solo exhibition in 1945 at the Willard Gallery. Gradually, Fine integrated herself into artist communities where she socialized with other expressionists in clubs like the Betty Parsons Gallery, in 1948 — an atmosphere not unlike the enlightenment groups in 19th century French salons. She congregated with the likes of Clyfford Still Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, and others. Polyphonic, 1945 By the 1960s Perle Fine was a lecturer and associate professor and is [...]
  • Education

    From lock down to work out to city discovery tour

    By Sandra G. Ndengue The effects of being home all day during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic began to weigh on me, with boredom and stress as my sole companions. My daily routine had become monotonous except the few times I escaped to the grocery store.  The idea of stepping out even to get food instilled anxiety in me. “ I need to get out of here,” I exclaimed. “I can’t stay in anymore!”  Craving fresh air, I slowly walked up to an empty MBTA parking lot near Oak Grove station. Five minutes of walking was all it took to feel free again. I felt relieved and relaxed, sensing the gentle breeze caress my body. Even the noises of birds chirping and trains departing and arriving the station gave me a sensation of normality as I sat there for 30 minutes.  I don’t normally exert myself or do any sports related activity – unless I have a partner or a coach. I don’t go to a gym. But during the pandemic, I have discovered something that many [...]
  • Arts

    Humble Words From an Abstract Artist: “What You See is What You See”

    By Sky Malerba Malden Arts Mondays is a two-month long celebration of artists and figures who have been born in Malden. Week Three of Malden Art’s Monday features renown artist Frank Stella. A Malden native and New York resident, Frank Stella tricks and pleases the eye with his abstraction and minimalist work which stood out in the art scene of the ’50s and ’60s. Harran II, a color field painting from 1967 currently displayed at Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City. As an accomplished painter, sculptor and printmaker, Stella left his mark on pieces both in two-dimensional works and in three-dimensional space. His work includes the set and costumes for Scramble, a dance piece by Merce Cunningham in 1967, and a series of pieces called Protractor, which play with the intersection of geometric shapes and interplaying colors. In 1966, in a much quoted remark, he said, “What you see is what you see.” Testing the boundaries of his understanding of shapes and mass, he delved more into sculpture starting with using canvases of irregular [...]
  • Arts

    His Parents Were Slaves, He Became a Leader: Herbert L. Jackson

    By Sky Malerba Herbert L. Jackson Malden Arts launched “Malden Arts Mondays” earlier this month with a celebration of esteemed Malden natives. First up was illustrator, Ed Emberley, who was born in Malden in 1931. This week Malden Arts celebrates the first African-American state representative in Massachusetts, Herbert L. Jackson, with a suggested walking tour and other activities. A child of parents born into slavery, Jackson was the first African American ever elected to the Malden City Council. He was first elected as a councillor for Ward 7 from 1945 to 1947, and in Ward 5 from 1947 to 1951 and as a City Councillor-at-Large from 1965 to 1975. He served as president of the Malden City Council four times. He was elected as a state house representative, serving from 1950 to 1954. Herbert L Jackson was born in 1908 to John T. Jackson and Araminta Jefferson Jackson, who owned a tailoring business. Jackson was one of seven children and it seems as though his political career started in grade school. Always breaking barriers, he ran [...]

High School students create video about Malden’s first mayor