Arts

Storyteller’s Café featured stories, reflections and a “Cat and Barbie” show

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to hear a cat talk?  How would a sassy Barbie doll speak? Have you ever wondered what they might be thinking? A chatty cat and talking Barbie were part of the June 10 “Stories Only You Can Tell”  virtual “Storyteller’s Café,” presented through MATV (soon to be UMA, Urban Media Arts). The hour-long event featured short personal narratives, poems and reflections presented by attendees of the “Stories Only You Can Tell” workshop run by author and musician CD Collins at UMA/MATV back in February. With Collins and the talking cat named Scarlett Lee as emcees, these local storytellers came together via Zoom to share their works. Collins,  described as a “front line toe-to-toe artist, defender of women, children and the natural world,” began the night by presenting a custom-made Barbie constructed in her likeness. The doll’s blonde hair was cut short and melted down with a blow dryer, worry lines were drawn on her face and she was bitten up and down the arms to resemble actual scars on Collins’ […]

Arts

Teens bridge time, culture and language through film

By Ose Schwab It’s 1:30 a.m. in Chile and Malden and 1:30 p.m. in Shanghai. Fourteen-year-old Finn Sedan in Malden, Javiera Paz Valenzuela Rodríguez, 15, in Santiago, Chile, Isabella Zhu, 14, in Southborough, and Anny Wang, 13, in Shanghai, are laughing nonstop while making final editing touches to a short film that they have been working on together all week.   “We were up late – well, not for me because it was 1:30 p.m.,” said Anny. “I guess we did not start editing until that last day. We worked for five hours on Zoom. But it was not painful. It was chill. We were joking, editing, and talking about ourselves. Our mentors, Avion and Sophie, made us feel so comfortable and we had become friends. I was sad this was the last working session together.”   The teenagers’ short film titled “Isolation” would be screened later that day (the next morning for Anny) as part of an international filmbuilding workshop for 13 teens from China, Chile, and the United States, sponsored by MATV (UMA) and Zoom-In Zoom-Out, an […]

Arts

For Malden artist, nature’s beauty endures even in a pandemic

Another in a series of stories on how Malden residents are coping with the COVID-19 pandemic.  By Elizabeth Scorsello Malden artist, Peg, dreamed about spending a week in May in Turin, Northern Italy, at the International Center for Ceramics to mark the year of turning 80. She had planned to take classes with potters from all over the world. Now, she wonders when – or if – she will ever get to make this trip. Peg, a resident of Malden for 14 years,  paints and draws, does ceramics and teaches art.  She taught kindergarten in the Boston School System. Retired and living in senior housing, she was teaching ceramics. And then the coronavirus appeared. “About a month ago the management (of senior housing) tried to get on top of it,” Peg told Neighborhood View. “We received a mailing describing the virus and (tell us to start)  washing hands, etc., to get ready for the coronavirus.” Two weeks ago a notice went up and a robo call started telling residents no visitors allowed except for family […]

Arts

Encounter Haiti, hope and love in multimedia exhibit by Nicolas Hyacinthe

“When I put a piece of art on the wall it’s no longer mine anymore. The viewer sees it and resonates with a truth within it and walks away with it. It is my kaleidoscope experience and their human experience colliding; and at that point it belongs to them,” says Hyacinthe. Hyacinthe was born in Haiti and immigrated to America at the age of 10. Bringing  with him the cultural background and history of the island, he was then immersed in the new narrative of American culture. As he watched films and television, he developed a passion for photography and filmmaking, which he began to study at Emerson College, where he graduated in 2001 with a degree in Visual Media Arts. His experience of living in two countries revealed a universal truth about the world: pain and love. These truths unified the human experience to a young Hyacinthe, convincing him that pain and love transcend any surface differences among varying cultures. Hyacinthe expresses this truth through mediums such as photography, abstract paintings, and film. With […]

Arts

Participatory art project lets us touch hands in a time of COVID-19

By Anne D’Urso-Rose Hands are designed for touching. You reach out a hand. You lend a helping hand. You create. You greet. You comfort others with your hands. But these days, our hands are viewed more as dangerous carriers of disease. “Our hands used to be these things that we did everything with and now they’ve become these things that we’re not supposed to do stuff with,” said Karyn Alzayer, an artist currently based in Malden, MA, in an interview with Neighborhood View. Her new participatory art project “Healing Hands” sets out to change that view, safely, in this era of COVID-19. Anyone from this community or around the globe is invited to trace their hand on a piece of paper, decorate and write words of encouragement on it, scan, and send it electronically to Alzayer. “I’ll print every hand and message I receive, cut them out, and make a giant interlocking paper chain of all of our hands and all our encouragements,” writes Alzayer in her blog describing the Healing Hands Participatory Art Project. […]

Arts

The Malden Mass. Memories Road Show is coming!

by Sandra Li On Monday, December 9th the Malden Reads organization held their first launch meeting at the Malden Public Library for the Malden Mass. Memories Road Show event that will be held on May 2nd. At the meeting, various other organizations across Malden were present to discuss more details in regards to the road show and volunteering. The Mass. Memories Road Show is a community history program that was first launched in 2004 and is coordinated by the University of Massachusetts Boston (UMass Boston). Since then, the event has digitized more than 11,000 photographs from across the state. The roadshow will be a capstone event for the 10th year anniversary of Malden Reads. Carolyn Goldstein, who is a representative from UMass Boston, explained that this event will be a “chance to bring people from all corners of the city together,” as it places an importance on archiving the stories and memories of residents. Goldstein presented a slideshow to all the organizations including Chinese Culture Connection, Malden Historical Society, and Massachusetts Senior Action Council, where she […]

Arts

Malden Reads catches fire: The timeless themes of Fahrenheit 451

A book that imagines a future without books inspired activities during opening-day celebrations on Jan. 11 for the tenth anniversary of Malden Reads: One City, One Book. Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury’s landmark dystopian novel, has been selected for the “NEA Big Read: Malden 2020”  – the first time Malden Reads has picked a classic novel as a book for the entire city to read and ponder. A host of events are planned to explore the novel’s themes, including film screenings, discussions, a podcast series, youth activities, and a presentation on Bradbury’s life and influence. Copies of the book are available at the Malden Public Library, including translated print versions, audio and electronic formats. This year, Malden Reads was selected as one of only 78 nonprofit organizations nationwide to receive an NEA Big Read grant. An initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest, the mission of the NEA Big Read is “to broaden our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book.” […]

Arts

Norman Greenbaum feels the Spirit in Malden

By Joe Bohrer Photos by Paul Hammersley On Oct. 16, the downtown Malden came alive with the sounds of rock ‘n’ roll when classic rocker and former Malden resident Norman Greenbaum returned home to participate in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the mural inspired by his famous “Spirit in the Sky” hit. Also on hand was Texas-born artist Jesse Melanson who had painted the four-story mural at 110 Pleasant Street, facing the Exchange Street side, to honor Greenbaum and his enduring song. A small but excited crowd gathered before the ceremony. When learning that “Spirit in the Sky” would be played,  a participant said, “I hope they blast it!” Another participant commented, “This is so nice” when asked about the mural. When Greenbaum walked in from across the street, he got stuck in the crowd because so many wanted to talk to him, shake his hand and get a picture with him. When the crowed finally let Greenbaum get to the front, a representative of Malden Arts ARTLine, which sponsored painting of the mural, gave a quick speech […]

Arts

The artist who brought the “Spirit in the Sky” mural to Malden

By Sharon Santillo Have you ever known a little kid who liked to draw all the time? Jesse Melanson, the designer and and painter of the new “Spirit in the Sky” mural in Malden, was one of those kids growing up in Maine in the 1990s. His journey from Maine to Malden took him from a friend’s car to California, on a bicycle to Central America, and to Austin with his lady love and her horse.  In early 2019, Melanson, an Austin, Texas-based artist,  answered the call to artists from Malden Arts ARTLine for public art proposals, especially proposals to honor well-know artists, writers, and musicians from Malden. A major fundraising campaign was held in 2018 and Patronicity and the community responded with enthusiasm. The first mural in 2018, located at Exchange Street at FitzGerald Park, honored Malden-born award-winning children’s illustrator, Ed Emberley. A playground for small children was recently added nearby. In August, Melanson, assisted by Megan Lacy, executed a four-story mural at the corner of Washington and Exchange Streets to honor Malden musician/composer Norman Greenbaum […]

Arts

Malden native still has that Spirit in the Sky

By Sharon Santillo Fifty years ago in 1969, a song was released that has become a quintessential guitar track for movies, TV, and advertising; it still receives radio play today.  “Spirit in the Sky” was composed and performed by Malden-born artist Norman Greenbaum, who is one of a handful of musicians who has made a lifetime of earnings from one song. Malden Arts ARTLine is planning a spectacular tribute to Greenbaum and “Spirit in the Sky” on this fifty-year anniversary with the painting of a mural to highlight the song on the back of 110 Pleasant Street, facing the Exchange Street side. Painting on the Spirit of the Sky mural has begun and will continue through August. A ribbon-cutting will be held at the site on Oct. 16  with Greenbaum as the honored guest. The Malden community is invited to enjoy the mural and welcome Greenbaum back to his hometown. Greenbaum was born at Malden Hospital on November 20, 1942, two months premature. “I couldn’t wait to get started on my career,” Greenbaum quipped in a recent interview with […]