the Mayor and the councilman hold Trevor Noah's book, Born a Crime, in front of City Hall.
Arts

Malden Reads Launches New Season with Procession to City Hall

“It made the most sense at a time when we needed the humor and a need for us to learn about each other’s history.” Erga Pierrette By Annie Bennett Malden Reads hosted a COVID-conscious launch on Tuesday, January 26, with a car procession starting from the Malden Public Library on Salem Street, past UMA – Urban Media Arts (formerly MATV) on Pleasant Street, and ending at Malden’s new City Hall.  The procession symbolically linked the two anchor institutions (the library and UMA) that help coordinate the volunteer-run “One City, One Book” program, which first launched in 2011. According to the group’s website, the mission of Malden Reads is “to promote literacy and a love of reading, and to build community in the city of Malden.” It is known in the community for its unifying effect. This season, participants will be reading Born a Crime by Trevor Noah, a response to the fervent cries for racial justice across the world over the past year. Noah is a Black comedian and a South African native, most well-known […]

Arts

Green Man puts down roots in Cedar Park: Artist Lisa Tiemann spearheads community mosaic mural

“He runs through the forest; breathing life into all that he can Whispering to the trees, he’s known as the Green Man. Passing on his vibrant energy, to all living things, green”-The Green Man, By Joanne Kavanagh By Amanda Hurley Thirty-five artists, many from the Malden-Melrose area, have come together to create a mosaic that celebrates our connection to the natural world. Spearheaded by Melrose artist Lisa Tiemann, the 5-foot by 5-foot mosaic, featuring the mythical Green Man, will be installed at Cedar Park in Melrose; the mosaic itself is a donation from the artists, while the wall and installation will be made possible through grants and private donors. “Green Man is largely taken to represent the human being as one with nature,” says Tiemann, noting that his face is often depicted as being “part plant, part animal.” So, she believes, it was the perfect choice for a nature-themed community project, which started two years ago as a 70th birthday present to herself. Green Man, whose eyes peer out among colorful vegetation, will watch over all […]

Arts

Malden Reads Selects Trevor Noah’s “Born a Crime” for 11th Year Book

By Natasha Eslami In Born a Crime, Trevor Noah, the popular comedian and host of the cable TV show “The Daily Show,” recounts his childhood growing up in South Africa, the son of a white father and a Black mother. At the time, such a union was punishable by five years in prison in apartheid South Africa, so Noah’s very existence was  “crime.”  Noah tells his story, which ranges from the humorous to the traumatic, with his cutting wit and incisive perspective. At times both poignant and outrageous, Noah deals with the intersection of his life and the history of a country reckoning with deep-seated racism and finds a parallel here to the United States. His memoir does not shy away from exposing deeply ingrained racism, sexism, violence, economic inequity, and domestic violence. And yet, his personal story reminds us that even in the deepest tragedy and among the most menacing of fears, there is hope and strength within ourselves and those around us to set us on a better path. The Malden Reads team wanted to select a book that would […]

Arts

Seeking a sweet escape: Reading through the pandemic

By Sandra G. Ndengue All the media  — even TV comedy shows – were focusing on the pandemic. I needed a respite from fear and panic. So I opted for a sweet escape: reading, done at convenience via select outlets. Reading has always been a place for discovery, exploration, and travel. It’s like being in a time capsule, anywhere. My usual reads are nonfiction, autobiographies and memoirs — books that  help me understand and navigate someone else’s life experiences, living in their truth and finding a deeper connection. But during the pandemic, my reads were mostly fiction, focusing on African authors around  the globe and exploring culture in their respective world and how their origins and perspective affect society and how they developed as persons. With the lockdown, lots of people have found solace in reading.  “Before the pandemic more people borrowed non fiction and  memoirs but now people seem to fall back to fiction, fantasy and classics,” said Dora St. Martin, Executive Director of the Malden Public Library. Shaneuik, a 37-year-old nurse at a Boston Hospital, mom of two and former Malden […]

Arts

Comics Writer, Polyamorous, Feminist: William Moulton Marston

By Sky Malerba William Moulton Marston, a psychologist partially responsible for the invention of the polygraph, is most famous for the creation of the DC superhero Wonder Woman. He introduced his heroine in 1941 in the issue All-Star Comics #8 and its 2nd part, Sensation Comics #1, the next year.  This week, William Moulton Marston is the subject for Malden Arts Mondays, a two-month long celebration of artists and figures associated with Malden.  Born in the Cliftondale section of Saugus, Marston attended high school in Malden (MHS Class of 1911), graduated from Harvard University and was a professor at Tufts University. Marston, a self proclaimed political historian, was interested in the women’s suffrage movement of the 1920s, as well as activism of women’s rights and advocacy of birth control. Marston had a clear understanding of women’s position in society and wanted to create a strong role model for young girls as he believed they were the stronger sex, and their capacity for love was part of that strength. In the magazine The American Scholar in 1943, he writes, “Women’s strong qualities have become […]

Arts

Sketching for Twenty-five Years: Malden Sketch Group

By Sharon Santillo Like a small acorn that grew into a large tree, a small grant  given to the Malden Sketch Group 25 years ago led to one of the longest lasting drawing groups in the Greater Boston area.  “I thought it would only last as long as the initial grant, but look what that seed money has done,” said Fred Seager, one of the founders.  Another founder was Nunzio Luca. “He was a much admired head of the Malden High School Art Department for years, and was a wonderful artist, mentor, and good friend,” Seager said.  Nunzio and Seager decided to get a life drawing group together and they set out to find a space. “We were fortunate also to have the early support of Neicei Degen and Nana Goldberg who were facilitators of the cultural center building, an old fire station on Pearl Street. It housed elderly day care during the day and was open for rental at night,” Seager said. Seager applied for a grant from the Malden Arts Council and was awarded $250. This modest […]

Arts

Keep Drawing, Keep (Th)inking: the Keith Knight Story

By Sky Malerba Born and raised in Malden, MA, cartoonist, rapper, teacher and activist Keith Knight delighted in drawing since early childhood. This week, Keith Knight is the subject for Malden Arts Mondays, a two-month long celebration of artists and figures associated with Malden.  “I always used to draw on walls, and draw in class, and I’d never get in trouble for it, in fact, I kept on getting higher grades,” he said of his school experiences.  He drew cartoons based on George Orwell’s Animal Farm and used portraits of his  classmates and teachers as an analogue to a character in the story. “You should be doing a syndicated cartoon,” his teacher  told  him. That was the beginning  of Keith Knight’s career as a highly regarded American cartoonist 20 years ago. Knight graduated from Malden High in 1984 and after a brief stint as a professional Michael Jackson impersonator in the 1980s,  he created perhaps his most memorable in the 1990s. The K Chronicles was a weekly autobiographical comic strip, published  in The San Francisco Examiner and then […]

Arts

A Dragon Hugs the Corner: Wah Lum Academy Embraces Unity Amid a Pandemic

By Amanda DeRosa  Sifu Mai Du of the Wah Lum Academy in Malden often tells her students, “Under every roof there is a story.” So, when the COVID-19 pandemic forced her to close her martial arts studio on March 10, at the corner of Eastern Avenue and Ferry Street, and board up the windows, Mai Du knew she had to do something to continue to tell the story of Wah Lum. “A boarded-up corner didn’t sit well with me,” she says.    She and some of her artistically talented students hatched a plan to transform the more than 400 square feet of blank plywood into a radiant message of solidarity. Beginning on July 19, a group of artists and volunteers began painting a mural on the boarded-up windows. Today, a dragon snakes around the corner, embracing Guardian Foo Dogs, Lion dancers, and a community united. The work is ongoing.  Wah Lum Academy is not simply another school, Wah Lum is a communal space where members look forward to visiting on a regular basis; it’s an intimate place where […]

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. By the 1960s Perle Fine was a lecturer and associate professor and is cited as […]