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 […]

Arts

Malden marks Juneteenth with meaningful celebration

Over 250 Malden community members packed the John and Christina Markey Senior Community Center on Wednesday, June 19, for the second annual Juneteenth celebration, The event was organized by MaldenCORE (Community Organizing for Racial Equity) in collaboration with a host of other community groups: American Association for Arab Women, Chinese Culture Connection, Friends of Oak Grove, Inc., Greater Malden Asian American Community Coalition, Malden LGBTQ+, Malden Public Library, Malden Reads, MATV (Malden’s Media Center), North Shore Hispanic Association, and YMCA Malden. Juneteenth recognizes the significant day of June 19, 1865, when the last of group of enslaved African Americans were emancipated in Galveston, Texas, following the surrender of the Confederate Army. The day has been celebrated in Texas since that time and, for past decades, in African-American communities throughout the South. It is now a partial or full state holiday or an official observance in at least 42 U.S. states and has become a more universal celebration of freedom among all people in this country. Juneteenth is a relative newcomer to the list of public […]

Arts

International Day at The Immigrant Learning Center celebrates unity and diversity

By Shikha Vyas An International Day that is celebrated every year at The Immigrant Learning Center, Inc. (ILC) has indeed become a great success. On Thursday, June 20, guests were handed a passport when entering the ILC building at 442 Main St. with a list of 22 countries from across the globe. ILC students were set up in classrooms throughout the building representing their countries and their culture with food, music, clothing, and displays.  “Over the year since we have opened the school, 118 different countries and over 10,000 students have studied here. That means helping 10,000 families,” said Diane Portnoy, Founder and CEO of The ILC. “Every student is very special and this is an opportunity where the students get a chance to show their cultural diversity.” Portnoy enthusiastically explained that on International Day everyone enjoys eating food, listening to music and seeing different kinds of  artwork, literature and traditional clothing. Moreover, this is the best way to learn about the culture of other countries, finding out about differences but also all the things […]

Arts

SUM studios officially launches space for “interconnected” artists and musicians

By Minh Do Malden now has a new space for studios that will be dedicated to artists and musicians looking for places to showcase their arts or to blast out rehearsals without the neighbors complaining. On June 12, SUM Studios, located at 730 Eastern Ave, officially opened with a gala launch day. Visitors accessed SUM Studios through a small road through the parking lot, leading to a garage door-like entrance. Bob Logan, the director and music producer of SUM studio, greeted visitors and attendees included Malden Mayor Gary Christenson. Logan shook hands with guests and led band members to the practice rooms in which they would be playing for the mayor later. “Most of our members have been experienced players in the Boston music scene for a while,” said Logan, who founded SUM studio with his bandmates after the closure of the EMF building in Central Square where he was the building manager. Logan and his colleagues, including band members and artists who previously used the EMF facility, moved to the new SUM studio location. […]

Arts

A Tale of Two Sculptors on Malden’s ARTLine

By Sharon Santillo Malden’s ARTLine will get three new additions this month, when installations by Colin Selig and Joe Malesky, and a mural by Clay Larsen are officially unveiled on Thursday, June 20, at 5:30 p.m., opposite 195 Canal Street. The public is invited to see the art and meet the artists, who will all speak at the event. The two sculptors bring different visions to Malden, but both are devoted to the arts. “I am still a little kid,” sculptor Joe Malesky admitted in an interview. When he was growing up, kids played outside, made toys, fixed things, and had a lot of people around to help them. “We improvised,” he recalled. A Detroit native, Malesky spent part of his childhood in the Motor City; he also spent time on a farm in southern Illinois. Both city and country have influenced his sensibilities. The last 40 years of his life have been in Springfield, Missouri, first as a machinist in small fabrication shops, and now as a sculptor. Malesky works mainly with structural grade […]

Arts

All aboard the ARTLine

By Sharon Santillo There is a stretch of the Northern Strand Community Trail on Canal Street just calling out for public art. On June 20 at 6 p.m. that call will be answered with the unveiling of a sculpture, a bench and a mural. Look for a white tent opposite 195 Canal Street in Malden, Massachusetts and celebrate a glorious year for the ARTLine. The idea for ARTLine  began one year ago on Exchange Street in Malden when the mural depicting “The Wonderful World of Ed Emberley” was unveiled honoring this Malden-born icon of children’s book illustrations. Emberley and his family were present for the party atmosphere and the start of fund-raising for more public art in Malden and the ARTLine was born. The goal of the ARTLine is to develop a premier public art gallery with miles of professional murals, sculptures and community hubs. These hubs will feature gathering spaces with bursts of art, greenscapes, and pedestrian and bicycle accommodations. “The best part of this past year has been the community support,” said Malden […]

Arts

MATV to host Arts and Culture Summit March 9th

Story by Diti Kohli “Our goal is to bring people together,” said D’Urso-Rose. “So that there’s more communication among groups, organizations, and artistic individuals, to envision new possibilities, and to take advantage of opportunities that are available or that may arise.” In the near future, MATV plans to sell its building on Pleasant Street and upgrade to a newer space that can more readily serve the needs of its members and the public. With the support of organizations from the summit, the center aims to open a space that might include a black box theater, gallery space, meeting space, a retail shop, and more. “I think we can learn a lot from The Gallery experience,” said D’Urso-Rose, referring to the space on 480 Main Street which morphed from a pop-up shop to a year-long experiment as a gallery, performance center, workshop space, retail shop, and cultural gathering environment.  Watertown City Councilor Vincent Piccirilli, who has served the city for 11 years, will deliver a featured presentation about the creation of The Dorothy and Charles Mosesian […]