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 […]

Education

Malden River Loop Dedication: The Story of Louise Stokes

By Amanda Hurley Joggers and bikers huffing and puffing on the new 3.2 mile Malden River Loop may draw inspiration from a Malden athlete who faced both Jim Crow and Adolf Hitler as she pursued her passion for running.   Louise Stokes, a Malden native, is considered the first African-American woman to qualify for an Olympic team. Earlier this summer, the bike loop – which runs along the Malden River and spans three cities, Malden, Everett and Medford— was dedicated to Stokes and former clerk magistrate of Malden District Court, Joseph Croken. Malden City Councillor-at-Large Stephen Winslow conceived of the Malden River Loop project and enlisted the help of graphic artist Elena Martinez of Artfort Design Studio in August of 2019. Martinez recalled that she and Winslow “met at the Joy of Biking Sculpture near Anthony’s” and chatted as they walked the trail. Winslow was “inspired by the chance interactions – just a friendly hi or wave of the hand – that might happen during your time on the trail and the ever-changing landscape of buildings […]

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 […]

Education

For the defense: Author Erle Stanley Gardner

By Sky Malerba Erle Stanley Gardner was a powerful force of nature. He was a towering, commanding defense attorney and a prolific author who created the archetype of the fearless defense attorney.  And the native city of the man who brought us Perry Mason was Malden, MA. This week, Erle Stanley Gardner is the subject for Malden Arts Mondays, a two-month long celebration of artists and figures associated with Malden.  In 1899 at 10 years of age, Gardner’s family left their Malden home and moved to Oregon to a mining camp. When he was kicked out of Valparaiso University School of Law in Indiana for brawling with his professor, he pursued legal education in California. In Oxnard, California, he would become a successful defense attorney defending poor Chinese and Mexican immigrants who police often used as scapegoats for poorly investigated crimes. Although his legal career provided a steady income, he  found it was not stimulating enough and and he turned to writing, particularly for the  rakish world of cheap pulp magazines, much to his family’s disapproval. During these years he wrote under such pseudonyms as A.A. Fair, […]

Featured

He Ripped Off An Ear and Became a Legend: Killer Kowalski

By Sky Malerba Killer Kowalski never intended to go into  professional sports. However, he eventually became one of the most feared and simultaneously admired villains in professional wrestling. For many years, he ran a popular wrestling school in Malden. This week, Killer Kowalski is the subject for Malden Arts Mondays, a two-month long celebration of artists and figures associated with Malden.  Born Edward Władysław Spulnik on Oct. 13, 1926,  Kowalski began training at a YMCA at age 14 when he was lanky and already over six feet tall. Although he planned to become an electrical engineer, he saw opportunities in the world of professional wrestling and attended a wrestling school. As a son of Polish immigrants who was raised in Ontario, he learned he could make a solid living being a wrestler. He would come to prominence when the emerging popularity of television created a golden age of professional wrestling.  Kowalski took on a number of different identities as his wrestling persona evolved, as influenced by the technique of his craft. His names cycled through different strongman archetypes: Hercules, Tarzan, the more tame […]

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 […]

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. 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 shapes, and then pasting free-standing metal pieces on them with paint. This experimentation would lead to increasingly more ambitious […]

Featured

Oven On: Baking during a time of stress

By Sandra G. Ndengue As Malden and the rest of the state shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I sought comfort in baking.  I’m not alone. A story posted by CNBC declares that “everyone is #quarantinebaking their way through the coronavirus pandemic.”  My adventures in quarantine baking has not only taught me a lot about how to bake the perfect loaf of banana bread, but has emphasized the importance of family connections and that there’s one source I can always count on – my mom.  Let me explain that banana bread has become an obsession of mine. Last year I decided to opt for a healthier diet so banana bread became my daily bread. Two slices of bread accompanied with low fat vanilla yogurt and oat fruit cereal serve as my breakfast.  I usually bought the banana bread at my local grocery.  But then came the stay-at-home recommendations. I reduced my trips to the grocery store and the few times I have been there, banana bread has always been sold out. So, I made the decision to make […]

Featured

Isolation and togetherness: The COVID-19 impact on family life

By Antonia Sheel and Amanda HurleyEdited by Stephanie Schorow and Anne D’Urso Rose Long-time Malden resident Karen Yates, a mother of two, makes it a point to wake up early and start the day with a cup of coffee, a little news, and quiet reflection. This helps her maintain a routine and sense of normalcy at a time when so many things are not normal. “Everything requires so much more energy,” she says. Her family has moved from the “auto-pilot” pace of everyday life to a new slower, ever-changing version. “It’s like moving through molasses.” The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting quarantines have had a profound impact on all of American society, not least of which is the American family. Children are out of school, parents working at home, or laid off from jobs, and extended families have either grouped together or stayed separate under social distancing guidelines. The citizen journalists of Neighborhood View reached out to several Malden families to chronicle their lives during the pandemic quarantine. While the families talked about uncertainty and […]

Featured

Part Three: A defining moment for a generation

Generations are often defined by key moments in history. How will the global pandemic we are now experiencing shape this young generation? What will they – and the rest of us – remember in the decades to come? With the help of an energetic group of interns, Neighborhood View embarked on a project to interview young Malden residents about their life during the pandemic. These citizen journalists interviewed residents in their late teens, 20s and 30s, and collected stories that crystalize this moment in time, from the mundane to the momentous. Here is part three of an ongoing series. Read part one here and part two here. Matthew Mijares: Graduation by parade By Masio Dotson and Kamila Rodrigues For Matthew Mijares, May 31st was to be the day he walked across a stage and celebrated completing high school with his fellow classmates. Due to COVID-19, May 31st will look a bit different. Seniors will put on their caps and gowns, stand outside their homes, and wave to their teachers as a parade passes through the streets […]