Arts

A “Chance Encounter” in the MATV Gallery

The new exhibit at the MATV Gallery at Malden’s Media Center will mark a first-time meeting of local artists James Blandini and Kamil Abdushukur. The two men hail from different cultures and parts of the world and their art shares little by way of style and content. But an unexpected opening at the MATV Gallery and a desire from both to exhibit their work formed the basis for this exhibit. Despite this random pairing, the exhibit took shape in a way that complimented and supported their creative styles, while also creating something new as a unified whole. According to artist James Blandini, a Boston area native and second generation Italian American, his paintings and drawings are an exploration of the human condition and the search for spirituality through realistic portrayal. He is drawn to the rich visual imagery found in the New Testament, the Hebrew Bible, mythology, other spiritual traditions and works of literature. Often using his own image as the subject, Blandini explores how these paths connect with him both visually and emotionally. He […]

Arts

Paper History: Malden man’s passionate poster collection

By Jennifer McClain Tree-lined, long flat roads with large grassy areas greet you on the way into the town of Norfolk. It is a sparsely populated town with a centrally located library. This is exactly the kind of place where Stephen Lewis wants to mount an exhibit from his expansive poster collection, even though he is a long-time Malden resident. Lewis, a former union organizer and poster collector, believes his mission is to bring these posters to those who live in suburban and rural areas where interaction with this type of art is less likely.  He also likes the serendipity involved in showcasing in libraries or colleges; it allows viewers to stumble into this work without spending money or planning a visit. Lewis has been collecting posters for the past 22 years at both union and activist conferences and has now accumulated more than  7,000  posters. He stages about three exhibits a month, usually each centered on a theme.  He has shown his Cuban posters in Worcester,  revolutionary posters in Pepperell,  and “Stop Violence Against Women” posters […]

Arts

Wonder where she came from?

By Jennifer McClain She has one foot in the past and one foot in the future. Her past is a combination of Greek myth and Amazon speculation. Her future is traveling three thousand per hour on an invisible plane, wielding a “magic lasso” that non-violently compels obedience and she uses science for medical healing. Wonder who she is? Wonder Woman — the super heroine who debuted in DC Comics in 1941, who had her own TV show from 1975-1979,  and who took theaters by storm this summer in a blockbuster movie. But who was her creator? He was also a man with one foot in the past and one foot in the future. His past was as a student of the Malden High School. Did he possibly study mythology in one of his classes? His future was “to fight for liberty & freedom for all women kind” through Wonder Woman. He watched the suffragists and used their imagery in his stories. He knew Margaret Sanger when she was a proponent of birth control and still […]

Arts

Cameroonian artist presents “Celebration”

By Anne D’Urso-Rose Cameroon-born artist Efon Elad knows adversity. But, like the manner of folks in his native country, he chooses to approach life as a celebration. Not only life passages, but daily rituals, ordinary moments, scenes of beauty and terror, songs and stories inspire in him a sense of gratitude and jubilation. Many of the paintings in an exhibit now on view at the MATV Gallery, located at Malden’s Media Center, depict moments of life in Cameroon and West Africa where the artist has lived and travelled as a youth. Other paintings are inspired by songs or Biblical stories, which have captivated his imagination. Still others depict places in his adopted homeland in the Boston area, where he has lived for over 30 years, as well as other places that exist only in his mind or memory. Well-educated in his native Cameroon, Elad is fluent in English, French and five African languages and is a lover of literature. His career began in telecommunications at a time when telegrams and Morse code were his specialty. A lost […]

Featured

“Inside Malden” interviews Interim Superintendent of Malden Public Schools, Dr. Charles Grandson IV

Driven by a desire to give back and to offer educational opportunities to young urban learners,  Dr. Charles Grandson IV, Interim Superintendent of the Malden Public Schools, reflects on his journey with education. He says his success is a “testament to what is happening every day in the public school systems across the nation.” In his case, though he had trouble and at one point could not read, his teachers did not dismiss him but did what they had to do to help him become what he is today. Though Grandson never imagined he would be a superintendent or principal, he says he has always had a bit of a teacher within. This inclination was nurtured by important learning encounters that would shape his future. His mother, a single parent, arranged for Grandson to be schooled away from the crime close to home. In a school district closer to Georgetown, Grandson experienced a “different” kind of education than he would have had in his own neighborhood on the South East side of Washington D.C. Throughout […]

Featured

Who was Herbert L. Jackson?

Did you know that Malden’s city hall’s council chamber is named the Herbert L. Jackson Council Chambers? And did you know that a switchbox art project on Salem Street has been created to commemorate Herbert L. Jackson? Who was this favorite son of Malden? Herbert L. Jackson was the first African American ever elected to the Malden City Council. Councillor Jackson has the distinction of a 30 year career in public service. 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 during his political career. Furthermore, Jackson was the first African American elected as a State House Representative in the 20th century, serving from 1950 to 1954. The City of Malden achieved national prominence in the election of Herbert L. Jackson as a Massachusetts District Governor of Lions Club and again, he was the first African American elected to such a post in the […]

Featured

Charles Ro Supply Company

Where in Malden have Neil Young, Frank Sinatra, members of the Red Sox, Patriots and former Bruins players all done their shopping? The answer is Charles Ro! The Charles Ro Supply Company is the largest Lionel train store in the United States. Located at 662 Cross St. in Malden since 1989 and clearly visible from Route 60, the one-block-long, three-story building consists of 50,000 square feet of retail and mail order operations for the Charles Ro Supply Company, and a manufacturing plant for their own USA Train line, according to the Charles Ro website. Forty-four years ago Charles Ro, a train hobbyist, began selling used trains out of a glass case in his hair salon. It was one of four salons that he and his wife, both hair stylists, owned in Everett, MA. Orders were taken from a wall phone, “handwritten, packed and weighed on a bathroom scale.” In 1980, Charles Ro, Jr. joined his father to help as the business expanded and they moved into an old A&P supermarket at 347A Pleasant Street in […]

Arts

Pop-up store expands hours till Christmas

Have you been to Malden’s Pop-up Artist Marketplace? If not, be sure not to miss out on seeing a remarkable collection of artwork and crafts from over 52 artists displayed in an artfully designed retail space, which literally “popped up” on December 9th! The pop-up marketplace at 480 Main Street in Malden will be open December 21 – 23 (Thursday – Friday) from noon – 8pm and Saturday, December 24 from noon – 5pm. Many of the participating artists will be present at the store on Thursday, from 6 – 8pm for a public reception. The store holds handmade and artistic treasures for sale that include woodworking, pottery, paintings, jewelry, clothing, CDs, books, candles, cards and many other items, all from local artists and crafters from Malden and beyond. Items run from very high end to very affordable. The pop-up store has become not only the place to shop for gifts and special items for sale, but a place to mingle with other people who are interested in art and creativity. Performances for local artists […]

Arts

Artist Youngsheen Jhe unveils the “Truth of Life” at MATV

Boston-based artist Youngsheen Jhe is intrigued by mannequins. These lifeless figures are juxtaposed with the daily life of real humans in nearly every painting featured in this exhibit. Jhe, a South Korean native, says, “My work derives in part from my first experience as a foreigner in the United States.” The mixing of inanimate models with the modern life of people reveals insights into the human condition on a number of levels. The artist adds, “I have a strong desire to describe the unfiltered story of everyday humans.” In exploring her subject matter, it’s the similarities between these two forms that often appear, both haunting and ironic, or at times, peaceful and contemplative. Jhe’s paintings have been widely exhibited in the Boston area and New York City. The MATV Gallery at Malden’s Media Center is pleased to display the stirring art of Youngsheen Jhe in the exhibit “Truth of Life” through November 4.

Profiles

Malden High School welcomes Principal Ted Lombardi

During the early spring of 2015, Lawrence High School Principal Ted Lombardi was strolling down his school’s empty hallway when his phone received a SchoolSpring alert of a high school principal opening. Lombardi appreciated these alerts not as a job search, but as an administrator’s news feed of job transitions in the state. This alert plucked a familiar chord since Lombardi vaguely knew Malden High School’s Principal Dana Brown.   Lombardi flagged a fellow educator who knew the Malden School District very well.  “Did you know that Dana Brown is leaving Malden High School?” The quick reply, “yes, he decided last year”, resonated with Lombardi. Lombardi continued on for another thirty feet down the hallway, when he heard the fellow educator banter,  “You are going to apply for that position, right?” Lombardi stopped in his tracks and spun around,“I don’t know. I haven’t updated my resume in a decade.” Lombardi thought to himself, “ I love Lawrence and plan to continue working here for years.” Lombardi has been teaching or leading at the Lawrence Humanities […]