Arts

Ed Emberley is the first Malden artist celebrated for “Malden Arts Mondays”

By Sky Malerba “Anyone who likes my books are like me in some way.” –Ed Emberley Malden Arts kicked off their new program “Malden Arts Mondays” on July 8=9 with a celebration of the illustrator, Ed Emberley, who was born in Malden in 1931. Activities included a walking tour to see his childhood home and the local mural dedicated to his art, as well as a list of fun arts, reading and discussion activities. Known for writing and illustrating educational children’s books with  bright colors that awaken the senses and a rare type of charm accessible to both children and adults, 88-year-old Ed Emberley has delighted audiences for more than 50 years. Notable successes include his first book The Wing on a Flea, which educated children on shapes in a narrative format. It not only made the New York Times list of best illustrated books of 1961 but was an ALA Notable Book. Ed Emberley’s A.B.C, is a fine example of Emberley’s identity as an author and artist. It is an interactive book in which […]

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

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

Frank Stella: An iconic artist returns home

World-famous contemporary artist Frank Stella is a Malden native, but his work has never been part of the treasured art collection of the Malden Public Library. That is, until now. In an exemplary display of local generosity and a full-circle story of returning home, the library has now acquired three works by Stella. Those works were unveiled during a private reception on Sunday, Nov. 4, at the library. In attendance was Stella, who was visiting  his hometown  – and one of his favorite places of his childhood  – for the first time in many decades. One of his works had been purchased through the generosity of local patron John L. Giso and two were donated by the artist himself. “This is more than we could have hoped for,” said John Tramondozzi, President of the Library Board of Trustees and Chair of the Trustee’s Art Committee. “We have wanted to acquire a Frank Stella piece for years.” Stella is one of the foremost living artists in the world today. He is known for his innovative styles […]

Arts

Honoring Malden native and artist Ed Emberley leads to the ARTLine

By Sharon Santillo Ed Emberley might never have returned to the city of his birth if Malden Arts had not received a tip that he was born  here in Malden in 1931. When members learned there was to be a retrospective of his work at the Worcester Art Museum in the fall of 2016, they planned a field trip. All were impressed with the breadth of his 60+ year career illustrating children’s books, his magnificent woodcuts that won him a Caldecott Medal in 1967, and the charm of his how-to-draw books that have influenced generations of children.  I am a board member of Malden Arts and I reached out to Emberley after the museum visit with a request to allow Malden Arts to paint a mural to honor him. “We know you left Malden when you were a baby, but we still claim you as our own,” I told him.  “How could I feel anything but a soft spot in my heart for Malden,” said Emberley, who will be 87 on October 19. He agreed to […]

Arts

Malden Pops Up: A Festive Shopping Experience Brings Sparkle Downtown

By Robin Inman  Do you dread holiday shopping? Do you have trouble finding a special gift amid the mass market clutter? Malden Pops Up is coming to the rescue. Malden Pops Up is a temporary gallery gift shop featuring unique wares by local artisans.  It will spring to life on Nov. 16 in an empty storefront at 480 Main St., Malden, and run through Dec. 24. Even your fussy sister will be mesmerized by the selection of paintings, jewelry, photography, textiles, ceramics, glass, carved wood, sculpture, CDs, cards and books. The experience will be enriched by musical and spoken word performances, presentations and special receptions. New this year will be a children’s art corner, where young artists can sell their work and sit down to create things while Mom or Dad enjoy shopping. Malden Pops Up is spearheaded by Ose Schwab, the principal of Malden Creates, LLC, which is “a small business that partners with local groups, businesses, and individuals to initiate arts and culture opportunities that nourish Malden economically and socially.” The inaugural Malden […]

Arts

Little Free Libraries “Revive” Malden’s Neighborhood Libraries

  By Sharon Santillo An international effort that encourages citizens to set up free neighborhood book exchanges has arrived in Malden. Moreover, these “little free libraries” are bringing back a miniature version of the neighborhood libraries that the city lost beginning in the 1980s. Sparked by the non-profit organization, Little Free Library, Malden residents are creating tiny spaces where anyone passing by can take a book to read or leave a book for someone else to find. The first little free library was created by Todd Bol in 2009 to honor his deceased mother who loved to read. He built a one-room schoolhouse model and put it on a post in the front yard of his Wisconsin home and filled it with books. He shared the idea and it spread globally. Now there are over 50,000 little free libraries across the United States and in over 70 countries. Soon you will see these small libraries around Malden. Malden Arts has received a grant from the  Malden Cultural Council to register 10 little free libraries in Malden […]

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 […]