The Massachusetts College of Art and Design, the arts school located in the heart of Boston on Huntington Avenue, has opened up MassArt Made, an on-campus boutique which allows their students, alumni and staff opportunities in more ways than one.
Eighty percent of the work sold at MassArt Made is contributed by the university’s alumni. The remaining 20 percent is divvied up between the students and faculty.
“It’s something we’ve wanted to do for years,” said Ginger Russell, the Creative Director and Manager of the boutique.
MassArt Made carries a variety of items including jewelry, apparel, sculpture, paintings and even items like Mimoco flash drives and children’s art kits by Scratch-Art. The items sold can range anywhere in costs from $4 to a $13,000 painting by Resa Blatman, which hangs displayed in the Kennedy building’s student center, adjacent to the boutique.
The factor that sets this student and alumni-operated business from boutiques of competing art schools like RISD is that 10 percent of all sales go towards scholarships for MassArt’s students.
“The artwork is higher priced, but a lot of people from the surrounding area are looking at it seriously,” Russell said.
However, MassArt Made shouldn’t be mistaken as an art gallery or a campus bookstore. Russell described how the boutique aims to showcase the university’s artists that best represent the school.
Each artist is chosen through a selection process in which the artist submits work to Russell herself and then a jury made up of four faculty, staff, and alumni members chooses ‘The best of the best’.
The artists chosen benefit from the sales, the presentation of their work and the boutique’s unique QR scanning system. Each artist’s display has a card with a specific SKU code and when scanned at the register, a 30-second interview with the artist is played over the boutique’s audio system.
“We thought it would be a really great way to get the customer more involved with the artwork and find out more about what they’re buying,” continued Russell.
The art itself comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. Jonathan Baring-Gould of Newton, MA., has a line of ‘spirit shakers’ at MassArt Made. A description of Baring-Gould’s shakers says they are, “based on ancient traditions from around the world.” A shake is all it takes to release the positive energy from them.
Mia Maljojoki, an alumna jewelry designer based in Finland, has her moon rock-like line of jewelry for sale at MassArt Made. With her art she tries to answer her question, “Can emotions be a solid?”
Russell ended with a comment on an extra benefit of the boutique for MassArt students. She said there’s a certain measure of marketing and selling involved with selling art at the boutique that’s not included in the curriculum.
Not only can students sell their art at MassArt Made, but they can even work at the boutique. There are currently three students and one alumni working at MassArt Made. Russell described how the employees can be representatives of the school and talk to customers, parents, and prospective students about MassArt.
In regards to the showcased artists, Russell said, “They get to have more of a presence in the business world.”
The boutique is located at 625 Huntington Ave., Boston, MA. Store hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.