What started as The New Local Marie-Juliette Bird’s pop-up shop idea to create a space for local women to embrace themselves, each other and their art, became a nonprofit on Boulder’s Pearl Street serving that same mission.
Bird said that growing up in Boulder, she spent most of her time at a ballet arts studio on Pearl Street. She said having a place to express herself artistically really shaped her as a person, and she wanted other Boulder kids to have that same experience. The New Local, 741 Pearl Street, serves as an arts hub for the community.
Bird wants the community to learn more about the local artists and the local artists to engage with the community.
“People can come in and see something they’re inspired by and they can take a class from that artist,” Bird said. “So there’s a chance for mentorship, there’s a chance for teaching and learning and for the women who are showcasing their work to share their gifts with the community. It’s really like a full circle of community service for artists and connecting artists with the community.”
Director of Operations Lynette Errante said part of The New Local’s work is maintaining a gallery, displaying artwork from local women and nonbinary artists. The artists are juried into the gallery for six-month terms.
In addition to the gallery, the nonprofit has studio spaces for artists as well as a variety of art workshops and classes for the community. Classes for traditional art forms like painting and ceramics as well as creative writing, yoga and other art forms are offered for people of all ages. Summer art camps for kids are also offered.
Errante said the nonprofit’s aim is to offer a space for artists of all ages to feel safe, encouraged and creative. She said having art classes for kids in a non-school setting helps them express themselves.
“(The New Local) is a way to celebrate women in our community and to really highlight them, their art and their craft, just really showcasing all the different types of art,” Errante said.
Historically, women have not always had a place where they can express themselves and be uplifted, Errante said.
On Feb. 11, Nora Graven, head of graphics, taught a silk screen printing class. Kids could make their own Valentine’s Day cards with pictures of mushrooms stating “I love you so mush” and sheep stating “I love ewe.”
Graven said the classes are a way for parents and kids to try new art mediums without having to commit to buying all the materials.
The New Local will be offering a Galentine’s Get Together event from 5-6:30 p.m. Tuesday for attendees to shop the gallery and drink mocktails with their friends. More information is available at tinyurl.com/TheNewLocalGalentines.
Over the summer, The New Local will be having Sundays on West Pearl Street events from June through August. The nonprofit, along with other Pearl Street businesses, will host fun family-friendly events. More information about events and workshops can be found at thenew-local.org.