Beginning Thursday, July 7, a little shop of wonders is coming to Somerville.
“I’ve always been a big fan of all things ‘cabinet of curiosities,'” says Somerville-based artist Judith Klausner (who you may know from her etymological alter-ego, Miss Mantis). She’s collaborating with a trio of other local artists to bring the Somerville Curiosity Shop to 251a Washington St. this month.
Klausner says that the whimsical storefront came about thanks to “a series of very fortunate events.” She was already working with the Somerville Arts Council for a series of pop-ups later this year when the owner of 251 Washington St. approached the group to ask if they’d be interested in using his space on a short-term basis. With just a brief window of time to kick off the project, she reached out to local artists Emily Garfield, Ecco Pierce and Gary Duehr, whose work also tilts toward the fantastical, and they began planning to open a curiosity shop of their own.
“It just speaks to the fact that Somerville is so full of wonderful artists. Really, it’s an embarrassment of riches just how many people there are to work with,” Klausner effuses.
In addition to original art from Miss Mantis, Garfield, Duehr and Pierce, the shop will also house an assortment of minerals, crystals and jewelry made from natural elements. You’ll also be able to purchase an array of vintage and antique items from Klausner’s own collection. She’s a lifelong thrifter and treasure hunter, and has spent years filling — “and possibly, by some people’s standards, including my husband’s, overfilling” — her house with antiques. “This is a really fun way to put that hobby to good use,” she laughs.
The Somerville Curiosity Shop debuts on Thursday, July 7, and there will be a grand opening celebration on Saturday, July 9 (or Saturday, July 16 in the event of rain).
The shop will be open at 251a Washington St. on Thursdays and Fridays from 3 to 8 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through the end of July.