Getting art to the public is as simple as opening the garage door for new artist resident Marth Chason-Sokol, who lives in the unique old pharmacy on Bucknam Street that she has renovated with her husband and hopes to make a centerpiece for the arts community in Everett.
To start that off, she has been working with Karyn Alzayer of Integral Arts Everett and will host a show for her in the pop-up Garage Door Gallery on Aug. 15 at 3 p.m.
The unique home, called the Coca-Cola Loft by the former owner – a filmmaker who has moved to Colorado, had been used as a studio home space, and now has been further renovated for Chason-Sokol to use for her studio, perhaps some community arts workshops in the near future, and now as a pop-up gallery for everyone to enjoy.
“I bought a couple of new wall dividers and my goal this time is to pop open the garage door and Karyn will be the featured artist,” said Chason-Sokol. “She’ll bring her wishing wall and will hang up her art and will be doing Henna for a charge…I see this as a kicking off place for building community. I wanted to move into an artist community…I feel very strongly art has a real healing component. It’s how I have dealt with trauma in my life. I feel I’m here to offer that to others in Everett who might be interested.”
Chason-Sokol and her husband moved to the new home in Everett in June 2020 from Brookline, a process that was complicated by the outbreak of COVID-19, but one that has now settled down. While they slept on an air mattress, she said her brother renovated the kitchen, put up new walls and added a bathroom in the basement.
“We moved to Everett because financially we really had to downsize and then COVID-19 made it even worse,” she said. “I really wanted to move to Lowell or Somerville where there is an arts community already. The spaces in Lowell were expensive and needed a lot of work. We also tried to move to Somerville and there was no way. It was as expensive as where we were living…I met a real estate professional who is also an artist and she knew this place was open and only she knew about it. The former owner moved to Colorado and wanted to sell it, but only wanted to sell it to an artist…The garage door and the light that comes through the garage door is just amazing…It’s the perfect place for an artist.”
Chason-Sokol has done quite a bit of painting, using India ink and even hot bee’s wax for her pieces. She said she is currently showing pieces in four shows, and has a solo show coming up in Connecticut later this year. She is also a new member of the Everett Cultural Council (ECC) and hopes to boost the arts scene here with Alzayer through the ECC.
Of interest to her lately is wrapping things with tape, and making them into sculpture – a process she defined as Bricolage.
“Because our renovations took so long, I started wrapping things into sculptures and one of them is now seven feet long,” she said. “They’re made by wrapping tape around stuff that is just lying around…There was electrical equipment on the floor and I picked that up. I’ve been doing this since last summer and I now have a ton of pieces.”
She said she gives a lot of credit to Alzayer and Councilor Stephanie Martins, along with City officials who have helped with the renovation aspects. She said she hopes people will stop by on Aug. 15 to see the space and participate in what is hopefully the first of many garage door pop ups.
The space is located at 132 Bucknam St.