Collections. In my house these days, the kids are working hard building their own collections of colorful Washi tape, rocks with the perfect shape or sprinkle of sparkle, endless sheets of stickers, and Shopkins. Oh, the Shopkins. But who doesn’t love a good collection? Local artists and moms Katie Gill-Harvey of A Childhood Store and Cyndi Monaghan explore this concept—collections—in a beautifully curated pop-up shop happening this week at Pixilated. This gallery space in Federal Hill has a rotating calendar with art shows, pop-up shops, and creative community gatherings just like this one. Tucked in a line-up of bars and restaurants along Cross Street, the gallery is bright and welcoming. You can’t miss the colorful mural that covers the building’s brick façade.
Katie and Cyndi met when their kids attended the same preschool. This collaboration was born out of their mutual love for creating—both are makers who capture the joys of nature, creativity, and the wonder of childhood, each in her own unique way. And this partnering at Pixilated elevates the classic pop-up shop to an interactive art installation where you can look, shop, and make.
The gallery walls are lined with Cyndi’s photographs, a magical collection of prints that showcase the very best of nature’s beauty. This series of photos displays natural treasures that Cyndi has acquired while exploring the woods near home as well as beaches at Chincoteague and Florida. Many photos show arrangements of bits of nature coming together as a whole—acorn caps, seed pods and leaves or fragile shells of various shapes and sizes set against a sandy backdrop. Cyndi’s work may look familiar, especially if you’re one of Elf_Girl’s 16.9K followers. You will likely have a hard time moving on from the looking stage, which brings us straight to shopping.
The other star of this pop-up shop is Katie’s playful and practical crayons. Katie tinkered with a crayon recipe for 6 months to perfect the goods she sells through her Etsy shop A Childhood Store, as well as at Trohv. Made from soy and beeswax, these crayons are pretty irresistible, with a smooth finish and vibrant colors. And then there are the adorable designs. The lineup includes classic crayon shapes, as well as letters, delicate sugar skulls, sturdy Christmas trees, cute bunnies, robots, and more. I’m partial to the egg-shaped beauties, which are the ideal size for a toddler’s chubby grip.
In honor of the exhibit, Katie crafted a new collection of crayons—whimsical leaves modeled after those that she plucked off leaf piles and sidewalks around town. Also new to the shop’s lineup are hand-printed tee shirts (for kids and grown-ups, too). The basic tee is elevated to an art form when hand-stamped with colorful robots, a rainbow of chic skulls, or the prettiest slices of citrus.
Inspired to make some of your artwork? That’s all part of the plan. Put the leaf crayons to the test and leave your mark on the art installation by coloring in some of the leaves, also created for the event by Katie. These miniature masterpieces will be strung on garland around the gallery. Of course, children are welcome, but adults should join in the fun, too. Remember, coloring can be a great stress reducer. If you visit on Sunday, there are some extra activities planned for the kids, including an ISpy-style scavenger hunt within the exhibit’s photographs.
Collections started Monday and runs through Saturday November 23. Hours for the rest of the week are:
Wednesday 11/18/15: 10 am to 2 pm
Thursday 11/19/15: 2 pm to 8 pm
Friday 11/20/15: 2 pm to 8 pm
Saturday 11/21/15: 10 am to 4 pm
Pixilated Federal Hill
46 E Cross Street
Baltimore, MD 21230
More information at #collectionslookshopmake
some (cool) tips:
Bring your debit or credit card as the gallery doesn’t accept cash.
Street parking around Cross Street Market is your best bet, and you might want to put some extra time on the meter. Pixilated is surrounded by some pretty yummy restaurants—Spoons, Ryleigh’s Oyster , and Abbey Burger Bistro, so you might want to stick around the hood for a cup of coffee or a plate of just-shucked oysters.
Photos courtesy of Katie Gill-Harvey.