Shop Talk: Mass Art Made

A couple of months ago we fell in love with Etsy’s Shop Local option. Now we’ve discovered something even cooler: Mass Art Made, a brick-and-mortar store showcasing handmade goods by Mass Art’s students, alumni, and faculty members.

The store, which opened last month, offers a treasure trove of one-of-a-kind apparel, accessories, and décor – think Short Army knit hats, laptop cases screenprinted with original paintings, and jewelry galore ? along with a small selection of commercially produced goods from companies with employees who attended Mass Art. Artists submit a portfolio and are chosen by a jury of staff members, alumni, and local business owners. Then creative director and manager Ginger Russell chooses which pieces to display in the store and updates the selection every couple of weeks.

Prices range from $1.25 postcards to a $13,000 painting, and sales work on a consignment basis, with the artist receiving a 50 percent commission. The store also donates 10 percent of total sales to funding Mass Art scholarships. To further brand its contributors, the store displays QR codes next to specific pieces; when scanned, an interview with the artist who created the piece plays over the PA system.

While the school is following in the footsteps of other institutions, such as RISD, this type of shop is unique to Boston thus far. “Usually a store sells something very specific to meet a need,” says Russell, “but we have a radically different model to support the college.”

625 Huntington Ave., Boston, 617-879-7407,