The heat seemed to be no problem for local residents as groups gathered outside a pop-up shop event downtown that featured custom artworks, designs and eclectic merchandise.
Local artist Patricia Pratt, known for Kreepy Kawaii Designs, and Sarah Macias of the Abracadabra retail store, celebrated a soft opening of their new collaborative shop and studio, last Saturday Aug. 15, at 1731 Canal St.
The “Sold As-Is” soft opening featured local vendors, artwork by Pratt, an exhibition of paintings by local artist Goku, and a firsthand look of Abracadabras new home.
“People are here and happily enjoying themselves,” Pratt told the Times. “Right now I feel like people need to feel a little bit of normalcy.”
Despite some mingling, there was a customer limit and a line to get inside the store. As customers walked in, they were greeted with sanitizer for their hands and a mask check.
The small pop-up event provided locals with a night of normalcy, as most community events have cancelled or postponed. The open space inside the shop gave shoppers enough room to weave in and out around each other while still maintaining social distancing.
The space will serve as Abracadabras new storefront, and Pratt’s personal studio. Both women hope to use the space in collaboration with other artists and residents and grow a deeper artistic connection within the Merced community.
“We want to create a space where artists can work,” Patty explained as she mentioned the duo will be hosting workshops in the future. “At the same time I am also running our non-profit organization, Urbanist Collectives, out of the shop. We do a lot of civic engagement through art, art festivals and murals.”
Urbanist Collectives mission to to push social change through art and has recently collaborated with Census 2020.
“My hope is that other artists step into this space and get inspired to open up their own studio downtown too, or start a co-op, or whatever needs to happen so that this type of collaboration is happening in more places than just this one.”
Artists, such as Goku, will now have a home to express themselves freely. Goku showcased a number of his eye-widening paintings at the pop-up, each one of them lining up the walls as customers entered the shop.
“The show was excellent, phenomenal, spectacular, stupendous, beautiful,” Goku happily explained the following day.
“There were great community vibes at the show,” local artist Eddie Rodriguez continually mentioned.
“It was community.” Goku finished.
Community was clearly ever-present at the show, bringing hope to residents as they continue to maneuver through this new “normal.”
Kreepy Kawaii Designs and Abracadabra still do not have official store hours and are not open to the public.
You can reach out to either shop owner via Instagram @kreepykawaiidesigns and @xx._abracadabra_.xx