by Nyrie N. Emslie
Porter Square’s annual Yuletide seasonal gift store opened Nov. 11 at 1967 Massachusetts Ave. with a block party stroll for the local artist cooperative that operates the store with more than 200 artists and shoppers.
“Now days, there is a lot more competition for people’s time, so we are very grateful for it, “Cara Washburn, operations manager of the Sign of the Dove seasonal store, said, “It’s exciting that the neighborhood comes out to support us.”
Bob Slate Stationer, Stellabella Toys, and Spark Craft Studios all stayed open late for the event. The neighboring businesses, Falzone’s Pizza and Kickass Cupcakes in Davis Square donated refreshments for the opening reception.
“We wanted to invite the public to have a reason to let them see all of our work. We have quite the following. There are people that track us down every year,” said Kathy Tarantola, the coordinator of the block party stroll.
Out of the 60 members, 17 are new artists that were just accepted this past September. The Sign of the Dove seasonal store is open for two months and closes on Dec. 24. The regular store is at the Porter Square Shopping Center and is open year-round store.
Susan Tornheim, co-chair of the Co-op’s publicity, vends a colorful display of her knitted and felted crafts. She started working with Sign of the Dove in the 1980s and that she has been felting since 1977, she said.
“We are primarily delighted that the reception brought so many visitors into the store so early in our season. This reception worked so well that we plan to have opening receptions in future years,” she said.
“I think Sign of the Dove is notable because of the high quality of the fine crafts and art that we show. In addition, we’ve been opening a holiday gallery since 1972, so the cooperative has longevity. And I’m always amazed that this group of highly individual artists can work together in such an organized way to put the store together and run it so well,” she said.