While strolling down Pearl Street in Boulder, you’ll come across a beautiful three-story Victorian home with eye-catching, natural greenery scaling up the side. This is where The New Local, a nonprofit art gallery, is located.
Marie-Juliette Bird is the Founder and Executive Director of The New Local, and her vision is to provide a space for local women artists to showcase their work.
“We are a nonprofit, and we champion local women, artists, designers, and makers,” Bird says. “We build bridges between that local community of artists into the broader community. We focus on outreach to underserved members of our community so that everybody gets really exceptional and inspired art education and programming.”
This isn’t a typical art gallery. Bird has combined the finer arts with beautiful handmade crafts that are one-of-a-kind pieces. From sculptures and paintings to oils, books, and bags, there are many treasures to explore.
“It’s really important to me personally to break down these barriers that you sometimes have in the art world, where fine art is in one category and then crafts are in a lower category,” Bird says. “Also, usually, it denigrates women who historically and culturally are the ones making the crafts.”
In addition to the artwork, The New Local offers several classes, programs, and camps for young aspiring artists and creative adults. From drawing and painting classes to hand-stitched leather and packbasket workshops, there is an activity to inspire everyone. Many of these classes are taught by artists that have goods in the gallery.
Some of The New Local’s upcoming classes include Weaving Color for ages 7-10 (September 6), Teen Abstract Painting (September 11), and Kids Clay and Hand Building for ages 5-10 (September 12 to October 17).
“The artists who display their work in the gallery have an opportunity to keep all of their sales income that they make and then give back to the community through teaching and volunteering,” Bird says. “Most of the teachers on our roster also have work in the gallery, but there are people in the community who just want to teach.”
Besides the fun, creative, and inspiring classes, The New Local also offers scholarship programs.
“We are really passionate about bringing elevated programming to the entire community regardless of people’s ability to pay for a fancy art education,” Bird says. “We encourage everybody in the community to get involved; take classes, sponsor programs, volunteer, and apply to be an artist.”
On the top floor of The New Local is an art studio for the artists, which is an affordable space for them to create and dive into their passion. The second floor is where the art gallery is, and the bottom floor is the creative workshop space.
“We feel like it’s important for everyone in the community–kids, parents, aspiring artists, teenagers–to be able to see the work of people living in our community and be inspired by that, and learn and interact from them,” Bird says.