OFF THE GRID

[This post originally appeared on OFF THE GRID in April of 2012. I drove by the store location yesterday and it reminded me of this Chicago street art discovery. Check out their past shows and their online store for more current work]

your ad hereOn a nice lil’ Saturday afternoon I meandered over to Ukrainian Village with a few friends, including a local area street  blogger, to pay a visit to a new pop-up shop called ‘While Supplies Last’.  We discovered the shop  through an artist, Left Handed Wave, who’s merchandise is supplied in the store. I can’t decide whether to call this place an art gallery or store – the merchandise is displayed in such a way that the shop has a gallery-esque feel.

The shop is the brainchild of an organization call Pawn Works, who describe themselves as collectors, proprietors, and facilitators of the arts. I spoke with the co-owners of Pawn Works, Nick Marzullo and Seth Mooney, to get the scoop on this unique store that I stumbled upon. They explained that ‘While Supplies Last’ is a concept store driven by the need to keep it fresh and go in a different direction than that of the standard ‘brick and mortar’ gallery. In opening the store, they were hoping to make work/product from particular artists more affordable and accessible.

cimg1971The store showcases 14 artist’s merchandise. Can you explain the merchandise/artwork you carry in the shop?

All the work found in the shop comes directly from the artists involved. In many cases, all prints are artist’s proofs and have signatures and extras that are different than normal. From un-cut puzzle proofs from Jon Burgerman to limited edition plush made specifically for the shop and a number of zines from local heros and more. There are also plans for some great releases throughout the store run, some of which representing Chicago’s favorite sports teams during the playoff push.

Which artist’s merchandise are you most excited to carry in the store?

All the product excites us. We are really excited to be working with some of our faves who we worked with before like Skewville and Nice-One and are so happy to finally be working with Chicago’s own Shawnimals on a custom toy made specifically to be released through the shop. The Old New York created a series of zines for us that we are so very excited about, they are editioned of 10 of each and were made exclusively for ‘While Supplies Last’ and feature some fantastic Chicago imagery as well as plenty of work from The Old New York writers like Ader, Faust & Sure, Kosbe and more.

While in the store I bought several art-inspired stickers. What is the story behind the Pawn while supplies lastWorks Stick Club?

We do house sticker machines at venues across the country from comic book stores, skateshops, streetwear shops, galcleries, concert venues like the Empty Bottle and more all featuring images from graffiti writers, illustrator and street artists from all over the world.  Here is a link to info about the Pawn Works Sticker Club: Pawn Works Sticker Machine Debuts at Quimby’s!

You made a conscious decision to not host a store opening party. Why did you come to that decision?

Running a store for us is a different angle, we are excited about the daily grind of the shop and the ability to be planted here and be more community involved than we have been in the past. With it being store, an opening reception didn’t seem right, it felt right to just open the doors when the shop was open, simple.

The store opened its doors on March 31 and will be open for an eight-week interlude. While the store is up and running, Pawn Works will be revolving in new merchandise so make sure that you stop in a few times before it’s too late.

My casual interest in street art sparked from this post on Street Art Utopia on the 106 most beloved Street Art photos of 2011.

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