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All photos by Samantha Moss

Curated is the epitome of Peterborough’s artistic sensibility. Located in the Charlotte Mews, directly across the street from the bus terminal, Curated seems almost hidden.

From a distance, the store does not look like much. Discreetly hidden in the Charlotte Mews alongside a variety of niche stores, such as My Left Breast, Curated is a diamond in the rough.

Walking towards it, a small sign points inside. “Curated,” it reads, “Appraisals, Artwork, Oddities.”

IMG_3490Sketches, drawings and a plethora of quirky artifacts fill the front window. A quick glance at the store window does not do the artwork justice, but the urgency and excitement to get inside will surely push you in. Make sure to take a longer look at the end of your trip.

As one enters, Melinda is sure to greet with a smile. The first glance is overwhelming. There is an abundance of different merchandise, ranging from books, to artwork and zines to jewelry. The variety of merchandise is truly astonishing.

Artwork stares back at you from the back of the shop, while smaller pieces are scattered around the store. A bookshelf is lined with a plethora of different books on a variety of subject matters ranging from feminist-ideology to self-help to novels.

Everything is beautiful, yet not too in-your-face.

Once you get accustomed to the variety of things to check out, and ease into your browsing session, the store becomes you. Each piece deserves a moment of reflection. It is truly a store that you can spend all day browsing in.

Melinda described the store as her “love note to Peterborough,” and stated that she was “attracted to Peterborough for its arts/feminist/DIY Vibe.”

The store truly reflects this. Be it the abundance of feminist literature and journals, or the crudely made, yet clever and almost lo-fi artwork, the whole store embodies what Peterborough is: an intellectual place for critical thinkers to engage and discuss (at least most of the time).

It seems that Curated represents the fruition of Peterborough’s abundance of artists and thinkers.

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Be it Matt Post’s clever ‘Ayn Ranch Dressing’ painting with the bottle stating, ‘I am Selfish,’ to the hand-made soaps smelling of tobacco leaf, patchouli and Echinacea, Curated is filled with artifacts.

This makes sense as Melinda has worked in galleries and museums for a number of years, as well as having obtained her curator’s license.

Having started in appraisal work, Melinda accumulated many things over the years. The store started as a reaction to this. As she began to need space, Melinda decided to open up shop.

Curated is a place for her to express her personality, while maintaining a space to store, sell and trade some of her belongings.

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The store, is a way to contribute to a community I love. It gives me a space to do what a love: research, collecting, interacting with interesting people. It’s also a space where other people can explore their creative sides, whether that’s learning a new skill through workshops, discovering new artists, or by having their own artwork on display in the shop.

A lot of the artists in the store are just starting out. It’s a low pressure, comfortable spot where they can test out offering their work to the public,” Melinda stated when asked about her store, its meaning and its purpose.

Curated truly is place for artists to meet, grow and share. This is most seen in the many workshops that Curated holds.

On April 9, Curated will be holding a ‘Beginning’s Knitting Workshop,’ while on May 7 and May 14, it will be holding bookbinding workshops.

Many more events are posted on their website at: www.curated-peterborough.ca

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Curated’s events are the final piece of the store’s purpose. The store is a place where not only artwork is distributed and sold, but also where art and its methods are learned and created.

This fulfills all aspects of the artistic process and truly shows Melinda’s love for what she does.

Curated is a place to enjoy and admire other’s work and creations, but also a place to be expressive. It is not a place that just shows what the community has to offer, but also invites new people to enter the community and create their own versions of the Peterborough artistic scene.

This, by far, is the most amazing and important part of Curated. Not only does the store invite you to love it and its merchandise, but it also invites you to love yourself.

 

 

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Tyler works out of Peterborough, Ontario, and reluctantly attends Trent University. He loathes deeply, while drinking often. The cigarettes will soon consume his life. Read his poetry while you still can at https://aforeword.com/tag/tyler-majer/ while reading his journalistic work at this very site. I would say that he would be appreciative, but that may not be the truth.