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Positively Philadelphia: The Parlor Shop at the Art Alliance

(Janice Woodcock, Zivile Pupinyte, Ann Peters, and Emily Squires Levine in The Parlor Shop at the Philadelphia Art Alliance.  A corner of the portrait of Christine Wetherill shows at top left.  Credit: Lauren Lipton)

(Janice Woodcock, Zivile Pupinyte, Ann Peters, and Emily Squires Levine in The Parlor Shop at the Philadelphia Art Alliance. A corner of the portrait of Christine Wetherill shows at top left. Credit: Lauren Lipton)

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By Lauren Lipton

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia Art Alliance, tucked into a corner of Rittenhouse Square (251 South 18th Street),  has added another jewel to its crown.

It’s called The Parlor Shop, and it’s filled with handcrafted goods from all over.

“The thought behind it was to support local artists, and also give back to the Art Alliance,” says Ann Peters (second from right in photo), who came up with the idea and is the shop manager.  “When the artists were approached, they were excited, happy, and more than willing to consign their work.”

Emily Squires Levine (far right) is one of the artists:

“When people see my work, they say, ‘Oh, I used to do that with my children!  But mine didn’t look like that!’  And I say, ‘Well, it’s polymer clay grown up.’  People like to say that it’s eye candy.”

Zivile Pupinyte (second from left), a jewelry maker who moved to Philadelphia from Lithuania, says her items are a little different.

“It’s a unisex line that talks about relationships between people.  The line is called Screwed Forever, because every single ring has a little screw that connects it with another one, just like people are connected to one another.”

Janice Woodcock, interim director of the Philadelphia Art Alliance (far left in photo), gave Positively Philadelphia a tour of the shop that is housed in a first-floor front room of what was once the Wetherill family mansion.

“This is inside of the room that is called the parlor.   Originally, the parlor was for the gentlemen to have cigars.”

In other words, ladies were not allowed in the parlor.

“So when we discovered the history that this was a room where women were not allowed, we thought it was really ironic because in this room, above the fireplace, is a painting of Christine Wetherill,” notes Woodcock.  “She was the founder of the Art Alliance.”

The store is run  by volunteers and is jam-packed with beautiful things made with love by hand.

For more information go to www.philartalliance.org.

And, for this week, that’s “Positively Philadelphia!”

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