ShopLocalSD: Blending Art And Retail
North Park's Pigment.
A visit to Pigment is like a microcosmic foray into the diverse and burgeoning North Park arts community. Pigment is more than just a gift shop. You can hunt for the perfect crafty item while simultaneously discovering what local artists have been toiling over.
The shop's location is an asset. Within a two-block radius is a hip strip of art galleries (Ray Street), one of San Diego’s hottest nightclubs (True North), and numerous clothing boutiques (not to mention unique, award-winning restaurants Urban Solace and the Linkery). All this leads to a lot of walk-in traffic for Pigment.
San Diego native Chad Anglin and his wife, Amy Paul, opened Pigment two years ago. They originally envisioned their place as an art gallery—a showcase for Paul’s photo-realistic paintings. Working in acrylics on wood, she captures the North Park iconography: the water tower on El Cajon Boulevard; a series of telephone lines silhouetted with pigeons; Southern California eucalyptus leaves set against a blue sky.
Eventually, Paul and Anglin came up with a concept that is practical and ethereal--a gift shop/gallery. Small items finance the day-to-day needs, but deeper aesthetics are here for the deeper-pocketed clients.
Store manager Malia Okamura, a Golden Hills resident and a friend of Paul’s since junior high, guides a visitor through the store like a docent leading a museum tour. The hand-crafted wooden display tables are made by furniture designer Ramon Zarate, a native of Michoacán, Mexico. Zarate works with re-claimed wood and other recycled materials found near his North Park home. Golden Hills-based designer Julie Barner offers a marvelous set of tea towels, silk-screened with spectral images popular to fans of El Dia de los Muertos. Roselle Ellison and Yvonne Casper of La Bête, in South Park, make hand-crocheted baby booties and adorable stuffed animals. And architect Amy Martaranosells her vibrantly colored, hand-made enamel earrings.
Hanging in the front window of the shop are several Eco Orbs, designed by Britton Neubacher of Tend Living, also located in North Park. Crafted from blown-glass by local artists Buzz Blodgett and Lea de Witt, the orbs are 10 inches around and filled with succulent plants. Nestled in baskets around the store are chunky, hand-carved wooden cocktail rings and pendants by Miki Iwasaki, an architect and Harvard grad who lives in Bankers Hill.
Pigment also carries two handbag lines. Ananas of New York, designed by Jennifer Baum Lagdameo, features a very cool retro-chic collection, in leather and accessorized with various polished native woods. Ashley Watson, a Vancouver based designer makes one-of-a-kind bags using recycled leather. Classically styled, these bags are environmentally sound and incredibly hip.
“Pigment is committed to supporting up-and-coming artists," says Okamura. "It's a retail space but one that tries to be based on creativity.”
- City: San Diego
- Phone: (619) 501-6318
- Name: Pigment
- Address: 3827 30th St.