Arts & Culture, Boston Compass, Compass Ketchup, Interview

Compass Ketchup: Bodega


Bodega is known as Boston’s iconic sneaker and street wear shop, but less known is their commitment to the community as a gallery and global platform for our local artists. This sense of responsibility is exactly what keeps Bodega so fresh; they are genuinely rooted in street art, instead of just capitalizing on it through fashion. By selling artist-designed apparel and featuring local artists’ installations on their walls they go beyond exhibiting local art; they are fostering its growth.

We sat down with Oliver Mak, one of the Bodega founders and former director of their Fourth Wall Project, one of the most relevant, inspiring (and successful) art galleries in town from 2009-2014. Oliver clued us in on how to Do-It-Yourself:

“You have to build your own, you really have to find your own way because there’s no set industry here. There’s pockets of it but you have to hustle and find your way. That’s the strength. Within the lack is an opportunity, just figure out a way. Keeping a gallery or pop up art space mobile is a good option.

[…] The best art spaces I’ve seen are in people’s houses, you can put together a show and promote it with hardly any resources. It’s definitely feasible to start small and build up to something where you have  overhead costs, like rent. As long as you build that network and keep stacking the chips.”

The next installation over at Bodega features local graffiti artist, SOEM.  In the past Bodega has worked with artists Will Long, David Buckley Borden, Rashad Nelson, XSM, and Project SF. Stay tuned for more coverage of the installation at




-Farrell Mason

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