Local artist Mary Hong opens ‘pop-up’ shop in Baytowne Wharf

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SANDESTIN — Local artist Mary Hong is bringing a “pop-up shop” concept to Baytowne Wharf, but fans and art enthusiasts only have until the end of September to experience it.

Hong, who currently has permanent locations open in Destin, Grayton Beach, New Orleans and Nashville, has opened a temporary shop in the popular shopping and dining destination in Sandestin as part of her efforts to bring her “Shard Shop” concept to a wider audience.

“I’m really trying to expand The Shard Shop,” Hong said in an interview at her Grayton Beach gallery. “I’m actually trying to franchise it. I’ve been working on it for years and it’s an enormous expense, and I’m still a mom and a wife, so I’m still trying to balance that.”

The Shard Shop is a space where Hong encourages customers to come in and create their own works of art, using her unique style and hodge podge of materials.

Her Baytowne pop-up shop is located in Baytowne Wharf’s central shopping hub, across from the restaurant Provisions, in the former Osaka Sushi Rocks building. The shop is open from 4 to 9 p.m. every day, with a last call at 8 p.m.

The shop opened earlier in July and will close at the end of September.

Customers get a 10 percent discount if they bring their own canvases, and Hong welcomes other home-brought supplies.

All the glass used during classes is repurposed and most items are donated. Hong also works with a variety of materials including vintage jewelry, ceramics, seashells and wood.

However, she does try to stay away from plastic.

“It’s just not as shiny as the other stuff,” said Hong.

Hong said she credits her recent expansion to hard work and a steady demand for a different style of art she said wasn’t available before The Shard Shop was created.

“People come in and they love it because it’s an activity,” Hong said. “It’s something they can do with their family. It’s an art gallery. It’s not a restaurant. It’s not a bar.”


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