Show + Tell
When you first walk in the door you’re greeted with a crisp, open space. You’ll find tables and stands filled with ceramics and textiles made by local artists, apothecary goods, beautiful art clinging to the walls, and in the back you’ll find a plant installation. Is this a shop? An art gallery? A wellness center? Show + Tell is all of these. It’s a one-stop pop-up. The two women behind Show + Tell are friends Mara Mehdy and Jessica McCormack who opened the space last June after they felt the energy in downtown L.A. lined up with what they wanted to do. They landed here in Little Tokyo because they felt it was in need of a place like this.
When you walk around you’ll notice you have lots of L.A. makers to choose from. They carry blankets from Matson + Palmer, all natural NOTO Botanics, Shoshi Kanokohata ceramics, and Echo + Air clothing to name a few. Both women wanted to shine a “spotlight on under-the-radar artists and creatives,” says McCormack. And while you take inventory of the goods, you’ll also be drawn to walk up to the ethereal works of art hanging up — like Nike Schroeder’s colorful and dreamy rayon thread pieces.
In the back there’s a plant installation curated by Natalie Mik called “Listening Garden.” Mik partnered up with composer Greg Lenczycki and other visual artists to create a space for people to sit around low to the ground tables, drink tea and open little scrolls with questions meant to cue conversations. And when you look up you’ll find various plants dangling from the ceiling. The goal here is to build communities through art and experience and McCormack’s and Mehdy’s backgrounds perfectly feed that.
McCormack is grounded in the arts and culture PR world working with large clients like MOCA in L.A. and Sotheby’s. Meanwhile Mehdy’s experience is tied up in the fashion world and the wellness world – she’s a certified Usui Reiki Master. Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation by “laying hands” to channel energy to heal the body.
Mehdy is quick to point to a connection between art and wellness, “Like our artist last month, Satsuki Shibuya. She’s a Japanese watercolor artist and her method of watercolor is actually a form of meditation for her.” Both women simply want Show + Tell to be the bridge that brings people in whether it’s to meditate for an hour on the second Monday of every month or to support local makers or even if it’s just to come in to stare at the art they’ve selected.
Written by Linda Hosmer
Photographed by Caleb Thal