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Sarah Rado, a Fishtown local, was inspired by the free community fridges that sprouted around the city. Photo: Sarah Rado.
Sarah Rado, a Fishtown local, was inspired by the free community fridges that sprouted around the city. Photo: Sarah Rado.

The Fishtown woman helping local artists sell their work from a tiny art gallery in front of her home

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Many local artists and designers in Philadelphia were left out to dry amid the COVID-19 pandemic when trying to sell their paintings and other artwork.

As many still find themselves in need of a boost, Sarah Rado, from Fishtown has come up with a way to support local artists in a way that is safe and socially responsible.

Rado, who was recently laid off at her job as an event manager at Verizon, created a tiny art gallery in front of her home on East Cumberland Street, to showcase the various artwork known to Philly for many years.

Rado’s inspiration was seeing how the community came together as the pandemic shook everyone’s daily routines.

“I kept seeing those little tiny free libraries pop up, I also saw the free community fridges, and I thought to myself how cool it would be to do that for struggling artists,” Rado said in a recent interview with AL DIA News.

She found herself with a lot of time, and wanted to keep with the message of Philly residents supporting one another.

“I laid in bed many times at night and thought of things that I can do to help local artists sell their art, instead of giving it away for free,” said Rado.

The process is simple: 

There is a lock code on Rado’s Instagram page. Potential buyers choose the art display they want, and then pay the artist on Venmo or Paypal.

Fans of the art gallery are able to track local artwork on social media without having to leave their house.

“Instagram is such a popular way to view art and buy things locally,” she said.

Most of the pieces for sale are around $25.

“It really is the first of its kind, it's a familiar concept to everyone, but this is the first time that it's happening,” said Rado.

The box was handmade by Rado and her sister, Julie. Both are artists.

“My sister, who is also a designer, was able to put her work in the art gallery, which was very cool,” said Rado. “A lot of artists on Instagram saw that and started contacting me.”

The intricate box, which is located right in front of Rado’s home, has been a symbol of hope in a time of uncertainty. She hopes her idea can ignite other’s to do the same thing.

“I want other people from different parts of the country to do the same thing that I am doing, I view this as this is only the beginning,” she said.

Despite the gallery being small and quaint, Rado plans on keeping her tiny gallery for a long time.

“I don't have plans on stopping anytime soon,” she said.

Now is the perfect time to support local artists in the Philly area. 

Check out Rado’s Instagram page to see the latest art available.

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