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Friday, June 21, 2024

Jay St.’s Bear and Bird Boutique Holds MiSci Pop-Up Exhibit


The Bear and Bird Boutique + Gallery located on Jay⁣ St.​ has recently introduced the newest addition to its⁣ series⁤ of window displays that ⁣celebrate ⁣local history. This exhibit, created in collaboration with⁣ the Museum of Innovation and Science, showcases a⁣ variety of historical artifacts that represent the rich history of the local area.

“These artifacts are‌ not just ‌significant to the history of Schenectady, but‌ they also play ​a crucial role in American history,”⁢ said Amanda Otatti, the co-owner of the boutique. “After all,‍ electricity was invented here.”

Amanda and her‌ husband Tate, who started volunteering⁤ at ‍MiSci last year, own the boutique. As friends of the museum, they were given ⁢a⁤ special ‌tour of the basement⁢ where the ‍archives are stored. This inspired⁤ Amanda to propose a pop-up exhibit at their ⁤boutique featuring items borrowed from the museum. Usually, they host local artists in their space.

The‌ exhibit is currently on display and will continue to be until the end ​of April. Bear and Bird is situated at 160 Jay St.

The exhibit boasts a collection⁢ of dozens of items, each representing a piece of Schenectady’s past. From an antique fan to various bird statues, there is something intriguing for everyone.

One of⁣ Amanda’s personal favorites is a hand-painted ​advertisement poster for⁤ local hardware ⁤store‍ Wallace Armer, which features ⁤a phonetic guide ‍to the⁣ product ⁤Ruberoid. ⁣“I was attracted to it because⁤ of the vibrant ‍colors,” she‌ said. “I appreciate all the items for different reasons, it’s‍ hard​ to pick a favorite.”

Other notable items include a variety​ of ‌GE ‍memorabilia, a painting from 1968 by ⁣Oak Room Artists member Raymond ​Andrews, and a collection of minerals that includes ⁤ash⁢ from the ⁤1980 eruption ‍of⁢ Mount St. Helens.

“We curated the exhibit based ⁣on what we thought⁤ the public ​would find fascinating,” said ⁤Otatti.

Bear + Bird was originally ‌established in Florida‌ in 2007.‍ When the couple relocated⁤ to the Capital Region⁤ in 2018, they‌ were ​determined to continue the venture⁣ they had started over a decade ago. They eventually found their home at‍ the Jay St. Marketplace and ‍have been uncovering the local ‍stories ever since.

“It’s even more enchanting‍ because it’s all ​new to me,” said Otatti.

The boutique offers items created by local artists ⁤as well as those from across ⁣the country. They don’t limit themselves to any specific art movement, but‍ often find themselves attracted to items with an‍ illustrative style.

“We have a knack for finding things ​that spark curiosity,” said Otatti.

Emily Stanton
Emily Stanton
Emily Stanton, a skillful journalist previously based in Boston, is adept at covering a diverse array of stories. Her thorough and engaging reporting style, honed with a Master's in Journalism from Boston University, focuses on community-relevant stories.
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  1. Disagree – The pop-up exhibit at Jay St.’s Bear and Bird Boutique was underwhelming and didn’t add anything special to the overall shopping experience.


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