In October, Cully neighborhood artist Mary Tapogna opened a seasonal, retail space called Hail Mary Poppe Up Shoppe inside of Eric Bohne and Roxanne Mautino’s Metalwood Salvage business at 4311 N.E. Prescott St.
“I approached Roxanne and Eric about using a room in Metalwood because of their genuine, community-minded, creative, and unpretentious vibe,” said Tapogna. “They’re great, and the spirit that their business is attracting to our neighborhood is inspirational. I love that they are in my neighborhood and I am truly excited by this union.”
Tapogna is known in the neighborhood through her ceramics work at McMenamin’s Kennedy School in Concordia, the outdoor fireplace at Fire on the Mountain in Rose City Park and her former retail spaces on Alberta and Killingsworth streets.
“I met Mary several years ago through a mutual friend,” said Mautino. “I had seen her work around town and encouraged her to bring a few pieces to Metalwood to sell on commission. I was blown away by the selection and diversity of her work – so playful and fun – and I knew I had to have her inventory of reclaimed and recycled mosaic masterpieces. We agreed on a dedicated space in our retail showroom and the rest, as they say, is history.”
Tapogna specializes in intricately pieced together mosaics, made with tiny pieces of reclaimed glass and other found materials. Her work emerges in the form of light fixtures, crucifixes, vases, tables and portraits – some of which take her months to complete.
“My career has an organic rhythm to it,” said Tapogna. “I am an art school graduate and I found work as a news photographer when I first moved to Portland. I opened my own storefront and studio on Alberta Street many years ago and was there for two years before moving to 30th and Killingsworth, where I kept the doors open as a ‘neighborhood treasure’ for ten years. During the time I was there, that little corner really took off – bustling with restaurants, restaurants and more restaurants. I was forced to close shop in 2013, when a neighboring restaurant wanted to expand and offered my landlord more rent. That was a difficult time for me, as it coincided with the passing of my dad. I try not to dwell on the upsetting aspects of what happened with my shop, but I appreciate the fact that it is part of my story here in Portland. I’ve been seeing the same thing happen over and over again to small businesses in our community. I moved my operation to my home studio and have been busy with commission work ever since. I’m excited for this opportunity to have a retail presence again.”
Tapogna, who has lived in Cully for 22 years, recently completed a residency and public art project in Vermont.
“My work is, hopefully, unique in that I use a lot of very nontraditional materials, and subject matter,” said Tapogna. “My offerings include beautiful mosaic lamps, tables, votives and crosses. I live close to the shop, so I find myself there tinkering and adding to the space a lot. The work will evolve and change around. I’m including a wide variety of new, old, some discounted and not-discounted wares. They’ll make great holiday presents.”
The Poppe Up Shoppe will be open through the end of the year, Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.