Newly opened Drip Drop Wonder Shop will be ‘ever-evolving’

By Jasz Garrett

Above: Drip Drop Wonder Shop’s sign is seen newly hung downtown on Front Street. The art gallery opened Friday just in time for Gallery Walk. (Photo credit Jasz Garrett/KINY)

Juneau, Alaska (KINY) – Juneau artist Natalie Weinberg’s Drip Drop Wonder Shop opened Friday from 2 pm to 10 pm during Gallery Walk downtown.

The shop is located at the old Alaska Robotics storefront at 220 Front Street. Alaska Robotics can now be found at 134 N Franklin St.

In an artist statement, Weinberg described her work to be “primarily figurative, my art features soft, fat, nude bodies, referencing memories of my own reflection and mirroring elements of nature that exist without apology.”

She said the nudity in her work offers an empowering alternative to mainstream representations and the warped lens in which she had become accustomed to viewing and valuing herself.

In an interview Friday, Weinberg shared how it felt to open her shop for the first time.

“It’s quite overwhelming. I feel really grateful to have been able to do something like this. I feel like part of it is like me getting lucky and then part of it is me having a lot of support. So it’s a mix, you know,” she said. “So, I happen to find the right place at the right time. And I also have a lot of support from my family, from my friends, from the community, from people who like my work. I feel like having a physical location is like such a great launching pad. It’s inspiring me to delve into other things that I’m interested in like my fashion and not just like, you know, sitting, waiting for the next pop-up.”

Weinberg’s parents and friends helped her set up her shop Friday, beaming with pride.

“I think this is the most unique shop, not just in Juneau, but the entire world,” Weinberg’s mom said.

Weinberg and family emphasized that it’s not just a shop, but a gathering of other artists.

“I really believe in my work. I know that might not sound great to some people who are used to people being quote-unquote, humble. It’s not like a lack of humble. It’s more just like, I really enjoy it personally. It brings me a lot of joy. Not just to make it but like, I love it in my house. And when I make something cool, I’m like, oh my god, this is so cool. It really excites me,” Weinberg said. “I think it does that for other people, too. I’m not really so worried about that as much as it’s like a vibe thing. And we’re all just connected. And if I’m excited, then maybe other people will be too. And it’s a scary, big challenge and I’ve risked everything for it. All my savings and everything. But I believe in it.”

She plans to have Drip Drop Wonder Shop be a creative launchpad for other local artists.

“I feel like being in here makes me want to make more things. It makes me want to keep going,” she said. “I want it to do that for other people too.”

Weinberg said she will stay true to herself with this store and will carry what she truly believes in. She said she wouldn’t carry anything she wouldn’t buy herself or anything she wouldn’t put on her wall.

When asked what she hopes people will take away from her artwork, Weinberg said she hopes it makes them happy.

“Even the girls that are crying. You know, there’s so much tears in my work. It’s just like allowing people to make space for themselves. There’s so many ways that we’re supposed to be a human. And it’s like, you can’t be too emotional and you have to keep it all together and you can’t take up too much space in physical ways,” she said. “And your ideas can’t be that crazy. And, you know, I think there’s just so many ways that we’re told to shrink. It helps me and I want it to help people in the same way that it helps me—which is permission to exist as you are.”

Her artwork has helped her personally, and it comes from a spiritual place.

“We don’t ask mountains to shrink. We don’t ask, you know, rivers to stop flowing so loudly. We don’t ask thunder to be quieter. You know, why do we do it to ourselves? Why do we do it to other people? If we make space for ourselves, then we make space for other people,” Weinberg shared.

She added that Drip Drop Wonder Shop will be an ever-evolving space.

Weinberg already has Zac Pease selected as Drip Drop Wonder Shop’s First Friday artist in January. He will DJ and launch a shirt collection.

On Dec. 1, Weinberg celebrated the opening of her shop with DJ Kelly Aicardi, a collaboration with Frenchie’s Floral Studio including ceiling installations, UNUS Wear, a light show with Isabel Dziak, and delicious scones.

A thanks also goes out to Bauer Clifton.

“I think that really this place speaks for itself. I think it’s such a refreshing place. I’m so happy about it. I’m so grateful for all the support I’ve received,” Weinberg said. “I really think it will excite people because it excites me a lot. So, if they want to come on by to Drip Drop Wonder Shop, they should, because it’s amazing.”

Above: Weinberg collaborated with Frenchie’s Floral Studio on ‘eternal artwork’, featuring dried flowers and handpainted vessels. This piece, ‘Friends Forever #1’, was her first official sale, bought by David Russell-Jensen on Friday shortly after opening. (Photo credit Jasz Garrett/KINY)