Café makes space for artists


CNMI artists have a new “gallery” where they can showcase their creations.

Local artist Elina Gharti Chhetri is providing a much-needed space for fellow artists on the island at Marianas Creations, a café-cum-local products shop that she co-owns with Jay Wolfe.

The art gallery concept will come to life during what Marianas Creations will be hosting as First Friday events—a popular concept in cities around the world, which are usually centered around supporting and encouraging local art and culture and introducing the community to it.

“We wanted to give people a regular opportunity each month to come and see local art, and also to meet and interact with the artists who are doing the art,” Wolfe said. “We want everyone to see some of the pretty incredible art that comes out of the Marianas.”

Local artist Elina Gharti Chhetri and Jay Wolfe provide CNMI artists a space to display their artwork and get featured at the café, Marianas Creations, every first Friday of the month. (IVA MAURIN)

The café not only features the art of Greg Elliott, David Butterfield, Jose Quan, and Shane Villanueva, among others, but also showcases products like bonita basula (beautiful trash), which are found glass pieces converted into jewelry. Chhetri also even creatively put together an art piece of a sink which is a surprise at the café.

Marianas Creations also plans to host paint nights, photography tutorials, and small classes like jewelry making or basket weaving.

“We want to bring any talent here out to the public. A lot of artists do not have their own shop or a storefront or a gallery, and that is hard,” Chhetri said. “We are doing First Fridays to share the space that we have, and bring all the community together.”

Catch the next First Friday at Marianas Creations, located along Micro Beach Road (beside Everest Restaurant). The café is open Monday to Sunday, from 6:30am to 9pm.

Iva Maurin | Correspondent
Iva Maurin is a communications specialist with environment and community outreach experience in the Philippines and in California. She has a background in graphic arts and is the Saipan Tribune’s community and environment reporter. Contact her at

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