Midoma Salon in Hell's Kitchen is building a wall. Not that kind of wall, but one of inclusion, where ALL are welcome and it's built through unity and positive message by some of your favorite street artists. Celebrating being a platform for artists for the past 20 years, Midoma's latest exhibit is the 41-foot long Love Peace Empowerment installation and on March 21 there will be a reception to celebrate the wall and the salon/gallery as they move on from their current location.
“…The art of beauty, the beauty of art,” that is MIDOMA’s mantra; a salon and gallery that brings together hair artists and contemporary creatives from the art world. Their team consists of hair “painters" and "sculptors," along with makeup “artists” whose clients are like a canvas. After a Midoma makeover, you feel and look like a masterpiece! It’s all about providing the best service in an inspirational environment.
“Our symbol is ‘the seed of life; the swirl of potential energy,’ and is a reflection of our purpose to give a safe haven to artists and their creations and to the people that enjoy them,” - Midoma
In early February, Midoma put out an open call on Instagram and invited street artists to "leave their mark," and asked, "Do you have a positive message you want to share?" At the same time, we learned they were moving and dedicating its final exhibition project to Love Peace and Empowerment. What started on February 11th has been building and growing ever since. There was one condition, "Post No Hate," only spread love and good vibes.
“During these times of division and rising tensions, we felt that a wall filled with positive messages created by NYC’s finest street artists would be the perfect antidote," said Midoma. "It is also a very fitting culmination for our 10-year residency here in Hell’s Kitchen. To give once more, an opportunity for creatives to stand tall side by side, on a wall created to unite people rather than dividing them, seems more important now more than ever."
The Mi and Ma that make up Mi-do-Ma are founders, Michael from Germany and Marianna from Syracuse. Michael worked in Munich and London but knew that he needed to relocate to a larger city to be truly appreciated as a hair artist. Marianna made NYC her home and chased her dream as a performer. The couple met at a salon/spa and some time after, opened their 1.0 salon, gallery, boutique/shared concept space on the Upper East Side in 2000 exhibiting works by Daze, Crash and John Ahearn.
In 2010, Midoma moved to their Midtown west loft space where the magic continued because they shared the space more often and with more artists. Marianna and Michael have seen artists throughout the years of the salon/gallery/boutique go from their walls to the MOMA and the Brooklyn Museum. Their patrons range from grad students and young professionals to artists, authors, musicians, and actors - beginners and seasoned!
Midoma has been a huge supporter of Sold Magazine and its founders. The 2.0 location is where they worked with Greg Frederick and also had a group show with Greg, BD White, Lambros, JPO and more. Sold magazine is "By Artists, For Artists" and we also like when we get the chance to give back and #supportthosewhosupportyou.
The wall of love and positivity is also helping Marianna and Michael get through this time of transition, as they can no longer stay at Midoma 2.0's Midtown location because of rents and other expenses. This city is tough on small businesses. Marianna and Michael are raising money to get through the remainder of their lease. They've risked a lot to keep this creative haven going and now they could use our help. There's a Go Fund Me and they are trying to stay in good standing until their next opportunity presents itself. The lease is up the end of March and on April 1, they will continue on in some capacity. If you would like to read their story and can support, click here:For the Love of It, any amount would be appreciated.
"All in all, we will walk away with nothing to show for it by most people’s standards, but oh my goodness the people we have met, worked alongside, promoted and represented. It has been such an honor. We didn’t expect this, but when you love something as much as we have loved our space, everyone and everything coming through it, well, any creative lover would have done the same thing I suppose."
The origin of Midoma starts with their founding father, Dominick, the DO in Mi-DO-Ma and Marianna’s Dad. Dominick made all of this possible. He came to the United States and achieved the American Dream. With a combination of hard work and generosity he set the tone for their brand to be kind, share, and support one another.
"Light is life...Light is love." Along with the art in Midoma’s creative space are lightbulb tree sculptures created by Michael that have gotten quite a bit of attention. “Whether you are a believer or not in signs, if you are ever here when Marianna is upset, disturbed, anxious, etc., the lightbulb by my workstation usually flickers. It is spooky and calming at the same time," said Michael. Never before had they gone through and burned out close to 200 bulbs in such a short period of time! This started happening the year Dominick passed away in 2016. Although he is gone, Dominick is still the light that keeps them going.
Marianna and Michael are in the process of engaging with a lot of people and companies and exploring where they may be able to work going forward. For their clients, they'll likely be mobile, inhabiting multiple locations throughout NYC. They said, "Ideally, we would like to continue with our shared space concept by re-building and launching Midoma 3.0. It’s difficult for us to imagine a NYC without Midoma."
This is just one more hard working American story. Marianna said that her goal is to be able to do the same for someone else once they are back on track. Over the course of a few weeks and getting to know Michael and Marianna I can see they are fighters and they've overcome some adversities. At the end of the GoFundMe there's a quote: "Success is not final, failure is not fatal; It is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill. That's just what Marianna and Michael are going to do, they will continue on. There is a light at the end of this tunnel.
You can check out the Love Peace Empowerment wall during Midoma's business hours Tuesday-Friday, 12-8pm, Saturday 11-6pm or come to the celebration, Saturday, March 21, and show your support. We hope that this ending turns into an even brighter future for Midoma one that will be surrounded by love, creativity, and art!
"Thank you, to all of the amazingly talented individuals who allowed their vulnerabilities and strengths to show in the work they produce - each and every day - and for those who have shared within Midoma 1.0 and 2.0 you have all made it so worth it!" - Midoma