Rhody Gem: December 2019

Hotpoint Emporium Planetarium – The Bay Magazine


We’re on the hunt for Rhody Gems! Every neighborhood has that secret, hidden, cool and unusual, or hole-in-the-wall spot that locals love. Email or tag us on social media using #RhodyGem to suggest yours, and we might just feature it!


What it is:

A miniature “planetarium” created by local artist Jen Charleson. Find whimsical geometric shapes printed on aluminum plates that shimmer in the strategically lit space, resembling constellations, orbits, and exploding stars. The NASA audio recordings taken in outer space complete the multisensory experience.


Where to find it:

Tucked in the basement of Hotpoint Emporium – just off bustling but beautiful Hope Street – draw back a dark curtain in the corner to reveal a nook with an entire galaxy awaiting.


What makes it a Rhody Gem?

A planetarium is the last thing you’d expect to find in the lower level gallery of an art co-op. Creator Jen was inspired by NASA’s media library and her own love for astrophotography and wanted to create “imagined spacescapes where art and astrophysics coexist in perfect fusion.” When Hotpoint members direct visitors to their Underground Gallery, they always add – with a knowing smile – to check out “the world’s smallest planetarium.” Says Jen, “I like to believe that when people come inside, they forget where they are for a moment or two. Mostly, my hope is that people come away realizing that the stars are closer than we think.”


Hotpoint Emporium
39 State Street, Bristol