Usually, looking up while walking through Boston is the best choice.
But if you find yourself looking to the ground for the next few days and weeks, be sure to keep an eye out for a handful of gorgeous mouse-sized storefronts that have popped up in town.
The miniature stores have recently popped up in the Boston area thanks to a collective of street performers known as AnonymousMouse†
“We started in 2016 in southern Sweden, a few of us met and started discussing creating something together and the dialogue shifted to our childhood love of the works of Walt Disney, Don Bluth, Beatrix Potter and Swedish author Astrid Lindgren,” the collective told Boston.com in an email. “After a while, we kind of focused on these little stores because we’d love to trip over them as kids ourselves.”
The group has installed more than 40 stores worldwide (mainly in Sweden, France and the Isle of Man). But now there are 10 to 15 in the Boston area, “depending on how you count.”
As the name suggests, the collective remains anonymous in an effort to maintain an element of magic around the small establishments.
“We love the idea that the installations speak for themselves, and we also love that kids can actually believe it was made by mice rather than humans,” the collective wrote. “In addition, we quite like the name, and if we were going to go public, we would have to change it.”
When they started, each store took about six months from start to finish, they said. But the group has since sped up the process to just about a month. The actual installation now only takes a few minutes, although AnonyMouse said they install the pieces overnight so as not to be noticed.
Take a closer look at the installations – if you’re lucky enough to come across one in person or just Instagram — reveals that the displays use some everyday human materials.
“We are always looking for human objects that we can use for other things than a human would: a matchbox becomes a table, a cork a chair, a bottle cap becomes a chimney or a bottle becomes a fire engine. So we never really stop ‘working’,” they said.
By creating the shop windows over the years, the artists have gotten better at making them as durable as possible, to withstand the elements and children who come to play with them.
The collective makes everything from mouse-themed arcades to record stores and barber shops. And the shops are not empty; the artists also make the insides of the shops.
“Good morning America. So we have crossed the pond and where else can we anchor but in the promised land of Moussachusetts,” the collective wrote. Instagram† “Where exactly? Well that’s for us to know and you to find out! Let the game begin!”
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