Photo Credit: Mandi Masden
Mandi Masden Makes Fine Art Accessible Through Puzzles
Fine art through puzzles? That’s Mandi Masden’s whole bag.
Brooklynite Mandi Masden is the epitome of a multi-faceted creative. She is a talented actress working in television, film, and stage work. Masden is also an entrepreneur, starting Apostrophe Puzzles in 2019, whose love for puzzles dates back to her childhood.
Masden recognized that there wasn’t much diversity in the puzzle industry. There were very few puzzles featuring people of color. Masden set out the change that narrative.
Apostrophe Puzzles “aim to bridge the gap of accessibility to fine art, and were created with the knowledge that the world of artists of color is valuable, desirable, and profitable.”
Ronald Jackson explores the stories and experiences of African Americans through portraits and figurative works. With masks often concealing faces, he invites viewers to discover unique experiences and acknowledge universal humanity.
Liz Flores, a Chicago-based painter and muralist, experiments with abstract representations of the human condition, using shape, color, and the female body to tell visual stories.
When completed, the puzzles are literal art that can be displayed or framed. They are the perfect gift for a friend or family member. They’re also great for bonding with your loved ones. Puzzles can be brought out at dinner and take teamwork, creativity and strategy to complete.
We had a chance to catch up with Mandi, find out about the impact her hometown Brooklyn has had on her career, and find out her favorite places to hang out in the borough.
TN: How have Brooklyn and New York City impacted you as a small business owner?
MM: My business is focused on art and contemporary artists of color and arts accessibility. New York in general is an inspiring place to live in that respect. From museums to galleries, there are so many different ways to meet new artists and engage with art. There is art everywhere in the city and it’s really exciting to see how it pops up in our everyday lives.
TN: For Black and Brown people that want to pursue entrepreneurship in the art world, what advice do you have?
MM: The best piece of advice that I’ve received was from my dad — “it’s not about the Goliath in front of you, it’s about the Goliath inside of you.” That has really helped me stay focused on my gift, my craft, and the work I’m capable of doing as an actor and an entrepreneur.
The clearer you are about your ability, your gifts, and your offerings, the more you’ll be in alignment with the opportunities that come your way. Don’t wait for other people to validate you. Also, be ready to ask for help. People can’t show up for you if you don’t let them.
TN: Where are your favorite places to go in Brooklyn?
MM: Brooklyn is an incredible borough. I would definitely say, Prospect Park. I’m a foodie and love to eat at restaurants in Brooklyn. Brooklyn Tea has an amazing coconut oolong tea and it’s Black-owned.
You can keep up with Apostrophe Puzzles on Instagram here.