Wednesday evening, Sho and DoN wandered over to the Sunoco Welcome America event on the Avenue of the Arts. Broad Street was closed off from the Academy of Music down to Dorrance Hall (the University of the Arts temple on Pine Street) with stages set up in each block featuring performances by Philadelphia International Records performing artists MFSB, Soul Survivors, Bunny Sigler and more. DoN totally flashed back to clubbing in Philly at theSecond Story, Harlow’s and the Catacombs – OMG! The Catacombs! – DoN would emerge from the underground as the sun came up after an entire night of disco dancing. But for Sho and DoN the draw was the artist’s booths set up along the avenue including Mark Campana, Charles Cushing, Lilliana Didovic and more.
Artist Mark Campana paints iconic scenes of Philadelphia; DoN spots him regularly in Rittenhouse Square, Fitler Square, Washington Square…in fact, Campana is probably the only painter DoN observes working plein air with such dedication. Mark’s work is wonderfully evocative of the cosmopolitan nature of the city, finding warm light, stealthy shadows and fine textures of buildings, trees and monuments with his oils and canvas.
Campana is friends with Charles Cushing who had his tent set up along side his on Broad Street; Cushing was working on a painting of the Divine Lorraine Hotel on his French easel and drawing quite a crowd of admirers while he developed the theme of jazz musicians and dancers on the roof of the gothic manse. Charles also paints scenes of Philadelphia for which he has become quite well known – if you look around the city you’ll find Cushing images in the Kimmel Center, the Italian Market, and art stores, Charles sells excellent quality prints of city scenes including a new cityscape including the Comcast tower which seemed to be moving briskly. DoN is sure you’ve seen the images of the Victorian Lady entering the Bellevue Stratford or snowy scenes of Rittenhouse Square; Charles informs me he’ll be doing some painting in Finland this Summer – cool!
Charles is a good friend to many artists in town, he told DoN he speaks with Mark Campana almost everyday, he helped Jed Williams get a terrific gig at One Penn Center and was in the audience for Henry Martin’s concert on Forbidden Drive. Cushing is a real class act and a truly inspiring artist.
Lilliana Didovic, a board member of the DaVinci Art Alliance, had a tent with a wonderful display of her vivid paintings for the holiday event. Didovic is a dedicated artist and with a singular style and drive; looking like a rock star, Lilliana warmly greeted visitors and friends in the summer heat. Joseph, Lilliana’s devoted husband was on hand as usual – DoN really appreciates the support he offers his lovely wife as she works to develop her ouvre.
Lilliana Didovic, Rowan University’s Deb Miller and Ray Costello on the Avenue of the Arts.
Charles Cushing recommended DoN check out Steve Martin‘s booth to discover original screen printed skate punk T-shirts with striking designs, unusual artistic quality and great prices. Martin is planning to move to the Deep South – Atlanta and such to pursue his graphic design skills as a tattoo apprentice. Meanwhile, check out his website, CHARGESKATE, for interesting skateboard and apparel designs; DoN bought the funky black one with the green scaley design (Steve wrote to DoN and advised him the pattern is a chevron).
T-Shirts from CHARGE on the Avenue of the Arts, Welcome America Festival.
DoN tried to interview Barbara Whiteman about the Philadelphia Doll Museum located at 2253 North Broad Street but she was so busy helping eager customers with questions about the unusual Raggetty Ann’s, African beaded baby dolls and accessories that he agreed to stop by the museum one day to chat. The Philadelphia Doll Museum is one of America’s few museums dedicated to black dolls and their historic importance.
DoN wanted to learn more about his business but the disco music was too loud – is that an oxymoron? Loud Disco Music? Check out Hagen’s stylish photography at WonderfulMachine.com. DoN did advise Jon to get out from behind his table; with Jon Hagen’s model good looks he should have no problem drawing in the ladies to buy some photos ; )
July Fourth, Shoshana and DoN traveled to NYC to have dinner with good friend and art collector, Dee Brodzik and partner John Renck. DoN delivered the photo Dee bought from his “light beings” exhibit at The Beauty Shop Cafe and was surprised to be part of an unveiling ceremony for his oil painting, “Three Bridges”, which Dee purchased during last year’s Philadelphia Open Studio Tours – what an honor to have a patron and friend to offer pride of place in such a wonderful art collection. Thank you, Dee – you are the best!.
“Three Bridges“, oil painting by DoN Brewer in the Brodzik/Renck collection, NYC.LoVeDoN
All photographs by DoNBrewerMultimedia Photography.