Rachel Citrino – Philadelphia Open Studio Tours 2010. DoN called Karen McDonnell, the Queen of Hip-Hop Graffiti, to ask where she recommended to start on the last day of the Philadelphia Open Studio Tours, 2010, West of Broad and she immediately replied, “Rachel Citrino!” lola & DoN drove out Girard Ave,. past Frankfort Ave. to the east end where Rachel has a studio in a beautiful old Philadelphia row-house. The long, narrow interior is filled with Rachel’s mono-prints, paintings, photographs and prints, her brazen color and appealing compositions look great on her pumpkin colored walls; chatting at Rachel’s kitchen island about her process and projects is a memorable highlight from an art saturated weekend.
Rachel Citrino‘s studio in Fishtown, a short walk from Girard Ave., is filled with bright color wall-to-wall.
Kensington was our next art stop, a short drive up Frankord Ave, to a cool cluster of galleries and studios on a warm afternoon. Highwire Gallery is showing a group show called Exploring Invisible Piety Choi, Maria DiMauro, & Karen Steenwhich, a totally entrancing collection of enigmatic paintings, Choi’s recognizable style is so calm and thoughtful, her multiples are dreamy, the symbolism drawing DoN into her creative world with ease.
Piety Choi, Encountering Beauty @ Highwire Gallery in Kensington.
David Stanley Aponte @ BYOPrint.
According to co-founder Lauren Fischer, Aponte is a master print-making guru with a wealth of knowledge to contribute to this unique operation – a community print-making shop you can rent by the hour or the day, be a full-time member or just hang out when you’re in the mood. The BYOPrint team will help you realize your dream of an intaglio, woodcut, silkscreen, monotype, collograph and more; Lauren told DoN, “We’re about making prints happen.” The space in a loft overlooking a motorcycle repair shop is cool bonus.
Lauren Fischer‘s workspace @ BYOPrints in Kensington.
BYOPrints, the DIY all-purpose print shop in Kensington participated in this year’s Philadelphia Open Studio Tour.
Extra Extra bookshop & gallery showcased A Diamond is Forever – Alexandr Skarlinski, Daniel G Baird, Dave Murray, Jordan Tate & Michelle Ceja – above in the corner is 85% of All the Art I Made Turned into A Diamond by Dave Murray, a glamorously spare presentation of an en-cased diamond with a story. “Extra Extra is an artist-run space dedicated to the exposure of under-represented artists challenging the limits of the visual and performing arts.” The multi-media and light art is enthralling, this space is one to re-visit and be rejuvenated.
Abbey Lee Sarver @ Extra Extra bookshop & gallery in Kensington – her website is groovy, too. Sarver’s mixed media pieces in the loft bookshop is awesomely engrossing, playing mind games with generic archetypes transmuted into futuristic artifacts. The bookshop sells handmade and special edition books, curator Derek French told lola & DoN that the artist collective, a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization, set up shop in Philly instead of their hometown Baltimore because it’s not as combative here.
Part Time Studios in Kensington featuring recent work by in-house studio artists. The cluster of art spaces in Kensington allows young artists to work at their art by teaming together and re-imagining the old world work spaces into new millennium intellectual outposts in Philly’s north-east.
Stopping for coffee at Rocket Cat Cafe across from the Warlocks Motorcycle Club made a cool continuum of the art smart vibe we’d been experiencing all day, sitting and watching hipsters pet their beards is a fun past-time, too.
Our final stop of the day was the Studios at 2424 East York, where we met two fine artists that the fine people at POST had arranged to display their art in the halls of the terrific arts building anchored by the uber-cool Skybox Gallery, Ellen Abraham and Marge Feldman took full advantage of the long hall showing a large collection of paintings; Ellen Abraham‘s style is cartoon expressionistic and Marge Feldman‘s God’s-eye view paintings are other-worldly yet familiar. As it turns out Abraham is a fellow member of Da Vinci Art Alliance, DoN encouraged her to enter the upcoming Decameron show. It’s so great that POST helped artists to find great new spaces to make them part of the famous art crawl, if only there was more time (and energy) to explore all the hidden art treasures to be found throughout all of Philly’s neighborhoods.
Ellen Abraham @ Studios @ 2424 York Street during the annual Philadelphia Open Studio Tour.
Marge Feldman @ Studios @ 2424 York Street during the annual Philadelphia Open Studio Tour.
Thank you so much to the Center for Emerging Visual Artists and Philadelphia Open Studio Tours for creating such a wonderful experience design, the catalog with maps is a keeper, the posters around town were divine especially when DoN spotted an artist he knows in the picture, the advertising and promotion was probably the best ever by a local arts organization with a terrific web resource, inviting all of the city to come out and support their local artists.
Photos by DoN.