PHILADELPHIA OPEN STUDIO TOURS: OCTOBER 13TH 12 – 6 pm with Michelle Marcuse and Henry Bermudez
Emerged from the Caribbean tropics, the artistic life of Henry Bermudez has been an unexpected hybrid of ideas informed by an acute sensitivity to the past, stenciled as part of a personal inventory onto different foreign places that throughout his life have become his home and artistic working territory.
Henry’s paintings are steeped in mythical dream imagery within an other-worldliness of carefully constructed creature and plant forms. Further defined by his identity as a Latino, his visual itinerary combines symbols and myth from pre-Hispanic cultures charged with powerful influences from Judaeo-Christian and Afro-Caribbean religions, and further melds these with the iconography of western contemporary art. This blend of cultural diversities is his autobiographical vision that further defines itself through immersion into societies other that the one he was born into. Henry’s art transcends timelines and national boundaries as he joins magical dimensions of symbols with supposed western rationality.
Thank you to Michelle Marcuse, Co Director HOUSE Gallery for the content of this post.
Everything Counts, Ana Vizcara Rankin at Kitchen Table Gallery
Ana Vizcara Rankin’s Viking Mill Studio, located in the Kensington section of Philadelphia, is filled with her mixed-media maps and new works that will be exhibited in her solo exhibition, “Everything Counts” at Kitchen Table Gallery beginning September 20, 2019. Ana is best known for her large-scale world maps inspired by migration patterns, colonization, and climate change. With Antarctica often oriented at the top and the Arctic Circle positioned at the bottom of the artwork, these maps challenge our notions of reality.
Ana points out, “It’s really very self-centered of us to think that we can perfectly and logically orient the entire solar system. There is no clear up or down in the universe.” We are now confronted with new information, a previously unseen, nonbinary conceptualization of our existing world view.
Elucidation of the unseen seems to link Ana’s early drawings and paintings to her new work. Blockchain Bootstrap, a large-scale, mixed-media, unframed canvas cascading from ceiling to floor in Ana’s studio, is one example that will be exhibited in “Everything Counts” at Kitchen Table Gallery. Blockchain Bootstrap, completed in 2019, measures 196 x 96 inches and was created with metal leaf, tar, acrylic, graphite, and charcoal. Large, map-like areas of grey tones ranging from white to black are linked through extensive layers of mark making. Drips, lines, splatters, paint strokes, carefully applied metal leaf, and blocks of drawing that resemble a binary language or program code become a materialization of the elusive nanoseconds or hashtags that link together successive commands and blocks of data. Such links are activated every time you boot up your laptop or digital device. Through careful observation of digital imagery and engagement with the process of drawing or painting, in Blockchain Bootstrap, Ana strives to better understand the split seconds that successively make up our virtual worlds.
Ana’s attempts to understand complex and split-second phenomena are materializations of occurrences and abstract theories typically hidden from our immediate sight. Her Dispersion Drawings, including Bubble Chamber 2 and Bubble Chamber 7, are small graphite and gesso drawings on reversed drafting film that are comprised of light dots, lines, and spirals on darker backgrounds. These delicate works, rendered in grey tones, map out subatomic activity ignited inside bubble chambers, an obsolete technology used to detect electrically charged particles. The chambers contain liquid heated to a level that allows bubbles to form, and their movements are mapped using a large-format film camera. In keeping with Ana’s interest in deconstructing binary theories, quantum mechanics opposes earlier models that describe subatomic structures solely as particles. The dispersion drawings serve as a map or materialization of the abstract theory.
The dispersion drawings extend to astronomical activity only detectable via high-powered telescopes. Crab Nebula is a 24 x 24 inch gesso and graphite drawing on reversed drafting film mounted on panel. Scattered white marks move forward and backward against a dark background or universe to unveil the ongoing process of a supernova exploding and dispersing into space. Once again, in her quest to better understand the world through the process of making, Ana draws our attention to that which occurs, but escapes our vision.
As our studio visit came to an end, I asked Ana if she has always been drawn to the unseen. Describing herself as a chatty child, she recounted one particularly talkative day at the age of four when her grandfather suggested, “Ana, why don’t you try to draw silence?” Ana stayed with that drawing for a long time, illustrating the silence her grandfather sought. She smiled and let me know, “My grandfather held on to the drawing and I was able to see it as an adult. I guess I’m still trying to draw silence.”
Ana’s mixed-media paintings and drawings will be on exhibit in “Everything Counts” at Kitchen Table GallerySeptember 20 to October 6th, 2019. You’re invited to the Opening Reception Friday, September 20, 2019, 6:00 to 9:00 pm.
Ana Vizcara Rankin is an Uruguayan American artist based in Philadelphia. She holds an MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and a BA in art history from Temple University. Her work has been exhibited internationally and throughout the United States, including at The Brandywine River Museum of Art and the Embassy of Uruguay in Washington DC. Ana is the recipient of numerous awards including the Judy McGregor Caldwell Purchase Prize, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Essie Baron Memorial Award, Temple University, the Billikopf Award, Temple University, the Gundersheimer Merit Award, Temple University, and 1st Prize Sister Cities International, Stillwater, OK. Her work is held in international public, corporate, and private collections. You can learn more about Ana and her art at avrankin.com.
Thank you to Paula Cahill for the content of this post.
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2019 Annual Autumn Invitational at Off the Wall Gallery at Dirty Frank’s
The annual AUTUMN INVITATIONAL, which officially opens THIS THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 7-10 PM, is one of our favorite shows. For good reason.
By showcasing the artists who have achieved notable success over the past year, measured by sales and jury awards, it welcomes back artists who are truly fan favorites. And with this year’s edition in particular, it gives us a more in-depth look at the work of three exceptional artists:
* This marks the fourth time CAROL TASHJIAN has shown her work in our space. Across different media and subject matters, a common thread has emerged: a disciplined approach to her craft, which strips away the extraneous in favor of essence. When Carol has shown one or two works, viewers sometimes have to seek out the quiet refuge of her art. This time, with 19 works, we are happily immersed in her approach, with the litho crayon rubbings of trees on the right side of the Wall practically creating a meditative arboretum of sorts (to the extent that’s possible at Dirty Frank’s!).
* For WILD TYPE, aka, ORI ROE, the Invitational marks a third turn at OFF THE WALL and this time is indeed the charm, with 13 works that, as with Carol, finally create a critical mass and enable us to enter her unique worlds at the intersection of science and art. Wild Type takes her nom d’artiste from a wild-type strain — there are ori sequences in the mitochondrial DNA of such a mutated strain; similarly, Wild Type’s art-making practice applies fundamentals of organic chemistry to create “worlds with X, Y and Z coordinate space,” and to begin answering such deep questions as “What does it mean to exist in space?”
* As we count down, RUSTY EVELAND is returning for just the second time, after a tour de force debut in BREAKTHROUGHS FOR SHEILA. His art runs a wide gamut. Across eight pieces, spanning figure studies, an animated short projected in our 3D space, and mixed-media and found-object assemblages, Rusty never aspires to Carol’s introspection or Wild Type’s exploration but rather embraces an energy and enthusiasm that naturally draws audiences into his work.
* And it’s worth noting that while this show’s headliner is usually the winner of the Mary-Rowe Memorial Jury Prize, last year’s honoree, LINDSEY WAVREK, will next be on the Wall this coming March and April as a MARY LIZ FELLOW, the highest honor we bestow on any artist in our community.
We look forward to seeing you THURSDAY EVENING, and for those of you who would like to transcend mere attendance and become a PARTICIPATING ARTIST at our next Opening Reception, on November 17, please make sure to pick up an entry form for UNDER $100, our upcoming JURIED EXHIBITION.
We are accepting entries for the show — which invites any and all media and subject matters, priced at $95 or less — now through October 17. Take the top prize and you’ll not only be in that show; per the above note about Lindsey Wavrek, you’ll automatically be part of the 2020 AUTUMN INVITATIONAL!
Thank you to Togo Travalia, Manager, OFF THE WALL GALLERY at Dirty Frank’s for the content of this post. (He’s a really good writer!)
NE Corner, 13th & Pine Streets, Philadelphia, PA, 19107
“Boundless and Bare…” is a two-photographer exhibition, sponsored by Pete Checchia Photography and Arts, 733 N’ 2nd Street, in Philadelphia, PA, featuring the works of Rachel Zimmerman, Harry Byrne and curated by Jon Manteau.
The exhibition opens, On “First Friday”, October 4th with an artist reception the following day, Saturday, October 5th. Pete Checchia Photography and Arts, 733 N 2nd St.Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The title of the exhibition comes from the Percy Shelley sonnet “Ozymandias”. In the poem, a traveler describes a ruined statue, of a once mighty king, Ozymandias. The theme of the poem, is a meditation on the hubris of kings, empires and their inevitable decline, the fragility of human power and the effects of time. We are bearing witness to a similar decline in the United States. Our once “Mighty Union” seems to be slowly, inevitably eroding from outside forces and from internal. Our “Made in America” industrial giants are no longer a force in the world markets. Our once thriving plants, factories and workshops, long ago abandoned and vacated, left to the elements and to decay. Our old forms of entertainment, amusement parks, drive-in movie theaters, circuses, to name a few, replaced by that which is digital. Jobs lost to other countries and automation, our own workforce left to rot…or to rust across the rustbelt. If the creation of a structure represents the ideals and values of a time, so too does its subsequent abandonment and destruction.
In this exhibition, Rachel Zimmerman’s photographs of the “Altherholt Machine Shop”, through her lens, bear witness to remnants of “what was”, like some eerie time capsule. Our craftmanship and tools for the job, surrounded by aging infrastructure. The inanimate “tools of the trade” ghost-like without the people trained in their use. Harry Byrne’s photographs document the remnants of what once was or “the ghosts of”. In his images of antiquated modes of transportation (trolleys) and outdated “Americana”, an amusement park, one can almost feel the presence of all of the thousands of human beings who at one time or another passed through, on their way to work, home or for a family vacation or afternoon out. The Six Flags Amusement Park outside of New Orleans, vacated after Hurricane Katrina is now covered in weeds, rust and peeling paint. The park itself no longer inhabited by people but by apex predators-alligators and wild boar.
Harry Byrne is an attorney based just outside of Philadelphia, PA. He has written and lectured extensively on family law topics. He enjoys photographing urban decay and abandoned sites of all types and manner and is interested in themes of the transitory, the inevitable collapse and the pretensions of greatness: a favorite poem is Shelley’s ”Ozymandias”. More importantly, urban exploration and photography are as far as he can get from the strictures and formalities of practicing law.
Rachel Zimmerman is actively working in the visual arts. She is the Founder and Executive Director of InLiquid Art and Design, based in Philadelphia, PA. She is a working mother, married with a 14-year-old son, Ivan, and a 12-year-old daughter, Sasha. She doesn’t get as much time to do her own artwork as she would like. When she does get the opportunity, they are usually precious moments while traveling, where she can explore color, tone, light and composition in the ordinary. She has always been interested in spaces without people. At the moment, there is a timelessness that does not become dated by the conventions of style. Over the years, she has been influenced by the photography of-Paul Strand, Edward Weston, Walker Evans, Aaron Siskind and Robert Frank…” The Americans” in their filmic quality and their exploration of the unfamiliar place.
Guest Curator Jon Manteau is a visual artist, musician, maker of many things, college professor and curator. He’s been a working artist for over 35 years. He attended Parsons School of Design, The New School for Social Research, The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and received his Master of Fine Art, from the University of Delaware, in 1996. He has taught for over 25 years, at the University of Delaware, Temple/Tyler University and is currently an Associate Professor at Penn State University/Brandywine, where he has been building their studio-art program since 2010. He’s exhibited nationally and his works are in collections, throughout the United States and Canada. He’s curated multiple exhibitions. He’s lived and worked in New York City, Brooklyn and Hoboken. He’s a “native son” of Philadelphia, where he lives and has his studio-practice.
Thank you to Jon Manteau for the content of this post.
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POST20: Open Studios Coming this Fall October 12: South | October 13: Northeast | October 19: Northwest | October 20: West
The Center for Emerging Visual Artists celebrates the 20th Anniversary of Philadelphia Open Studio Tours (POST) this October. We are proud to be a part of a community that has empowered artists through this program for the past two decades and we look forward to many more ahead of us. Fostering meaningful interaction between artists and the public, POST promotes a greater awareness and appreciation for the creative minds that make Philadelphia a vibrant place to live, work, and visit.
Philadelphia Open Studio Tours is the largest open studio tour in the region featuring hundreds of artists and community spaces—workshops, galleries, etc.—each year. A behind-the-scenes look into a day in the life of an artist, POST is an approachable and easy to navigate, self-guided tour taking place over two weekends. Each day offers the public an opportunity to explore creative spaces (free of charge) in a unique portion of the city. Participating studios and workspaces will be open from NOON to 6PM on assigned tour days.
Activities include: studio visits, hands-on demonstrations, workshops, artist talks, discussions, receptions, guided tours, featured exhibitions and more. No other open studio event in the area provides such a rich and diverse cultural experience for the public.
Get involved with POST20 today! Registration, advertising sales and sponsorship options are available at philaopenstudios.org. To learn more about POST contact Michael Mergen at firstname.lastname@example.org or (215) 546-7775 ext. 13
Tweet: We Made It! Philadelphia Open Studio Tours celebrates 20 years this October. Learn how you can get involved at philaopenstudios.org #POST20#POSTPHL Image: Syd Carpenter in studio, Photo by Matthew Bender www.PhilaOpenStudios.org
Featured Events POST20 Kickoff Party @ Sonesta, Sonesta Hotel – 1800 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA, Thursday, September 26, 2019: 6 to 9pm. Join the Center for Emerging Visual Artists (CFEVA) at the Sonesta Hotel to kick off the 20th year of Philadelphia Open Studio Tours. Mix and mingle with POST artists, partners, and collectors. Learn more about who you should visit during the open studio tours! www.sonesta.com
25th Anniversary Philadelphia Furniture Show
23rd Street Armory – 22 S 23rd Street, Philadelphia, PA Preview Party: Friday, October 4: 6 to 9pm, Saturday, October 5: 10am to 6pm Sunday, October 6: 10am to 5pm
CFEVA is partnering with the Philadelphia Furniture Show (PFS) which showcases exceptional artisan quality furniture and is the longest running exhibition of its kind. For 24 years PFS has cultivated an amazing array of handmade furniture and furnishings. From handcrafted tables for your home or office to rugs to fine furnishings, they showcase the finest artisan heirlooms.
The Center for Emerging Visual Artists – 237 South 18th Street, Suite 3A, Philadelphia, PA October 7 to November 15
Artist Talk: Saturday, October 12: Noon to 1pm Closing Reception: Thursday, November 14: 5 to 7pm.
John Schlesinger is a veteran photographer turned sculptor. He has won a Rome Prize, a Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, a Peter S. Reed Foundation Award and two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships. His work has been reviewed in Art in America, the Village Voice, Aperture, Bomb Magazine, Art News, and the New York Times. Collected broadly, Schlesinger’s output can be found at the Walker Art Center, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Houston Museum of Art, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Hamburg Kunsthalle, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Brooklyn Museum, and the MOMA. www.johnschlesinger.net