Jedediah Morfit: Adapting to Change A solo exhibition of new work by sculptor Jedediah Morfit
Paradigm Gallery + Studio is pleased to present Adapting to Change, a solo exhibition of new sculptural works by Jedediah Morfit, opening* May 29, 2020 and remaining on view through June 27, 2020. Known for using traditional techniques to create contemporary interpretations of historical forms, Morfit explored new digital fabrication processes specifically for this exhibition. The resulting busts are raw and vibrant, but still preserves Morfit’s signature precision.
Morfit’s artistic practice subverts traditional figurative sculpture and mirrors his own lived, contemporary experience. By combining old-world techniques with modern material, his past works created a juxtaposition between old and new, sculpture and sculptor. That tension is still at the heart of Morfit’s practice, but it has evolved to reflect new artistic technologies. In Adapting to Change, the muted busts Morfit is known for have gone through a total contemporary, bordering on futuristic, transformation. Digitally crafted, embedded with mixed media, dosed in color, manipulated, these works are a major departure for the artist. Unlike his last exhibition at Paradigm in 2017, the pieces in Adapting to Change are not about a modeler’s sensibility, but rather focuses on the intricacies of process, color and material.
While Morfit’s new process uses digital tools, there is still evidence of the artist’s touch. The final pieces, while incredibly detailed, do not look manufactured or automated in any way. While many of the pieces in the exhibition started with existing 3D scans of Greek and Italian busts, they were realized through a combination of 3D fabrication tools and traditional modeling and casting techniques. Many of the pieces are embedded with found objects, like plastic beads and cake doilies, which act as a part of the piece’s DNA; exploited for their texture and bright colors. Morfit takes the intact busts, cuts them up and puts them (almost) back together again. The ensuing works are presented slightly off kilter, hanging upside down or teetering off an edge.
The works in Adapting to Change are intended to look and feel disjointed. Countless hours were spent composing the busts, only to be deconstructed, modified, rebuilt, and reimagined. The shifting process mimics Morfit’s own sense of having lost and scrambling to keep his balance, as the ground shifts beneath his feet.
*Due to COVID-19, “Adapting to Change” will be on view at https://www.paradigmarts.org/ until further notice. During the exhibition, Paradigm hopes to be able to allow a limited number of viewing appointments, but this is dependent on the current policies of the CDC, WHO and the Governor and Mayor’s offices. Paradigm Gallery’s number one priority is the safety and wellness of their visitors. For live updates on the exhibition and appointments, please visit the Paradigm website and socials. For any questions on Paradigm’s current policies, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Jedediah Morfit Jedediah Morfit received his MFA in sculpture from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2005, where he was awarded the Sylvia Leslie Herman Young Scholarship and the Award Of Excellence. He was a Fellow at the Center For Emerging Visual Artists from 2007-2009, and received a New Jersey Council On the Arts Fellowship for sculpture in 2009. He received the Louise Kahn Award for Sculpture from the Woodmere Art Museum in 2006, and was awarded the Dexter Jones Award for Bas Relief from the National Sculpture Society in 2011 and 2012. In
2013, he was commissioned to create a series of new work for Artlantic:Wonder, which was named one of the 50 best public art projects in the Public Art Network’s Year in Review. His work has been shown in numerous group and solo exhibitions, and featured in The New York Times, Sculpture Review, Artnews and American Craft Magazine, as well as on NJTV’s State Of the Arts. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and three (count ‘em, three) children.
About Paradigm Gallery Paradigm Gallery + Studio® exhibits contemporary artwork from around the world with a focus on Philadelphia-based artists. Established February 2010, the gallery began as a project between co-founders and curators, Jason Chen and Sara McCorriston, as a space in which to create artwork, to exhibit the work of their peers, and to invite the members of the community to create and collect in a welcoming gallery setting. Now open 10 years, the gallery still aims to welcome all collectors, from first time to lifelong, and continues to support accessible work that welcomes a wide audience.
Location: 746 S 4th St Philadelphia, PA 19147
Thank you to Madison Fishman for the content of this post.
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Watercoloring isn’t just a thing for the artists: it is straight-up therapeutic regardless of whether you have any talent or not (by the way, did you know that talent can be learned?). But if you’re serious about learning a thing or two about watercoloring, even if it’s just for creating better projects for your own personal satisfaction, here are some watercolor techniques you have to try.
This technique basically describes a monochrome wash that allows you to create the painting’s first layer. Then, you will add more layers of transparent washes over this initial one, creating luminous effects that seem very real.
You can use shades of green, blue, or purple to help you get started. Paint within the outline of your subject, making sure that you use light brush strokes and take into account shade and light as well. The entire technique is based on using a single color, which allows you to focus on the shape a little bit more.
Make sure that you use a soft brush for this technique. When you’re done underpainting and want to move on to creating the next layer, make sure you leave it to dry first. This will prevent muddy colors.
There are basically two types of watercolor washes, dry and wet:
If you want to create a dry wash, you will have to use a round or a flat brush and an angled surface (if you have an easel, absolutely use it for this technique). Choose a color that you like and mix it with plenty of water. Soak your brush in the color as much as you can, then use it to draw a steady horizontal line on the top side of your canvas/paper. There will be water dripping to the bottom edge of your line, so you’ll have to quickly dip your brush in color again and use it to make another stoke below the first one. You want to make sure that the top edge of the second line and the bottom edge of the first line overlap. You want to repeat the process until you’ve reached the bottom side of your paper. When you finish your final stroke, blot the brush on a piece of paper towel. With the dry tip, absorb any excess water that might have dripped to the bottom edge of your last stroke. Leave the paper to dry before removing it from the easel.
Wet washes are a bit more interesting to make. While very similar to dry wash, in this particular case you will have to moisten the paper before creating the strokes. To do that, dip a clean brush in water and brush the entire surface of the paper/canvas. When you’re done, simply create the lines of color, just like you did for the previously-shown technique.
Let’s assume that you’ve painted a basic item, like a fruit. You will have to leave the paint to dry, and then you can add layers that will add dimension to your painting, but also color variations. Leaving the painting to dry before adding layers will prevent colors from blending together.
Simple paint the second color on top of the first one, but make sure that you avoid using too much water, or else the base layer will get moist and the colors will blend. If you want your second layer to have less severe lines, simply dip the brush in water and use gentle stroke to feather the line.
You might have experienced these wet paint spreads that look like really abstract flowers. Those are called watercolor blooms, and they’re actually a pretty cool technique that you might want to know about, for future references and projects. What actually happens is that the original pigment spreads out when you use wet paint on a damp wash.
If you want to know how to make these, it’s pretty simple. Create a colorful wet wash and leave it dry for a few minutes. Grab your brush and soak it in water. Touch the paper with the tip of the brush, allowing the liquid to create the blooms.
Yes, it is actually possible to remove pigment from the painting, which can help correct a mistake or help you add more white space to your painting. The technique you have to apply depends on the state of the watercolor:
If you want to remove wet watercolors, you will have to blot your brush and use it to lift color from the paper. What happens is that the damp brush will absorb a lot of water, so make sure that you remove it quickly to make sure it picks up the color from the painting. Some prefer to use a paper towel to remove the color, but that won’t render the best results in all cases (works best when you want less controlled white space).
Dry watercolor is a bit more complicated to remove because you’ll actually have to use an eraser to do it. First off, water the area and then use a dry brush or a piece of paper towel to lift the color. Then you should be able to finish the job with an eraser.
Gradients will always be the kings of colored PowerPoint presentation backgrounds, so why not learn how to paint them as well? Needless to say, color blending and gradients add a stunning visual effect to your paintings.
To master this technique, you will have to add watercolor to a wet paint surface. Right next to it, you can add a different color or perhaps a more intense version of the hue. Since the paints are both wet, they will likely blend in together to create the gradient. The wetness of the paint will determine the gradient result.
Gradient works differently when you’re starting off with an intense color and want to end up with a more transparent one. Adding more color won’t do it. Instead, you’ll have to add water. This technique is called feathering, and it goes like this: you will have to start by adding strong color to your painting. Then, by using a wet brush, diffuse that color in order to create the gradients effect.
Lines are an important part of every painting, but that really depends on the style you’re going for. You can easily create lines using watercolor because you can control their shape and thickness when you have the right set of brushes. To practice this technique, create a bunch of lines that are placed next to one another.
If you’re looking to obtain the hatching or cross-hatching effect, you can either make these lines perpendicular or parallel to each other. Those of you that want to obtain clear lines, can use a pointed brush with color and just a little bit of water. The amount of water you use will determine if your lines are crisp or flowy.
This is a really fun watercoloring technique to try because it allows you to get messy. They can help create paintings filled with energy, but it’s also a technique that’s more difficult to control compared to others where you basically just draw using your brush. There are three ways to obtain the splattering effect:
The tapping method requires that you fill your paintbrush with pigment, and then gently tap the brush above your paper. This technique is useful for those who want to cover a lot of ground with this particular effect, but it does make paint difficult to control.
The flicking method is all about getting your hands dirty. You fill your paintbrush with pigment and hold the brush so that its tip points at the paper. Using your other hand, run your fingers on the edge of the brush. As you do so, your finger will pull back the bristles, and the paint is launched onto the canvas when the bristles are released.
For a more controlled result, you can always use a stencil. Grab a piece of paper and then cut shapes inside it. Place the stencil over the canvas and splatter the paint using either one of the two techniques mentioned above.
Stippling is the creation of several dots of paint in a concentrated area. The texture itself is fascinating and can be used for drawing leaves on tree branches, for instance. There are two approaches to this technique: you can either create overlapping dots for a freeform effect, or you can have a neat and tidy group of freshly-painted dots.
Depending on what you want the final result to look like, you can use a wet brush for a looser look, or so with a dry one that clearly points out the dots. Also depending on what you’re looking to stipple, make sure you use a brush that’s of an appropriate size.
This technique is defined by a series of brush strokes and irregular motions that can be used to make layers and lines of paint. It is the equivalent of scribbling if you will. Practicing this technique is all about simply drawing without trying to follow any rules or patterns.
Using a sponge to paint can actually render some very interesting and cool results. This is an even better method to try if you want to create dense tree foliage, for example. All you have to do it drip the sponge in paint and then press it against the paper.
Creating clean edges can be very complicated if you’ve yet to master a steady hand in your watercoloring endeavors. Not to worry, there is a trick that can help you and it is called tape. You can simply add tape to create the imaginary edges of your object, or even at the edges of the painting itself
You can use this technique any time you want to create hard edges, but you’ll have to make sure that the tape you use isn’t going to rip the paper apart when you’re trying to remove it. To prevent that from happening, you can buy painter’s tape. Make sure that you only remove the tape once the painting is dry, otherwise, you’re bound to end up with less elegant edges.
Once you’ve moved on to more complicated projects, you’ll find yourself wanting to create dark details to finish off your work. That is precisely the trick that will get you the best results: leave the darkest colors and details for the end of the project.
Keep in mind that watercolor painting is a lot about using transparent medium, so your edges will be light until you’re ready to finish things off with dark curves, lines, and details.
This technique is perfect for many different drawings, and especially when you’re looking to draw water-like effects. Similar to blooms, backwashing requires that you use a wet wash of color and a tilted surface. You want your color to drift to one side of your painting, after which you can lie the paper flat. The effect will cause the water to sleep upwards as the water dries, creating a stunning visual effect.
If you’ve decided to try a bunch of these new watercolor techniques, keep in mind to stock on some of the prerequisites that will make your life easier, such as erasers, pencils, and paper towels. When you have everything close to you, it will be much easier to fix mistakes if it comes to that point.
Mastering watercolor techniques isn’t just about practicing your skill, but also about working with a variety of different brushes and quality paints, so make sure you stock up on those as well.
Thank you to Nicole Garcia of MostCraft for sharing the content of this post. Thank you to Candace Osmond, the author, for the fine writing. Thank you to Mostcraft for sharing their content with DoNArTNeWs. www.MostCraft.com
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney released a revised budget for fiscal year 2021 in response to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic on May 1, 2020. Businesses have been closed and workers have been off the job for weeks, reducing the city’s tax revenue significantly. The Office of the Department of Finance projects that without any changes the city would have a $649 million deficit next year. The city cannot legally operate with a deficit. We understand that hard decisions needed to be made and that cut backs and program budget reductions were inevitable. However, to completely eliminate an office that supports a vital industry in the city of Philadelphia, especially one that has been hit very hard during this crisis, is short sighted and should be reversed.
In the new budget, the Office of Arts, Culture, and the Creative Economy was budgeted $0 dollars, down from approximately $4.4 million, effectively closing the office. Most of that budgeted money goes directly to the Philadelphia Cultural Fund, which gives grants to hundreds of non-profits in the city.
The presentation of the budget by the Mayor is only the first step. It still must be approved and voted on by City Council before July 1.
According to the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, the arts and cultural sector generates $4.1 billion in economic impact annually and supports 55,000 jobs. That creates $1.3 billion in household income and $224.3 million in state and local taxes.* The creative economy includes but is not limited to artists, musicians, painters, sculptors, dancers, actors, filmmakers, graphic designers, venues, theaters, museums, galleries, bartenders, waiters, chefs, box office workers, bouncers, sound engineers, tech crews, art/dance/recording studios, and all employed by those entities, as well as support industries such as accountants, lawyers, hotels, ride shares, parking, public relations, marketing, and media. On the other side there are the fans, patrons, concert goers, theater attendees, and more who support the arts and make the purchases.
Most of this industry has been shut down during this crisis and needs support now more than ever to rebound during the economic recovery.
The Office of Arts, Culture, and the Creative Economy’s mission is to close the gap in access to quality cultural experiences and creative expression through the support and promotion of arts, culture and the creative industries; connecting Philadelphians to enriching, arts-infused experiences; linking local artists and cultural organizations to resources and opportunities; and preserving the City’s public art assets. http://creativephl.org
The OACCE is also responsible for the Music Industry Task Force, the Mayor’s Cultural Advisory Council, Art in City Hall, all of Philadelphia’s public art, and funding the Philadelphia Cultural Fund which gives grants to numerous Philadelphia arts and culture non-profits.
Philadelphia is a vibrant city teeming with culture that has been driving our identity for hundreds of years. The art created in Philadelphia reaches well beyond its borders and has touched the world and helps drive our other industries through attention and attraction to our area. As we look to rebound and recover from this crisis, there are certainly sectors that are essential to our health and safety and must be prioritized. However, unless we take care to ensure our cultural health is also revived, we risk losing our spirit.
Philadelphia’s creative economy deserves proper representation in City Hall. Understandably, it is likely not possible for the OACCE to be budgeted at the same level as the original budget, however, the industry’s economic impact alone justifies that the office’s budget be more than zero. We are simply asking that the City of Philadelphia Office of Arts, Culture, and the Creative Economy not be eliminated.