Category Archives: Art History

Art history.


Drew Leshko, Sacred Lands, Paradigm Gallery + StudioDrew Leshko, Penn Treaty Metals

Sacred Lands

New sculptural works by Drew Leshko

Exhibition Dates: March 23rd – May 19th, 2018

Opening Reception: March 23rd, 2018 5:30 – 10:00pm

Paradigm Gallery is pleased to present Sacred Lands an exhibition of new sculptural works by the artist Drew Leshko opening March 23rd, 2018 and remaining on view through May 19th, 2018. The exhibition’s title is a reference to Leshko’s Philadelphia neighborhood of Fishtown and its ancestral roots as the home to the indigenous Lenni-Lenape. For more than a decade Leshko painstakingly documented the rapid re-development occurring in his hometown of Philadelphia specifically the historical neighborhood of Fishtown. Although Leshko’s works are sculptural by nature, he largely considers himself a documentarian, his sculptures echoing the work of legendary documentary photographers Gordon Parks and Bernd and Hilla Becher.

Leshko is particularly attracted to overlooked and oft-neglected sites, the unremarkable
buildings which will not be preserved. With past works, Leshko’s been drawn to the
once-thriving churches that have closed their doors as parishioners have been forced to
relocate, and the small local businesses with their classical designs which are now juxtaposed
with modern slapdash renovations, as well as the facades and machines of yesteryear. His
models splendidly isolate anachronistic architecture, encouraging the viewer to consider history
through a unique prism.

Drew Leshko, Sacred Lands, Paradigm Gallery + Studio

For Sacred Lands, Leshko replicates the Kensington Soup Society, a soup kitchen which
opened in 1844 and closed in 2008; Penn Treaty Metals, a metal recycling business spanning
three generations, the name of which references William Penn’s Treaty with the Native Lenape
in 1683; and the Edward Corner Marine Merchandise Warehouse, with its hand-painted signs
providing a physical reminder of Fishtown’s waterfront history. Leshko’s sculptures will be
complemented by his small-scale reproductions of local signage (for bars, restaurants, VFW
halls, and even strip clubs), as well as vintage photographs of historical buildings courtesy of the
Philadelphia City Archives.

Drew Leshko, Sacred Lands, Paradigm Gallery + StudioYesterday’s Tavern, 2018, paper, acrylic, inkjet prints, PVC plastic, chain, wire, pastel, 12” x 1 1/2” x 11”

Leshko’s 1:12 dollhouse scale replicas are meticulously crafted, requiring 120 to 160 studio
hours to create. He begins each sculpture working from a single photograph as an image
reference, but then will discard the photograph in mid-process, relying on memory to complete
the piece. His miniatures act as singular physical documents of the buildings and businesses
which are sadly proving unsustainable. Leshko’s ongoing examination of gentrification and
historical preservation (or lack thereof), asks the timely question “in a soon-to-be-forgotten
America, what is worth preserving?”.

About Drew Leshko

Drew Leshko is a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based artist. Working from observation and
photographs, the artist painstakingly recreates everything from building facades to campers at a scale which may be familiar to some viewers as standard dollhouse spec; the treatment to
Leshko’s work is widely different. The minute detail of his work includes city detritus such as
dumpsters and pallets, which are commentary of the ideas of what is worth preserving.
Accumulations of typically overlooked details and minutiae like acid rain deposits and rust
become beautiful adornments.

Leshko’s work has been exhibited in galleries, and museums both nationally and internationally.
His work is included in permanent collections including the Dean Collection (NYC), West
Collection (Philadelphia), Iron State Development’s corporate collection (Hoboken), Urban
Nation Museum (Berlin), and many private collections throughout the world.

About Paradigm Gallery

Established February 2010, Paradigm Gallery + Studio started as a project between
co-founders and curators, Jason Chen and Sara McCorriston, to create a space to make
artwork, exhibit the work of their peers, and invite the members of the local community to make their own artwork in a welcoming gallery setting. Over the years, Paradigm Gallery + Studio has become a gallery of diverse contemporary artwork from around the world, while maintaining a focus on Philadelphia artists.

Thank you to Madison Fishman for the content of this post.

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Yehoshua Villarreal I, RACSOAIRE, Yehoshua Villarreal I, oil, acrylic, gold leaf, 96″ x 48″


Tierra, Aire, Fuego, and Agua by Yehoshua Villarreal I

Opening reception Thursday, March 15 at RACSO Art Gallery

WHAT: Philadelphia’s leading Latin American Art gallery is premiering a new
series of paintings by award-winning artist Yehoshua Villarreal I . Elementos |
Tierra, Aire, Fuego, and Agua explores the subjects of earth, air, fire, and water in
Villarreal’s unique style of figurative images and structural compositions which
complement and complete each other in this series.

Yehoshua Villarreal I was born in Venezuela and moved to Miami in 1996.
Villarreal’s paintings are in museums, private and corporate collections
and he exhibits internationally.

“Yehoshua’s work is an exercise in provocative juxtaposition – the
imaginative and allegorical subjects challenge the precision and control of
his techniques,” shared RACSO Gallery owner Oscar Villamil.

RACSO Art Gallery represents local and international Latin artists.

WHO: Available for interviews and photographs – Miami based artist Yehoshua Villarreal I and RACSO Art Gallery Owner Oscar Villamil

WHEN: Thursday, March 15 | Opening Reception 6:00pm – 8:00pm

WHERE: RACSO Art Gallery | 1935 East Passyunk Avenue | Philadelphia, Pa
Exhibition Dates and Times | March 15 – April 15, 2018
Monday andTuesday 10:00AM – 5:00PM | Wednesday through Friday 10:00AM –
9:00PM Saturday 4:00 – 9:00PM | Sunday by appointment at 215.735.3515

RACSO Art Gallery exclusively represents Latin American artists. Dealing in
emerging local and international contemporary Latin American art as well as the
‘Modern Masters’ of Latin American art including Botero and Villegas. Located at
the gateway to East Passyunk Avenue in the heart of South Philadelphia,
collectors can experience a range of works including paintings, drawings, prints,
sculpture, and photography. RACSO Art Gallery celebrates the beauty of the Latin
American art spirit with rotating exhibitions throughout the year.


Thank you to Tara Theune Davis for the content of this post.

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Diane Burko, Rowan University Art GalleryColumbia Glacier Lines of Recession 1980-2005

Vast and Vanishing


Diane Burko uses art to examine monumental geological phenomena

GLASSBORO, NJ – Exploring the confluence of arts, science, and activism Rowan University Art Gallery showcases the work of environmental artist Diane Burko in Vast and Vanishing. On display from March 8 – April 21.

Diane Burko’s artistic practice is at the intersection of art, science, and activism focused on climate change. For over a decade, she has been documenting glacial recession in large-scale paintings and photographs developed in collaboration with scientists, studying their research, and utilizing their data. She is especially committed to understanding and incorporating climate science and sees this intersection as crucial to her artistic development. Her activism led her to make research expeditions to the ice fields of Antarctica, Greenland, Patagonia, and Svalbard where she documented and collected data for her work.

By employing many of the methods used by climate scientists such as recession lines, satellite imaging, and repeat photography, Burko’s research, coupled with her experiences, are translated into monumental paintings and photographs. The results are emotionally expansive works that function as a visual record of glacial recession, a call to action, and metaphor for the socio-political discourse on climate change. Curated by Mary SalvanteVast and Vanishing comprises works that capture the inexhaustible dichotomies and the inescapable tension that Diane witnessed in these extreme frozen environments.

Diane Burko, Rowan University Art GalleryOrtophoto Kongsfjorden 1869 _1990 (after NPI)

Brooklyn-born. Philadelphia-based Burko focuses her work on monumental geological phenomenon. Since 2006 her practice has been at the intersection of art and science, devoted to the urgent issues of climate change. Her current work reflects expeditions to the three largest ice fields in the world. She has sailed around Svalbard with artists and also spent four days in Ny-Alesund with scientists from the Norwegian Polar Institute. She has visited Greenland’s Ilulissat and Eqi Sermia glaciers and first traveled to the Antarctic Peninsula in 2013, returning in January 2015, and explored the Patagonian ice field of Argentina. Burko’s expeditions can be followed at

Aside from showing her art, Burko has gained attention from the scientific community, often speaking on how the arts can communicate science. She is an affiliate of INSTAAR, and has participated in numerous conferences such as those hosted by the Geological Society of America and American Geophysical Union. She is committed to public engagement, using both facts and images to make the invisible visual and visceral.

Diane Burko, Rowan University Art GalleryPetermann Calving

Rowan University Art Gallery is located at 301 High Street West. Free 2-hour public parking is available in the Mick Drive Parking Garage across the street from the gallery. Eynon Ballroom is located in Chamberlain Student Center on the university campus. Admission to the gallery, discussion, and receptions is free and open to the public. Regular gallery hours are Monday – Wednesday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Thursday – Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Directions can be found on the gallery website. For more information, call 856-256-4521 or visit

Support for programming at Rowan University Art Galleries is made possible by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Thank you to Mary Salvante for the content of this post.

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Unwilling: Exercises in Melancholy


HAVERFORD, Pa.- What if we saw sadness not as a giving up or giving in, but a getting out? What if, instead of being seen as a passive pain, feeling deep sorrow was understood to be an act of resistance? What if, given the current political and cultural moment in which so many feel ignored, maligned, or repudiated by the systems and people in power, mourning was not just an understandable reception, but a useful action against those systems? A new exhibit in Haverford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery, opening March 23, showcases the work of five artists from across different media to grapple with such questions of power, agency, and melancholy.

Unwilling: Exercises in Melancholy, curated by Vanessa Kwan and Kimberly Phillips, proposes a re-consideration of melancholia as defined through our contemporary condition. Resisting its historical definition as an affliction that creates disorder or inactivity, this exhibition reimagines passive sadness as a powerful refusal, a conscious (or unconscious) “standing aside,” a willful production of generative failures and resistant potencies. Each of the five contributing artists begins with the idea that outside the boundaries of “contentment” resides a potent flourishing. Unwilling is a resistance and a proposition: it responds to the profound cultural reckoning we are witnessing in this moment in time, as the boundaries and exclusions of state-defined citizenship become increasingly fraught.

The exhibition crosses disciplinary boundaries. Dance artist Justine A. Chambers explores choreographies of resistance, growing out of a studious and embodied interpretation of all the minor gestures on the way to hands raised in surrender. Sculpture- and performance-based artist Mike Bourscheid mines absurdities in relation to our cultural preoccupations with masculinist productivity, while social practice artist Ginger Brooks Takahashi works to create new networks of value in the production of food, drink, and community. (Her piece in the exhibit is a collaboratively created-and consumed-beer.) The “weeping” willow is at the center of media artist Noa Giniger‘s multi-faceted take on reversals of sadness and the refusal to succeed, and poet and critic Billy-Ray Belcourt positions mourning as a defining aspect of an active and resistant subject and proposes that the future must address this subject head on.

Unwilling: Exercises in Melancholy will be on view March 23 through April 27 at Haverford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. To celebrate the exhibit’s opening, there will be several events during its first week. On March 22, ahead of the official opening, a roundtable with four of the featured artists and the two curators will be held from 4:30 to -6:30 p.m. in the College’s new Visual Culture, Arts, and Media (VCAM) building, room 201. On March 23, Justine A. Chambers will perform an all-day, campus-wide, site-specific commission, ten thousand times and one hundred more. And later that day, at 4:30 p.m., there will be a talk with the curators followed by a reception at 5:30 p.m., featuring Ginger Brooks Takahashi’s Wyrt Blod Gruyt, a custom-made beer commissioned specifically for the exhibit and brewed in collaboration with Meredith Rebar Williams and Home Brewed Events. For further event details:

Unwilling: Exercises in Melancholy is made possible with support from the John B. Hurford ’60 Center for the Arts and Humanities. The exhibition is organized in conjunction with the Hurford Center’s 2017-18 faculty seminar “The Arts of Melancholy,” which is led by John B. Whitehead Professor of Humanities and Professor of Music Richard Freedman.

Overseen by the John B. Hurford ’60 Center for the Arts and Humanities and located in Whitehead Campus Center, the Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery is open Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., and Wednesdays until 8 p.m. For more information, contact Matthew Seamus Callinan, associate director of the Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery and campus exhibitions, at (610) 896-1287 or, or visit the exhibitions program website:

Haverford College is located at 370 Lancaster Avenue, Haverford, Pa., 19041

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PICTURE-PERFECT GARDENSSet between two flowing fountains and tree-lined pathways, the James A. Michener Art Museum’s Pfundt Sculpture Garden captures the essence of Bucks County’s rolling terrain. Credit: Photo by B. Krist for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®


Art Often Comes With A Side of Floral Beauty In Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA – Throughout the Philadelphia region, art galleries and museums sit amid colorful gardens, quiet woodlands and serene meadows that accentuate the art found in both indoor and outdoor galleries. Here’s a look at some of the region’s museums and attractions that celebrate beauty inside and out:

  • Abington Art Center  This vibrant cultural organization, known for its summer concert series, occupies part of the 27 acres of historic Alverthorpe Manor in Montgomery County. Inside, three galleries show as many as six regional and national art exhibitions annually. Outside, Katasura trees dot a meandering walkway through Sculpture Park, which is open and free to the public 365 days a year. 515 Meetinghouse Road, Jenkintown(215)
  • The Barnes Arboretum & Foundation In suburban Merion, the Barnes Foundation’s 12-acre arboretum is astonishingly diverse for its size, with more than 2,500 varieties of woody and herbaceous plants, many rare. The arboretum opens to visitors May to September. The Barnes Foundation on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway honors its horticultural legacy with landscaped lawns, trees, park, fountain, contemplative walkways and outdoor seating on its 4.5-acre site. That location’s Garden Restaurant also features outdoor courtyard dining, while internal gardens throughout the building encourage visitors to imagine they are strolling directly into the landscapes they’re admiring on the walls. Arboretum, 300 N. Latch’s Lane, Merion, (215) 278-7200; Foundation, 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway(215)  
  • Brandywine River Museum of Art  It takes just one glimpse of the Virginia bluebells, Cardinal flowers and holly and bayberry bushes that border this onetime gristmill to understand why this landscape has served as muse for so many local artists. The Brandywine River Museum is internationally known for its unparalleled collection of works by three generations of Wyeths and its fine collection of American art. Outside, visitors can join guided walks through the wildflower and native plant gardens, which were dedicated by Lady Bird Johnson and, during the annual plant sale on Mother’s Day weekend, can take home seeds cultivated right on the grounds, as well as lovely in-bloom plants. 1 Hoffman’s Mill Road, Chadds Ford(610)  
  • James A. Michener Art Museum This Bucks County destination is home to the Edgar N. Putman Event Pavilion, a 2,700-square-foot indoor-outdoor space designed by architecture firm KieranTimberlake. The pavilion showcases museum programs—jazz nights, lectures, lively family events—within an elegant, all-glass structure that extends into the Patricia Pfundt Sculpture Garden. Inside, the museum’s eight galleries accommodate special exhibitions and a 3,000-piece permanent collection, including many Pennsylvania impressionist paintings that capture the essence of the county’s rolling terrain. 138 S. Pine Street(215) 340-9800, Doylestown,  
  • Penn Museum – After viewing the impressive collection of international art and artifacts inside this historic University of Pennsylvania museum, visitors can relax in two magnificent gardens. The Warden Garden, now wheelchair accessible, features a classic koi pool, expansive lawns and mosaics created by Louis Comfort Tiffany. The Stoner Courtyard, built on the philosophy that places for nature are necessary in our built-up world, includes sculptural pieces by A.S. Calder, a cobblestone walkway and a beautiful marble fountain. Inside, guests marvel at ancient objects including African and Native American masks, Maya sculpture and Egyptian mummies. 3260 South Street(215)
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art Best known for its international exhibitions and world-renowned collections of more than 240,000 works, the crown jewel of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway is more than a museum. It’s also the unofficial gateway to Fairmount Park. The museum’s bi-level sculpture garden, with its combination of terraces, lawns, flora and water features, showcases an ever-changing sculpture collection overlooking Fairmount Park, the Schuylkill River, the four-acre Azalea Garden and the grand, neoclassical Fairmount Water Works. Works on display include large-scale pieces by Claes Oldenburg Ellsworth Kelly and Sol LeWitt. 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway(215)
  • Rodin Museum Movie-theater magnate, philanthropist and Rodin collector Jules Mastbaum, known for his eye for elegance, hired architects Paul Cret and Jacques Gréber to create this jewel-box museum. The venue’s intimate settings are perfect for taking in the extensive Rodin collection, one of the greatest single collections of his work outside Paris. Visitors seem to enjoy the front garden’s reflecting pool and tapestry of magnolia trees, shrubs and colorful flowers—some dating back to the 1920s—as much as they do The Thinker and Eternal Springtime. 2151 Benjamin Franklin Parkway(215)  
  • Second Bank of the United States – Inside this Parthenon-like structure is a first-rate collection of approximately 200 historic portraits of Founding Fathers, early leaders, explorers and others, many by Charles Willson Peale. Just steps away are several gardens. The Signers’ Garden, with native plants and trees, commemorates the creators of Declaration of the Independence. The 18th-Century Garden replicates formal English gardens of the day with geometrically patterned raised flowerbeds, walking paths, and a pergola. The Rose Garden and Magnolia Garden are secluded, colorful and fragrant refuges. Second Bank, 420 Chestnut Street; Signers’, 5th & Chestnut Streets; 18th-Century, Walnut Street between 3rd & 4th Streets; Rose and Magnolia, Locust Street between 4th & 5th Streets; (215)  
  • Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library Textiles, paintings, prints, furniture and ceramics dating from 1640 to 1860 make the former home of Henry Francis du Pont a favorite for fans of Americana. Nature enthusiasts are drawn to the 60-acre garden nestled in the 1,000-acre country estate. Highlights of the garden include eight acres of azaleas, naturalized bulbs displays, peonies and primroses. Trails lead from the garden through rolling meadow, woodlands and waterways. If the kids get antsy, a short trip across the Troll Bridge leads to the Faerie Cottage in the Enchanted Woods. 5105 Kennett Pike, Winterthur, Delaware(800)
  • Woodmere Art Museum – At the top of the Chestnut Hill neighborhood of Philadelphia, this gem of a venue tells stories of Philadelphia’s art and artists, including N.C. Wyeth, Benjamin West and Violet Oakley, as well as new and emerging contemporary artists. The 19th-century stone Victorian mansion sits on six acres dotted with sculptures by Dina Wind and other Philadelphia-area artists surrounding Harry Bertoia’s sinuous fountain sculpture, Free Interpretation of Plant Forms9201 Germantown Avenue(215)

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