Category Archives: Art History

Art history.

Assembled

Philadelphia AssembledCity is Stage for Philadelphia Assembled

April through December 2017

Beginning in late April, a project entitled Philadelphia Assembled will manifest in a series of activities and actions throughout the city to illuminate and amplify a broad set of hopes, visions, and questions about Philadelphia’s future. Initiated by artist Jeanne van Heeswijk, working alongside an extensive network of collaborators—among them artists, writers, builders, storytellers, gardeners, healers, and activists—Philadelphia Assembled aims to shape a collective narrative about our city and some of the most urgent issues it faces at a time of heightened transformation. Deeply integrated into the fabric of the Museum, the project also questions the place of this institution in the midst of this change.

Philadelphia Assembled

Following this spring season of city-wide programs, the project will culminate in an exhibition opening in September at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. This participatory installation, September 10 through December 10, 2017, will transform the Perelman Building’s ground floor galleries, café, and store into spaces that will celebrate the people, sights, sounds, and tastes of a resilient city’s multi-faceted identity. Admission will be Pay What You Wish.

Evocatively referred to as “atmospheres of democracy”, Philadelphia Assembled addresses a number of issues that are central to the future the city by focusing on key themes such as reconstructions—how we deal with questions of social displacement and reentry into society; sovereignty—how we define self-determination and autonomy; sanctuary—how we understand self-care, asylum, and refuge; futures—how to re-imagine our tomorrow; and movement—how we facilitate action and collective learning.

Philadelphia Assembled

Van Heeswijk’s work, which is often described as social practice or socially engaged art, combines art and activism. In this spirit, the project brings together voices of those who care about the changing landscape of Philadelphia and who, in life and work, seek to champion and secure a prosperous and equitable future for all of its citizens.

Timothy Rub, The George D. Widener Director and CEO, stated, “Some of the most interesting work being done by artists today straddles the boundary between art and life.  In 2013, we invited the Dutch artist Jeanne van Heeswijk to consider what an artist might do in engaging Philadelphia’s many neighborhoods and diverse communities. What began as a conversation has grown, and it has been fascinating—and rewarding—to watch Philadelphia Assembled take on a life of its own. We are looking forward to the moment when our galleries are appropriated to become a stage for the city itself. It promises to be exciting and full of surprises and presents an opportunity to consider how we might define the roles and responsibilities that the Philadelphia Museum of Art can play as a civic institution in a changing city in the 21st century.”

Denise Valentine, a collaborator and Philadelphia storyteller, reflected on this process: “We intend to re-imagine the Philadelphia Museum of Art as a place to unearth stories hidden deep in the soil of Philadelphia. We envision a place where narratives of the enslaved, the incarcerated, the displaced, and the disenfranchised are held in as high esteem as Eurocentric ideas about art, history, and culture.”

Philadelphia Assembled

The project’s five “atmospheres” are described below:

Reconstructions

This atmosphere will assemble personal and collective narratives of mass incarceration and gentrification. Its first site, in the Nicetown/Tioga neighborhood, will be realized in close collaboration with Reconstructions, Inc. and the Alumni Ex Offenders Association. This group will offer programs exploring concepts of home, healing and trauma in relationship to imprisonment and reentry, including a teach-in and a neighborhood-wide procession. At a second site, in South Kensington/Olde Kensington, collaborators are examining the impact of gentrification and displacement, working with the Women’s Community Revitalization Project and Healthy Rowhouse Project to re-imagine a community garden at 4th and Master Streets as a dynamic space for discussion.

Philadelphia Assembled

Sovereignty

Exploring the concepts of self-determination and autonomy, this working group is addressing land sovereignty and cooperative forms of commerce and cultural exchange. Philadelphia Assembled will create a “sovereignty room” at the African Cultural Art Forum on 52nd Street, which will serve as a dedicated space in West Philadelphia for creating unity and cultivating economic sovereignty. Established in 1969, ACAF is a community-based organization that manufactures and sells products by entrepreneurs throughout the African diaspora. In the “sovereignty room” ACAF will host skill trainings and exchanges in preparation for a large public “Sovereignty Marketplace” in June. The second site is envisioned as a network of four urban gardens located in North Philadelphia. Programming and installations across these gardens will inform the ways in which plants, seeds, and land reinforce people’s connection to ancestry and serve as vehicles for nourishment, healing, and future growth. Urban gardens involved include Urban Creators, Norris Square Neighborhood Project Gardens, Fair Hill Burial Grounds, and Stretch and Fly Youth Business Garden.

Philadelphia Assembled

Futures

The Futures atmosphere is drawing from anti-colonial ideas to model different ways of exploring the future and community building. The Futures site is an active mobile project, called the Mobile Futures Institute, which involves retro-fitting a small bus into a flexible work space that will travel throughout the city, engaging in neighborhood-based programs on issues ranging from decolonization, to environmental racism, to economic justice. Collaborators are working with community members and organizations to produce events and happenings via the Mobile Futures Institute. Current partners include the Center for Returning Citizens, Black Quantum Futurism, Friends Center, Granny Peace Brigade Philadelphia, Norris Square Community Alliance, Mighty Writers, and the Indigenous Peoples Day Movement, among others.

Philadelphia Assembled

Sanctuary

This group has proposed a combination of sites that will explore various models of self-care, asylum, and refuge. The larger site will be realized at a central location in Center City. The site structure is a geodesic dome inspired by temporary housing units for refugees in Europe. The space will be open for a month of summer programs, offering a layered definition of sanctuary through storytelling, advocacy, and direct action. In the months leading up to the fixed site, a portable site will host a series of activities working with identified partner organizations to address the provision of LBGTQ safe spaces, issues of immigration and migration, and harm reduction relating to drug use and sex work. Partner organizations include the Attic Youth Center, New Sanctuary Movement, Prevention Point Philadelphia, and Project Safe.

Philadelphia Assembled

Movement

The final atmosphere is one in which the various Philadelphia Assembled working groups intersect. This group is focused on the project’s production, dissemination, and communication, which is manifesting in audio recordings, a dedicated film series, project-specific graphics, an interactive web platform, and site-specific publications. Another component of the Movement atmosphere is the Youth Dream Trust, which will serve as a coalition of youth across the working groups in partnership with the Village of Arts and Humanities. Working closely with Philadelphia-based collective Amber Art and Design, the group will also orchestrate the performative movement of public sites to the Museum. Carrying objects, ideas, and conversations across the city streets, this public movement will culminate in a communal presentation along the ground floor of the Perelman Building, becoming a civic stage where the city is performed.

For Jeanne van Heeswijk, Philadelphia Assembled is a forward-moving process in which she is one among many participants imagining the city’s futures together. She stated: “My work is trying to get to the essence of aesthetics, to understand it as an engaged, inclusive, and proactive practice. This type of work is about using imagination to better understand how we live together. Rising, claiming, rooting, caring, moving – this is how we build a collective exercise of care.”

Philadelphia Assembled

Members of the public are invited to join the conversation and engage with collaborators by visiting the Philadelphia Assembled website and sharing their experiences via #phlassembled @phlassembled @philamuseum.

Program Events

For a full list of public programs and locations, please visit the dedicated website at phlassembled.net. All Philadelphia Assembled programs are free to the public unless noted otherwise.

Philadelphia Assembled

About Jeanne Van Heeswijk

Jeanne van Heeswijk is an artist who facilitates the creation of dynamic and diversified public spaces in order to “radicalize the local.” Her community-embedded projects question art’s autonomy by combining performative actions, discussions, and other forms of organizing and pedagogy in order to work alongside communities to take control of their own futures. Van Heeswijk’s work has been featured in publications and exhibitions worldwide, including the Liverpool, Shanghai, and Venice biennials. Accolades include the receipt of the 2011 Leonore Annenberg Prize for Art and Social Change, the 2012 Curry Stone Prize for Social Design Pioneers, and the 2014 inaugural Keith Haring Fellowship in Art and Activism at the Center for Curatorial Studies and Human Rights Project at Bard College. She lives and works in Rotterdam and Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Assembled

About Social Practice
Social Practice is an art medium that focuses on participation and collaboration with individuals, communities, and institutions in the collective creation of a temporary or permanent community. The process involves careful listening, thoughtful conversation, and community organizing. This is also referred to as socially engaged art, social justice art, community art and new genre public art.

Sponsors

Philadelphia Assembled is made possible by the William Penn Foundation, The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, Wyncote Foundation, Nancy M. Berman and Alan Bloch, Lynne and Harold Honickman, Mr. and Mrs. Milton S. Schneider, Constance and Sankey Williams, the Mondriaan Fund, and The Netherland-America Foundation.

Philadelphia Assembled

Collaborators

Philadelphia Assembled is initiated by artist Jeanne van Heeswijk and organized with Carlos Basualdo, The Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Senior Curator of Contemporary Art; Amanda Sroka, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art; Phoebe Bachman, Project Coordinator; and Sheldon Abba, Project Site Manager. Core collaborators include: Amber Art and Design, artist collective; Yana Balson, Associate Director of Exhibition Planning, Philadelphia Museum of Art; Kirtrina Baxter, community organizer and activist grower; Pascale Boucicaut, culinary artist and organizer; Maurits de Bruijn, graphic designer and web developer; Counter Narrative Society (CNS); Helen Cunningham, educator and conflict mediator; Gretchen Dykstra, Senior Marketing Editor, Philadelphia Museum of Art; Morgan Gengo, Marketing and Audience Development Manager, Philadelphia Museum of Art; Shari Hersh, Mural Arts Senior Project Manager and Founder of the Restored Spaces Initiative; Russell Hicks, entrepreneur; in•site collaborative, a research, design, and mapping collective; Nehad Khader, film curator and artist; Jason Killinger, graphic designer; Dianne Loftis, researcher and compiler; Charlotte Lowrey, Project Assistant for the Contemporary Caucus, Philadelphia Museum of Art; Zein Nakhoda, filmmaker; Michael O’Bryan, artist and youth facilitator; People’s Paper Co-op, a collaborative initiative for re-entry; Elisabeth Perez-Luna, journalist and public broadcasting producer; Damon Reaves, Associate Curator of Education, Community Engagement and Access, Philadelphia Museum of Art; Chris Rogers, educator and organizer; Kristin Schwab, community cook and organizer; 75B, design collective; Traction Company, artist collaborative studio; Denise Valentine, storyteller and activist; Phantazia Washington, LGBTQ activist and facilitator; A. M. Weaver, artist and curator; Gee Wesley, artist and curator; Jared Wood, artist; Karina Wratschko, Special Projects Librarian, Philadelphia Museum of Art; and Billy Yalowitz, playwright and community-based performance artist.

Community Partners and Program Hosts

African Cultural Art Forum, Alumni Ex-Offenders Association, The Attic Youth Center, Broad Street Ministry, The Center for Returning Citizens, Coalition for Racial Justice (CoRaJus), Community Futurisms: Time & Memory in North Philly (Community Futures Lab), The Culinary Enterprise Center, Deep Green Philly, The Enterprise Center, Experimental Farm Network, Healthy Rowhouse Project, Historic Fair Hill, Laos in the House, Mighty Writers, MOVE, Mural Arts Philadelphia, New Sanctuary Movement Philadelphia, Norris Square Neighborhood Project, North Central CDC, Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance, Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations, Philadelphia Coalition for Affordable Communities, Prevention Point Philadelphia, Project SAFE, Reconstruction Inc., Soil Generation, Take Back the Night Philadelphia, Ulises, Urban Creators-Life Do Grow Farm, The Village of Arts and Humanities, W/N W/N, and the Women’s Community Revitalization Project.

Locations

In the City: April – July 2017

Movement to the Museum: July – August 2017

Perelman Building, ground floor: September 10–December 10, 2017

Philadelphia Assembled is a project undertaken in collaboration with stakeholders from across the city and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The views expressed by individual participants or in materials developed as part of Philadelphia Assembled are representative of the project’s collective conception and production and are not, necessarily, the views of the Museum or any other individual involved.

Social Media
Twitter/Facebook/Instagram/Tumblr/YouTube: @philamuseum @phlassembled

We are Philadelphia’s art museum. We are a landmark building. A world-renowned collection. A place that welcomes everyone. We bring the arts to life, inspiring visitors—through scholarly study and creative play—to discover the spirit of imagination that lies in everyone. We connect people with the arts in rich and varied ways, making the experience of the Museum surprising, lively, and always memorable. We are committed to inviting visitors to see the world—and themselves—anew through the beauty and expressive power of the arts.

For additional information, contact the Communications Department of the Philadelphia Museum of Art phone at 215-684-7860, by fax at 215-235-0050, or by e-mail at pressroom@philamuseum.org.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is located on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at 26th Street. For general information, call (215) 763-8100.

Thank you to the Philadelphia Museum of Art for the content of this post.

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Picket

“PICKET FENCES” BY TEXTUAL ARTIST GERARD SILVA

ART GALLERY AT WILLIAM WAY LGBT CENTER DEBUTS

“PICKET FENCES” BY TEXTUAL ARTIST GERARD SILVA

Solo Exhibition  Features 26 Works on Paper through April 28, 2017

Picket Fences,” a solo exhibition by textual artist Gerard Silva, made its debut at the Art Gallery at the William Way Center on March 10 and runs through April 28, 2017.

Each of the exhibition’s 26 works on paper has been hand-printed by Silva and culled from a larger group in his “Picket Fences” series, serving a symbol of the way we choose what parts of ourselves to present to a society that makes judgements of approval or disapproval, of acceptance or rejection. While Silva strives for perfection, the hand-printing process produces slight variations that he can’t help but leave for the viewer to pass their judgements on.

“These screen prints relate to our daily lives in which we strive for acceptance; we are selective and we seek some kind of perfection in ourselves and in others,” Silva explains. “And it is this search for perfection in the many roles we all play that leads to insecurities that we have a difficult time admitting to or sharing with someone: insecurities that I’m acknowledging here.  But ultimately, I am who I am.  We are who we are.”

This project originated from the artist’s own frustrations and discouragement while working in his studio, often resulting in insecurities and self-doubt that spilled over into the many other roles in his life: a son, a friend, a gay man, a minority, a citizen, an outcast, a non-white, a non-black, a punk, a skeptic, a sinner, a foreigner, an American.

When pondering how he measures up, Silva’s collective work asks, “Is there a perfect state of being out there? Is the grass greener on the other side? Where is my white picket fence?”

Silva is a Philadelphia-based artist who has studied in New York, London and Arizona. His work has been shown in the Meyerson Gallery at the University of Pennsylvania, at the Kingston Gallery in Boston, at the San Diego Art Institute and at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico. He was also included twice in the Arizona Biennial.

The William Way Center is open Monday through Friday from 11:00am -10:00pm and on Saturdays and Sundays from 12:00pm – 5:00pm.  Admission to the main floor gallery is free.

The William Way LGBT Center is located at: 1315 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107

215-732-2220

PICKET FENCES” is showing the following 15” x 22” works on paper:

PERFECT

WHITE

LATINO

PRETTY

PHONY

LUCKY

ESTABLISHED

PREEMINENT

COMMERCIAL

IMPORTANT

RICH

PROMISCUOUS

OLD

EMERGING

POOR

SERIOUS

WILD

BLACK

YOUNG

MAN

FABULOUS

QUEER

FUCKED-UP

BUTCH

CONNECTED

ANGRY

Thank you to Jolyn for the content of this post.

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Food

How Food Moves: Edible LogisticsImage: Amber Art and Design, Corner Store Project

How Food Moves: Edible Logistics

Amber Art & Design / Ryan Griffis & Sarah Ross
Brian Holmes / Otabenga Jones & Associates / Cynthia Main
Claire PentecostPhilly Stake / Stephanie Rothenberg
Candice Smith with Freedom Arts / Kristen Neville Taylor

Daniel Tucker, Guest Curator, Graduate Program Director in Social and Studio Practices at Moore College of Art and Design
March 27 – May 27, 2017
Public Program and Reception: Thursday, March 30, 2017, 6:00 – 8:30pm
Our public program begins at 6:00 pm followed by the reception
Rowan University Art Gallery, 301 High Street West, First Floor, Glassboro, NJ 08028
Admission to the gallery and reception is free and open to the public.
The public program begins at 6:00 pm, led by guest curator Daniel Tucker in dialogue on art, geography, and agricultural planning with Professor Megan Bucknum Ferrigno from Rowan University’s School of Geography and Environment, and with exhibiting artists.

Artists explore the US food supply chain and its complex patterns of distribution in between the point of origin (the farm) and its point of consumption (the plate). The exhibition aims to highlight the work of contemporary artists grappling with the complexity of this movement through multi-media, research-based, and participatory practices that focus a lens on the social and industrial impacts of migrant workers, food justice movements, immigration, multiculturalism, and economic disparities. This project builds upon Tucker’s event series, Moving Units: Where Food & Economy Converge. A companion booklet, produced by Rowan University Art Gallery, serves to provide a general overview of US food supply chains. It includes descriptions of the artist contributions to the exhibition that relate to each step on the chain. Throughout this booklet you read about an approach to geographic education that values connecting with the world outside the classroom. The booklet was researched and written by Megan Bucknum Ferrigno, part-time faculty member of Rowan University’s Department of Geography, Planning and Sustainability. Additional contributions made by Dr. Chuck McGlynn, Dr. Jennifer Kitson and Makenzie Franco.

About the Artists and Projects

With Corner Store, Amber Art & Design – a team of Philadelphia-based artists that work on public art within marginalized communities that have little or no access to art – explores the contemporary sociological and psychological intersection between pan-ethnic Black and Asian communities in Philadelphia and how relationships are shaped based on which side of the counter we stand. (image top)

Illinois-based artists Ryan Griffis and Sarah Ross are represented by Between the Bottomlands and the World, a video (combining photographs, narrative writing, and moving images) exploring the rural Midwestern town of Beardstown, IL, a place of global exchange and international mobility, inscribed by post-NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) realities.

Brian Holmes, an art and cultural critic with a Ph.D. in Romance Languages has a long-standing interest in neoliberal globalization and a taste for on-the-ground intervention. His online atlas, Living Rivers, is devoted to the Mississippi and Great Lakes watersheds and shows these fluid ecosystems as they are inhabited by a multitude of creatures and radically altered by human enterprise.

Otabenga Jones & Associates, a Houston-based educational art organization, documents a collaborative art project and public health program addressing the ongoing crisis of obesity and its related risks with “The People’s Plate.” Inspired by the Black Panther Free Breakfast for School Children Program, this art project includes a public mural in Houston and programs to kick off a year-long commitment to health education.

Cynthia Main, a multidisciplinary artist from Missouri focuses on relating to the land as part of an integral view of a more sustainable society. She shares her hand-made buckets and barrels created using traditional techniques to readdress storage as one of the current dilemmas of localizing production.

Chicago’s Claire Pentecost uses photography to show how industrial agriculture is only partly about supplying food and how it is structured to meet the problem of expense and excess capital accumulation when considering the cost of complex machinery, brand name chemical herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, fertilizers, and patented seeds.

How Food Moves: Edible Logistics

Philly Stake is a locally-sourced, recurring dinner that raises funds for creative and relevant community engaged projects that contributes to the well-being of Philadelphia’s neighborhoods through community arts, urban agriculture, social services, and activist work.

Stephanie Rothenberg’s Reversal of Fortune: The Garden of Virtual Kinship is a garden in the form of a global map that explores the question of what it means to be charitable through the click of a button and examines the cultural phenomena of online crowd-funded charity and how the flow of money impacts the project, positively and negatively.

How Food Moves: Edible LogisticsStephanie Rothenberg

Candice Smith runs Freedom Arts, an after school collaborative art program at Camden’s Freedom Prep Middle School, which is creating an installation responding to the idea that Camden is a “food desert” and examining the movement of food at their school and in their community.

Philadelphia-based Kristen Neville Taylor’s installation – a globe depicting routes of oranges and actual oranges outfitted with a QR code that links to music, articles, folk tales, and art – was inspired by a lyric from Leonard Cohen’s “Suzanne” (“and she feeds you tea and oranges that come all the way from China”) which she associated with the market place and the movement of food but also romance and exotic foreign cultures.

Admission to the gallery and reception is free and open to the public. 
Free parking is now available in the parking garage on Mick Drive directly across from the gallery. For visitor information go to our website: www.rowan.edu/artgallery.

Thank you to Mary Salvante, Rowan University Art Gallery for the content of this post.

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Phulkari

Phulkari: The Embroidered Textiles of Punjab, PMATota Bagh Phulkari, 20th century. Artist/maker unknown, Punjabi. Handspun cotton plain weave (khaddar) with silk and cotton embroidery in darning, buttonhole, and chain stitches, 7 feet 8 3/4 inches × 56 inches (235.6 × 142.2 cm). The Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Phulkari Collection.

Phulkari: The Embroidered Textiles of Punjab
from the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Collection, 
Joan Spain Gallery, Perelman Building, Philadelphia Museum of Art

Phulkari: The Embroidered Textiles of Punjab from the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Collection

Through July 9, 2017

Phulkari, meaning “flower work” (phul = flower, kari = work), is an embroidery originally made throughout Punjab, a region now straddling Pakistan and India. Traditionally, the base cloth was locally handspun and handwoven cotton called khaddar. The thread, called pat, was unplied silk usually imported from China. The dominant embroidery stitch is the darning stitch (a straight stitch in parallel rows), although artists interspersed it with other stitches. Perhaps because of thread’s high cost, most pieces show embroidery only on one side of the cloth.

Phulkari: The Embroidered Textiles of PunjabSainchi Phulkari/Nilak Phulkari, 20th century. Artist/maker unknown, Punjabi. Handspun cotton plain weave (khaddar) with silk and cotton embroidery in darning, running, chain, and buttonhole stitches, glass mirrors, 7 feet 5 inches × 53 inches (226.1 × 134.6 cm). The Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Phulkari Collection. (click for large image)

Phulkaris were a crucial part of a Punjabi woman’s material wealth. Young girls learned needlework from their older female relatives and friends. Often they made phulkaris for their own dowries, which they brought with them to their husbands’ home when they married. Primarily intended as large shawls worn draped over the head, phulkaris could also function as bedding or wall hangings for special functions. While each phulkari is unique, they may be grouped into types by designs and background colors with names such as thirma (white), sainchi (figurative), or bagh (garden).

Phulkari: The Embroidered Textiles of PunjabDarshan Dwar Phulkari, 20th century. Artist/maker unknown, Punjabi. Handspun, handwoven cotton plain weave (khaddar) with silk and cotton embroidery in darning, pattern darning, buttonhole, herringbone, running and Cretan stitches, 7 feet 5 inches × 50 inches (226.1 × 127 cm). The Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Phulkari Collection. (click for large image)

Highlighted here are nineteen superb phulkaris from the Bonovitz Collection, promised gifts to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. All were probably created before the Partition of Pakistan and India in 1947.  Also included is a small selection of traditional phulkaris from the Museum’s permanent collection. The exhibition concludes with a creative twenty-first century reinvention of phulkari in the high fashion garments of Manish Malhotra, one of India’s leading designers.

Phulkari: The Embroidered Textiles of PunjabSainchi Phulkari, 20th century. Artist/maker unknown, Punjabi. Handspun cotton plain weave (khaddar) with silk, cotton, and wool embroidery in darning, pattern darning, buttonhole, herringbone, running, chain and Cretan stitches, 7 feet 5 1/2 inches × 48 1/2 inches (227.3 × 123.2 cm). The Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Phulkari Collection. (click for large image)

This exhibition is made possible by Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz, The Coby Foundation, Ltd., and The Stella Kramrisch Indian and Himalayan Art Fund.

Phulkari: The Embroidered Textiles of PunjabBagh Phulkari, 20th century. Artist/maker unknown, Punjabi. Handspun cotton plain weave (khaddar) with silk embroidery in darning, pattern darning, running, chain and cross stitches, 8 feet 3 3/4 inches × 59 1/2 inches (253.4 × 151.1 cm). The Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Phulkari Collection.

Phulkari: The Embroidered Textiles of PunjabPhulkari, 20th century. Artist/maker unknown, Punjabi. Handspun cotton plain weave (khaddar) with silk embroidery in running, darning, pattern darning, herringbone, split, stem and cross stitches, 9 feet 5 inches × 58 inches (287 × 147.3 cm). The Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Phulkari Collection. (click for large image)

Phulkari: The Embroidered Textiles of PunjabPhulkari, Early 20th century. Artist/maker unknown, Punjabi. Handspun cotton plain weave (khaddar) with silk and cotton embroidery in darning, running, herringbone, and double running stitches, 8 feet 6 1/2 inches × 47 1/2 inches (260.4 × 120.7 cm). The Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Phulkari Collection. (click for large image)

Phulkari: The Embroidered Textiles of PunjabThirma Phulkari, 19th century. Artist/maker unknown, Punjabi. Handspun, handwoven cotton plain weave (khaddar) with silk embroidery in darning, whip, and running stitches, 8 feet 5 inches × 58 inches (256.5 × 147.3 cm). The Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Phulkari Collection.

Phulkari: The Embroidered Textiles of PunjabChope Phulkari, 20th century. Artist/maker unknown, Punjabi. Handspun cotton plain weave (khaddar) with silk embroidery in double running stitch, 9 feet 8 inches × 69 inches (294.6 × 175.3 cm). The Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Phulkari Collection. (click for large image)

Phulkari: The Embroidered Textiles of PunjabSainchi Phulkari, Early 20th century. Artist/maker unknown, Punjabi. Handspun, handwoven plain weave (khaddar) with silk and cotton embroidery in darning and chain stitches, 8 feet 3 inches × 52 inches (251.5 × 132.1 cm). The Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Phulkari Collection. (click for large image)

——————–

1947 to Today

When India gained independence from Great Britain in 1947, Punjab was divided—its western part in Pakistan and its eastern in India. The devastating results of Partition left many millions dead, injured, and displaced. Most families lost their heirloom phulkaris and few women had the time or facilities to embroider, apart from occasional commercial work. Over the past sixty years, Punjabis of all religions—Muslims, Hindus, Christians, and Sikhs (a faith whose holy sites are located in Punjab)—have emigrated throughout South Asia and around the world. Today they are the largest South Asian diaspora. Phulkari embroidery has retained enormous emotional and symbolic significance for all Punjabis and it has been reenvisioned in many ways.

Thank you to The Philadelphia Museum of Art for the content of this post.

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Line

Draw the Line, Main Line Art CenterDraw the Line Features Colossal Drawings Addressing the Refugee Experience

2017 Meyer Family Award for Contemporary Art Recipients: Kelley Donahue (Brooklyn, NY), Joanna Platt (Philadelphia, PA) and Paul Santoleri (Philadelphia, PA)

Curated by: Amie Potsic, Executive Director & Chief Curator, Main Line Art Center

March 6 – April 16, 2017

Artist Talks & Opening Reception: Friday, March 10
Artist Talks: 5:30-6:30 pm | Reception: 6:30-8:30 pm

Artist Workshops:

A Twisting Tale of Burning Truths: Wire Sculpture and Soldering Workshop (Adult Workshop)
Joanna Platt | Thursday, April 6, 6:30-9:30 pm

Signs of Life: A Collaborative Drawing & Painting Experience (Family Workshop: 4+ yrs & adult)
Paul Santoleri | Saturday, May 13, 1-3 pm

Main Line Art Center in Haverford is proud to announce Kelley Donahue (Brooklyn, NY), Joanna Platt (Philadelphia, PA) and Paul Santoleri (Philadelphia, PA) as the 2017 recipients of the Meyer Family Award for Contemporary Art. Selected by Members of Main Line Art Center’s Board of Artistic Advisors and Executive Director through a highly competitive application process, Donahue, Platt, and Santoleri will be featured in Draw the Line, the 13th Annual Betsy Meyer Memorial Exhibition, on view at Main Line Art Center March 6 to April 16.

Drawing with ink, clay, and conduit, these artists investigate the permeable borders between internal and external matter, perception, and experience. Accessing both intuition and intellect, drawing and memory are the basis for inquiry. Their videos, installations, and sculptures create new worlds that illuminate and activate our galleries to create seductive narratives, uncanny characters, and immersive environments.

Paul Santoleris impressive work will feature a 12’ x 20’ paper drawing as well as wall, floor, and window works created on site that reference our relationship to nature and the harrowing journey of refugees seeking new homes across seas. Raised in Havertown, Santoleri took drawing classes at Main Line Art Center when he was 13 years old. He now travels extensively to make his work and is represented globally in collections public and private.

Now in its thirteenth year, Main Line Art Center is proud to present an annual exhibition in memory of Teaching Artist Betsy Meyer featuring the work of forward-thinking artists who are pushing boundaries within their artistic practice. As an artist, Betsy exemplified what is most exciting about engaging with the artwork of living artists: watching them experiment with their media and tackling complicated and tough subjects. As a teacher, she encouraged her students to follow her example and expand their practice into new frontiers. And finally, as a member of the board and exhibition committee, she assured that the Art Center was there for the artistic community of Philadelphia.
The Meyer Family Award for Contemporary Art, presented by Main Line Art Center in conjunction with the Betsy Meyer Memorial Exhibition, consists of an award of $1000 and a solo exhibition to each selected artist. This award and associated exhibition program is an effort to support the talented contemporary artists in the region, to honor deserving artists in the field, and to encourage excellence and experimentation in artistic practice, presentation, and community involvement.

Approximately three artists are awarded annually. The 2016 recipients of the Meyer Family Award for Contemporary Art were Matthew Courtney (Philadelphia), Sun Young Kang (Bryn Mawr), Zahra Nazari (New York) whose work was featured in Transformations, presented at Main Line Art Center in Spring 2016. The 2017 finalists are as follows: Rachel Eng (Pennsylvania), Michael Fischerkeller (Maryland), Michael Froio (New Jersey), Jennifer Hecker (New York), Mison Kim (New York), Erica Loustau (Pennsylvania), Thomas Porett (Pennsylvania), and Adrienne Moumin (Maryland).

The Art Center will host artist talks Friday, March 10 from 5:30 to 6:30 pm, followed by a public reception from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. The artist talk, reception and gallery visits are free and open to the public. The gallery is open Monday through Thursday from 10 am to 8 pm, and Friday through Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm. Each of the artists will also facilitate a workshop on their process during the course of Transformations. For more information about these programs, including registration, visit www.mainlinert.org or call 610.525.0272.

Draw the Line, Main Line Art CenterSelf Creation (as the meaning of life) © Kelley Donahue 2014

Kelley Donahue, originally from northern California, is a ceramic, installation, and performance artist currently based in Brooklyn, NY. Initially interested in drawing and painting, Donahue felt limited by the flat rectangle of the canvas and now constructs three-dimensional canvases of any shape using clay, which she then paints. Donahue earned her B.A. in studio art from Humboldt State University in Arcata, CA, and an M.F.A. in ceramics from Alfred University in Alfred, NY. Donahue has exhibited her work internationally in venues including T+H Gallery in Boston, MA; the Ceramics & Glass Fair in New York, NY; Launch Pad Gallery in Portland, OR; the Museum of Contemporary Art in Montreal, Canada; and Jatiwangi Art Factory in Java, Indonesia. She received the Juror’s Choice Award from Art Centro in Poughkeepsie, NY and the Barbara Rittenberg Fellowship from the Clay Art Center in Port Chester, NY. In addition to her ceramic sculpture and painting, Donahue has collaborated extensively with musicians and video artists to create performances including video projections and sound. Donahue currently teaches ceramics at Jersey City University and maintains a studio practice in Brooklyn, NY.

Draw the Line, Main Line Art CenterPortals © Joanna Platt 2015

Joanna Platt is a Philadelphia-based sculptor whose work deals with the ways our interaction with technology has created new configurations of defined space inside our computers and media devices. She received a B.F.A. from Mason Gross School of the Arts in New Brunswick, NJ and an M.F.A. from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. A member of the gallery collective Tiger Strikes Asteroid, Platt has exhibited her work internationally with shows at Galeria Nacional, in San Jose, Costa Rica; SoHo 20, in NY, NY; Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery in Philadelphia; Grizzly Grizzly in Philadelphia; the Hunterdon Museum of Art in Clinton, NJ; the Old Barracks Museum in Trenton, NJ; The Shore Institute for Contemporary Art in Asbury Park, NJ; and Artist Run at the Satellite Art Fair in Miami. Most recently, she was an invited artist in Artship Olympia at the Seaport Museum in Philadelphia. Platt is an adjunct professor at Camden County College in Blackwood, NJ and a sculpture technician at Independent Casting in Philadelphia.

Draw the Line, Main Line Art CenterOmega Warm Garden © Paul Santoleri 2009. Photo by Lu Szumskyj

Paul DiFuria Santoleri is a muralist based in Philadelphia whose drawing installations and wall-sized paintings can be found in city streets around the world including Philadelphia, Paris, Copenhagen, and Helsinki. Santoleri’s work encompasses a variety of media, but endlessly returns to the stories that can be found in the drawn line: etched on a wall, carved in glass, concrete, wood, ink, obsidian, fresco, or color. His focus on the art of line has led him to create works in a wide diversity of situations around the world, and often in public spaces, like his most recent tile mural installation in the Philadelphia International Airport. A recipient of numerous honors and awards, including grants from The Pollock-Krasner Foundation and The Independence Foundation, Santoleri holds a B.F.A. in painting from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, PA, and an M.F.A. in painting from the University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ. His work was also included in a monograph published by Criteres Publications in Grenoble, France, which accompanied his first solo show in Paris. Raised in Havertown, Santoleri took drawing classes at Main Line Art Center when he was 13 years old. He now travels extensively to make his work and is represented globally in collections public and private.

Draw the Line, Main Line Art CenterPaul Santoleri in his studio (Philadelphia).  Photo by Amie Potsic 2017

Amie Potsic, curator of Draw the Line, began her tenure as Executive Director & Chief Curator of Main Line Art Center in July of 2012. Prior to that, she served as Director of Gallery 339 and Director of the Career Development Program at the Center for Emerging Visual Artists (CFEVA) in Philadelphia where she curated exhibitions and planned professional development programming for emerging and professional artists. Potsic has curated over 70 exhibitions at venues including The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts and Moore College of Art & Design. Potsic is also an established photographic artist who has exhibited her work nationally and internationally. In addition, she is currently Chair of the Art In City Hall Artistic Advisory Board to the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Arts, Culture & the Creative Economy.

Main Line Art Center is the community’s home to discover, create, and experience visual art. The mission of Main Line Art Center is to inspire and engage people of all ages, abilities, and economic means in visual art through education, exhibitions, and experiences. Committed to increasing the visibility and accessibility of art, the Art Center presents innovative exhibitions and events in the community, including Panorama: Image-Based Art in the 21st Century, a Greater Philadelphia-wide celebration of the photographic image and digital media.

Main Line Art Center’s educational offerings for all ages, abilities, and economic means span from traditional to contemporary, and are all held to the highest level of excellence. In 2015, Main Line Art Center received the Commitment to Cultural Access Award from Art-Reach for the Center’s Accessible Art Programs for children and adults with disabilities, now in their 52nd year. Additionally, the Art Center grants over $12,000 in need-based scholarships annually. Last year, Main Line Art Center engaged 21,000 people through classes, exhibitions, and Summer Art Camp, and touched the lives of over 78,000 through Exhibitions in the Community and festivals across the Philadelphia area.

Thank you to Main Line Art Center for the content of this post.

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