Category Archives: Art in the Open

Art in the Open 2014

Art in the Open, CFEVA

Art in the Open Application now due January 3rd, 2014

Professional artists working in all media are invited to participate in Art in the Open 2014. From Friday, May 16 through Sunday, May 18, 2014, artists will use Philadelphia’s Schuylkill River Banks as their studio space, creating new works of art ‘outside, on-site.’

Art in the Open re-frames the plein air tradition in a contemporary context, encouraging both artists and audiences to draw inspiration from the city’s natural and urban landscapes. Using the Schuylkill River Banks Park as studio space, participating artists will have the opportunity to explore new or extend current working methods, develop process-oriented projects, and respond to a compelling intersection of urban and natural spaces in the public realm. Selected artists will have the opportunity to participate in complementary programming, public engagement events, and to exhibit artwork created during AiO in the gallery at The Center for Emerging Visual Artists. For more information about the event and to view a gallery of AiO 2012 artists visit

 AiO Statistics:
• 8-12,000 visitors per year (on the Schuylkill Banks)
• 30+ Organizational Partners 25 Related programs off and on-site

2014 Art in the Open Jurors 
Gerard Brown Tyler School of Art at Temple University’s Center for the Arts 
Harry Philbrick Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Museum,
 Christine Pfister Pentimenti Gallery, 
Theresa Rose, FringeArts

Final application deadline is January 3, 2014. Local, national and international artists are invited to apply.
 To apply visit or


For more information or questions, contact Genevieve Coutroubis at

Juror Information

Gerard Brown writes about art and makes pictures about language. His work has been exhibited in group- and one-person shows nation-wide. As an   independent curator, he has organized exhibitions throughout the Philadelphia region and has been the recipient of a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Grant in Visual Arts Criticism. He earned his BFA from Boston University and his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is currently an Assistant Professor and the Chairperson of Foundations at the Tyler School of Art at Temple University’s Center for the Arts.

Christine Pfister studied at Christie’s Education at Christie’s in New York and since 1995 she has been the Co-Owner and Director of Pentimenti Gallery in Philadelphia. She has given many lectures, and participated on panels, in the Philadelphia area. Lectures/panels include the University of Pennsylvania, the University of the Arts, the American Association of Museums, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Art, Moore College of Art & Design, Kutztown University, Kutztown, and more. She is active in a variety cultural organizations including CFEVA, ArtTable and the Maurice Rohrbach Fund.

Pentimenti Gallery exhibits contemporary art by emerging to mid-career artists. The gallery’s exhibitions were reviewed in major magazines and newspapers, such as Art in America, The Art Economist, Timeout New York, the Brooklyn Rail, USA Today, Philadelphia Style Magazine, Philadelphia Inquirer, and more. The gallery has exhibited nationally at various art fairs: Pulse NY, Volta NY, Texas Contemporary, Miami Project and CONTEXT Art Miami.

Harry Philbrick, Edna S. Tuttleman Director of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Museum, directs a museum known internationally for its collections of 19th- and 20th-century American art. The museum’s archives house important materials for the study of American art history, museums, and art training.  Mr. Philbrick is spearheading a revived engagement with contemporary art at PAFA, creating a substantial endowment to rekindle the Museum’s program of actively collecting contemporary art and curating an ambitious series of contemporary exhibitions.  Under his guidance the Museum will open a dedicated Works on Paper Gallery in September, 2013.

Mr. Philbrick has twenty-plus years of experience in museum management, exhibition curation, development, and educational programming and was the Director of The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum from 1996 – 2010.  Mr. Philbrick furthered The Aldrich’s mission of exhibiting provocative and significant contemporary art and establishing education programs that serve as national models in museum education. Mr. Philbrick received his Master of Fine Arts from London University’s Goldsmiths’ College.  His own artwork has been exhibited in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Theresa Rose is currently the Visual Arts Program Director for FringeArts. From 2007-2012, Rose was Public Art Project Manager for the City of Philadelphia Office of Arts, Culture & the Creative Economy where she managed the Percent for Art program and lead the City’s first temporary public art commission, Soil Kitchen, by the artist team Futurefarmers. Independently, Rose is the founder and one of the organizers of Philly Stake, a micro-granting program for relevant & creative community engaging projects. She is also a Knight Foundation grantee for her upcoming participatory art and food series entitled Operation Food for Thought. Prior to her employment at FringeArts and city government; Rose worked on several projects as an independent curator and artist including exhibitions at Crane Arts, Seraphin Gallery and Little Berlin. She received her MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, where she co-chaired the Visiting Artist Lecture Series Program. 

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Art in the Open at Schuylkill Banks Park

Simone Spicer, Art in the Open at Schuylkill Banks Park

Simone SpicerArt in the Open at Schuylkill Banks Park

Katy the ArT DoG photo-bombs this pic of the site specific installation created by Simone Spicer for the Art in the Open weekend at Schuylkill Banks Park.  The artist gathered plastic or plasticized trash, decorated each piece with paint or collage, then strung them like beads along the bike path.  The effect was like a waterline where all this wacky trash had washed up on the banks of the nearby river commenting on the ecological effects of plastic trash.  But Simone Spicer also lavished time and effort on each element accentuating the careful design of these daily-use objects and the efforts of designers and corporations to make them attractive enough to buy.  And throw away.

Simone Spicer, Art in the Open at Schuylkill Banks Park

Simone SpicerArt in the Open at Schuylkill Banks Park

Art in the Open 2012 was a big commitment by the participating artists – three days set up as a working artist along the bike trail from Lombard Street towards the Philadelphia Art Museum.  The point wasn’t to sell work but to demonstrate how art is made, engage with the public, raise questions and answer questions.  The artists are rewarded with a show at The Philadelphia Seaport Museum for the rest of the Summer opening June 15th. The experience of strolling along the trail with the dog is one of DoN‘s favorite activities, the addition of art was like an alternate reality for an afternoon, it would be cool to see more artists along the scenic path all the time.

Barbara Gesshel, Art in the Open at Schuylkill Banks Park

Barbara GesshelArt in the Open at Schuylkill Banks Park

Photographer, Jeff StroudDoN and Katy the ArT DoG walked along the bike path in the hot Spring sun and stopped at a shady tree where artist Barbara Gesshel had set up her studio out of the sun.  Using the tree as a work surface Barbara Gesshel rubbed charcoal into large sheets of paper, using the ridges of the bark to create a naturalistic atmosphere to her drawing.  Working with nature instead of against it, Gesshel’s use of charcoal, the charred remnants of dead trees, onto the living surface of a tree to make her drawings is poetic and inspiring.

Barbara Gesshel, Art in the Open at Schuylkill Banks Park

Barbara GesshelArt in the Open at Schuylkill Banks Park, photo by Jeff Stroud

Barbara Gesshel, Art in the Open at Schuylkill Banks Park

Barbara GesshelArt in the Open at Schuylkill Banks Park, photo by Jeff Stroud

Barbara Gesshel has an expansive one-person show of prints and paintings at Red Hook Cafe on Fabric Row.  Read DoN‘s blog post about the show on

Erika Bergere, Art in the Open at Schuylkill Banks Park

Erika BergereArt in the Open at Schuylkill Banks Park

Cyanotype is one of the oldest types of photography there is, artist Erika Bergere set up on the lawn with her baby and made the beautiful Prussian blue photographs using only the light of the sun and a solution of potassium ferricyonide and ferric ammonium.  The wet paper hung out on a line to dry while the family lolled in the shade on the grass.

Justin Tyner, Art in the Open at Schuylkill Banks Park

Justin TynerArt in the Open at Schuylkill Banks Park

Stained glass artist Justin Tyner was one of the only artists who needed to connect to the grid, he made this beautiful rose window outside with his soldering iron.  Shortly after this photo was taken the window was mounted in a round wooden frame on the lawn on a hill near the art museum.

Jeannie Moberly, Art in the Open at Schuylkill Banks Park

Jeannie MoberlyArt in the Open at Schuylkill Banks Park

Jeannie Moberly, Art in the Open at Schuylkill Banks Park

Jeannie MoberlyArt in the Open at Schuylkill Banks Park

Artist Jeannie Moberly used a variety of media from her art box to create the drawings on long expanses of paper that she planted in the ground with wood dowels.  The maze-like effect was bold and beautiful at the bend in the river.  Sitting in the bright sun with a big hat and long sleeves to guard her arms, the artist contentedly worked out the ambitious drawing while bikers, walkers and gawkers stopped by to check out the colorful display of art.

Abdelkrim Djennas, Art in the Open at Schuylkill Banks Park

Abdelkrim DjennasArt in the Open at Schuylkill Banks Park

Flowers made from battle caps – gorgeous! Abdelkrim Djennas flattens out bottle caps with cuts along the edge transforming refuse into delightful dumpster diver art.  Like tramp artists of old, he takes what society discards and makes something desirable and pretty.  The metal flowers sprouting in the woods near the art museum were whimsical yet prescient with a question of whether Nature will be overtaken by man made objects.

Nicole Donnelly, Art in the Open at Schuylkill Banks Park

Nicole DonnellyArt in the Open at Schuylkill Banks Park

Using found materials, Nicole Donnelly wove a structure of twigs and branches around one of the boulders along the river.  Obviously temporary but the piece touched a childhood nerve of playing in the woods.  The rocks along the river make convenient resting spots, Donnelly’s hut-like structure evokes Clan of the Cave Bear-like racial memories and the satisfaction of creating shelter.

George Apotsos, Art in the Open at Schuylkill Banks Park

George ApotsosArt in the Open at Schuylkill Banks Park

George Apotsos used simple chicken wire to create his ethereal Occupy People. The wire torsos planted in the Earth at oblique angles, each faceless head looking in a different direction evoking the mixed message mantra of the Occupy movement. We can see right through them. Using a mannequin as a form, George Apotsos molds and trims the common material, using heavy gloves and strong shears, into a metaphor for modern life.

Written and photographed by DoN Brewer except where noted.

Contributing photographer, Jeff Stroud

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