Category Archives: Crafts

Wall

Nicki Hitz Edson, Medusa Mask, 1975. Crocheted wool. Promised gift of The Julie Schafler Dale Collection.

Off the Wall: American Art to Wear

November 10, 2019 – May 17, 2020

This fall, the Philadelphia Museum of Art presents Off the Wall: American Art to Wear, a major exhibition that highlights a distinctive American art movement that emerged in the late 1960s and flourished during the following decades. It examines a generation of pioneering artists who used body-related forms to express a personal vision and frames their work in relation to the cultural, historical and social concerns of their time. Focusing on iconic works made during the three decades between 1967 and 1997, the exhibition features 115 works by 62 artists. Comprised primarily of selections from a promised gift of Julie Schafler Dale, it also includes works from the museum’s collection and loans from private collections. Off the Wall: American Art to Wear is accompanied by a new publication of the same title, co-published by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Yale University Press.

Timothy Rub, the George D. Widener Director and CEO, said: “This exhibition introduces to our visitors an exceptionally creative and adventurous aspect of American art which took the body as a vehicle for its expression. We are not only deeply grateful to Julie Schafler Dale for her extraordinary gifts and support of the museum but also see this as an opportunity to acknowledge the dynamic role she played in nurturing the growth and development of this movement.” 

Sharron Hedges, Midnight Sky (Julie’s Coat), 1977. Wool, crocheted. Promised gift of The Julie Schafler Dale Collection. Photography by Otto Stupakoff ©Julie Schafler Dale.

The champions of Art to Wear during the early years were a few forward-thinking museums, among them New York’s Museum of Contemporary Crafts (Museum of Art and Design), collectors, and galleries such as Sandra Sakata’s Obiko, founded in 1972 in San Francisco, and Julie Schafler Dale’s Julie: Artisans Gallery, which opened the following year on Madison Avenue in New York. For over 40 years, Dale’s gallery was a premier destination for presenting one-of-a-kind wearable works by American artists. Through her gallery installations and rotating window displays, she gave visibility to the Art to Wear movement. In 1986, she brought further recognition to the art form by publishing the seminal book Art to Wear—from which the title of this exhibition is taken—which provided in-depth profiles of artists alongside photographs by Brazilian fashion photographer Otta Stupakoff. Dale’s gallery closed in 2013. 

Off the Wall is arranged in nine sections; the titles of some are derived from popular music of the ‘60s and ‘70s to suggest the wide-ranging concerns of the artists. The introductory section, The Times They Are A Changin’ (Bob Dylan, 1964), contains works by Lenore Tawney, Dorian Zachai, Claire Zeisler, Ed Rossbach, and Debra Rapoport to illustrate how textile artists in the late ‘50s and ‘60s liberated tapestry weaving from the wall, adapting it to three-dimensional sculptural forms inspired by pre-Columbian weaving. In 1969, a group of five students at Pratt Institute studying painting, sculpture, industrial design, multimedia, and graphic design taught each other how to crochet, leading to remarkable outcomes. Janet Lipkin, Jean Cacicedo, Marika Contompasis, Sharron Hedges, and Dina Knapp all created clothing-related forms that they would describe as wearable sculpture, thus establishing a cornerstone of the Art to Wear movement. Included in this section is a wool crochet and knit Samurai Top, 1972, by Sharron Hedges, modeled by the young Julie Dale for the book Creative Crochet, authored by two of the artist’s friends, Nicki Hitz Edson and Arlene Stimmel. 

Janet Lipkin, African Mask, 1970. Wool, leather, wood. Lent by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Muriel Kallis Newman, 2003. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Photography by Otto Stupakoff ©Julie Schafler Dale.

The next section, Good Vibrations (Beach Boys, 1966), traces the migration of many of these young artists from the East Coast to the West Coast where they joined California’s vibrant artistic community and connected with Sandra Sakata’s Obiko. A pair of colorful denim hand-embroidered mini shorts by Anna VA Polesny embroidered while traveling conveys this new youthful spirit. Pacific Rim influences are evident in the Japanese kimono form as a blank canvas offering infinite possibilities for pattern and design.  Marika Contompasis’s machine-knitted kimono made of rectangular sections, Trout-Magnolia Kimono, 1977, and Janet Lipkin’s Mexico at Midday, a coat made in 1988 are exceptional examples. The section also looks at the art of performance, reflected in Ben Compton and Marian Clayden’s Nocturnal Moth, 1974,inspired by Federico Fellini’s film La Dolce Vita (1960). A range of counter-culture influences, evoking ceremony and spirituality, pervade this section. 

Oh, Mother Earth (Neil Young, 1990) is a nod to the publications The Whole Earth Catalog (1968) and Mother Earth News (1970) and looks to nature and environmental concerns while another section, This Land is Your Land (Woodie Guthrie, 1944) explores iconic American imagery from the Brooklyn Bridge to the American West. Examples in those two sections include Joan Ann Jablow’s Big Bird cape, 1977, made entirely of recycled bird feathers, and Joan Steiner’s Manhattan Collar, 1979, which reimagines New York’s skyline in miniature. 

Joan Steiner, Manhattan Collar, 1979. Silk, wool, cotton, lace, and buckram
Collection of Joanna S. Rose. Photography by Otto Stupakoff ©Julie Schafler Dale

In A Land Called Fantasy (Earth, Wind & Fire, 1977) explores fantasy and science fiction, two genres that offered young people an escape from the period’s cultural and political upheavals. Noteworthy here are works by Jean Cacicedo and Nina Huryn, both of whom riff on one of the most widely read English language books at the time, J.R.R. Tolkien’s trilogy Lord of the Rings (1965). Cacicedo responded with a portrait of Treebeard, 1973, a Tolkien character, while Huryn created her own fantasy world in Tree Outfit, with itsflowing pants, loose shirt and leather sleeveless jacket containing forest and folklore imagery, a work made especially for Julie: Artisans Gallery in 1976. Other artists turned to dreams, such as Susanna Lewis, who created Moth Cape, 1979, in response to a nightmare that she had of a giant moth enveloping her body.

Come Together (The Beatles, 1969) responds to the popular use of assemblage in art-making, especially the use of nontraditional materials. Red Ray, from the series, Seven Rays, by Kaisik Wong, is included as an example of a work that was commissioned by his close friend Salvador Dalí in 1974 for the grand opening of the Dalí Theatre Museum in Figueres, Spain. Nearby is Mario Rivoli’s Overdone Jacket, 1973, made of found objects such as pins, metal bottle caps, beads, and other items. 

A section called I Am Woman (Helen Reddy, 1971) underscores the ways in which artists invoked feminism directly and indirectly in Art to Wear. Janet Lipkin, for example, invested her works with symbols of freedom while searching for new directions in her life, as seen in Flamingo, 1982, and Transforming Woman, 1992. Other works like Combat Vest, 1985, by Sheila Perez, feature plastic toy soldiers as protective armor for the chest area, while Nicki Hitz Edson’s Medusa Mask, 1975, is a wild expression of fraught emotions surrounding the breakup of her marriage.

Linda J. Mendelson, In Kyo-Kawara, 2015, Wool machine knitted, plastic buttons. Promised gift of The Julie Schaffler Dale Collection.

Colour My World (Chicago, 1970) reflects the buoyant rainbow color spectrum that was ubiquitous during this era. Recently published works on color theory by Johannes Itten and Josef Albers provided a cornerstone of the new art education. For Linda Mendelson, color, typography, and text became inseparable. She adapted Albers’s ideas and linked color progression with lines from a poem titled Coat by William Butler Yeats from which she drew inspiration. Other artists such as Tim Harding created an effect similar to impressionist brush strokes by slashing and fraying dyed fabrics, as seen in his colorful coat Garden: Field of Flowers, 1991. 

The final section Everybody’s Talkin’ (Harry Nilsson, 1968) explores the use of text in Art to Wear. Jo-Ellen Trilling engages in visual word play using common prepositions on a jacket, while Jean Cacicedo channels her grief over her father’s death using words taken from the bible that celebrated his life in My Father’s House, 1994.

Sheila Perez Ghidini, Combat Vest, circa 1985.Molded plastic figures on quilted plain weave supplemental warp and weft patterning. Promised gift of The Julie Schafler Dale Collection.

Dilys E. Blum, The Jack M. and Annette Y. Friedland Senior Curator of Costume and Textiles, who organized the exhibition, said: “We are looking back at this period with a fresh lens through which to consider a uniquely American art form that continues to have a worldwide influence. With roots and connections in fine arts, fiber art, craft, performance and fashion, there are so many important artists to appreciate. For this reason I am delighted by the opportunity to cast a light on such extraordinary talents, including so many adventurous women who deserve much greater recognition.” 

Publication
Off the Wall: American Art to Wear is accompanied by a new publication of the same name co-published by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Yale University Press, co-authored by exhibition curators Dilys E. Blum, The Jack M. and Annette Y. Friedland Senior Curator of Costume and Textiles at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and independent textile scholar and curator Mary Schoeser, with a contribution written by Julie Schafler Dale. The volume provides the social, political, and artistic context for Art to Wear. ISBN 9780876332917.

Curators

Dilys E. Blum, The Jack M. and Annette Y. Friedland Senior Curator of Costume and Textiles and Mary Schoeser, Independent Textile Historian and Curator

Support

This exhibition has been made possible by Julie Schafler Dale, PNC, The Coby Foundation, the Arlin and Neysa Adams Endowment Fund, Catherine and Laurence Altman, the Center for American Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and other generous donors.

Social Media

Twitter/Facebook/Instagram/Tumblr/YouTube: @philamuseum

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is Philadelphia’s art museum. We are a world-renowned collection. A landmark building. 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.

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

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Homelessness

Homelessness, Carolyn Harper. MUSE Gallery
Lemuel, art quilt, 5.5′ x 5′, Carolyn Harper, MUSE Gallery

Look Me In The Eye: Portraits of Homelessness

Carolyn Harper, MUSE Gallery

I am a Philadelphian and an artist with an upcoming exhibition in Old City Philadelphia at MUSE Gallery,Look Me In The Eye: Portraits of Homelessness” is a show of large art quilts and oversized hand embroidered drawings that use personal stories of homeless individuals, Philadelphians, to inspire empowerment and  create visibility of those who have been left behind by our society.

My work combines art and action to produce meaningful social impact. The implementation of portraiture within quilting serves to empower the persons depicted, enabling them to see themselves through their own stories rather than qualifiers such as “jobless” or “homeless”. Through conversations and active listening, I learn about the individual stories of these overlooked and ignored community members. The large scale work forces the audience to confront images of people they would rather not see, and bear witness to the stories behind them. 

Carolyn Harper

This work is extremely relevant to the times we live in, and I am grateful to The Puffin Foundation for providing me with a grant in support of my work. The Artist Reception will take place at MUSE Gallery, 52 N. 2nd Street, Old City Philadelphia, on Friday, November 1st from 5 – 8 pm. The exhibition runs through the end of November; Gallery hours are Wednesday – Sunday from 12-5.

For more information and images please visit about Carolyn Harper: www.carolynharperart.com

About Muse Gallery:

Mission: Established late in 1977, the Muse Gallery is an artists’ cooperative dedicated to encourage and promote its members’ artistic expression through abstract, conceptual and representational forms. Reflecting an aesthetic that awakens awareness, the Muse Gallery affirms the shared experience of art between the artist and the community.  Please see the membership page to view a detailed history of Muse.
To join the Gallery: Muse Gallery is always interested in potential new members. We are often fully staffed and maintain a waiting list. Please visit our membership page.

Thank you to Carolyn Harper for the content of this post.

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POST20

POSTPHL | #POST20 @PhilaCFEVA

Syd Carpenter in studio, Photo by Matthew Bender.

The Center for Emerging Visual Artists
www.philaopenstudios.org

POST20: Open Studios Coming this Fall
October 12: South | October 13: Northeast | October 19: Northwest | October 20: West

The Center for Emerging Visual Artists celebrates the 20th Anniversary of Philadelphia Open Studio Tours (POST) this October. We are proud to be a part of a community that has empowered artists through this program for the past two decades and we look forward to many more ahead of us.
Fostering meaningful interaction between artists and the public, POST promotes a greater awareness and appreciation for the creative minds that make Philadelphia a vibrant place to live, work, and visit.

Philadelphia Open Studio Tours is the largest open studio tour in the region featuring hundreds of artists and community spaces—workshops, galleries, etc.—each year. A behind-the-scenes look into a day in the life of an artist, POST is an approachable and easy to navigate, self-guided tour taking place over two weekends. Each day offers the public an opportunity to explore creative spaces (free of charge) in a unique portion of the city. Participating studios and workspaces will be open from NOON to 6PM on assigned tour days.

Activities include: studio visits, hands-on demonstrations, workshops, artist talks, discussions, receptions, guided tours, featured exhibitions and more. No other open studio event in the area provides such a rich and diverse cultural experience for the public.

Get involved with POST20 today! Registration, advertising sales and sponsorship options are available at philaopenstudios.org. To learn more about POST contact Michael Mergen at michael@cfeva.org or (215) 546-7775 ext. 13

Tweet: We Made It! Philadelphia Open Studio Tours celebrates 20 years this October.
Learn how you can get involved at philaopenstudios.org #POST20 #POSTPHL
Image: Syd Carpenter in studio, Photo by Matthew Bender
www.PhilaOpenStudios.org

Featured Events
POST20 Kickoff Party @ Sonesta, Sonesta Hotel – 1800 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA, Thursday, September 26, 2019: 6 to 9pm. Join the Center for Emerging Visual Artists (CFEVA) at the Sonesta Hotel to kick off the 20th year of Philadelphia Open Studio Tours. Mix and mingle with POST artists, partners, and collectors. Learn more about who you should visit during the open studio tours!
www.sonesta.com


25th Anniversary Philadelphia Furniture Show

23rd Street Armory – 22 S 23rd Street, Philadelphia, PA
Preview Party: Friday, October 4: 6 to 9pm, Saturday, October 5: 10am to 6pm Sunday, October 6: 10am to 5pm

CFEVA is partnering with the Philadelphia Furniture Show (PFS) which showcases exceptional artisan quality furniture and is the longest running exhibition of its kind. For 24 years PFS has cultivated an amazing array of handmade furniture and furnishings. From handcrafted tables for your home or office to rugs to fine furnishings, they showcase the finest artisan heirlooms.

CFEVA, POST20
2018 Philadelphia Furniture Show, Photographed by
Matthew Bender Studios


www.PhilaOpenStudios.org
www.philadelphiafurnitureshow.com

John Schlesinger, 2018 Peter Benoliel Fellow

The Center for Emerging Visual Artists – 237 South 18th Street, Suite 3A, Philadelphia, PA October 7 to November 15

Artist Talk: Saturday, October 12: Noon to 1pm
Closing Reception: Thursday, November 14: 5 to 7pm.


John Schlesinger is a veteran photographer turned sculptor. He has won a Rome Prize, a Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, a Peter S. Reed Foundation Award and two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships. His work has been reviewed in Art in America, the Village Voice, Aperture, Bomb Magazine, Art News, and the New York Times. Collected broadly, Schlesinger’s output can be found at the Walker Art Center, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Houston Museum of Art, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Hamburg Kunsthalle, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Brooklyn Museum, and the MOMA.
www.johnschlesinger.net

Thank you to Michael Mergen, Community Program Manager,The Center for Emerging Visual Artists, michael@cfeva.org for the content of this post.

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Young

YOUNG AT ART 3, Off the Wall Gallery at Dirty Frank’s

YOUNG AT ART 3, Off the Wall Gallery at Dirty Franks

Looking for an art show that’s a breath of fresh air? Perhaps one where the artists’ love of creativity shines through — no agenda, just passion? LOOK NO FARTHER.

THIS SUNDAY, AUGUST 18, 1 to 4 PM, we will gather to welcome 22 very young artists to OFF THE WALL. They are the forces behind YOUNG AT ART 3, the newest edition of the occasional juried show we inaugurated in 2013.


Our Opening Reception will put a kid-centric twist on our normal light hors d’oeuvres — pizza, fruit salad and juice boxes, plus mini-cupcakes from our friends and neighbors at SWEET BOX — and you’ll have the chance to meet more than half the artists.


Our creatives run the gamut in age from 3-4 years old — AUGUST KILLESTEFAN NAU and ORLA VECCHIO — up to 11 and 12 — including JAYDEN O’HALLORANMARY MINEI and YOUNG AT ART veterans KYLIE GROVEMO HINCHEY-MODGLINSKYLAR WILLENBORG and EMI and NOA TRAVALIA.

The Travalia girls also remind us that this time around we’re showcasing sibling synergy with five such sets: EMI and NOAISE and SAJ EVANS MCNALLANDARIUS and STEFAN NAUA.J. and SADIE PENNINGTON and CORMAC and ORLA VECCHIO.


Across their work — ranging from paintings and drawings in oil, acrylic, watercolor, colored pencil, charcoal and oil stick, to photography and collage to August’s whimsical sculpture, which takes flight in our 3D case — you witness SHEER JOY.


It buoys our firm belief that each and every person is BORN TO CREATE. The love of art and art-making is genuinely innate. Life erodes this instinct rather than reinforce it — unless we lift up an artist as early as possible.

 
So come join us as much to elevate as to celebrate. And if your party includes other kids, more power. Yes, normally you would be carded — but not for these three hours and a little bit more (unless you order alcohol). Let’s take in great art and have fun!
See you Sunday,
Togo

Togo Travalia
Manager OFF THE WALL GALLERY at Dirty Frank’s, NE Corner, 13th & Pine Streets, Philadelphia, PA, 19107

offthewallgallery@gmail.com

facebook.com/OTWDirtyFranks

@OTWDirtyFranks

(215) 732-5010 (bar)

(484) 357-6440 (cell)

Celebrating 40 years of revolutionary art

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Kitty

FELI*DELPHIA: Art Exhibition Benefiting Philly Kitty Rescue

at Boardroom Spirits Distillery

Dear Readers,

It is my pleasure to formally invite you to FELI*DELPHIA: Art Exhibition to Benefit the Philly Kitty Rescue! This is a passion project I have been working on throughout the winter: I’ve organized a group exhibition of over 60 “Philly” and/or “kitty” themed artworks, the proceeds of which will benefit this very special volunteer-run organization that rescues, fosters, and provides medical care for stray and homeless cats and kittens across greater Philadelphia, especially those with special needs. TPK is an organization very close to my heart: a lifelong animal lover, in 2017 I adopted my cat Rufus from them and have since developed a personal relationship with TPK’s founders as well as Rufus’ former foster families. Now I can’t imagine life without him! The event is being generously hosted by Boardroom Spirits Distillery in Lansdale, PA, a northwestern Philadelphia suburb, on Saturday April 6th from 3-8pm. During these hours, Boardoom will even be donating a percentage of their revenue to TPK. Read more information below!

In other news, I am currently exhibiting at two of the schools where I teach: Cecil College in Elkton, MD and the Wallingford Community Arts Center in Wallingford, PA (Media/Swarthmore). In the studio, I am continuing work on the second installation of paintings for Fulton-Montgomery Community College in Johnstown, NY to follow last year’s WOMEN IN STEM series. Scroll down to read more on these and other events.

Created especially for FELI*DELPHIA: EXHIBITION TO BENEFIT THE PHILLY KITTY RESCUE.
SPOTTED: 5 x 7 in framed. Pencil and ink on paper. $50. To buy now, email me directly at ericaharney@gmail.com

Finally: if you like to support the arts, small and local businesses, or simply enjoy receiving updates about my local and regional art events and projects, please Tell a Friend!! Share this newsletter with others who might want to Subscribe.

Thank you!

Erica Harney

Instagram: @erica_harney_artist

Facebook: Erica Harney, Artist

Scenic and Mural Work: Coroflot

Thank you to Erica Harney for the content of this post.

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