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Identity

The Delaware Art Museum Presents Exhibitions Focused on Beauty, Gender, and Identity

Frédérick Douglass, 2015. Omar Victor Diop (born 1980). Inkjet pigment print on Hahnemuhle paper, 35 1/2 x 35 1/2 inches. © Omar Victor Diop, Courtesy Galerie MAGNIN-A, Paris.
Opening in October: Posing Beauty in African American Culture and Angela Fraleigh: Sound the Deep Waters

WILMINGTON, DE (September 20, 2019) — For as long as the concept of beauty has existed, it has been championed and idealized, as well as challenged and questioned. Beauty as a concept, in art as in culture and society, is ever-changing. It is also increasingly complex, as viewers and artists alike drive for deeper discussion around traditional standards and reconsidered interpretations, while eagerly seeking fresh insights and new voices.

Building off this momentum, and continuing its vision of presenting a range of voices to viewers, the Delaware Art Museum presents two provocative exhibitions this fall exploring beauty, gender, and identity: Posing Beauty in African American Culture, on view October 19, 2019, through January 26, 2020, and Angela Fraleigh: Sound the Deep Waters, on view October 5, 2019, through April 12, 2020.

Posing Beauty in African American Culture will look at the contested ways in which African American beauty has been represented in culture, while Sound the Deep Waters, a commission inspired by the Museum’s Pre-Raphaelite and illustration collections, will present a contemporary look at gender and identity through the lens of historical narrative art.

“We’re excited to present these exhibitions at the same time–in dialogue. Both create visually lush experiences for visitors,” says Heather Campbell Coyle, Chief Curator and Curator of American Art at the Delaware Art Museum. “In Posing Beauty, you see a range of artists working in different styles from glamorous portraiture to documentary photography to video art. The works represent over a century of ongoing conversation around beauty and how we see ourselves and others. Then, in the Angela Fraleigh show, you discover a unique, immersive experience inspired by works of art in the Museum’s collection, but there are unexpected elements and themes that cross over between the two projects.”

Together, the two exhibitions and their related programming will invite viewers into the galleries to see works of art with meaningful connections to both the collection and community. At the same time, the overlapping themes of the exhibitions and complementary works of art will continue the Museum’s vision of increasing representation within its own galleries for women artists and artists of color.

“As the Delaware Art Museum looks to provide a platform for all artists and share works of art that tell a range of stories in many different ways, these exhibitions will extend that vision and invite viewers to be part of the discussion,” says Sam Sweet, Executive Director and CEO of the Delaware Art Museum. “We expect the two exhibitions will inspire our community to think deeper on their own notions of beauty and question how those notions were shaped, and perhaps return to look again at favorite works with fresh eyes.”
About the Exhibitions

Posing Beauty in African American Culture examines the contested ways in which African and African American beauty have been represented in historical and contemporary contexts through a diverse range of media, including photography, film, video, fashion, advertising, and other forms of popular culture, such as music and the Internet. Organized by artist and scholar Deborah Willis, the exhibition features 104 works of art, dating from the 1890s to the present.

As author and historian Barbara Summers notes, “Beauty is power. And the struggle to have the entire range of Black beauty recognized and respected is a serious one.” Posing Beauty invites viewers to think seriously about gorgeous photographs–to admire the self-fashioned glamour of models and beauty contestants, as well as the carefully crafted images of celebrities such as Michelle Obama, Isaac Hayes, and Marvin Hagler.

Featuring both black-and-white and color photography, celebrities, and everyday people, the vast array of photos will encourage viewers to think about beauty in political, cultural, and complex terms. Artists in the exhibition include, among others, Sheila Pree Bright, Renee Cox, Omar Victor Diop, Lola Flash, Charles “Teenie” Harris, John W. Mosley, Gordon Parks, Jamel Shabazz, Mickalene Thomas, Carrie Mae Weems, Ernest C. Withers, and lauren woods.

“There is, appropriately, a great range to this exhibition,” says, Heather Campbell Coyle, Chief Curator and Curator of American Art at the Delaware Art Museum. “The historical examples highlight the ideals of beauty and strength promoted by professional portrait photographers, beauty contests, and popular magazines. Seeing these alongside the work of contemporary artists, especially those who actively critique the ongoing presentation of race and gender in American culture, will encourage viewers to consider the complex relationship between beauty and art, as well as the conversation between contemporary art and popular culture.”

Angela Fraleigh: Sound the Deep Waters was directly inspired by the Delaware Art Museum’s Pre-Raphaelite and American illustration collections. This commissioned display presents a contemporary look at gender and identity through the lens of historic narrative art. Fraleigh’s large-scale paintings and ceramics examine notions of storytelling, role-playing, fantasy, and power dynamics in the work of Katharine Pyle, Hannah Barlow, and Marie Spartali Stillman, among others.

Fraleigh’s opulent paintings are populated by female figures freed from the social constructs of their time. No longer the despised witches of popular fairy tales or shunned agitators, these women are empowered to occupy their own utopian landscape. Fusing meticulous realism with gestural abstraction, Fraleigh constructs an immersive space in which reality merges with dreams and hallucinations.

“I uncovered so many incredible stories associated with the women in the Museum’s Pre-Raphaelite and illustration collections,” Angela Fraleigh explains. “This commissioned piece is part of a longtime project that asks: What if the female characters we’ve come to know from art history–the lounging odalisques, the chorus that whispers in the background–present more than a voyeuristic visual feast? What if these characters embody a flickering of female power at work? Can we see these ‘passive’ characters as subversive and powerful? And if we do, how might it affect women today and of the future?”

Sound the Deep Waters is a dynamic response to pieces from the Museum’s own Pre-Raphaelite and American illustration collections. These new works of art–presented in an immersive installation–will spark the curiosity of viewers already familiar with the Museum’s collection, as well as draw others in to see how historic art can impact contemporary creativity.

“Fraleigh’s work often considers how meanings are made and questions how traditional and familiar cultural narratives shape our experiences in the world. Sound the Deep Waters, encourages us to look anew at images from our own collection,” says Margaret Winslow, Curator of Contemporary Art at the Delaware Art Museum. “Viewers will have the opportunity to reconsider the pictures they thought they knew or the stories they thought they understood.”

Public Programs and Events

David Driskell Living Legacy Talk
Saturday, October 20 | 2:00 p.m.
This speaking tour, envisioned as a series of conversations between Professor David C. Driskell and Professor Curlee R. Holton, will provide an opportunity for audiences and communities around the country to learn about the contributions of Professor Driskell, and of African American artists, to the country’s artistic history.

Picturing Beauty: Celebrating Real Women
Sunday, November 17
Picturing Beauty: Celebrating Real Women will be a free, intergenerational event featuring successful female leaders in the arts. The day will be developed in partnership with Girls, Inc., One Village Alliance, and the YWCA. The event will include a keynote address with Deborah Willis and Angela Fraleigh at 2:00 p.m.

Inside Look: Posing Beauty
Friday, November 22 and Sunday, November 24
Led by a University of Delaware art history graduate student, this program includes an in-depth dialogue about a single work of art.

Black Iris Project: “A Mother’s Rite”
Thursday, January 23 | 8:00 p.m.
Founded in 2016 by choreographer Jeremy McQueen, The Black Iris Project is a ballet collaborative and education vehicle that creates new, relevant classical ballet works that celebrate diversity and Black history. “A Mother’s Rite” is a new ballet about how a mother copes with the loss of her child to a racially-motivated murder.

Guide-Led Public Tours
Saturdays and Sundays throughout the run of Posing Beauty | 2:00 p.m.

Sponsors

Posing Beauty in African American Culture is curated by Deborah Willis and organized by Curatorial Assistance Traveling Exhibitions, Pasadena, California. This exhibition is sponsored by M&T Bank and made possible in Delaware by Mary G. Heiser in memory of her son, Scott T. Heiser, the Johannes R. and Betty P. Krahmer American Art Exhibition Fund, WSFS, and Delmarva. Both Posing Beauty and Angela Fraleigh: Sound the Deep Waters are made possible, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes Delaware arts events on www.DelawareScene.com.

About the Delaware Art Museum

For over 100 years, the Museum has served as a primary arts and cultural institution in Delaware. It is alive with experiences, discoveries, and activities to connect people with art and with each other. Originally created in 1912 to honor the renowned illustrator and Wilmington-native, Howard Pyle, the Museum’s collection has grown to over 12,000 works of art in our building and sculpture garden. Also recognized for British Pre-Raphaelite art, the Museum is home to the largest and most important Pre-Raphaelite collection outside of the United Kingdom and a growing collection of significant contemporary art.

Under the leadership of our Board of Trustees, the Delaware Art Museum is implementing a comprehensive approach to community and civic engagement. This exciting new strategic direction requires that we increase our value and relevance to all audiences. Visit delart.org to for the latest exhibitions, programs, and performances or connect with us via social media.
Delaware Art Museum, 2301 Kentmere Parkway,
Wilmington, DE 19806
302.571.9590 | 866.232.3714 (toll free) | delart.org

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Anahata

John Singletary, Detail of Providence, 3′ x 30′ Photography Based OLED Installation/Pigment Print

John Singletary – Anahata

The Delaware Contemporary

200 S Madison Street, Wilmington, DE 19801

Opening Reception: Friday, May 3rd, 5:00 – 9:00 PM

Museum Hours:Monday closed, Tues. 12 – 5pm, Weds. 12 – 7pm, Thurs. & Fri. 10 – 5pm Sun. 12 – 5pm

Philadelphia native, John Singletary, is a fine art photographer and multimedia artist. His educational training includes both Drexel University and a BFA in Photography from The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA. He has exhibited at The Pennsylvania State Museum of Art, LG Tripp Gallery and The James Oliver Gallery. As well, his work is represented in the permanent collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Center for Fine Art Photography and The Haverford College Archives.

Anahata is a photographic exhibition that uses its mode of presentation to transcend the limitations of the medium in a multi-disciplinary installation experience. Photographs are animated through multiple state-of-the-art OLED panels used as electronic canvases. The technology is synchronized to create joined, large format displays, some forming 8′ x 8′ luminous squares or a 30′ Greco-Roman frieze-inspired composition. Images materialize out of walls and recede back into darkness, as would apparitions in this oddly familiar living space. These and other works are set to original music composed by John Singletary and Matt Hollenberg.

Installation View, Clarise, 8′ x 8′ Photography Based OLED Installation

While the ambition in Singletary’s presentation is of distinct merit, it’s not mere technology doing the real work. The photographic quality in his highly ornamented images demonstrates a conscious and masterful use of the medium. Influenced by a production approach found in theater and cinema, Singletary and his crew built a black box studio in a Victorian house in Germantown, PA as a set for the photography in Anahata. This long term collaborative project enlisted dancers, theater performers, costume designers, make-up artists, choreographers and set technicians. And, in this black box studio, the dream-like imagery, extracted from mythology, symbolism and mysticism directs the narrative in Anahata as it explores human relationships and their connection to the divine.

John Singletary, Clarise, 8′ x 8′ OLED Installation/Pigment Print

In John Singletary’s inventive world of Anahata, the artist commands an ancient cry from demons and gods in spear-decorated headdresses and cocoon-like webs that conquer and connect us. From there, he uses an advanced understanding of technology to move forward seamlessly into a hyper-lit future. With his sensitivity in making this unique grand scale production personal and through his exacting print work, the fantasticality in Anahata becomes very real.

The Delaware Contemporary

Phone: 302-656-6466 (main)

Thank you to John Singletary for the content of this post.

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pa•per

Rosa Leff, Sorry Not Sorry, 2019, hand-cut paper plate, 12” x 12”

pa•per
A Group Exhibition Curated by Jason Chen

Paradigm Gallery + Studio

Exhibition Dates: April 26 – May 18, 2019
Opening Reception: April 26, 2019 5:30 – 10pm


Paradigm Gallery + Studio is pleased to present pa•per, a group exhibition of paper works curated by Paradigm co-founder Jason Chen, opening on April 26, 2019 and remaining on view through May 18, 2019.

There will be a public opening reception on April 26th from 5:30 – 10pm. Though paper is often thought of as craft material, Chen’s exhibition, pa•per, tries to re-contextualize the medium by showcasing 15 artists who use nontraditional techniques to elevate it.

Included in the exhibition is Baltimore-based Rosa Leff, who is a member of The Guild of American Papercutters. Two of Leff’s pieces in pa•per, Dinner’s On Me and Sorry Not Sorry, incorporate traditional imagery that you might find on fine china plates. All of her work is cut by hand from a single sheet of paper.

While the exhibition does not range in medium, it ranges in technique. From surgical X-Acto blade cuts to minimal collage to Sally Hewitt’s series of paper reliefs, paper is transformed by technique and treatment. India-based Nayan and Vaishali’s ongoing project, 730 Days of Miniature, poses a creative challenge on the seemingly limited nature of the material. Each day, they spend four to six hours meticulously creating miniature paper bird artworks. Each one is colored and cut by hand, and layered to create a “2.5 dimensional” piece. These works and the show itself treats paper not as a background or foundation for artworks, but as a transformable material.

Jason Chen specifically chose artists who have not been featured ever before at Paradigm. Artists participating in pa•per include: Kanako Abe, Daria Aksenova, Joey Bates, Albert Chamillard, Colette Fu, Lizzie Gill, Sally Hewett, Danielle Krysa, Rosa Leff, Huntz Liu, Ryan Sarah Murphy, Marianne R. Petit, Lucha Rodríguez, and Nayan and Vaishali. The gallery is known for working with established and emerging paper artists, but pa•per’s lineup is fresh and unexpected.

pa•per is curated around art that is pushed beyond its practical applications into the world of fine art. The capacity of paper as a medium, rather than a surface to paint or draw on, highlights its potential of exceeding expectations.

(left) Sally Hewitt, Paperback, 2019, cartridge paper manipulated using needles, bodkins and embossing tools, 12 x 10” (right) Nayan and Vaishali, Impala and Red-billed Oxpeckers, 2019, layered cut paper and watercolor, 9 x 9 cm

Paradigm Gallery + Studio
Paradigm Gallery + Studio® exhibits contemporary artwork from around the world with a focus on Philadelphia-based artists. Established February 2010, the gallery began as a project between co-founders and curators, Jason Chen and Sara McCorriston, as a space in which to create artwork, to exhibit the work of their peers, and to invite the members of the community to create and collect in a welcoming gallery setting. To this day the gallery still aims to welcome all collectors, from first time to lifelong, and continues to support accessible work that welcomes a wide audience.

Location: Paradigm Gallery + Studio, 746 S 4th St., Philadelphia, PA 19147
Media Contact: Lainya Magaña, A&O PR, lainya@aopublic.com

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Drag

DRAG IN PHILADELPHIA: THE BOLD, THE BEAUTIFUL & THE BRUNCH
The Citywide Special—a shot of Jim Beam and a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon for $4 ($3 during happy hour)—may have originated at this beloved dive, but it’s only a part of what makes Bob & Barbara’s Lounge so fun. Thursday brings the drag show, Friday and Saturday nights feature live jazz, and karaoke ends the weekend on Sunday.
 
Credit: Photo by A. Ricketts for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®

DRAG IN PHILADELPHIA: THE BOLD, THE BEAUTIFUL & THE BRUNCH

Philly Drag History, Current Shows & Queens To Follow

PHILADELPHIA, March 26, 2019 – Philadelphia’s drag scene dates back centuries—and thrives to this day. Contemporary Philly drag queens most often perform in the bars and clubs of the Gayborhood, part of Center City’s Washington Square West neighborhood. But a growing number of venues beyond the neighborhood host drag brunches, game nights, variety shows and kids’ story times.

Philadelphia men have been costuming in ruffles and feathers since the 1600s, when Swedish immigrants began a raucous New Year’s tradition that, in 1901, officially became the Mummers Parade. Modern Mummers’ costumes are bold, bright, sequined—and blue collar. Women were permitted to join their ranks in the 1980s. In 2012, the Philly Drag Mafia became the first official queens to strut in the parade.

The city’s drag nightlife dates to at least to the 1950s, when the The New Forrest Lounge—now The Bike Stop, in the Gayborhood—required reservations for drag shows such as The Fabulous Fakes. Other drag hotspots Miss P’s at 18th and Lombard streets and ’90s dance club Shampoo helped broaden the audience for local drag culture, while dive bar Bob & Barbara’s emerged as a once-a-week base for performers.

Today, drag personalities replete with tongue-in-cheek names and spectacular style make their marks at nearly every queer bar in the Gayborhood, including Tabu Lounge & Sports Bar andVoyeur Nightclub, known for hosting frequent performances by both top-tier local talent up to nationally known queens from “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”So-called straight scenes that have gotten into the act include Northern Liberties’ Bourbon and Branch and Fishtown comedy club Punch Line Philly, hosts of brunch-time drag shows. There’s also a growing trend of drag queen story times, where queens read books aloud to rooms full of little ones.

Drag Shows:

  • Bob & Barbara’s – The South Street dive is as loved for its shot-and-a-beer special as it is for Miss Lisa Lisa, the teasing, raucous host of the bar’s Thursday night drag show. With a diverse rotating cast of new and seasoned queens, the event has the distinction of being the longest-running drag show in Philadelphia. 1509 South Street, (215) 545-4511,bobandbarbaras.com
  • Boxers PHL  Iris Spectre and VinChelle perform in a Gayborhood sports bar on Turn Out Tuesdays. Their variety show features local talent, tunes from DJ Drootrax and cocktails made with Philly-based Stateside vodka. Iris also hosts a live “RuPaul’s Drag Race” viewing party here. 1330 Walnut Street, (215) 735-2977, boxersphl.com
  • Franky Bradley’s – The Gayborhood’s self-described “house of weird,” presents Farrah Thorne’s Get Hype showcase on the third Wednesday of every other month and hosts drag-boosted burlesque performance Honeygasm on the first Sunday of every month. The shows take place upstairs in an area complete with a corner stage and modern sound system, all bolstered by a funky ’70s-hippie vibe. 1320 Chancellor Street, (215) 735-0735, frankybradleys.com
  • FringeArts – This performing arts venue attached to brasserie La Peg presents queer cabaret Get Pegged about once per month fall through winter. The Bearded Ladies Cabaret founder John Jarboe hosts the series, which features diverse queer musical and burlesque artists from Philly and beyond. The venue also hosts a variety of drag shows as part of the fall Fringe Festival. 140 N. Christopher Columbus Boulevard, (215) 413-9006, fringearts.com
  • GayBINGO! at Congregation Rodeph Shalom – For 20 years, GayBINGO!,a fundraiser for Aids Fund Philly, has been one of Philadelphia’s most in-demand Friday night events. Every month in the fall and winter, drag hosts dress according to a theme, interact with audiences, perform numbers and call winners. 615 N. Broad Street, (215) 731-9255, aidsfundphilly.org
  • Knock Restaurant and Bar – Iris Spectre hosts All-Star Karaoke every Wednesday at Knock, a Gayborhood restaurant and bar known for its gentlemanly clientele and expertly made cocktails. 255 S. 12th Street, (215) 925-1166, knockphilly.com
  • L’Etage – The dimly lit, Paris-inspired performance space above Bella Vista creperie Beau Monde hosts one of Philly’s most popular monthly drag shows, the Martha Graham Cracker Cabaret. The line stretches around the block for the performance, which features covers of beloved pop songs by the self-proclaimed world’s tallest, hairiest drag queen. The space also hosts a regular lineup of drag shows, including an amateur drag night on the first Sunday of every month from Philadelphia producer John Burd. 624 S. 6th Street, (215) 592-0656, creperie-beaumonde.com
  • The Raven Resort – New Hope, Bucks County has long been an LGBTQ destination, and every visit must include a stop at this sprawling piano bar, restaurant, motel and pool, whose legacy stems back to the 1970s. The Raven has played host to notables such as local legend Tinsel Garland and drag big-timers Paige Turner and Sherry Vine. The current roster includesLipstick Mondays, when Cyannie Lopez hosts trans and queen performers on the first and third Monday of every month. 385 W. Bridge Street, New Hope, (215) 862-2081,theravennewhope.com
  • Tabu Lounge & Sports Bar – Home to a wide-range of queer performance art, Tabu is perhaps best known for its drag variety shows, constantly being reshaped to fit with the goings-on in pop culture and cravings of local audiences. The nightclub holds competitions, cabarets, drag queen-hosted karaoke and, on the first Saturday of the month, “Christian” comedy queen Bev’s popular drag show, Bev’s Bitchfest. 254 S. 12th Street, (215) 964-9675, tabuphilly.com
  • Tavern on Camac – Staying true to its reputation, the atmospheric piano bar tucked away on Camac Street hosts two regular live singing-focused drag events. Every Thursday, it’s GayBill, a night of showtune sing-alongs with host Cleo Phatra and her closest friends. On the third Saturday of every month, ukulele-strumming bearded lady Eric Jaffe hosts The Eric Jaffe Show, spotlighting some of the area’s fiercest musical talents. 243 S. Camac Street, (215) 545-0900, tavernoncamac.com
  • Toasted Walnut Bar & Kitchen – Cleo Phatra hosts Totally Toasted Trivia, a game night every Tuesday at this friendly, lesbian-owned bar. During “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” comedy queen Bev hosts viewing parties followed by karaoke. 1316 Walnut Street, (215) 546-8888, toastedwalnut.com
  • The Victoria Freehouse – A British pub named after one of history’s most outspoken queens hosts one-Saturday-a-month drag shows with themes that have been inspired by Harry Potter, “Game of Thrones” and Bettlejuice. Two or three times a year, hilarious Aunt Mary Pat, perhaps the most Philly queen of them all, performs sold-out standup. 10 S. Front Street, (215) 543-6089, victoriafreehouse.com
  • Voyeur Nightclub – The Gayborhood’s fiercest drag fans head to this after-hours club once a month to catch Philly Drag Wars hosted by local “RuPaul’s Drag Race” alum Mimi Imfurst. Described as “RuPaul’s Drag Race” meets “The Voice,” the competition follows a similar format to both shows, including a the lip-sync-for-your-life contest and a rotating cast of high-profile local judges. 1221 St. James Street, (215) 735-5772, voyeurnightclub.com
  • Woody’s – Drag diva VinChelle hosts a “RuPaul’s Drag Race” viewing party every Thursday during the show’s regular season. The night features drink specials and boisterous banter directed at the screen. VinChelle also hosts karaoke on Woody’s second level on Wednesday nights. 202 S. 13th Street, (215) 545-1893, woodysbar.com

Drag Brunches:

  • Bourbon and Branch – On the fourth Sunday of each month, this Southern restaurant in Northern Liberties hosts a troupe of local drag queens in Babes of Bourbon and Branch, making the restaurant and music venue one of few surefire spots to enjoy live drag with a side of grits. 705 N. 2nd Street, (215) 238-0660, bourbonandbranchphilly.com
  • L’Etage – French toast, crepes and mimosas are part of the Ladies of L’Etage Drag Brunch, when queens come together for an afternoon of song, wowing death drops and, on occasion, a naughty puppet show. 624 S. 6th Street, (215) 592-0656, creperie-beaumonde.com
  • Mifflin Tavern – Drag brunch arrives South Philly-style every fourth Saturday of the month, when comedy queen Brittany Lynn sings and jokes as diners chow down on pub grub and throw back beers. Lynn also hosts a game night at the Pennsport pub every Wednesday. 1843 S. 2nd Street, (267) 273-0811, mifflintavern.net
  • Punch Line Philly – Each Saturday, this comedy club and restaurant charges a flat fee for brunch and an all-ages drag show—with a dash of raunchiness—hosted by two-time “RuPaul’s Drag Race” contender Mimi Imfurst. The weekly performance also features longtime Philly queens such as Cleo Phatra, Brooklyn Ford and Sutton Fearce. 33 E. Laurel Street, (215) 606-6555, dragdivabrunch.com
  • SouthHouse – Tater tots may be the star attraction at this unassuming neighborhood bar in South Philly’s Lower Moyamensing neighborhood, but drag queens Brittany Lynn, Navaya Shay and Crystal Electra try to outshine them during a drag brunch every first Sunday of the month. 2535 S. 13th Street, (267) 457-3682, southhousephilly.com
  • Tabu Lounge & Sports Bar – A rotating cast of queens that includes Onyx Black, Sasha Magnolia and Patty Spaghetti hit Tabu’s sports bar two Sundays a month for the Ladies of Tabu Drag Brunch. 254 S. 12th Street, (215) 964-9675, tabuphilly.com
  • The Victoria Freehouse – Old City’s atmospheric British pub gets wild on select Saturdays, when comedy queens host drag brunches with themes from Alice in Wonderland or Disney, and diners dress the part. 10 S. Front Street, (215) 543-6089, victoriafreehouse.com

Drag Queen Storytime:

  • Free Library of Philadelphia – Branches of Philadelphia’s public library get in on the drag queen story hour trend, where queens read aloud to a roomful of wide-eyed tots. Brittany Lynn is the Free Library’s most frequent storyteller. She has read at Lovett Memorial in Mount Airy and the Fumo Family Library in South Philly. Various locations, (215) 686-5322, freelibrary.org
  • Please Touch Museum – One day during Pride month, Philadelphia’s hands-on kids’ museum invites drag queens to read tales of diversity and acceptance to audiences of hundreds as part of its family Pride Celebration. The daylong event also features a dress-up corner, runway show, interactive puppet skits and singalongs. 4231 Avenue of the Republic, (215) 581-3181,pleasetouchmuseum.org

Drag Queens To Follow:

  • Ariel Versace – With a massive Instagram following and a closet to match, this self-described “life-sized Bratz doll” became the second local queen to nab a spot on the 2019 season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” Versace’s newfound stardom means she’ll now be performing around the world, but followers can still catch her around Philly. @arielversace
  • Aunt Mary Pat – She eschews expensive costumes and rocks a 5 o’clock shadow, but what Aunt Mary Pat lacks in glam she makes up for in hilarity. The beer-guzzling comedy queen is the epitome of Philly, entertaining audiences at her standup sets with anecdotes about her love for Wawa and “the Iggles.” facebook.com/auntmarypat
  • Aurora Whorealis – An Alaska transplant and Gayborhood staple, Aurora is primarily a comedy queen who performs at a slew of clubs and hosts “Trivi-YASSS” on Monday nights at Tabu. She was crowned “Best Lip-Sync Artist” at the 2017 Philly Drag Awards, an annual competition at Voyeur Nightclub. instagram.com/aurorawh0realis
  • Bev – Philadelphia’s self-described “premier Christian drag queen” is, intentionally ironically, known for her “Bitchfest” drag showcase at Tabu, when she presents other queens while tossing out quip after quip. Bev’s awards include “Best Comedy Performer” at the 2018 Drag Awards, “Miss Gulf Coast Comedy Queen,” 2017 and “Miss Northeast Comedy Queen,” 2016.facebook.com/theoneandonlyBev
  • Brittany Lynn – Created at former gay club 12th Air Command in 1996, Brittany Lynn is a cornerstone of the city’s drag scene, constantly reinventing herself with new events: a talk show, standup acts, live singing, weekly showcases and story time at the Free Library, for example. In 2013, she ushered in a new era of drag-queen involvement in the Mummers Parade by establishing the Miss Fancy Brigade, an achievement Philadelphia City Council recognized by honoring her with her own, official holiday: March 15 is Brittany Lynn Day. phillydragmafia.com
  • Iris Spectre – Every queen has her niche, and for this 2016 Philly Drag Awards “Drag Queen of the Year,” it’s costumes, costumes, costumes. The Parsons School of Fashion-trained designer’s costumes have been weird, fantastical and downright chic. She’s created pieces for big-name queens such as “RuPaul’s Drag Race” favorite Peppermint. facebook.com/Iris-Spectre
  • Martha Graham Cracker – Pig Iron Theatre Company co-founder by day, Dito van Reigersberg may be better known by his nighttime persona, Martha Graham Cracker, a hairy drag queen who skips the lip-syncing in favor of glass-shattering live vocals. Martha has been a regular on the drag performance circuit since 2005 and recently performed a one-woman show at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. facebook.com/MarthaGrahamCracker
  • Mimi Imfurst – Notorious for competing on “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and “RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars,” Philadelphia-based drag performer and event producer Mimi Imfurst hosts an all-ages Drag Diva Brunch at the Punch Line featuring a boisterous cast of local drag queens. She also produces theatrical events and national drag tours. mimiimfurst.com
  • Miss Lisa Lisa – All-out with her charm offensive, Miss Lisa Lisa—“so nice, she was named twice”—is a local icon, strutting her stuff and touting her strong-as-steel personality weekly at Bob & Barbara’s on South Street. She’s also been known to introduce new queens and performers at-large to the scene with her freestyle slots during her shows.phillydragmafia.com/project/underboss-miss-lisa-lisa
  • VinChelle – This Nashville-born University of Arts graduate, who also goes by the nickname Shea Better Werk, also refers to herself as a “tribal queen.” The “Drag Queen of the Year” at the 2017 Drag Awards and winner of the 2015 Drag Wars often incorporates African costumes, song and dance into her stage shows. facebook.com/SheaButterWerk

VISIT PHILADELPHIA® is our name and our mission. As the region’s official tourism marketing agency, we build Greater Philadelphia’s image, drive visitation and boost the economy.

On Greater Philadelphia’s official visitor website and blog, visitphilly.com and uwishunu.com, visitors can explore things to do, upcoming events, themed itineraries and hotel packages. Compelling photography and videos, interactive maps and detailed visitor information make the sites effective trip-planning tools. Along with Visit Philly social media channels, the online platforms communicate directly with consumers. Travelers can also call and stop into the Independence Visitor Center for additional information and tickets.

Thank you to Arturo Varela for the content of this post.

arturo@visitphilly.com

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Tweet It: The queens and the scene that make Philadelphia drag so fun @visitphilly: https://vstphl.ly/2G84zRN

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Then

Then and Here, Linda Dubin Garfield, Susan DiPronio, Da Vinci Art Alliance

Da Vinci Art Alliance, 704 Catharine Street in Philadelphia is pleased to announce Then and Here a two-person exhibition by Linda Dubin Garfield, printmaker/mixed media artist. and Susan DiPronio, photographer from May 1- 12, 2019. The opening reception is Wednesday, May 1, 6- 8 pm and a closing reception on May 12, 3- 5 pm.

Linda Dubin Garfield‘s works on paper and Susan DiPronio‘s photographs are inspired by memories and memoir. In conjunction with this exhibit Garfield has organized mixed media workshops for residents of Atria Senior Living Life Guidance Memory Care Unit. The work created by these residents will be included in the exhibit.

The opening is also a birthday party for Garfield and in lieu of gifts, she is requesting donations to the Dementia Society of America. A representative from the organization will be at the opening/birthday party with materials for distribution.

This exhibit is organized by smARTbusinessconsulting.org. A portion of sales will benefit the Dementia Society of America.
for more information, see:

Linda Dubin Garfield, Ed.D.
printmaker/mixed media artist/blogger
610.649.3174610.256.6037 cell
www.lindadubingarfield.comwww.artsisters.org– Founder
www.davinciartalliance.org – Board Member
www.smARTbusinessconsulting.org– Founder
blogs:
The ART of Travel – www.lindadubingarfield.blogspot.com
www.toooldtodieyoungblog.wordpress.com

Thank you to Linda Dubin Garfield for the content of this post.

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DoNArTNeWs – celebrating eleven years reporting on Philadelphia artists and art.