HEATHER UJIIE: TERRA INCOGNITA
Textile artist explores our relationship to the natural world
GLASSBORO, NJ – Heather Ujiie’s exhibition, Terra Incognita, opens the 2018-2019 season at Rowan University Art Gallery with a reception on Thursday, September 13 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. The artist’s work blend the disciplines of textiles, fashion design and visual art to create an ethereal, imaginary, and mythological world. The exhibit runs September 4 – November 17, 2018.
In her work, Ujiie builds upon the imagery found in Hieronymus Bosch’s painting, The Garden of Earthly Delights, and infuses it with her own vision inspired by botanical studies, living networks, sexual identities, and commonalities between living creatures. Much of what the artist is currently creating has evolved out of re-contextualizing historic printed cloth, and illuminated manuscript paintings from the Moghul Empire, to contemporary symbols of the feminine in global cultures.
Three mythological deities and animal hybrid forms – The Goddess, The Demon, and the Warrior – dominate the world created by the artist. Each of the textile installations and sculptural figures reveals the power of the female voice which can be at once loving and nurturing, while simultaneously conjuring mythologies around the femme fatale. Digitally-printed murals evoke narratives which question the human relationship to the fragile natural world, and the destruction of ecological systems, in our evolving planet.
The Coby Foundation, and The Joseph Roberts Foundation have provided support for this project. Additional support is also made possible by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.
Heather Ujii grew up in NYC’s Greenwich Village, part of a family of artist educators, and believes her creativity comes from a lively bohemian childhood. Her installations have been exhibited at the State Museum of Pennsylvania, Delaware Art Museum, Hunterdon Museum of Art, Racine Art Museum, Delaware Center for Contemporary Art, Philadelphia International Airport, and the prestigious Wind Challenge Award Exhibition at the Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial Museum.
As a designer, she has more than 15 years of experience creating printed textiles for the high-end home furnishing and apparel markets. Her commercial designs have been used in such projects as decorating The White House private residence for President and Mrs. George W. Bush. Ujiie holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Visual Art from the State University of New York/New Paltz; an Art-Education K-12 degree from Brooklyn College; and an Associate’s Degree in Textile Surface Design from The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. She is on the faculty of Moore College of Art & Design and has design experience for dance, theatre, and textiles.
The gallery is located at 301 High Street West. Free 2-hour public parking is available in the Mick Drive Parking Garage across the street from the gallery. Admission to the gallery, lecture, and reception is free and open to the public. Regular gallery hours are Monday – Wednesday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Thursday – Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Directions can be found on the gallery website. For more information, call 856-256-4521 or visit www.rowan.edu/artgallery.
Thank you to Mary Salvante for the content of this post.
LikeDoNArTNeWs Philadelphia Art News Blog on facebook
Agathe Bouton, Indigo XXXI Diptych, Woodcut and monotype onto handmade Shan paper, fabric and metal plate mounted on wood panel, 14″ x 30″, 1 panel, 2012
Philadelphia, PA – 3rd Street Gallery, located at 42 N. 2nd Street, Philadelphia, presents From One Continent to Another, a solo exhibition and career retrospective by French artist Agathe Bouton. The exhibition presents twenty years of printmaking works created in Asia, Africa, Europe, and America. Curated by Amie Potsic, CEO and Principal Curator of Amie Potsic Art Advisory, LLC, the show begins on June 1 and runs through July 1. The opening reception will be on First Friday, June 1 from 5:00 – 9:00 PM with an artist talk beginning at 7:00 PM. The closing reception will be on Sunday, July 1 from 3:00 – 5:00 PM with an artist talk beginning at 4:00 PM. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM and by appointment.
Agathe Bouton, Warehouse I, Monotype and collage, 20″ x 28″, 2017
From One Continent to Another, a solo exhibition and career retrospective by French artist Agathe Bouton, celebrates the artist’s boundary-pushing printmaking and paper works created across the globe over the last 20 years. Bouton will exhibit her unique engravings and etchings as well as installations, paper clothing, collages, and artist books. Having lived and created her work internationally in the United Kingdom, France, Myanmar, the Ivory Coast, Senegal, Turkey, and the United States, Bouton’s work poetically reveals a consistent artistic vision enhanced, stretched, and strengthened by international experiences and perspectives. Continually inspired by the landscape, both urban and natural, as well as the culture in each region, she creates an imprint of time, traces of erosion, and recollections of a disappearing world by inscribing atmosphere, color, and texture in her prints.
“My work is inspired and fed by all the experiences and cultures I have discovered during my travels. Each time I had to reinterpret myself with my art and find new techniques and inspiration, which was challenging but so worthwhile,” says Bouton. Discussing how her work has changed since moving to Philadelphia, she explains, “I have been inspired by the urbanism I see around me. My latest series of work was inspired by architecture, including abandoned warehouses. This series focuses on the details of these grand facades, with their patchwork of broken windows. I’m drawn to the intrinsic beauty of these buildings, archiving the color palette into an evocation of the original inspiration.” – Agathe Bouton
Agathe Bouton is a French artist living and working in the Philadelphia area whose boundary-pushing printmaking and paper works exhibit influence from living and working in exotic, international locations. Bouton earned her BFA in Painting and Printmaking and her MFA in Arts and Textile Design from the prestigious ESSAA Duperré in Paris, France. Since leaving Paris 13 years ago, Bouton has lived and exhibited her work internationally in Paris (France), London (UK), Philadelphia (USA), Rangoon (Burma/Myanmar), Abidjan (Ivory Coast), Dakar (Senegal) and Istanbul (Turkey). She has presented solo exhibitions at the Biennale de l’Art Africain Contemporain in Dakar, Senegal; Rathaus House in Waldbrol, Germany; Centre d’Arts Plastiques Albert Chanot in Clamart, France; Bundaberg Art Centre in Bundaberg, Australia; Galerie Od’A in Istanbul, Turkey; River Gallery in Yangon, Burma/Myanmar; and the Bettie Morton Gallery in London, UK.
Bouton has received numerous awards in France and the United States for her accomplished printmaking including the Pierre Laurent First Prize in 2007 in Albi, France; being named a finalist in the Prix GRAV’X in 1999, 2003, 2004, and 2005 in Paris; and being selected as a semifinalist in the 91st and 92nd Annual International Competitions of The Print Center in Philadelphia. Her work is in the collections of French institutions including: the Bibliothèque Nationale, Cabinet des Estampes; L’Inventaire, Artothèque du Nord Pas de Calais; and the Musée Français de la carte à jouer. Since moving to Philadelphia, she has exhibited at Inliquid, the Center for Emerging Visual Artists, Main Line Art Center, and NoBa Art Space, with a forthcoming exhibition at the Brandywine Workshop.
Amie Potsic, MFA is the CEO & Principal Curator of Amie Potsic Art Advisory LLC, Chair of the Art In City Hall Artistic Advisory Board to the Office of Arts and Culture of the City of Philadelphia, as well as an established photographer and installation artist. Potsic has extensive experience curating exhibitions and installations for museums, galleries, art organizations, and public spaces. She received her MFA in Photography from the San Francisco Art Institute and BA’s in Photojournalism and English Literature from Indiana University. She also studied at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and the Corcoran School of Art in Washington DC.
Potsic has held faculty appointments at the University of California at Berkeley, Ohlone College, and the San Francisco Art Institute and been a guest lecturer at the International Center of Photography, the University of the Arts, Tyler School of Art, and the Delaware Contemporary. Professional appointments have included Director of Gallery 339, Curator and Director of the Career Development Program at the Center for Emerging Visual Artists (CFEVA), and most recently Executive Director and Chief Curator of Main Line Art Center. Curatorial projects have included exhibitions for the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts, the Office of Arts and Culture of the City of Philadelphia, Philagrafika, Moore College of Art & Design, Main Line Art Center, Maryland Art Place, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
3rd Street Gallery, located in Old City Philadelphia, actively seeks to foster new and unique relationships between its artists and the public. It achieves this through the city-wide First Friday event, Philadelphia Open Studio Tours, and by annually hosting open-invitations to its varied community-based exhibitions. The foremost commitment of 3rd Street Gallery is to extend an awareness of and appreciation for fine art by engaging the public with insightful and challenging creative works in various mediums, genres and styles. Agathe Bouton is a Full Member of 3rd Street Gallery.
One Continent to Anotherwill be on view June 1 through July 1. The opening reception will be on First Friday, June 1 from 5:00 – 9:00 PM with an Artist Talk beginning at 7:00 PM. The closing reception will be on Sunday, July 1from 3:00 – 5:00 PM with an artist talk beginning at 4:00 PM. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday from12:00 PM – 5:00 PM and by appointment. Admission is free.
This winter, the Philadelphia Museum of Art presents Keith Smith at Home, the first major monographic presentation of the artist’s work in five decades. Spanning his entire career, the exhibition brings together over 60 exceptional and varied examples of his handmade artist’s books and experimental photographs, prints, collages, and fabric pieces made over the last half century. The exhibition places special emphasis on his artist’s books, the work for which he is best known. Many of these works are from the artist’s collection and have not been exhibited publicly before.
Smith is an especially private person, and one whose life at home has been the inspiration for much of his art. Central to the installation is Book Number 82, Keith Smith at Home (1982), showing a sequence of views of his residence in Rochester, New York, where he has lived since 1975. Page by page, it conveys the passage of time: views of the same room shift, household objects trade places, and friends appear and reappear in framed artwork on the house’s walls. Visitors will be able to page through this book digitally on an iPad in the gallery.
The exhibition highlights books that challenge perceptions of what a book can be. Book Number 11, Up (1969) explores the interplay of images by alternating film-positive transparencies with opaque pages. As the film-positive page is turned, it creates the appearance of an image moving from one side of the page to the next. Book Number 91: a string book (1982) consists of cord, punched holes, and blank pages. Strings are extended across each page and spread in different patterns, sometimes taut and other times slack, creating an abstract and rhythmic narrative. Smith considers his string book to be photographic, as it deals with light, shadow, focus, motif, and sequence.
Smith has referred to his work as an open diary. Self-representation is a key motif, whether appearing lighthearted or uneasy. Some self-portraits reflect the struggles and joys the artist has experienced in coming out as a gay man, as in Untitled, from Roadside Attractions (1979), a multilayered photograph in which two silhouetted male figures caress each other’s shoulders.
Smith has said, “Social intimidation is not as odious as repression that is self-inflicted. When I permitted my work to speak openly, I gained my freedom and my self-respect.”
Also on view is a selection of handmade postcards, a format that Smith has experimented with since the 1960s. He made these cards with particular recipients in mind, but, feeling unable to part with them, has kept them. In addition, the exhibition features fabric pieces from the 1960s and 1970s. Among these is Margaret Gave me a Rainbow 2:30pm 21, November 1971, a collage of a photograph of an ear, curtain tassels, and an impression of the artist’s profile made on a color photocopier affixed to an army-issue bedsheet. Smith made Eye Quilt (1965), a full-size quilt screenprinted with a dense pattern of eyes, while a student at the Art Institute of Chicago.
Keith Smith: Word Play is a related installation on view in the Museum’s Library. This intimate display highlights the ways in which Smith uses word play, poetry, typography, and sequencing to create surprising relationships between images and text in his books.
Exhibition organizer Amanda N. Bock, The Lynne and Harold Honickman Assistant Curator of Photographs, said: “While Smith may seem shy personally, his art is candid, intimate, delightfully irreverent, and transgressive. To share a large body of his work with the public is an exciting and rare opportunity, and it underscores our commitment to showing provocative work by living artists.”
Smith’s reluctance to categorize his work established him as a rogue member of both the photography and printmaking departments at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he graduated in 1967. His works are often radical departures from conventional books, and may unfold, light up, hang on the wall or in a corner, or be constructed of pencils or the shirt off the artist’s own back. Certain themes-friendship, love, desire, intimacy, and domesticity- recur. He has made over 300 artist’s books and over half a dozen seminal instructional manuals on bookbinding.
Smith’s work is represented in leading public and private collections, including the Art Institute of Chicago; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Center for Creative Photography, Tucson; the Nelson-Atkins Museum; the George Eastman Museum, Rochester; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. He is the recipient of two Guggenheim Fellowships (1972 and 1980) and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship (1978), and has taught at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Visual Studies Workshop, Rochester.
Book Number 91, a string book, 1982, by Keith Smith, American, b. 1938. Artist’s book with cut outs, punched holes, and string. Courtesy of Keith Smith and Philip Zimmermann.
Sunday, March 4 | 2:30 p.m. | Perelman Building
Community Conversations open discussions about socially relevant topics.
Included in Pay What You Wish admission.
Saturdays, March 17, April 21, and May 5 | 1:30-4:30 p.m. | Perelman Building
Each session includes a tour of Keith Smith at Home with the exhibition curator.
Each workshop: $20 ($16 members); includes Perelman Building admission
Amanda N. Bock, The Lynne and Harold Honickman Assistant Curator of Photographs
Julian Levy Gallery, Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building
Installation Location, Library, Second Floor, Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building
Support for this exhibition was provided by The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation.
We are Philadelphia’s art museum. 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.
Pia De Girolamo: Mountain Series and Carol Wisker: Accumulators.
Two Curated Exhibitions at 3rd Street Gallery
November 1-26, 2017
The 3rd Street Gallery, Philadelphia, PA presents solo exhibitions by Pia De Girolamo and Carol Wisker, November 1-26. For Mountain Series, curator Christine Stoughton, Instructor of Aesthetics at the Barnes Foundation has selected a group of abstract landscape paintings for De Girolamo’s 3rd Street Gallery debut solo exhibition. Acting as a pictorial element across the series, the mountain is also a potent symbol of challenge, risk and refuge.
Long time 3SG member, Carol Wisker presents Accumulators, an exhibition of sculptural assemblages, selected by curator Barbara Bassett, the Constance Williams Curator of Education for School and Teacher Programs at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. In Wisker’s recent exhibition Left Behind, the Accumulators brought together textiles and findings from a variety of cultures left behind due to migration. In this new exhibition Wisker extends her definition of the Accumulators to also include aggregations of “created natural growth” in her fiber, wood and textile sculptures.
Artist Reception and Talks: Saturday November 11, 5:00 – 8:00pm.
Artist Talk by Pia De Girolamo: A Wild Peace: Art, Nature and Wellbeing. Saturday November 11, 6:00pm
Artist Talk by Carol Wisker: Accumulator…I Am! Saturday, November 11, 6:30pm.
First Friday: November 3, 5:00 – 9:00pm
Pia De Girolamo: Mountain Series
Curator Christine Stoughton says of De Girolamo’s landscape series: “She strips away the details to capture the vibration of colors, the geometric structure of the forms and the ambient space. While the viewer recognizes these abstracted works as a landscape we are given the opportunity to see this environment in a whole new way, which is what art is all about”.
Pia enjoys being out in nature, especially in the mountains. She finds that the key word in that sentence is “being”.
She states, “All the senses are engaged as I pocket smooth stones, sketch, smell the thyme and clover, taste the tartness of wild plants and listen to the sounds of nature as well as its silence. Then back in the studio, I explore what makes these landscapes beautiful and mysterious to me, letting the natural forms, the surrounding emptiness, and the sense of gravity influence how I use color and shape. As I work, the paintings evolve, and while some of them refer to real places, others spring from composite memories of shapes or vistas. All are a record of what is for me of the essence in these landscapes, whether they are in Iceland, Hawaii, the Canadian Rockies, or the American Southwest”.
In her artist talk, A Wild Peace: Nature, Art and Well-being De Girolamo will talk about her work and also link it to recently elucidated scientific thinking affirming the importance of exposure to nature and art to maintaining the individual’s physical and psychological health.
Pia De Girolamo grew up in New York City and lives in the Philadelphia area. She has had sequential careers, first as an Infectious Diseases physician and since 2003, as a visual artist. Recent exhibitions include the Professional Artist Members Exhibition at Main Line Art Center, Haverford, PA and a solo show curated by Inliquid at the Courtyard Mariott at the Philadelphia Navy Yard in 2017. Her work is in corporate and individual collections including those of PNC Bank Headquarters in Pittsburgh and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. A full member of 3rd Street Gallery, she is also a member of the Cerulean Gallery Collective, Main Line Art Center, Inliquid.com. Her website is
Curator Christine Stoughton is an art educator, sculptor, printmaker and formerly a practicing psychologist. She is an Instructor in Art Aesthetics at the Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, PA and at West Chester University, West Chester, PA. She is also a printmaking instructor at Main Line Art Center, Haverford, PA. She has exhibited her work, including public art installations, in Philadelphia and the surrounding region, in New York City, Toronto and in Washington, DC.
Cumulus, Carol Wisker
Carol Wisker: Accumulators
Curator Barbara Bassett says of Wisker’s installation: “Carol’s work takes what the world leaves behind: hinges, gears, fabric and fibers, furniture and antiques, bones and cocoons… and imbues them with new stories and purpose. In each, we find the familiar transformed, compelling us to look deep within ourselves.”
The works in the abstract Accumulator series are fashioned using the domestic art techniques of crochet, wrapping and braiding to form surface textures on a variety of shapes and forms that will be ceiling, floor and wall-hung. In this exhibition Wisker also presents painting like fiber works created through her hand and finger manipulation of painted wool roving in its basic combed state, depicting multi-colored flora, hills and valleys on round and square fields of dense off-white cotton.
Carol Wisker is a sculptor, painter and installation artist, born in Brooklyn, NY and who now resides in the Philadelphia area. Carol studied textile arts and received a BA in psychology at Mansfield University and her Masters of Education from University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Her artistic practice included a fifteen-year tenure at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in the Division of Education and she also instructed art history and studio art in maximum-security men’s Correctional Facilities for twenty years. Wisker’s work is in corporate collections and has been shown in museum exhibitions, most recently at the Delaware Art Museum. She is a member of Philadelphia Sculptors, Assemblage Artists Collective and the da Vinci Art Alliance, and has also participated in the Philadelphia Fringe Festival in 2016 and 2017. She is a member of Inliquid.com and her website is www.carolwisker.com Curator Barbara Bassett is The Constance Williams Curator of Education or School and Teacher Programs at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. She has spent over 30 years leading programs and developing resources that encourage children and adults to have rich personal experiences with art.
Showing in the 3rd Street Annex Gallery: Agathe Bouton: Reflections and Light, a series of monotypes.
Homeless (Michelle), Carolyn Harper Cohen, batik and hand dyed fabric that has been pieced, appliqued and quilted by hand, 60″ x 52″
The Dispossessed by Carolyn Harper Cohen
Muse Gallery is pleased to present The Dispossessed by Carolyn Harper Cohen. The exhibition will run from November 1st – November 27th, 2017 with an opening reception First Friday, November 3rd from 5-8:00 p.m.
Carolyn Harper Cohen’s work has a strong social justice component to it as she creates images of people or groups who have been marginalized, discriminated against, or abused. Each of the works in this exhibit is of a particular Philadelphian; someone living in an area homeless shelter or on the streets. Many of these individuals are children. The works provide faces to those who are faceless, nameless and powerless, and bear witness to those who are suffering. The beauty that the artistic process brings to the images creates a tension with the inherent cruelty of the lives of the subjects; in admiring the works, the viewer becomes almost complicit in their abuse and neglect.
Homeless (Alexus), hand pieced, hand sewn quilt, 40″ x 48″, Carolyn Harper Cohen
The works consist of either hand embroidered batiks or hand sewn large art quilts. The methods are layered, as are the colors. The work is tactile and raw rather than slick; the fabric hand dyed, each stitch obsessively sewn by hand. The engrossing surface quality slows down perception, encouraging viewers to react to the work in a very deliberate way.
This work can be seen within the context of ‘craftivism’: a term coined in 2003 by writer Betsy Greer which can be defined as “a way of looking at life where voicing opinions through creativity makes your voice stronger, your compassion deeper and your quest for justice more infinite.”
Craft has traditionally been viewed as ‘women’s work’ and as such was marginalized and undervalued, but the craft techniques in this work can be seen as subverting the traditional genre of portraiture. Piecing fabric together creates an image that is quite different, and less real, than a painting, which oftentimes seeks to imitate and/or idealize the person being portrayed. Instead, Carolyn Harper Cohen has searched to find the individual and emotional human character of each individual.