Randy Dalton’s Blue Grotto
DoNArTNeWs New News – First Blog
The Blue Grotto, Randy Dalton‘s installation is at the Community Education Center (CEC), 3500 Lancaster Avenue in West Philadelphia, is open on Tuesday and Thursday Evenings from 4:30 to 8:30 pm and Saturdays from 12 to 5pm. Dalton can reached at 215-844-6253 or email email@example.com
March is Women’s History Month, this week’s DoN Art News is dedicated to all my strong women friends who have supported my efforts, inspired me and encouraged me to continue my artistic growth. Since DoN is an honorary girl, the rest of this article is about women’s art happening around town.
The current exhibit at The Center for Emerging Visual Artists in the Barclay Building on Rittenhouse Square is currated by friend of DoN, Brooke Hine. Adaptation: Celebrating Growth and Change is an exhibition dedicated to the transformation of environments, organisms, bodies and forgotten places. Brooke has gathered a cohesive collection of new art composed of unusual, unique materials from dryer sheets as an ethereal wall installation to drawings made with human hair to mobile sculpture activated by magnets. Brooke is a well known ceramics artist and has obviously taken great care to gather a collection of exciting new media mixed with traditional composition and craft techniques.
Brooke Hine’s ceramics.
The venerable Newman Gallery on Walnut Street has a superb group of art by women on the mezzanine level of this three story historic building. The Newman family has been running the gallery (the first in America) since 1865 and has been open at their present location since 1935! Terry Newman has gathered a group of strong paintings by 20th Century women artist’s demonstrating the influence of Impressionism and modern painting styles. Newman Galleries’ collection of works by American women of the early twentieth century includes numerous nationally recognized artists working in a variety of media and styles. Two of the most prominent women of that era were Elizabeth Washington, renowned for her soft impressions of the unspoiled Pennsylvania landscape, and Fern Coppedge, whose dazzling use of color and composition made her painted scenes come alive. The Cubist still life paintings of Dorcas Doolittle and the dramatic bronzes of Amelie Zell and Beatrice Fenton further illustrate the diversity of talent demonstrated by these women.
Newman Gallery mezzanine with art by women painters.
The main floor of Newman’s Gallery is a trove of art, don’t be intimidated to visit and browse through the racks of drawings, prints and paintings; Newman’s staff is super-friendly and the third floor gallery is literally a museum of 18th, 19th and 20th century art.
Second Thursday at the Crane Arts Center was totally cool; Jocelyn Firth’s “You Might Find Yourself” show in the Icebox demonstrated that photography is not just “loft art” but inspiring, disturbing and influential. Thomas Prior’s, “Hotel Fire“, brought back the fear of distaster that CNN inflicts on us daily, Ian Baguskas‘, “Search for the American Landscape” elevates the mundane to the sublime with a simple shot of beach sand rendered as a passage of time and John Francis Peter‘s, “Red Tourism“, educates us to how photography and the pursuit of fame is universal if ephemeral. Firth’s curatorial debut in Philly is the beginning of a LoVe affair.
The crowd at Icebox in the Crane Art Center.
NEXUS gallery’s 8 artists, 8 viewpoints featuring women artists from Philadelphia art schools, includes a lot of fiber art and unusual fabric constructions coinciding with the FiberPhiladelphia shows going on around town. DoN‘s favorite is Rebecca Landes‘, “I Embroider the Pain Away“; a collection of embroideries of phrases reflecting the angst of modern life and the irony of the old fashioned art of cross stitch intersecting computer age social life – “I’ll Never Look at Your MySpace Page”.
InLiquid’s show in the hallway is outstanding: Ruth Borgenicht and Leslie Pontz’s Collaboration: linking metal and clay is fabulous with constructions combining metal mesh and clay globs is fresh and soon to be influential since a group of hanging mesh bags filled with clay will soon be included in a famous, world-class collection. DoN appreciated how the duo utilized the old urinals in the space – so DuChampian.
Leslie Pontz & Ruth Borgenicht.
Fiber art construction in the InLiquid show (sorry I don’t know who the artist is but the construction is poignant and evocative of working life in American society.)
Smile Gallery‘s, “F Word” show is superb featuring work by prominent women artists is this intimate space on the second floor. Friend of DoN, Betsy Alexander is showing her signature crosses made from old CDs and her new digital photos. Speaking of Betsy and my rant from my last post about how women in Philly don’t dress up…
Betsy Alexander shows how to wear art.
The “F Word” is all about feminism and other “F’s” from fecundity to fetishism by prominent female artist’s curated by Debra Miller with brave, charasmatic images, constructions and paintings.
Francine Strauss, Lilliana Didovic and curator Debra Miller at Smile’s “F Word”.Betsy Alexander reports that the Thai food on the first floor is the best in town. Smile is at 105 S. 22nd St., 215-564-2502.
The William Way Gay Community Centerr has a one woman show of fiber constructions by Kathryn Pannepacker in the main lobby. At once political and poetic, Pannepacker’s work combines mundane materials like Q-tips with traditional fibers like jute to produce a collection of flags, sculptures and hangings with messages of hope, tolerance and peace.
Speaking of the Gay Community Center – the current issue of Equality, HRC’s magazine features photos from Rachelle Lee Smith‘s wonderful portraits of gay youths who wrote short bio’s on the their pictures from the last art show at the center. Way to go HRC even if you abandoned the T’s in LGBT. Thankfully The William Way Center includes everybody even if it’s a boy who wants to wear dresses or a girl with a moustache and sideburns. The idea that HRC could turn their backs on a sub-group of an already persecuted group in order to push through an agenda is unacceptable; the leadership of HRC should be replaced if they’re not able to understand the evil of discrimination against transgendered people.
Next: Coffee Shop Art Shows.