Category Archives: Off the Wall Gallery

MLMME12

MLMME12, OTWGallery

Mary Liz Memorial Masters Exhibition 2016

at Off the Wall Gallery at Dirty Frank’s

As many of you know, we usually open a show the Thursday after it goes up. This time, our festivities fall a week later, but the staggered logistics have no correlation to the practically staggering talents on display.

We’re speaking, of course, of our 2016 MARY LIZ FELLOWS — painter BOB GORCHOV, photographer WENDY PLOGER and assemblage artist/sculptor WAYNE URFFER -who are a week off the usual trajectory but right on target with their art. High marks are in order because the MARY LIZ MEMORIAL MASTERS EXHIBITION, named for our founding director, is the greatest honor we can bestow on artists in our community.

So without further ado, we cordially invite you to the show’s 12th renewal — MLMME12, for short – which opens its seven-week run THIS THURSDAY, MARCH 10, with a 7-10 PM OPENING RECEPTION featuring our favorite drinks, light hors d’oeuvres, fabulous conversation and a chance to meet the artists. You may already be familiar with one of more of our esteemed trio, who rank among our most accomplished artists.

The paintings of BOB GORCHOV have won over our hearts even since “the red coat” lit up the Wall in December 2008. Ten shows later — yes, MLMME12 is fitting his 12th outing in this space! Bob has lost none of his bewitching use of color or emotional buoyancy. Each time we see a new canvas, it’s like experiencing Bob’s work for the first time. Some might try to make a connection between this immediacy and his background as a self-taught artist, but we resist the notion of pigeon-holing the invigorating creativity that has defined 35 years of painting and drawing.

Even the artist cannot put a finger on what might emerge from the next canvas. “I rarely know how a painting will turn out,” says Bob, “and this is part of what makes the process interesting for me.”

WENDY PLOGER‘s journey from Brooklyn to 13th Street is a story we like to tell. Our friend Gail Stolp, a bartender here at Dirty Frank’s and at Ray’s Happy Birthday Bar, discovered Wendy’s photography and introduced us. Two years passed before Wendy’s work appeared at the end of 2013, to great acclaim, with diptychs humorously pairing disparate street photographs. The next year her intriguing, gender-bending series became the hit of our Autumn Invitational. Now, amazingly, Wendy brings us TWO ENTIRELY DIFFERENT bodies of work (!): tintypes, created with traditional wet-plate photography, and digital collages “projecting” Wendy’s strong female portraiture against natural settings.

This different pacing for the artist holds a new-found sense of satisfaction. “A few years later, with well over a hundred professional shoots under my belt,” Wendy says, “I have felt the need to slow things down in this age of instant gratification and pinpoint accuracy.”

Fewer and fewer MARY LIZ FELLOWS began their OFF THE WALL careers under the curatorial watch of our founding director. WAYNE URFFER is an exception, having enjoyed a boffo debut here before Mary Liz’s passing in 2004. He’s also only the second artist ever to be named a Fellow for the second time, following in the footsteps of Bob Jackson, a fellow master of the assemblage. Wayne’s work is always richly layered and rewarding. He brings ponderous questions to the floor of our 3D space (and, in this case, the Wall) – ranging from pop culture to religious zealotry, existentialism to addiction but he does so is such an accessible, non-judgmental manner, leaving much to the viewer’s interpretation, that you never feel the weight of agenda.

In fact, you may feel he sometimes enters the creative space with an open mind, too, “My process is to gather materials that capture my interest and allow them broadly to dictate the size and composition of my work,” says Wayne.

You can readily see why we’re so excited about MLMME12. What we love most about this show is that it’s as much about mastering media as it is about the lifeblood of art: experimentation and evolution. Whether you are encountering Bob’s paintings, Wendy’s photos and Wayne’s boxes for the first time — or simply rediscovering them — you’re in for a rare treat.

We look forward to seeing you Thursday!

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

Thank you to Togo Travalia for the content of this post.

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PETS

PETS, Off the Wall at Dirty Franks

PETS, 11th Annual Juried Exhibition, Off the Wall Gallery at Dirty Franks

Written by Togo Travalia

“We celebrate our best non-human friends in so many ways: from giving them toys and treats, positive affirmation and unconditional love, to sharing their personalities, devotion, affectionate natures and playfulness with the world.

Our 11th Annual Juried Exhibition finds a new way to celebrate our pets, even as it creatively interweaves all of these ways. You know what we’re talking about…ART!

We cordially invite you to join us to welcome PETS at our OPENING RECEPTION, which takes place THIS THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 7-10 PM. As always, we will serve light hors d’oeuvres, pour your favorite drinks, convene the company of fellow art lovers and offer the chance to meet most of the 42 artists whose AWWW-inspiring pet projects line our Wall and 3D space.

Plus, PETS has something brand-new in store: the chance to give back. Every time we sell artwork from PETS, 20% of the proceeds go to the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) and Street Tails Animal Rescue.

Our modest philanthropy is inspired in part by the generosity of spirit that is so easy to find among the 76 works in PETS, across a wide array of media:

* You have to know that PHOTOGRAPHY — what all of us use to document our pets’ lives — has a big role. Our artists elevate the form. Exquisite silver gelatin darkroom prints from AMANDA ABRAMSON on the B&W section of our Wall (a curatorial choice by JODY SWEITZER, which is stunning), take us from Lambertville to Brooklyn to the city we have close to our hearts right now, Paris. ALEXANDRA ORGERA‘s medium-format digital print is a story waiting to be told; use your imagination! Meanwhile, TRI NGUYEN‘s housebound images show us what we should be doing with our smartphones: distilling the everyday into simple, heartfelt, magical moments.

* PAINTING encompasses a range of media: BOB GORCHOV‘s irresistible, fan-favorite acrylics; MINA SMITH‘s enchanting watercolor of dog walkers at work; ALBERT ALDINGER‘s sweet kitty portrait contrasted with BILL GROVE‘s tough alley cat; JOCELYNN TICE‘s breathtakingly photorealistic pastel of owner and pet; and CYNTHIA HARVEY‘s rendering of a cat-ism: the hours of joy that can be found in crumbled paper from a delivery box.

* We could not have custom-ordered a more skillful range of PRINTMAKING. Three different techniques are rendered with precision and heart. ELIZABETH STRICKER‘s impeccable woodblock print fills a physical yin-yang space with one curled up cat conveying Zen-like tranquility. ALYSE C. BERNSTEIN shows how printing a lithograph from marble stone can inject subtle beauty into her dog Frank taking a nap. And MARLISE M. TKACZUK, well into her second decade as one of the most popular OFF THE WALL artists, brings down the house with her adoptive feline kids and their demanding ways.

These are the major categories but it’s hardly all here. PETS has amazing range. Outliers include ELIZABETH H. MACDONALD‘s bobbin lace goldfish, joined by NOA TRAVALIA‘s abstract assembled-paper koi; CARLA LIGUORI‘s new terracotta sculpture, suggesting pet-like relationships can be forged with wild creatures; SARAH BRETT‘s stunning debut, which puts front and center a ceramic from her “hiney” body of work (we kid you not!); and the always kidding work of BOB JACKSON, whose 23 mixed media assemblages establish a record that will NEVER be broken. (Yes, all 23 were juried into this show!) Read the titles before you take in the work and you appreciate Bob’s ribald sense of humor.

That’s only 17 artists, leaving 25 I haven’t mentioned. 25! And four of these artists — Sarah, Alyse, Liz and Albert — are new to OFF THE WALL; they are joined by 10 more colleagues showing in our space for the very first time. And NINE ARTISTS will win CASH PRIZES TOTALING $550. Who? We’ll find out at the Opening Reception.

If all this doesn’t tickle your fancy, go and scratch behind the ears of your kitty or dog and think again. We can’t wait to see you. Oh, and remember to change the water bowl, maybe get in that walk and put out some fresh dry food before you come over. OR bring your dog to the opening. DIRTY FRANK’S is Philly’s ORIGINAL dog-friendly bar!

Don’t have any of these tasks on your agenda? We also offer a 20% discount on any PETS artwork if you adopt a cat or dog in November or December (a discount that can be applied retroactively, too!).

Open your arms for PETS. Open your heart to your pet.

See you Thursday evening!”

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)

Philly’s pioneering alternative art space, since 1978.

Read DoN‘s review of Alyese C. Bernstein‘s, Frank, lithograph on DoNArTNeWs.com

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Autumn

Autumn Invitational, Off the Wall Gallery

2015 Autumn Invitational (New Work From Our Award-Winning, Top Selling Artists) Off the Wall Gallery at Dirty Frank’s

Off the Wall Gallery at Dirty Franks, 13th and Pine Streets, Philly. September through November 13th, 2015. Artist Reception Thursday, October 1st, 2015, 7:00 – 10:00pm

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Summertime

Summer Time, 10th Annual Community Juried Art Show

Summertime, 10th Annual Community Juried Art Show at Off the Wall Gallery at Dirty FranksNE Corner, 13th and Pine Streets, Philadelphia, May 31st through July 31st, 2015. Artist reception June 4th, 7:00 – 10:00pm.

SummertimeOff the Wall Gallery at Dirty Franks brings together the work of 45 talented artists across a range of media.

Amanda Abramson, James Biglan, Robert Bohne, Meryl Bonderow, DoN Brewer, Nick Brown, Paula Brumbelow Burns, Jackie Cassidy, Matt Cohen, Robert Critchlow, Lori Evensen, Rachel Glidden, Bob Gorchov, Rich Gunning, Diana Hamm, Erica Harney, Cynthia Harvey, Jen Hess, Bob Jackson,Thérèse Lavery, Robert Yong Lee, Barbara Lekus, Carla Liguori, Patricia Show Lima, Katy C. Lin, Rob Lybeck, Elizabeth H. MacDonald, Dan McCartney, Janice R. Moore, Michael Nathan, Sarah Watkins Nathan, Annette Newman, Tri Nguyen, A. V. Nowak, Alexandra Orgera, Fernando Poyatos, Karen Rodewald, Riikka Salo, Lois Schlachter, Julius Scissor, Al Stegeman, Emi Travalia, Vlad, Harvey Weinreich, Woodley White

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Dollar

Dollar General, DoN BrewerDollar General, digital photograph on acrylic, 20” x 24” x 1”, DoN BrewerOff the Wall Gallery at Dirty Franks, Tenth Annual Juried Exhibition

Artist Statement:

“The Dollar General Store that was located at 25th and South Street was a great resource for my community. The low prices helped to serve the folks both rich and poor who stopped in the store for everything from bacon and eggs to cat and dog food. I would see some people counting out pennies to but toilet paper and I saw wealthy people stocking up on laundry detergent. The staff was so friendly, kind and helpful and all of the young people who worked there were African Americans. Over time I learned their names and they knew mine. There was always a line at the cash register and often I would see friends and neighbors. Dollar General stores are usually located in poorer neighborhoods reflecting what my neighborhood of South Street West used to be like.

Since the development of the abandoned Naval Square and the gentrification of South of South Street the Dollar General went out of business and was replaced by a Petco Unleashed store selling high end and very expensive pet food. The corner store that was once a thriving, busy place that employed blacks is now full of dog food and an all white staff, and is now virtually empty of customers. Petco moved into my neighborhood to directly compete with the two existing pet supply stores, The Philly Pack and Doggie Style that sell the same products and offer the same services. The nearest Dollar General is at 26th and Jackson Streets, too far to walk from my neighborhood. The 17 bus goes to Jackson Street but is still a six block walk through a distressed neighborhood.

The photograph printed on Plexiglas is of the metal racks that once lined the sidewalk outside the Dollar General store that received daily deliveries of basic supplies to serve the community. Now Petco Unleashed only serves the wealthiest of dogs and cats.” – DoN Brewer

Dollar General was awarded the ‘mary rowe memorial jury prize, best in show’ for on the Grid Off the Wall Gallery at Dirty Franks, Tenth Annual Juried Exhibition. I was elated when Togo read my name. I had just walked from Ionic and Chestnut Streets, I had left the PANMA Holiday Party early because I had a feeling. As I was passing the Philadelphia History Museum a strange thing happened. I stumbled and tore off the sole of my boot off.

It’s strange because I was thinking that at almost the exact same spot and time of year two years ago I tore the sole off another pair of boots while at the museum. Do you know what it’s like to walk with your boot flapping? It sounds like the loudest flip-flop ever, it was embarrassing to walk into Dirty Frank’s with tore boots. But then the whole place was clapping, cheering and saying my name. The experience was awesome, I was so touched by the affection of my friends. When I walked home from Dirty Frank’s that cold night, with my shoe flopping and flapping, I was grinning ear to ear. I’m a part of Philadelphia history, my name is 10th on the list of the Mary Rowe Memorial Jury Prize winners.

Read my review of Photography at on the Grid Off the Wall Gallery at Dirty Franks, Tenth Annual Juried Exhibition on DoNArTNeWs.com

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A photo posted by Louis Dallara (@ldallara) on