Jedediah Morfit: Adapting to Change A solo exhibition of new work by sculptor Jedediah Morfit
Paradigm Gallery + Studio is pleased to present Adapting to Change, a solo exhibition of new sculptural works by Jedediah Morfit, opening* May 29, 2020 and remaining on view through June 27, 2020. Known for using traditional techniques to create contemporary interpretations of historical forms, Morfit explored new digital fabrication processes specifically for this exhibition. The resulting busts are raw and vibrant, but still preserves Morfit’s signature precision.
Morfit’s artistic practice subverts traditional figurative sculpture and mirrors his own lived, contemporary experience. By combining old-world techniques with modern material, his past works created a juxtaposition between old and new, sculpture and sculptor. That tension is still at the heart of Morfit’s practice, but it has evolved to reflect new artistic technologies. In Adapting to Change, the muted busts Morfit is known for have gone through a total contemporary, bordering on futuristic, transformation. Digitally crafted, embedded with mixed media, dosed in color, manipulated, these works are a major departure for the artist. Unlike his last exhibition at Paradigm in 2017, the pieces in Adapting to Change are not about a modeler’s sensibility, but rather focuses on the intricacies of process, color and material.
While Morfit’s new process uses digital tools, there is still evidence of the artist’s touch. The final pieces, while incredibly detailed, do not look manufactured or automated in any way. While many of the pieces in the exhibition started with existing 3D scans of Greek and Italian busts, they were realized through a combination of 3D fabrication tools and traditional modeling and casting techniques. Many of the pieces are embedded with found objects, like plastic beads and cake doilies, which act as a part of the piece’s DNA; exploited for their texture and bright colors. Morfit takes the intact busts, cuts them up and puts them (almost) back together again. The ensuing works are presented slightly off kilter, hanging upside down or teetering off an edge.
The works in Adapting to Change are intended to look and feel disjointed. Countless hours were spent composing the busts, only to be deconstructed, modified, rebuilt, and reimagined. The shifting process mimics Morfit’s own sense of having lost and scrambling to keep his balance, as the ground shifts beneath his feet.
*Due to COVID-19, “Adapting to Change” will be on view at https://www.paradigmarts.org/ until further notice. During the exhibition, Paradigm hopes to be able to allow a limited number of viewing appointments, but this is dependent on the current policies of the CDC, WHO and the Governor and Mayor’s offices. Paradigm Gallery’s number one priority is the safety and wellness of their visitors. For live updates on the exhibition and appointments, please visit the Paradigm website and socials. For any questions on Paradigm’s current policies, please email email@example.com.
About Jedediah Morfit Jedediah Morfit received his MFA in sculpture from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2005, where he was awarded the Sylvia Leslie Herman Young Scholarship and the Award Of Excellence. He was a Fellow at the Center For Emerging Visual Artists from 2007-2009, and received a New Jersey Council On the Arts Fellowship for sculpture in 2009. He received the Louise Kahn Award for Sculpture from the Woodmere Art Museum in 2006, and was awarded the Dexter Jones Award for Bas Relief from the National Sculpture Society in 2011 and 2012. In
2013, he was commissioned to create a series of new work for Artlantic:Wonder, which was named one of the 50 best public art projects in the Public Art Network’s Year in Review. His work has been shown in numerous group and solo exhibitions, and featured in The New York Times, Sculpture Review, Artnews and American Craft Magazine, as well as on NJTV’s State Of the Arts. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and three (count ‘em, three) children.
About Paradigm Gallery 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. Now open 10 years, 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: 746 S 4th St Philadelphia, PA 19147
Thank you to Madison Fishman for the content of this post.
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Dear Friends, Neighbors and Art Lovers, If you’re staying local for the holiday weekend, I’d like to invite you to
A BIT OF THE ARTS: HOLIDAY ART SALE
Friday, November 29th from 4:00 – 8:00, Saturday, November 30th from 10:00 – 4:00. *Free Admission*
Live Music* Food* Pottery* Jewelry* Photography* Paper Arts* Fibers* Painting* Printmaking and More! Twentieth Century Club.
Twentieth Century Club 84 South Lansdowne Avenue, Lansdowne, PA 19050. In the heart of beautiful, historic Lansdowne, the Twentieth Century Club awaits you and your guests in a gracious, one hundred year old, arts and crafts style building.
Please note – Lansdowne is in Upper Darby/West Philly. NOT Lansdale, which is in Montgomery County. Easy mistake to make! I will be there with my watercolors and other small, framed pieces! For more information visit the event page.
Can’t make it in real life? Check out my Etsy Shop! Free shipping and gift-wrapping within the continental US :)Hope to see you there. Either way, have a lovely holiday!
Thank you to Erica Harney for the content of this post.
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Philadelphia Makes National Geographic’s Best Trips List for 2020
PHILADELPHIA, NOVEMBER 19, 2019 – With the publication of its annual Best Trips list, National Geographic announces the 25 must-see destinations and travel experiences for 2020. Within the list, 17 of the 25 destinations were nominated, researched, reported, and written in collaboration with National Geographic Traveler magazine’s 17 international editorial teams. Philadelphia was selected in the City category.
With a goal to bring readers a global itinerary of destinations to discover and transformative experiences to seek in the new year, the list champions National Geographic’s sustainable tourism goals, which include supporting cultural engagement, community benefit, geographic and thematic diversity, affordability and value. The list is organized into four general categories: Culture, City, Nature, and Adventure.
“Best Trips is our annual list of where to go, what to know and how to see the world in the year ahead,” says George Stone, Executive Editor, Travel. “The list features 25 timely and global destinations and experiences that make for a year of transformative travels. To build the list we worked with National Geographic editors around the world as well as photographers, writers, explorers and, of course, passionate travelers to report on the essential sites to see and places to be in 2020.”
“We’re thrilled that Philadelphia is featured so prominently and beautifully in this influential publication that we know drives travel decisions,” said Jeff Guaracino, VISIT PHILADELPHIA® president and CEO. “In 2005, National Geographic Traveler called Philadelphia the ‘Next Great City’. It’s awesome to see that more than a decade later, they’re still enamored of and advocates for our historic, modern and always-evolving town.”
National Geographic’s Best Trips 2020 destinations:
Guizhou Province, China (Nominated by National Geographic Traveler China edition)
Gobekli Tepe, Turkey (Nominated by National Geographic Traveler Turkey edition)
Maya, Guatemala (Nominated by National Geographic Traveler Latin American edition)
Mendoza Province, Argentina
Abu Simbel, Egypt (Nominated by National Geographic Traveler Israel edition)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – “What to know: There’s a lot of glimmer in Philadelphia: vibrant murals and glinting metalworks, multihued mosaics and kaleidoscopic light installations, art collectives in garages, and a traditionally Italian neighborhood famous for cheesesteaks now sprouting vegan-punk-metal coffeehouses. Think of Detroit, Cleveland, and Cincinnati: resurgent, postindustrial American cities that are channeling creative forces to reinvent themselves for a new generation. Philly is like this but better. It’s a scrappy underdog with a heart of gold and—who can resist the Rocky reference?—the eye of the tiger. Slowly but steadily Philly has changed from a city of industrial might in the first half of the past century to a city of ingenious makers. The evidence is everywhere, from buzzing BOK—a South Philly collective of small businesses and art spaces—to Bela Shehu’s chic and cutting-edge fashion line NinoBrand, in Rittenhouse Square.” – National Geographic
Telc, Czechia (Nominated by National Geographic Traveler Czechia edition)
Fort Kochi, Kerala, India (Nominated by National Geographic Traveler India edition)
Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina (Nominated by National Geographic Traveler Netherlands edition)
Magdalen Islands, Quebec, Canada
Kalahari Desert, Botswana (Nominated by National Geographic Traveler Romania edition)
Bialowieza Forest, Belarus/Poland (Nominated by National Geographic Traveler Poland edition)
National Blue Trail, Hungary (Nominated by National Geographic Traveler Hungary edition)
Canary Islands, Spain (Nominated by National Geographic Traveler Spain edition)
Maldives (Nominated by National Geographic Traveler France edition)
Grand Canyon, Arizona
Tasmania, Australia (Nominated by National Geographic Traveler Korea edition)
Grossglockner High Alpine Road, Austria (Nominated by National Geographic Traveler Germany edition)
Wales Way, United Kingdom (Nominated by National Geographic Traveler U.K. edition)
Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia (Nominated by National Geographic Traveler Russia edition)
Zakouma National Park, Chad (Nominated by National Geographic Traveler Italy edition)
The Best Trips 2020 list is available online now at NatGeo.com/BestTrips, where readers will be transported to each place through iconic photography and vivid narratives. Readers will be able to dive deeper into four of the Best Trips destinations — Asturias, Philadelphia, Iles de la Madeleine and Tasmania — with full-length articles that explore the culture, history, food and terrain of each place.
National Geographic Partners LLC (NGP), a joint venture between The Walt Disney Company and the National Geographic Society, is committed to bringing the world premium science, adventure and exploration content across an unrivaled portfolio of media assets. NGP combines the global National Geographic television channels (National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo MUNDO, Nat Geo PEOPLE) with National Geographic’s media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children’s media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, licensing and e-commerce businesses. Furthering knowledge and understanding of our world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 131 years, and now we are committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for our consumers … and reaching millions of people around the world in 172 countries and 43 languages every month as we do it. NGP returns 27 percent of our proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education. For more information visit natgeotv.com or nationalgeographic.com, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.
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 Cara Schneider,VISIT PHILADELPHIA, for the content of this post.
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artist Roderick Coover, poet Nick Montfort, and composer Adam Vidiksis
Interweaving sound, language and image, The Altering Shores is a four screen video performance with live music. Set in the marshlands and industrial wastelands of our local Delaware River watershed and others worldwide, the experience presents a kaleidoscope of climate futures through fragmented language and multi-layered sounds and images. Participants are guided through this uncertain terrain by lead artist Roderick Coover, poet Nick Montfort, and composer Adam Vidiksis.
Beginning on Saturday, November 16 at 4pm you can experience the project via short 360-degree vignettes, viewable at four unique virtual reality pop-up stations around the University of Pennsylvania campus. The stations will appear from 4-6pm on Nov 16, 19, 21, and 23.
Environmental Storytelling & Virtual Reality will explore environmental research and virtual reality (VR) across two days of talks, film screenings, workshops and a live multimedia performance for students, faculty, and staff at Penn and beyond.
The festival is organized around three keywords that illuminate the connections between interdisciplinary environmental research and virtual reality technologies and experiences: empathy, education, and action on climate. As authors of the October 2018 IPCC Special Report have urged, action on climate must come now, from individuals and institutions across sectors and across languages and borders. The forecast of 1.5 degree surface warming already by 2040, as dire as it is realistic, points to the need to wrench down greenhouse gas emissions to slow the current acceleration of ongoing climate change.
It also hints at the creative and imaginative combinations of scientists, humanists, artists, and environmental and public health advocates that we can bring together to nurture, in the language of the IPCC report, “the wide scale behavior changes consistent with adapting to and limiting global warming to 1.5 C.”
The IPCC report also suggests the role of emotion. Taking action on climate depends centrally on empathy. And, if that empathy is to make positive environmental impacts, it needs education. Touted in headlines as “the ultimate empathy machine,” virtual reality holds great promise as an educational tool, but remains largely untested. In this gathering of scientists, artists, educators, and the interested public, we want to put this claim to the test to see how VR and immersive storytelling might catalyze action on climate.
The event’s invited guests work at the forefront of VR, AR, and game design in educational institutions, in media and journalism, and in informal community spaces promoting public health, environmental literacy, and climate solutions.
RODERICK COOVERholds a BA from Cornell University (1989), an MA from Brown University (1994) and a PhD in the history of culture, with a specialization in media arts and anthropology, from the University of Chicago (1999). His films and new-media works include Unknown Territories (2011), Vérité to Virtual (DER, 2008), The Theory of Time Here (Video Data Bank, 2007), and Cultures in Webs (Eastgate, 2003), among others. His scholarship has been published in journals such as Film Quarterly,Visual Studies, and Visual Anthropology and in books such as the SAGE Handbook of Visual Research Methods. As co-editor of the recently published Switching Codes: Thinking Through Digital Technology in the Humanities and the Arts (University of Chicago Press), Professor Coover examines the impact of new technologies in the humanities and arts.
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.”
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 Wallis 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dilys E. Blum, The Jack M. and Annette Y. Friedland Senior Curator of Costume and Textiles and Mary Schoeser, Independent Textile Historian and Curator
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.
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.
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