Category Archives: Philadelphia Graphics

Edward Woltemate, Jr.

Ed Woltemate, Jr., Coalition IngenuEd Woltemate, Jr.Autodidactic Ingenuism, the Coalition Ingenu Collective of Self-Taught Artists at Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens

“Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.”
Philip K. Dick 

Edward Woltemate, Jr. creates art that takes you to another world.  His brilliant art has bright colors and out-of-this-world design.  Despite being born a deaf mute, his art captures you in his fantasies and takes you on an adventure into the unknown. Born and raised in the Philadelphia area, he enjoyed spending summers at his grandparents’ home at the Jersey shore, along with his two sisters (one is also a deaf mute) and his brother.

Eddie has a keen sense of humor which has carried him through the darker places in his life and can be seen in the serendipity of his art. Eddie went to two primary schools, American School for the Deaf in Hartford, Connecticut, and The Pennsylvania School for the Deaf in Philadelphia. He has had a lifelong interest in the extraterrestrial and his characters and spacescapes are detailed as never before imagined.

Eddie has traveled extensively with his wife, Elaine, taking photographs and blending his inspiration and vision into his art. Although he works on his drawings every day, he finds time for three grandchildren and hobbies such as photography and gardening.  He loves to shop and go to museums and is always thinking about what his next drawing will be.” – Ed Woltemate, Jr. website

Ed Woltemate, Jr., Coalition IngenuEd Woltemate, Jr., Moonspidergee, mixed media and colored pencil on paper, $500.00  Autodidactic Ingenuism, the Coalition Ingenu Collective of Self-Taught Artists at Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens

Ed Woltemate, Jr. is a very organized man with a logical mind. Most of his work is accompanied by a kind of ‘legend’ on the back that describes the climate, topography, atmosphere and many other intricate details and characters of his imaginary worlds.

Ed Woltemate, Jr. has traveled extensively with his wife, Elaine, taking many photographs and blending his observation and impressions into his art. Although he draws every day, he also finds time for his three grandchildren and enjoys several hobbies including gardening, shopping, museum touring and photography.” –Ed Woltemate, Jr. artist statement at Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens

Ed Woltemate, Jr., Coalition IngenuEd Woltemate, Jr., Marrs, mixed media and colored pencil on paper, $800.00, Autodidactic Ingenuism, the Coalition Ingenu Collective of Self-Taught Artists at Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens

Ed Woltemate, Jr. creates worlds of wonder using simple materials like pencils and paper that transport the viewer to distant planets inhabited by intelligent beings who have advanced societies. The artist peoples these worlds with beings who are creative, beautiful and friendly and on the back of the finished work he provides a ‘legend’ that describes in great detail where the planet is conjunction to where we are on Earth. He even names each planet and their inhabitants. With the recent cosmological news that there are more than eight billion ‘Goldy Locks’ planets in the Milky Way alone, Woltemate won’t be running out of planets to describe any time soon.

Ed and I have been in several art shows together including Art Ability at Bryn Mawr Rehab, the Philadelphia Foundation and the Delaware Art Museum, I’ve been a long time fan. Science Fiction and alternate realities are an element of my own art with my ‘light being’ photography series but Ed is able to visualize the other-wordly without having to say a word. Whereas I have to explain to people what my art is about.

Each of his drawings is like watching a great Sci-Fi movie that allows the viewer to suspend belief and experience life on another planet for a while. It’s been said that art viewers spend about five seconds looking at art in a museum. But Ed Woltemate, Jr. art requires the viewer to take an astral trip of light years where a second expands into centuries, centuries into eons and eons into a kind of after-life and when you get back all your friends might be gone. Quantum physics works like that and he taps into that energetic time/space continuum vibe like Steven Hawking.

Ed Woltemate, Jr., Coalition IngenuEd Woltemate, Jr., Cogacy, mixed media and colored pencil on paper, $400.00, Autodidactic Ingenuism, the Coalition Ingenu Collective of Self-Taught Artists at Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens

I had the opportunity to interview his lovely wife, manager and translator, Elaine Woltemate, at the opening of Autodidactic Ingenism, the Coalition Ingenu Collective of Self-Taught Artists at Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens:

How long have you been working with Coalition Ingenu?

“Gee whiz, we’ve been with Coalition Ingenu for about two and a half years. I have been more or less managing Ed’s art for a while and Robert Bullock has been a great help. But I’ve taken different routes also with Ed’s art and I plan to continue to do that. We’re trying to get into different places than we’ve been before, we’ve been successful in the last couple of years with Bryn Mawr Rehab Art Ability, Moss Rehab, the disabled artists venues. Bryn Mawr Rehab’s Art Ability has three of his pieces this year, the opening is November 2nd. Then on November 9th we’re at Main Line Art Center, we sold a nice piece there about two or three months ago.”

Amie Potsic is a friend of mine.

“She’s very young to have the position she holds, don’t you think? Everybody looked young there! Through a friend of ours we were introduced to an organization called Build a Bridge, it’s a volunteer organization that gets funds for the homeless and different people throughout the city that need assistance, Build a Bridge is having a gala and we offered to donate a piece of art.

My friend told me a little about what was going on, I thought Eddie’s art would fit in with that. They said that if he could create a drawing that depicts ‘Hopeful City‘ they would like to use that. So he made a beautiful drawing, something totally different than what he’s used to of Rittenhouse Square. It’s going to be auctioned off at Build a Bridge, it’s purely because we have been so fortunate in the last few years that it was time to give back, So Edward is going to be involved in that and we’re excited about it!

It doesn’t mean any money for us but I think it will be great exposure and it’s something different for him. As I said, we have been very fortunate, maybe not dollar-wise but just in the people we’ve met, you know? And the venues that we’ve been in, we’ve been very fortunate lately, so, like I said, it’s time to give back.”

But how can people buy your work besides this show?

“We have a website We’re on facebook but I’m not very technical. Robert sees me as a good manager of Eddie’s art, I’m going to have to get more technologically savvy. I’m soliciting my son already, he’s at University of Pennsylvania and teaches computer science. So I’m giving him lunch and getting lessons.

Do you sell prints?

“No, we don’t. And do you know why? I really feel like we’ve come to a point where we have to do something different, not just sell the originals all the time, maybe that’s another step we should take because originals only last for so long (in stock).

How would you describe Ed’s work?

“Unique is kind of an over-used phrase but his art doesn’t fit any category. It doesn’t fit outsider, it doesn’t fit visionary – it’s kind of his own vision of different planets, different galaxies. It’s very different than any other art out there. Maybe that’s why we have sold to gallery owners and collectors that have more of an appreciation than the general public. As far as describing his work – it’s in his own category. It’s Edward Woltemate, jr.” – Elaine Woltemate

Read more about Autodidactic Ingenuism, the Coalition Ingenu Collective of Self-Taught Artists at Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens on DoNArTNeWs Philadelphia Art News Blog

Written and photographed by DoN Brewer except where noted.

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Metropolitan Gallery 250 Presents “Second State, Second Edition”


Metropolitan Gallery 250 Presents 
“Second State, Second Edition”

The Crane Arts Second State Press to show new print work from emerging local talent

PHILADELPHIA (January 8, 2013) – Philadelphia’s print artist community has been livened by the sustainable workspace provided by Second State Press, a workshop based at Crane Arts in Kensington. Metropolitan Gallery 250 is happy to host them for the first time in Rittenhouse Square, debuting the group’s “Second State, Second Edition” show running January 19th to February 24th, 2012.

The exhibition is comprised of forty-six, 8”x10” prints created by the members of Second State Press, and includes work within a number of mediums, including intaglio (etching), relief, screen printing and lithography. A special First Friday reception that is free and open to the public, will he held inMetropolitan Gallery 250 on February 1st from 6-9pm.

“Second State, Second Edition” is an exciting and unique continuation of the annual Print Exchange, where Second State Press volunteers known as “Fob Holders” have the opportunity to create and show new bodies of work for their peers and their community. The Fob Holders hold coveted spots as members of this competitive program, having unlimited access to the Second State Press workspace in exchange for twelve hours of volunteer work per week within the space.

McTague elaborates, “The Print Exchange is a key component to Second State Press.  This year, we doubled the number of members participation and with the addition of our Fob Holders work inMetropolitan Gallery’s “Second State, Second Edition”, we are especially able to highlight the accomplishments of these breakout artists.”

Second State Press is the premier printmaking workshop in greater Philadelphia. Located on the bottom floor of the Crane Arts building in the South Kensington neighborhood, Second State Press serves as a creative workspace that fosters the development of ideas and innovation for emerging artists. Spearheaded by the Second State Press Directors, Jennifer McTague and Zach Lindenberger, the group provides their artists with printmaking tools, presses and inks through its membership program, paired with the opportunity to continuously grow their work through their annual Print Exchange exhibit.

“The idea is to give artists a professional workshop that’s also affordable,” says Jennifer McTague, Co-Director of SSP.  “There are some interesting things that happen when printmakers from all different backgrounds come to together and share ideas, creating an amazing dialogue around contemporary print making.”

The exhibit will show on Saturdays and Sundays from 12-5pm January 19th through February 24th, and by appointment on weekdays.

For a private showing or information about Second State Press/Metropolitan Gallery 250, please contact Dani Sigel at 508-523-9796

For more info on Second State Press, visit

About Metropolitan Gallery 250

Metropolitan Gallery 250  ––

About Metropolitan Bakery
Since 1993, Metropolitan Bakery has been tempting Philadelphians with their handmade all-natural breads, pastries, snacks and world-famous granola. Known for their intense, earthy flavors, crackling crusts and complex texture,Metropolitan breads are baked in over thirty varieties at a 10,000-foot baking facility in Fishtown and then delivered to five neighborhood shops and to more than 90 of the Philadelphia area’s best restaurants and gourmet markets. And now, Metropolitan‘s products are available nationwide… Call 1.877.41.BREAD or visit the online shop

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Press Contact:
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PHILAGRAfiKA Invitational Portfolio Prints at studio:christensen

PHILAGRAfiKA Invitational Portfolio Prints at studio:christensen, Emily Brown, An Early Thaw

PHILAGRAfiKA Invitational Portfolio Prints at studio:christensenEmily Brown, An Early Thaw, lithograph

“There’s a mix of people here, some are younger or mid-career.  Some of them have never made a print before, it’s their first print, and there’s a great mix of people.”  PHILAGRAfiKA director and curator Cindi Ettinger said to DoN during the opening reception for Invitational Portfolio Prints at studio:christensen, 333 South 20th Street.

DoN recalled  PHILAGRAfiKA coming into existence while he studied at the University of the Arts in the early 21st Century. “Philagrafika was originally the Philadelphia Print Collaborative which was a consortium of all the different organizations in Philadelphia that were involved with print-making. And then it evolved to become Philagrafika which the goal was more about festivals, printmaking and how it could be used outside the box.”

“Now, after that major festival we’re kind of scaling back and starting over, reincarnating ourselves and we are having a lecture series and have events and projects in other cities and international.  So, we’re getting started all over again, right now.”  DoN inquired about the connection with the chic gallery near Rittenhouse Square and Cindi explained that a member of their board is friends with Jt Christensen, the designer behind the storefront gallery/design studio. “What’s nice about this is it’s very low key and we found that the best way you can reincarnate yourself is to start small and gradually get really, really good people together and have it be much more organic.  Have it be an organic process, so that’s what we’re doing.”

PHILAGRAfiKA Invitational Portfolio Prints at studio:christensen, Eric Avery, Paradise Lost

PHILAGRAfiKA Invitational Portfolio Prints at studio:christensenEric Avery, Paradise Lost, four color chiaroscuro print on Okawara paper.

Eric Avery‘sParadise Lost describes the fourteen major infections of Adam and Eve, diseases specific to humans.  The technical virtuosity and exquisite information design is masterful, the narrative deep and disturbing, the presentation at once decorative and discrete. “Most of the major human infectious diseases, including some confined to humans and absent from animals, are “new” ones that arose only after the advent of agriculture.”  Can you think of one major disease specific to you as a human being?

PHILAGRAfiKA Invitational Portfolio Prints at studio:christensen, Judith Schaechter, Child Bride

PHILAGRAfiKA Invitational Portfolio Prints @ studio:christensenJudith Schaechter, Child Bride, two color linocut on Somerset paper.

DoN asked about the famed stained glass artist, Judith Schaechter‘s, affiliation with PHILAGRAfiKA?  “She was involved in the first portfolio and you know, she was happy to do it.”  There was a schedule conflict that evening as the artist unveiled her spectacular new windows at The Eastern State Penitentiary.

PHILAGRAfiKA is developing a 2012 portfolio, we’re just getting the artists chosen and by the end of the month will be announced on the 31st. Philagrafika is alive and well.” said Cindi Ettinger, a master printer who worked with most of the artists in the exhibit, coordinating with major print firms and universities to bring the show to life.

PHILAGRAfiKA Invitational Portfolio Prints at studio:christensen, Nami Yamamoto

PHILAGRAfiKA Invitational Portfolio Prints at studio:christensenNami Yamamoto, Miniature Garden: Trace, pigmented over beaten bleached abaca with watermark.

PHILAGRAfiKA Invitational Portfolio Prints at studio:christensen, Jennifer Levonian

PHILAGRAfiKA Invitational Portfolio Prints at studio:christensenJennifer Levonian, July in Philadelphia, digital print with dye cut.

May 31st, 6:00 pm at studio:christensen is a lecture entitled Natural Discourse, with Mary Ann Friel and Nami Yamamoto find out more how to register at the Philagrafika FaceBook Page.

Written and photographed by DoN

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