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.
Thank you to the Philadelphia Museum of Art press room for the content of this post.
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Together, ARTsisters Group Exhibit at Da Vinci Art Alliance
ARTsisters will have a group exhibit titled Together at Da Vinci Art Alliance, 704 Catharine Street in South Philadelphia from November 17 – 24, 2019. The Opening Reception on November 17, 1:00 -3:00PM, free and open to the public.
Togetheris a group exhibition by the ARTsisters, an organization of professional artists in the Philadelphia area who empower each other and the community through art. They collaborate on upcoming shows, and work with nonprofit organizations to give back to their community. The ARTsisters are united through their common goals of commitment to making art, dedication to inspiring each other and sharing knowledge, showing new work, and dedication to community artists.
In 2005 Linda Dubin Garfield realized that her long-time friend and fellow artist Leslie DeBrocky functioned as more than a friend when it came to art— she was really an ARTsister, one who knew the process and understood the challenges of a professional artist. Together they created ARTsisters. It is their belief that the collective energy generated, motivated and inspired by professional women artists creates synergy. They share their creative spirit to benefit the community through exhibitions, special projects, workshops and art donations.
The ARTsisters are: Ellen Abraham, Sandra Benhaim, Priscilla Bohlen, Edwina Brennan, Ginny Conniver, Marge Feldman, Linda Dubin Garfield, Linnie Greenberg, Jenn Hallgren, Louise Herring, Rachel Isaac, Mary Kane, Karen Liebman, Sandi Neiman Lovitz, Laurie Lamont Murray, Marjie Lewis Quint, Elynne Rosenfeld , Monique Sarkessian, Edna Santiago, Deb K Simon, Susan Stefanski, Nancy Freeman Tabas, Blanche Levitt Torphy, Marcia Goldner Treiger, and Florence Weisz.
Philadelphia, PA – Hot Bed and James Oliver Gallery, located at 723 Chestnut St, Second Floor, Philadelphia, PA presents Girl in the Garden: Danger in Paradise, a solo exhibition featuring renowned photographer and installation artist Amie Potsic. With a focus on climate change, California wildfires, and gender equality, the exhibition includes a new large-scale silk installation, photographic prints, and mixed media works. In addition to the exhibition, HOT•BED will host a Climate Reality Presentation and Artist Panel Discussion, after which One Tree Planted will plant a tree for every person that attends. The exhibition is on view from September 14 through November 20. There will be a Closing Reception with the artist on Saturday, November 16 from 2:00 – 5:00pm. The Climate Reality Event will be on Wednesday, November 20 from 6:00 – 7:30 PM. Both events are free and open to the public and rsvp is encouraged. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Friday from 5:00 – 8:00 PM and Saturday from 1:00 – 8:00 PM or by appointment.
Girl in the Garden: Danger in Paradise is a solo exhibition of new work by Amie Potsic addressing climate change through the complex viewpoints of girlhood, deforestation, and Magical Realism. With site-specific installations, photographs, and mixed media works, Potsic collaborates with HOT•BED, a unique fine art and horticulture gallery, to produce an incarnate exploration of female identity, the forested lifeblood of our planet, and the fate of humankind.
“In tandem with the incredible upsurge in Climate Change activism and brave examples set by youth leading the charge, this exhibition delves into the complexity and opportunities involved in the issues and provides paths for action,” says Amie Potsic.
After photographing her daughter in the lush forests of the northeastern United States, the artist traveled to Paradise, California and surrounding forests (located upwind from her extended family’s home) to photograph the complete devastation caused by the deadliest wildfire in the state’s history. Personal experience underscoring the urgency of climate change, Potsic intertwines visions of girlhood in a magical environment with nature’s unprecedented destruction caused by wildfires.
Unfortunately, the number and severity of wildfires in California continues to grow with recent fires burning out of control as recently as one week ago. Harnessing the power of imagination and urgency, Potsic’s work is a call to action. Visitors will find shared resources for taking environmental action in their own lives.
The exhibition has been extended to host a discussion and presentation on the positive impact of the arts on the Climate Change movement and how creativity and storytelling can create change: “The Story of Art and Climate: Creating Change Through Art & Action.”As part of the 24 Hours of Reality, an international day of Climate presentations offered by Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project, HOT•BED will host an artist panel discussion and climate presentations with scientific experts. One Tree Planted has committed to planting one tree for every attendee at this presentation.
The artist panel will include Amie Potsic, Ana Vizcarra Rankin, Marguerita Hagan, and Deirdre Murphy. Each artist’s work looks at climate change from a unique perspective: Potsic deals with deforestation and wildfires, Rankin addresses human migration and humanity’s impact on the planet, Hagan explores ocean life and interrelated ecosystems, while Murphy integrates scientific experimentation and bird migration.
Climate Reality Presenters, Al Morales and his 17-year-old daughter Alana Morales, are presenters trained by Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project. They will provide facts and opportunities highlighting the impact of climate change on the planet and humanity.
Dr. Erik Cordes, Professor & Vice Chair of Ecology and Integrative Biology at Temple University and Alexis Weinnig, a graduate student in the Department of Biology at Temple University will share information on their research, which focuses on understanding the areas of the deep sea that support the highest biomass communities: deep-water coral reefs, natural hydrocarbon seeps, and hydrothermal vents.
On November 20–21, the world is coming together to talk about the climate crisis with:
One Tree Planted has committed to planting one tree for everyone that attends one of the international presentations: https://onetreeplanted.org/
Amie Potsic, MFA is an accomplished photographer and installation artist living in the Philadelphia area whose work addresses cultural, personal, and natural phenomena through the lens of climate change and social responsibility. Potsic has exhibited her work internationally at the Art Park in Rhodes, Greece; Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogotá, Colombia; Medfoundart di Cagliari, Italy; the Royal College of London; the Museum of New Art in Detroit; The Woodmere Art Museum, The National Constitution Center Museum, The Painted Bride and James Oliver Gallery in Philadelphia; Mission 17 in San Francisco; and 626 Gallery in Los Angeles. Her work has been published in The San Francisco Chronicle, Art Matters, The Photo Review, and The Philadelphia Inquirer. Potsic received her MFA in Photography from the San Francisco Art Institute and BA’s in Photojournalism and English Literature from Indiana University. She has held faculty appointments at the University of California at Berkeley, Ohlone College, and the San Francisco Art Institute and has been a guest lecturer at The University of the Arts, Ursinus College, and The International Center of Photography.
Potsic is currently the CEO and Principal of Amie Potsic Art Advisory, LLC providing visionary and advisory support to artists, collectors, businesses, and institutions with expertise in Legacy Planning and Fine Art Appraisals. She is also Chair of the Art in City Hall Artistic Advisory Board to the Office of Arts and Culture of the City of Philadelphia.
Bridging James Oliver’s (James Oliver Gallery) eye for contemporary art and Bryan Hoffman’s (Hoffman Design Group) passion for horticulture design, HOT•BED is an ultra-collaborative gallery and event space that explores the relationship between our intrinsic connection to nature (biophilia) and art in new and exciting ways.
HOT•BED andJames Oliver Gallery, located at 723 Chestnut St, Second Floor, Philadelphia, PA present Girl in the Garden: Danger in Paradise, a solo exhibition featuring renowned photographer and installation artist Amie Potsic with a focus on climate change and gender identity. The exhibition runs from September 14 through November 20. The exhibition will host a Closing Reception on Saturday, November 16 from 2:00 – 5:00 PM and a Climate Reality Event on Wednesday, November 20 from 6:00 – 7:30 PM.
The Unity of Nature: Alexander Von Humboldt in the Americas
A multi-part art installation celebrating Alexander Von Humboldt’s 250 Anniversary,
November 15th through December 9th, 2019.
Cherry Street Pier, 121 N. Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19106.
The Unity of Nature: Alexander Von Humboldt in the Americas, celebrates the 250th anniversary of the German polymath scientist Alexander Von Humboldt (1769-1859) through the work of five Philadelphia based American artists. The exhibition uses photography, video, sound, performance, painting, and sculpture, paying homage to Humboldt’s travels in the Americas, including a Philadelphia stop, in 1804.
Humboldt’s five-year trip through Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Cuba, Peru, and Mexico was a watershed journey that allowed him to develop his theories on nature not only as an interconnected system, but also helped to form his observations on man’s destructive impact on the environment; theories centuries ahead of their time and which are now currently accepted unanimously by scientists, as we face global warming and environmental devastation. The five artists represented in the exhibition come from five of the countries Humboldt visited during his five-year journey, they are: Henry Bermudez, (Venezuela), Pedro Ospina and Salome Cosmique, (Colombia), Rebecca Martell, (Mexico), and Devin Asher Cohen, (USA).
Humboldt, the most famous man of his age, (more famous than Napoleon), achieved fame through his unquenchable interest in both exploration and in the search for scientific knowledge. It was this combination as both scientist and intrepid explorer that made his travels so celebrated. His travels through the Americas redrew the map of the continent and laid the groundwork for several fields of study including, biogeography, geology, and climatology, among others. Humboldt’s name appears on more things than any other historical figure: animals, birds, plants, flowers, fish, mountains, ocean currents, national parks, waterfalls, glaciers, a basin on the moon and two asteroids, not to mention thousands of institutions worldwide bearing his name.
The exhibition organized by Casa De Duende and curated by David Acosta, Artistic Director, was made possible by a grant from the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation, as part of their Waterfront Arts Program. The exhibition pays tribute to Humboldt and his love of the natural world through the work of five artists for whom Humboldt has had an impact on both their thinking and work. The exhibition runs through December 9th 2019.
Henry Bermudez will display two large paper reconstructed paintings, which form part of a seven painting series dedicated to Alexander Von Humboldt, as well as several smaller botanical drawings. Pedro Ospina creates three large totem poles honoring the three clans of the Lena Lenape people (wolf, turtle and turkey) as well as the Delaware River. Salome Cosmique’s performance on opening night honors the Andean earth mother deity Pachamama mother of all living things. Rebecca Martell’s photographs of Mexican landscapes pay tribute to Humboldt’s visit to her native Puebla, while Asher Cohen’s sound installation serve as the artist’s homage to Humboldt. The sound pieces will fill the space, exuding within the setting an experiential state of being and the emotional quality, (not as observed) but as felt and imagined from the perspective of Von Humboldt during his travels from Puebla, Mexico to Philadelphia, capturing both, the oceanic sounds at sea, and the sound of the winds of arrival.
About Casa de Duende:
Casa de Duende is dedicated to presenting socially relevant art that addresses critical social issues and challenges both artists and communities to address these through art and art making.
About Delaware River Waterfront Corporation, (DRWC) DRWC is a 501(c)(3) created in January 2009, exclusively for the benefit of the City of Philadelphia and its citizens. The fundamental purpose of DRWC is to design, develop, program and maintain public amenities such as permanent and seasonal parks, trails, and streetscape improvements to transform the waterfront into a vibrant destination for recreational, cultural, and commercial activities for the residents and visitors of Philadelphia as is consistent with the goals of the Master Plan for Central Delaware. Daily programming throughout the entire year is changing the way Philadelphians see and converse about the waterfront, and is helping to create spaces and communities that connect residents and visitors to the waterfront. Visit delawareriverwaterfront.com for more information.
Thank you to David Acosta for the content of this post.
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