CERULEAN ARTS GALLERY 1355 Ridge Ave, Philadelphia 267-514-8647 www.ceruleanarts.com My solo show of 20 rendered collages is displayed at Cerulean from 5 Jul thru 30 Jul 2023. The In-person reception is Sat 8 Jul 2-5 pm and the virtual tour & talk is Weds 19 Jul 2023 at 6pm (must zoom register. Gallery hours are Weds thru Fri 10m-6pm, Sat & Suns 12pm thru 6pm. I may also be at the gallery several Wednesdays. Welcome to come visit.
Theme: As a lifelong Philadelphian (mostly), I explore aspects of the city I love as well as worry about, look at its extraordinary-though checkered- history, and present ideas and images for its future. As an architect and teacher, I can’t stop commenting, pencils in hand. MY PHILLY…for better or worse, for richer or poorer…
JOHN JAMES PRON: ARTIST STATEMENT
I am a lifelong Philadelphian- mostly. I was born in Northern Liberties, raised in the Northeast’s Oxford Circle, rented apartments in West Philadelphia and have lived for over fifty years right across the city’s boundary at Cheltenham Avenue. I went to Philly schools- grammar, high school, undergraduate and graduate. And I worked all of my professorial life in North Philadelphia. My wife has long been intimately connected to this city’s healthcare community and both daughters attended Philadelphia universities.
I am also an architect by profession- certainly a creative artist, but one who was trained to balance my willful imagination with an ingrained moral and ethical responsibility to improve the lives of people, of the health of the community, the viability of cities and indeed the survival of this planet. For almost 40 years, I was fulltime professor in Temple University’s Tyler School of Art and Architecture, nurturing students to believe in themselves as creative forces but also to take responsibility for bettering the world. In this case, the artist is also a problem-solver. In my design practice and teaching, I specialized in ‘adaptive reuse’- preserving the essential character of a building (its ‘soul’), while adjusting spaces and functions for changing needs.
And so, in this solo gallery show, my mode of expression is the juxtaposition of existing images by others (photos or lithographs, archival or current) against my hand-drawn “reimaginings” of the place, the usage, or the meaning. It’s a both/and strategy. While it does make for interesting and unusual images to display, what is more important is that I am using my architectural-art skills to raise awareness of critical issues affecting human lives, even advocating for important social changes. And so, along with the needed information, I am seeking to make an emotional impact on the viewer through my graphics.
Picasso did just that in his monumental Guernica- maybe the most powerful anti-war painting in history. More recently, visual artists such as Keith Haring, Banksy and Ai Weiwei do the same on contemporary issues. The viewer may appreciate the artistic qualities, but one is also asked make a personal decision over the content: take a stand, get involved, connect to others, contribute as you can. Do something.
You can view my professional and academic career (including past gallery shows, architectural designs, lectures, etc) and my bio on my website www.johnjamespron.com
“PHILLY AND ME: FOR BETTER OR WORSE…FOR RICHER OR POORER…”
This is a city that I love- its parks and neighborhoods, its grand public buildings and cultural institutions, its superlative universities and breathtaking skyscrapers. I also love its diversity…old with young, residents and visitors, extraordinary festivals near quiet enclaves, polished gentility and in-your-face grit. A city of many races, many backgrounds, many beliefs. But I also fret about this city: the things that tear it apart, the endemic problems growing ever larger, the social behaviors that destroy unity and civility. Here are my pleasures as well as my concerns, my savoring of its (sometimes checkered) past, my images suggesting a brighter future. Warnings and wishes….I can only hope the new next mayor can rise to the challenge.
Thank you to John James Pron for the content of this post.
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Still Life Crew: “Gardening Above”A collaborative exhibition between January 27, 2023 – February 19, 2023. Opening ReceptionFriday, January 27 • 5:30 PM-8:00 PM RSVP here* Appreciated but not required
To kick off 2023 at Paradigm, Still Life Crew returns with their second exhibition as a duo at Paradigm. The artists behind the joint “Gardening Above” collection, Mando Marie and Hyland Mather, are bringing their collaborative work to a new level in this exhibition through a seamless creative process. The two have discovered new methods of formation through layering processes that have the feeling of tagging in a teammate in a competition or marathon, so in sync, but with each artist’s contributions and special skills holding their own through the details of the individual pieces. Rather than the previous side by side solo work collection previously shown on the gallery’s walls, each artist poured their hearts and vision onto the same surface for this exciting next step in the Still Life Crew’s growing and impactful oeuvre.
Mando Marie primarily uses stencil and mixed-media collage to create paintings that tether the viewer to a feeling of haunting nostalgia. Straddling a line between comforting and spooky, innocence and adulthood, life and spirit, her works find a real power in opposites and duality, evidenced in this series with several examples of her hallmark use of twin and mirrored imagery.
Hyland Mather’s abstract and often geometric painting style, along with his assemblage working technique are both featured in this series. As is his way, the assemblage work features abandoned, discarded, or ‘lost objects’ that have been rediscovered and made new again while maintaining an artifact-like status. In Hyland’s own words, “some lost stuff gets found again”.
About Mando Marie | An American painter and Stencilist, Amanda Marie has been splitting time, living and painting in Amsterdam and Portugal . She attended the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design (RMCAD) and has exhibited extensively in the US and Europe. She creates small works on paper and larger works on canvas for indoor exhibition. She also paints large scale murals primarily in outdoor urban, or garden settings. Her use of nostalgic storybook-like imagery is an invitation for viewing allegorical and highly painterly compositions . Signature in her very graphic work is the use of children and young adults as imagery tools to deliver clever, often subtle messages that can straddle a line between comforting and spooky. Other signature and recognizable traits in her work are the common use of ‘twin imagery’ and the consistent use of vintage sewing patterns as backgrounds to inform the compositions of her paintings.
About Hyland Mather | “I make stuff from junk. I pick up messes and try to make them into something I think looks good. i use the junk from the city, I use the stuff from the field, i use the bits in the forest, and the things in the trash. I hunt, collect, and gather, but only what I need for the work, for the play. color, shape, composition. Some lost stuff gets found again.” Hyland Mather is an American assemblage artist and abstract painter, who grew up in Alaska and lives and works now, like Mando, between Amsterdam and Portugal. Best known for his use of found materials, Mather collects discarded objects and reassembles them to help them regain purpose. Mather has exhibited his work in solo and group exhibitions in galleries and public spaces around the world. Accompanying his studio practice, Mather creates murals and urban art installations in various cities primarily in the United States & Europe.
EXHIBITION HOURS Saturdays • 11:00am – 6:00pm Sundays • 11:00am – 5:00pm And 7 days a week by appointment.
Media Contact: Lainya Magaña, A&O PR 347 395 4155 email@example.com
SOCIAL MEDIA Instagram: @ParadigmGS Twitter: @ParadigmGS Facebook: facebook.com/paradigmgallery TikTok: @paradigmgallery
About Paradigm Gallery Paradigm Gallery + Studio was established in 2010 by co-founders and curators, Jason Chen and Sara McCorriston. The gallery exhibits meaningful, process-intense contemporary artwork from around the world. Paradigm Gallery is globally recognized and known as a tastemaker within their greater Philadelphia arts community. As the gallery grows, it maintains its original mission to keep art accessible. Through monthly donations, free public art installations, and initiatives like Insider Picks, Paradigm Gallery, continues to be a champion of small businesses and emerging and mid-career artists.
Thank you to Paradigm Gallery for the content of this post.
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Philadelphia Open Studio Tours (POST) returns this October 2022 with over 250 participating artists and partners.
What: PHILADELPHIA, PA – October 6, 2022. NEW. Philadelphia’s best behind-the-scenes, creative space showcase, Philadelphia Open Studio Tours (POST) is back in-person over two weekends, October 15th/16th, and 22nd/23rd.
Traversing the city’s four quadrants — by SEPTA, bike, car, or on foot — Philadelphians and visitors alike can take part in an extraordinary self-guided discovery of local art practice. Philadelphia Open Studio Tours is the largest studio visit experience in the region, featuring over 250 artists in situ and community spaces who will open their doors to visitors for one of the four days. Participating businesses and creative spaces enhance the energy already taking place in the more than 30 neighborhoods where art studios are located. Related POST activities include: studio visits, hands-on demonstrations, artist talks, preview events, featured exhibitions and more.
Who should attend: All are welcome to participate in the Philadelphia Open Studio Tours! Families, students, community groups, visitors of all ages are encouraged to attend.
Why: POST is not just an intimate window of a day in the life of an artist, or a gallery hop. Instead, it highlights the enormous artistic capital of talent that is Philadelphia in an approachable, accessible way for all to enjoy. No other open studio event in the area provides such a rich and diverse cultural experience for the public. For more detailed, up-to-date information, to view the digital directory and interactive map of participating artists, as well as in-person event updates in October, please visit the NEW POST event website at www.cfeva.org/philaopenstudios.
When and Where: Philadelphia Open Studio Tours occurs, city-wide over two weekends, with ancillary activities scheduled for the weekdays in between. Studios and creative spaces are open to the public from noon-6pm all four days: POST South quadrant – Saturday, October 15th; POST West quadrant – Sunday, October 16th; POST Northwest quadrant – Saturday, October 22nd; POST Northeast Quadrant – Sunday, October 23rd.
For the interactive map and artist directory listings, please click here. Media Contact: Lily Gilston, Community Program Manager at The Center for Emerging Visual Artists (CFEVA) www.cfeva.org/philaopenstudios | 215.546.7775 x 13| Post@cfeva.org | firstname.lastname@example.org | #POST2022 #POSTPHL @PhilaCFEVA on Instagram, @CFEVA @Philaopenstudios on Facebook
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Philadelphia Museum of Art to Present First Major Retrospective Exhibition Dedicated to Emma Amos (1937–2020)
October 11, 2021–January 17, 2022
Morgan Galleries and Jane and Leonard Korman Galleries 150–153
In October, the Philadelphia Museum of Art will present the first major retrospective exhibition of the work of Emma Amos. As a member of the Black artist collective, Spiral, in the mid-1960s, an active participant in the Guerilla Girls of the 1980s, and a pathbreaking multimedia artist until her death in 2020, Amos made vibrant, witty, and passionate works that challenge, unsettle, and sometimes altogether reject the dominant visual codes of American life. Across her prolific career, Amos’s art explored the links among personal biography, history, and the politics of race and gender in America. Organized by the Georgia Museum of Art, Emma Amos: Color Odyssey surveys Amos’s body of work from the late 1950s to the 2010s for the first time, highlighting her bold approach to printmaking, painting, and weaving, and the distinctive combination of disparate materials and artistic techniques that she employed to produce works of unmistakable artistic and critical charge.
In an interview in 1991, Amos remarked, “Every time I think about color, it’s a political statement.” The exhibition will explore the rich implications of that claim, following the ways in which Amos’s works investigate aspects of identity and privilege while unsettling the lines between figuration and abstraction, craft and fine art, beauty, and power. Emma Amos: Color Odyssey will begin with the artist’s early years when, finding her way to New York by way of London, she would become the youngest and only female member of Spiral, which formed in response to the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963. These early works reveal an artist beginning to connect an interest in abstract expressionism to problems of figuration and subjectivity posed by the realities of American racism, with Amos exploring the significance of color as it relates to the Black female body. This subject would go on to become a major focal point throughout Amos’s career as she began to engage more deeply with mediums such as weaving and printmaking and to participate in the feminist and multicultural debates of the 1970s and 1980s.
The exhibition is organized chronologically and thematically, tracking how Amos pushed her painting, weaving, and printmaking practices and often combined these media to better represent the grace, beauty, and power of Black figures, from anonymous models to leaders such as Paul Robeson and Zora Neale Hurston. Color Odyssey follows Amos’s deepening critical investigation into the centrality of race and gender to the values of Western art, notably though the making of massive multimedia works that interrogate the power and authority of the artist. The Philadelphia presentation of the exhibition will give emphasis to the ways in which these thematic and political concerns pushed Amos to experiment widely with materials and techniques, particularly in print.
Highlights among the early works include the painting Godzilla, 1966 (Munson Williams Proctor Institute of Art) which features three front-facing seated women, one of whom is nude, another is seen clothed, and a middle figure appears faceless. Each figure is depicted with brownish limbs of various skin tones while the overall composition offers a rich arrangement of gestural forms placed in combination with flat, unmodulated swathes of contrasting color. The artist returns to the theme of the female trinity in 3 Ladies, 1970 (Philadelphia Museum of Art), a color etching, printed relief, and screen print in which lyrical gestural elements have given way to a sharp juxtaposition of graphic shapes that convey the artist’s virtuosity. This experimental, five-part composition underscores her ongoing pre-occupation with femme-centric themes. Among the notable works of the artist’s later production is Tightrope, 1994 (Minneapolis Institute of Art) which illustrates, in bold acrylic colors on linen with African textile borders, the monumental struggles Amos faced as an artist without the privileges afforded to white masculinity. In this monumental narrative self-portrait, Amos resolutely strides across a tightrope while donning a Wonder Woman costume that is only partially concealed under an artist’s smock. In one hand, she indignantly raises a T shirt emblazoned with an image of the naked torso of Gauguin’s Tahitian child bride while in the other she confidently wields a pair of paint brushes against a night sky.
The organizing curator for Emma Amos: Color Odyssey is Dr. Shawnya L. Harris, Larry D. and Brenda A. Thompson Curator of African American and African Diasporic Art at the Georgia Museum of Art. “Coming of age during the countercultural movements of the 1960s and straddling various artistic movements from abstract expressionism to pop art, Amos reckoned with issues of race, class, and gender roles that emerged in the development of her style,” Dr. Harris said. “Her imaginative and sometimes satirical take on cultural difference shifted and grew richer over the decades, merging various media and blurring categories of fine and applied arts as a form of resistance.”
At the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the exhibition is curated by Laurel Garber, the Park Family Assistant Curator of Prints and Drawings, with the assistance of Theresa A. Cunningham, Margaret R. Mainwaring Curatorial Fellow. Garber, who wrote the catalog’s essay on Amos’s prints, added: “The sweep of Amos’s career opens a window onto an artistic practice that is guided by a rich creative and political engagement in American life. Her work is at once approachable and challenging, inviting reflections on identity, beauty, and femininity. Throughout her career, Amos worked in a wide range of printmaking techniques, including intaglio, screen print, monotype, and collagraphy, and we will show the broad range of innovative editions, monoprints, and other printed works on paper so that visitors can fully appreciate the interconnectedness of her vision across media.”
Emma Amos: Color Odyssey is accompanied by a major scholarly volume of the same title, edited by Dr. Shawnya L. Harris, and published in hardback by the Georgia Museum of Art (ISBN: 9780915977468). This catalogue includes an introductory essay by Dr. Harris and contributions by the artists Kay Walkingstick and LaToya Ruby Frazier, each of whom offers a personal reflection on Amos. Lisa Farrington, Associate Dean for Fine Arts, Howard University, discusses Amos’s place in the history of women artists. Phoebe Wolfskill, Associate Professor of African American and African Diaspora Studies, Indiana University, Bloomington, focuses on the performativity of race and gender in Amos’ work. Laurel Garber explores the artist’s career-long printmaking practice and her collaborations with master printers. The book is available at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Store and may be purchased on site or online via Philamuseum.org.
About Emma Amos
Emma Veoria Amos was born in 1937 in Atlanta, Georgia. Her family owned a drug store established by her father and grandfather, the first Black pharmacist in the state. She attended Antioch College in Ohio, graduating in 1958 with a degree in fine art before moving to London where she earned a diploma in etching at the Central School of Art in the next year. Arriving in New York in 1960, she joined Spiral, the artist activist group which included Romare Bearden, Hale Woodruff, Norman Lewis, and Charles Alston. In 1965, she earned her master’s degree in education from New York University and later taught at the Dalton School in New York. She also held positions as a textile designer and served briefly as a host of a television show about craft. Amos was an important member of Heresies, a feminist magazine founded in 1976 by Joyce Kozloff, Miriam Shapiro, Lucy Lippard, and others. As a member of the Guerilla Girls, Amos protested art world injustices including the unequal representation of women in the arts. In 1980, she began a teaching at Rutgers University, where she would become Professor and Chair of Visual Arts at the Mason Gross School of Art. She retired from Rutgers in 2008. The artist moved in 2019 to Bedford, NH in 2019 where she died the following year. Emma Amos: Color Odyssey premiered in January 2021 at the Georgia Museum of Art and traveled to the Munson Williams Proctor Institute in Utica, NY (through September 12, 2021) before its final stop at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
The exhibition is organized by the Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia. This program is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts, University of Georgia. At the Georgia Museum of Art, additional support was provided by the W. Newton Morris Foundation and the Friends of the Georgia Museum of Art.
In Philadelphia, Emma Amos: Color Odyssey is made possible by the Kathleen C. and John J. F. Sherrerd Fund for Exhibitions, the Lenore G. Tawney Foundation, and Emily and Mike Cavanagh.
Kassem Amoudi is a Palestinian Jordanian American artist who came to the US in 1983. He got his MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and now teaches there. The first time I remember seeing one of his paintings was at the Woodmere Art Museum. Like a philosopher Kassem thinks in terms of dualities, pairs of things that complement one another. He told me about one of the greatest of these pairings. – John Thornton, arts videographer
Artists in the Time of Pandemic, Kassem Amoudi
One of the paintings I will show at Cerulean Arts Gallery from the Stripes series. It is a 48×48 Acrylic. The show starts May 5th with social distancing and masks. The opening will be a Virtual tour and talk on Saturday the 8th at 2 pm. You can register for it at the gallery website when they add it. It hasn’t been posted yet because there is another show right now. — Kassem Amoudi
I will be One of the panelists at this webinar at Woodmere Art Museum May 6th at 7. Please click the link to register. Closing Reception (virtual): Group ’55 and Midcentury Abstraction in Philadelphia Presenters: Bill Valerio, Woodmere Director & CEO; Patricia Stark Feinstein, Curator of the Samuel L. Feinstein Trust; Barbara Wolanin, PhD, Curator of the Group ‘55 exhibition; Kassem Amoudi, Artist Join Woodmere in celebrating the art and artists of the Group ‘55 exhibition through an online closing reception. The online program will feature a new film on the exhibition, along with a conversation between Bill Valerio; Patricia Stark Feinstein; Barbara Wolanin, PhD; and Kassem Amoudi. Group ‘55 and Midcentury Abstraction in Philadelphia is on view through Sunday, May 9. This event will be held online via Zoom, and registration is required. Participants will receive event information via email upon registration. Free | 7pm | Click here to register. https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_aCKZqyA-R-WFIqoOgyrUEQ
Thank you to Kassem Amoudi and John Thornton for the content of this post.
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