Category Archives: Portraits

Souls

Souls Shot, Portraits of Victims of Gun Violence, Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill

“On November 3, 2017 I went to the Presbyterian Church in Chestnut Hill to see a show of portraits of victims of gun violence. Artist Laura Madelaine had invited me to a show that she co-curated with Rebecca Thornburgh. Artists were paired up with family members of shooting victims to commemorate the lives of their loved ones.” – John Thornton

“There is a parable told by Jesus about a man who kept accumulating possessions. At some point, he had so much stuff, he had to build barns to contain it all.  Apparently once the barns were built and the stuff stored, he said to his soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.”  “Fool!” booms God’s voice disrupting this man’s satisfaction with the future he had secured. “This night your soul is required of you; and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?” It was God’s way of saying, “You can’t take it with you.” – Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill, Stewardship

Presbyterian Church in Chestnut Hill8855 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19118

Through November 30th, Gallery Hours 10:00am – 4:00pm, Monday – Friday

Thank you to John Thornton Video for the content of this post.

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Bowie

Philly Loves Bowie 2018

Philly Loves Bowie Week 2018

An Open Call to All Artists

We are currently looking for gallery ready works of art, relating to David Bowie, to be shown at an Philadelphia Olde City gallery on January 5th for a pop-up event for #PhillyLovesBowie Week January 5th – 13th, 2018. If you currently have Bowie related work, in any medium, or are able to produce a piece prior to the deadline of December 1st 2017, please send an image with the medium, dimensions, etc to bowieweek@gmail.com. You must submit images prior to your work being accepted. Please feel free to share!

Thank you to Patti Brett for the content of this post.

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Happily

Happily Ever After, Main Line Art CenterEmily Smith, when a man decides to hurt you series_existential

Investigating the Female Gaze in Happily Ever After

at Main Line Art Center

October 2 – 29, 2017

Artist talk and opening reception: Friday, October 13, 5:30 – 8:00 pm
2017 Digital Artist in Residence Jenny Drumgoole debut presentation
DESIGNPHILADELPHIA featured event
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Panel Discussion: October 26, 6:00 – 8:00 pm

Happily Ever After and the Female Gaze: Philadelphia
Women Artist Trailblazers – Then and Now
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Portfolio Review with Main Line Art Center’s
Artistic Advisory Board: October 20, 1:00 – 4:00 pm

Main Line Art Center investigates the female gaze, modern femininity, and contemporary challenges to women’s rights with Happily Ever After, an exhibition of works by female artists running October 2 through October 29.

Curated by Amie Potsic, Executive Director & Chief Curator of Main Line Art Center, the show features the work of artists Aubrie Costello, (Philadelphia, PA), Jenny Drumgoole, (Philadelphia, PA), Jes Gamble, (Philadelphia, PA), Erica Zoë Loustau, (West Grove, Pennsylvania), Mari Ogihara, (White Plains, New York), Glynnis Reed, (Egg Harbor, NJ), and Emily Smith, (Philadelphia, PA). From self-defined vantage points of power, these women artists address the human experience through a female lens in the 21st century – a post-feminist era rife with demands for a new feminism. Addressing pre-pubescent characters, trans and female identities, emotionally charged language, and complex female forms, a single definition of woman is defied. In today’s fairytale, Cinderella is breaking the glass slipper and “happily ever after” remains elusive. A free artist talk and opening reception will be held on Friday, October 13, from 5:30 – 8:00 pm at Main Line Art Center, and starting at 6:30 pm, Aubrie Costello will be doing a live installation that will carry throughout the evening.

Happily Ever After, Main Line Art CenterMari Ogihara

Taking inspiration from the majesty and strength of samurai armor as well as the vulnerable sensuality suggested by women’s undergarments, Mari Ogihara creates ceramic chastity belts and female figures alluding to corporeal desire and implied violence.  Directly confronting the emotional impact of violence against women, Emily Smith’s paintings reveal the psychological and physical trauma of being attacked by a male stranger processed through paint, fabric, and memory.

Jes Gamble uses photography to document performance and fiber based works that explore an emotional journey from fear to empowerment, all the while referring to the inescapable history of female experience and the act of mending to build human connection. Celebrating the authenticity of female kinship, Glynnis Reed’s photographs meld confident female and transgender subjects with natural imagery to create auras of complex spirituality.  Influenced by the natural landscape, her girlhood home, and architecture, Erica Zoë Lostau creates site specific installations of repeated shapes on geometrically arranged lines of mono-filament seeking a sublime level of illusion and metaphor.

Happily Ever After, Main Line Art CenterGlynnis Reed

Imagining what would happen if the sexual awakening of puberty were averted, Jenny Drumgoole’s videos present her alter-ego named Soxx who turns traditional women’s behavior on its head by throwing parties for sanitation workers, eating pudding for hire, and running for Mayor of Philadelphia.  As if applying punctuation to the same city, Aubrie Costello’s silk graffiti speaks to women’s physical and emotional struggles, the power of language, and unrelenting natural elements.

The artists in Happily Ever After resist and embrace the traditional trappings of women’s beauty and identity while rewriting urban legend, redefining women’s work, and re-forging paths to power. In doing so, they not only actualize the female gaze, they stare you straight in the eye.

In conjunction with the exhibition, Main Line Art Center is proud to present the lecture “Happily Ever After and the Female Gaze: Philadelphia Women Artist Trailblazers – Then and Now” led by Cindy Veloric, MA, research assistant at the Philadelphia Museum of Art,  Artistic Advisor at Main Line Art Center, and independent art historian.  Veloric will explain an extended series of circumstances particular to Philadelphia that enabled a number of “firsts” for trailblazing women artists. In the context of Main Line Art Center’s exhibition Happily Ever After, Veloric will also lead a panel discussion with women artists in the show (Aubrie Costello, Jenny Drumgoole, Jes Gamble, and Emily Smith) looking at the female gaze and politics of influence in the their work today.

Main Line Art Center is the community’s home to discover, create, and experience visual art. The mission of Main Line Art Center is to inspire and engage people of all ages, abilities, and economic means in visual art through education, exhibitions, and experiences. Committed to increasing the visibility and accessibility of art, the Art Center presents innovative exhibitions and events in the community, including Panorama: Image-Based Art in the 21st Century, a Greater Philadelphia-wide celebration of the photographic image and digital media. Main Line Art Center’s educational offerings for all ages, abilities, and economic means span from traditional to contemporary, and are all held to the highest level of excellence. In 2015, Main Line Art Center received the Commitment to Cultural Access Award from Art-Reach for the Center’s Accessible Art Programs for children and adults with disabilities. Additionally, the Art Center grants over $10,000 in need-based scholarships annually. Last year, Main Line Art Center engaged 21,000 people through classes, exhibitions, and Summer Art Camp, and touched the lives of over 78,000 through Exhibitions in the Community and festivals across the Philadelphia area. Main Line Art Center is located at 746 Panmure Road in Haverford, behind the Wilkie Lexus dealership just off of Lancaster Avenue. The Art Center is easily accessible from public transportation and offers abundant free parking.

As the oldest design festival of its kind in the country, DesignPhiladelphia highlights the work of thousands of local designers, architects, and creative professionals to demonstrate Philadelphia’s reemergence as a 21st century city shaped by thoughtful design, collaborative business practices, and community engagement. Over the course of ten days each October, places such as universities, cultural institutions, civic associations, city agencies, retailers, manufacturers, and startups across the city participate in over 100 engaging events including panel discussions, fashion shows, participatory workshops, studio tours, book signings, professional development classes, design exhibitions, and imaginative celebrations.

For more information about Happily Ever After, please visit www.mainlineart.org or call 610.525.0272 X 116.

Thank you to Amie Potsic for the content of this post.

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Marathon

Drawing Marathon. The Plastic Club

Drawing Marathon, April 23rd, The Plastic Club

Life drawing, portrait drawing and painting, short poses/croquis, still life set-ups, noir lighting, Sunday April 23rd, 10:00am – 10:00pm. $15.00 cash for come and go all day. All proceeds benefit Sunshine Arts, an artist-in-residence outreach program  encouraging neighborhood kids to learn the wonderful worlds of dance. music, literature, and art.

The Plastic Club, 245 S. Camac Street,The Avenue of the Artists, Philadelphia, PA, 19107
215-545-9324

“Since 1897, The Plastic Club has been devoted to the promotion and preservation of the visual (plastic) arts in Philadelphia. The busy gallery schedule offers several annual exhibitions for members and non-members, as well as invited artists in solo and group exhibitions. Members include well-known Philadelphia artists.

The name ” Plastic Club,” suggested by Blanche Dillaye, referred to any work of art unfinished, or in a “plastic” state. The term also refers to the changing and tactile sense of painting and sculpture.

Among the founding members of The Plastic Club were the “Red Rose Girls” — Violet Oakley, Jessie Willcox Smith, and Elizabeth Shippen Green — outstanding artists of their time. The name was given to this group of talented women by their teacher Howard Pyle.”

Sunshine Arts41 Sunshine Road, Upper Darby PA, 19082, 610.352.7968

Ms. Sheila Modglin started Sunshine Arts at 41 Sunshine Road in the summer of 2004. She invited children from the neighborhood to listen to stories as they sat around the fish pond in the front yard. The kids enjoyed helping to water the plants and feed the fish.

Since then the organization has grown significantly. Now, resident artists Mr. Patrick O’Banion, Ms. Kat Lehmer, and Mr. Fen Jeeters teach classes to children of all ages from the community. Classes are scheduled after school during the week and on Saturdays. Regardless of the listed class schedule, children come to Sunshine Arts daily to talk, do crafts or get help with homework. Often, they enjoy Mr. Patrick’s fresh baked bread, homemade soup, cookies, or other wholesome snacks when they visit.

The goal of Sunshine Arts is to enhance the education and personal growth of our future generations. Executive director, Sheila Modglin grew up with a very strong sense of community within her family; “We would do any thing for each other. I want to share the sense of community that I have in my life with all the beautiful people right here surrounding this home. The house itself is a manifestation of living art and was accomplished through hard work from my generous and creative family and friends.”

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Star

David Bowie, Queer Star, Jimmi Schrode

Queer Star, David Bowie and Gender Anarchy

by Jimmi Shrode

At the age of 10, I had discovered David Bowie in the pages of 16 Magazine. The wholesome safe pop idols; David Cassidy, The Osmonds and The Jackson 5 were giving way to the Glam Rockers; Lou Reed, Alice Cooper and David Bowie. Bowie was the ring leader with a shocking vermillion rooster cut and tight satin pants. With shocking blue eyeshadow highlighting his mismatched eyes and lipstick, he lead the way for the Sexual Revolution by way of Gender Anarchy and Queerness.

As David Jones, young Bowie couldn’t get arrested with a string of forgettable Anthony Newley meets The Beatles songs that were too twee. Later he would don a maxi dress and sing folkish rock songs, some notice but not quite. The novelty of ‘Space Oddity‘ coincided with America’s Moon Landing brought minor fame, introducing us to Major Tom, an astronaut lost forever in the stars. It was Ziggy Stardust, a rock and roll messiah who came just in time for the end of the world to lead us to Mars, the world of Sexual Chaos. David had announced he was Gay despite being in a marriage with Angie Bowie and son Zowie (now filmmaker Duncan Jones). Bowie was launched into the stratosphere.

David Bowie, Queer Star, Jimmi Schrode

Bowie became godlike and seduced the teens of Britain and America. A clever ruse in an age where news traveled slowly. Bowie arrived on the shores of America with an entourage, claiming great status abroad in Europe. The record executives bought it all. Global success at last. Bowie’s androgyny smashed into the world of suburbia here in the USA and abroad. Queerness was on sale in a record shop near you. Boys dressed in make up and mom’s cast-offs, skinny jeans and experimented with each other leaving lipstick traces. Girls swooned for this Queer Elvis. Adults were dismayed. What was dirty and whispered about in secret was now wrapped up in Japanese Modernist Fashion and Kabuki via the LSD dreams of Timothy Leary, strutting under the spotlights for all the world to see.

Bowie rediscovered Lou Reed, Andy Warhol’s Superstar and leader of the Velvet Underground. The Velvet Underground had inspired Bowie when the Exploding Plastic Inevitable made it to the UK. The psychedelic multimedia show of music, lights and art inspired David Jones. Ever the avid student; he absorbed it and made it his own. His alchemy would extend into the music world and reinvent others as it had himself.

Iggy Pop, the sweaty, muscular singer with a proto-punk band The Stooges, was now clad in tight Lurex pants and had black eyeliner, mascara and lipstick. Bowie took Iggy into the studio and allegedly into his bedroom. Bowie’s aesthetic wiped off onto Lou Reed who now dressed in makeup and leather. Reed had taken a walk onto the Wild Side.

As he retired the glitter and paint in favor of Soul Boy clothes, the label of Queerness became an albatross. While good for breaking through indifference into Rock and Roll, rock was still a boy’s club. Even though some of them adopted Bowie’s fey ways, they were still hetero-normative. Bowie, addicted to cocaine and becoming increasingly paranoid retreated further away from Ziggy Stardust. With slicked back blonde hair, classic 30’s suits and a cigarette, he became the nihilistic Thin White Duke. Then Bowie made the famous Hitler Salute in Victoria Station, casting up shadows of fascism. It was apropos. Fascism had destroyed the Weimar Era Drag for the sturm und drang of masculinity.

David Bowie, Queer Star, Jimmi Schrode

As a chameleon, Bowie further reinvented himself and in the 1980’s had a renaissance into New Wave Music. Still, the shadow of homosexuality clung to him. Disavowing and ignoring it, yet, always present. Some Gay People felt betrayed that their idol who led them out of the closet had returned to the closet. It was a fearsome time when Reagan and Thatcher conservatism and AIDS ravaged Gay Liberation.

David Bowie always endured and was relevant in every decade nonetheless. The 90’s saw collaborations with Trent Reznor and Dr. Dre. In the Aughts; Bowie became the crooner he had been with his smash album Heathen. Then he dropped out of sight after a heart attack only to reemerge in time for his final curtain calls with his albums The Next Day and Blackstar. Blackstar saw the artist use his own impending death to craft his final statement, dying soon after.

David Bowie, Queer Star, Jimmi Schrode

To me and many others; Bowie’s act of Sexual Rebellion had forever changed us, bringing a deeper understanding of gender, sexuality and self-expression. Bowie’s image as Ziggy Stardust remains cemented in our psyche. Often copied and rebranded, a white faced Bowie with a bold red and blue lighting bolt in the center of his face crowned with orange hair is how we remember him most; the Queer Bowie. Our Queer Star.

Written by Jimmi Shrode

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