GLASSBORO, NJ: Rowan University Art Gallery presents The Nature of Time, a new installation by stone mason Thea Alvin. On view through July 24th at 301 West High Street, Wednesday – Saturday 11 am – 5 pm, Artist reception July 9th, 2021, 4 – 7 pm. This project complements the anticipated Time Sweeps, her permanent public art work coming soon to the East Garden Courtyard of Discovery Hall at Rowan University.
Made from nearly 14 tons of integrated stone pieces of Pennsylvania Field Stone, which contains fossils, moss, and lichen, the installation consists of three distinctive formations: a winding wall, a stone floor mosaic, and a cairn, which are joined by large format photographs of Thea’s numerous public art projects, ambient projected light, video and a melodic background soundscape.
Time Sweeps is a stone sculpture currently under construction, in the East Garden Courtyard of Discovery Hall at Rowan University. The approximately 264-ton sculpture will be composed of three main features: a 100 ft. long winding wall with an arch, and two non connecting winding walls, and a small passageway between the two walls, often referred to as a squeeze. The sculpture is comprised of primarily Pennsylvania Fieldstone (264 tons), which contains fossils, moss, and lichen, and also includes seven boulders (2-3 tons each) of the primary stone types (igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic) including basalt, conglomerate, gabbro, gneiss, granite, rhyolite, schist. Six of the boulders sit at the end of walls and the seventh are columns of basalt that will mark the winter solstice. The wall will be capped in buff sandstone from Colorado (12 tons) containing dendrites.
Conceived as an “organic collaboration,” between the artist, the land, the stone, and the visitor, Time Sweeps is a uniquely interactive public artwork that provides quiet space for personal reflection and experiential learning.
When describing her design process Thea explains, “Each sculpture is a composed expression of the thoughts of the land itself. I’m in the moment with the chosen material, capturing that angst, that patience, that essence, and setting it in stone. The lines are laid and the rhythm is established on paper, but the melody becomes clear as the structure rises from the ground in situ.”
Using the natural world as her primary inspiration, Thea sees stone as an object in motion; as lines pushed by wind and driven by rain, casting shadows, capturing light. It is her intention to create places of rest and reflection, while honoring the natural faces of the stone by not adding too many marks that suggest that it was forced into position. The beauty of the material is allowed to shine through, imperfectly perfect. Not asking too much of the viewer, but acceptance and gratitude.
Thea Alvin is an artist and stone mason, a designer and builder with determination and creativity. She started her career in stone at age 16, working for her father as a tender, then for years as a mason and then stone mason. She refined her stone style while traveling and working all over the world, from China to Iceland, Canada to Italy, and all across North America. She draws on the traditions in stone and expands those to create large site specific, unique, geologic installations.
Time Sweeps, in progress
Contact: Mary Salvante, firstname.lastname@example.org, 856-256-4521
Shawn Theodore: Night Stars A Solo Exhibition of New Work February 26 – March 20, 2021
February 11, 2021 (Philadelphia, PA) – Paradigm Gallery is pleased to present Night Stars, a solo exhibition of new photographic work by interdisciplinary artist Shawn Theodore. Night Stars is an expansion of Theodore’s investigation into a space he calls ‘Afromythology’, which unites the real and imaginary histories and futures of African Americans. In Night Stars, Theodore widens this space by melding together the traditions of African indigo making and the magical powers of water and stars.
The evocative exhibition illuminates the space where they all converge, a body of work that is a deep, deep blue. Night Stars marks the first exhibition at Paradigm with the artist. Night Stars is open to the public from February 26 – March 20th with an opening event on Friday, February 26th at 5:30PM.
Theodore makes connections, finds linked points and intersections within the past and seeing what is repeated in the current he identifies recurring themes, like spirituality. Spirituality has been passed on from generation to generation, and is something that is ostensibly part of the Black experience, but it is not something you can see or touch; it happens without direct knowledge, just faith.
In Night Stars, Theodore looks deeper for where instances of faith happen such as in music, quilt making or code switching. All of these hold examples of coded language, subversive art and intent and Night Stars is constructed from these metaphysical bridges. Bridges like quilts that were used to smuggle secret messages guiding people to freedom, far beyond the maker’s own physical passing. Or the Dogon tribe of West Africa, who were master astronomers.
They believed that their ancestors were descendants of a species from the Sirius star system eight and half light years away and to be free meant going back home. Though they were physically limited, their collective celestial knowledge somehow traveled across time and space to other groups of Black people who used it to understand the same set of stars that were used in the same way: to be led to freedom. ‘Afromyth’ sits upon these bridges.
The works in Night Stars are a series of statuesque portraits, monuments within a vast space of blue. Blue is a multi-tiered reference within the exhibition. The color is known to ward off evil in African and African American culture and Theodore questions how that symbolic signal came to be and why it still holds that power today.
The artist says, “To create in blue, one must first understand its powerful nature. There has to be a world that exists inside of the color. A spiritual process is happening that is begging us to look inside of it, and somewhere within it are answers”. Theodore connects the symbolic color to the 19th century process of cyanotype.
The artist has always been fascinated by the historic practice, which produces a cyan-blue print; however, it is extremely rare to find a Black subject in one of these prints. Rather than shooting in cyanotype, Theodore uses it as a guideline, photographing his subjects using blue filters and blue cast lights.
The resulting works are less historic than they are revolutionary. On the series Theodore says, “Featured in this collection are portraits made of bejeweled deities in the indigo-hued ether, the fervor of fête revelers, the quiet stillness amongst the dense foliage and haints of Low Country of South Carolina, possession in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica, and sunrise reverence at the edge of the Caribbean Sea. At the center is the viewer, who stands at the bardos of these seemingly disjointed experiences, their presence unifying the real and unreal”.
Photography often acts as a fast route to see the past, but what is beyond the camera’s sight? Subconsciously, the brain creates narratives beyond physical photographs, beyond what we logically know or see. These leaps are our imagined archives and it’s within their boundless possibilities that Night Stars lives, filling the gaps.
*Due to COVID-19, “Night Stars” will be open for regular weekend hours with limited capacity and is available to view by private appointments during the week until further notice. The digital exhibition twin is available on https://www.paradigmarts.org/ for viewing from home. These policies are 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 Shawn Theodore Shawn Theodore (b. 1970, Germany) is an award-winning photographer whose work opens broad conversations regarding the role of the photographer in the shaping of agency and imagery, engages in new forms of storytelling, and impacts the trajectory of the collective black consciousness.
Theodore has participated in exhibitions at various institutions, galleries and fairs, including the African American Museum in Philadelphia (2017, 2018), Mennello Museum of American Art (2018), The Barnes Foundation (2017, 2018, 2019), Steven Kasher Gallery (2018), AIPAD (2018, 2019), Hudson Valley Community College (2018), Catherine Edelman Gallery (2017), The Bakalar & Paine Galleries at MassArt (2017), Snap! Orlando (2018), Richard Beavers Gallery (2018), PRIZM Art Fair, Scope Art Fair, Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, Rush Arts Gallery (2017, 2018), and the University of the Arts (2019).
His commercial projects include works for Apple, Showtime Networks, RocNation, PAPER Magazine, New York Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine, The Atlantic, The New York Times, PDN and others. Theodore was awarded the prestigious PDN’s 30 New & Emerging Photographers to Watch (2019), the Getty Images / ARRAY ‘Where We Stand’ (2018) grant and a grant from the Knight Foundation for ‘A Dream Deferred’ (2018). He is a two-time nominee of The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage Fellowship, and a nominee of the Magnum Foundation Fund.
Theodore earned his BA in JPRA (Journalism, Public Relations and Advertising) from Temple University. He currently attends the MFA for Photography program at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD Atlanta). Theodore is a current trustee of the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation and the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center.
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. Now open 11 years, 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.
Location: 746 S 4th St Philadelphia, PA 19147 Media Contact: Lainya Magaña, A&O PR 347 395 4155 firstname.lastname@example.org
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Dear Artists, I am so happy to announce that we plan to resume programs at Kuerner Farm beginning in July with a few minor changes made to ensure everyone’s safety. Plein air and photography opportunities will begin this summer, and classes with Karl J. Kuerner will resume in mid-September. Please see links below for information and to register.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney released a revised budget for fiscal year 2021 in response to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic on May 1, 2020. Businesses have been closed and workers have been off the job for weeks, reducing the city’s tax revenue significantly. The Office of the Department of Finance projects that without any changes the city would have a $649 million deficit next year. The city cannot legally operate with a deficit. We understand that hard decisions needed to be made and that cut backs and program budget reductions were inevitable. However, to completely eliminate an office that supports a vital industry in the city of Philadelphia, especially one that has been hit very hard during this crisis, is short sighted and should be reversed.
In the new budget, the Office of Arts, Culture, and the Creative Economy was budgeted $0 dollars, down from approximately $4.4 million, effectively closing the office. Most of that budgeted money goes directly to the Philadelphia Cultural Fund, which gives grants to hundreds of non-profits in the city.
The presentation of the budget by the Mayor is only the first step. It still must be approved and voted on by City Council before July 1.
According to the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, the arts and cultural sector generates $4.1 billion in economic impact annually and supports 55,000 jobs. That creates $1.3 billion in household income and $224.3 million in state and local taxes.* The creative economy includes but is not limited to artists, musicians, painters, sculptors, dancers, actors, filmmakers, graphic designers, venues, theaters, museums, galleries, bartenders, waiters, chefs, box office workers, bouncers, sound engineers, tech crews, art/dance/recording studios, and all employed by those entities, as well as support industries such as accountants, lawyers, hotels, ride shares, parking, public relations, marketing, and media. On the other side there are the fans, patrons, concert goers, theater attendees, and more who support the arts and make the purchases.
Most of this industry has been shut down during this crisis and needs support now more than ever to rebound during the economic recovery.
The Office of Arts, Culture, and the Creative Economy’s mission is to close the gap in access to quality cultural experiences and creative expression through the support and promotion of arts, culture and the creative industries; connecting Philadelphians to enriching, arts-infused experiences; linking local artists and cultural organizations to resources and opportunities; and preserving the City’s public art assets. http://creativephl.org
The OACCE is also responsible for the Music Industry Task Force, the Mayor’s Cultural Advisory Council, Art in City Hall, all of Philadelphia’s public art, and funding the Philadelphia Cultural Fund which gives grants to numerous Philadelphia arts and culture non-profits.
Philadelphia is a vibrant city teeming with culture that has been driving our identity for hundreds of years. The art created in Philadelphia reaches well beyond its borders and has touched the world and helps drive our other industries through attention and attraction to our area. As we look to rebound and recover from this crisis, there are certainly sectors that are essential to our health and safety and must be prioritized. However, unless we take care to ensure our cultural health is also revived, we risk losing our spirit.
Philadelphia’s creative economy deserves proper representation in City Hall. Understandably, it is likely not possible for the OACCE to be budgeted at the same level as the original budget, however, the industry’s economic impact alone justifies that the office’s budget be more than zero. We are simply asking that the City of Philadelphia Office of Arts, Culture, and the Creative Economy not be eliminated.
Delaware Art Museum Offers Expanded Literary Programming
The Delaware Art Museum is quickly becoming the literary heart of Wilmington, Delaware, expanding on the success of its wildly popular Wilmington Writers Conference to create a wealth of free literary programming for Delaware’s growing community of writers and readers.
Those Delawareans still mourning the closing of Wilmington’s Ninth Street Book Shop, rejoice! The Delaware Art Museum Store is now an official independent bookstore, offering a variety of books in addition to its usual assortment of gifts and souvenirs. As members of the American Booksellers Association, the Store recently celebrated its first Indie Bookstore Day. The Store also commemorated Banned Books Week by offering a variety of banned books chosen by members of the Museum Associate team as well as the Museum’s Librarian and Archivist, Rachael DiEleuterio. In addition, DiEleuterio and the Store team collaborated to offer custom journals and ephemera modeled after books in the Museum’s astounding collection of more than 3,000 rare, decoratively bound books.
The Store is also thrilled to host a chapter of the Well-Read Black Girl Book Club in partnership with the American Booksellers Association and One Village Alliance. Chandra Pitts of One Village Alliance hosts monthly gatherings discussing Young Adult books chosen by the Well-Read Black Girl team. The club is also a part of One Village Alliance’s “Girls Can Do Anything!” initiative.
“It’s been such a privilege for One Village Alliance to partner with the Delaware Art Museum Store to bring a national reading initiative to Wilmington,” says Pitts. “Well-Read Black Girl is directly in line with ‘Girls Can Do Anything!’ in that it not only celebrates, supports, and inspires Black girls, but it includes all genders, ages, and ethnic/racial backgrounds. It creates such a fun space to get to know a diverse group of people in a comfortable environment that fosters a lifelong love for literature.”
The Well-Read Black Girl Book Club meets once a month in the Store and is suitable to anyone age 13 or older. The inaugural meeting featured a read-aloud and lively discussion led by Pitts. The Store’s Instagram page, @delartstore, posts check-ins and periodic updates on the club, and the Store offers the titles for this book club at a 20 percent discount.
The Well-Read Black Girl Book Club is just one of the book clubs flourishing at the Museum. The DelArt Readers is a monthly book club that discusses literature connected to art, often drawing on the Museum’s collections and special exhibitions for inspiration. One 2020 title is Circe by Madeline Miller, which provided inspiration for artist Angela Fraleigh’s latest work, Sound the Deep Waters, currently on view at the Museum through April 2020. Another pick, In Sunlight or In Shadow: Stories Inspired by the Paintings of Edward Hopper, edited by Lawrence Block, features short stories by such literary heavyweights as Megan Abbott, Joyce Carol Oates, and Stephen King. A selection of DelArt Readers books will be available for purchase in the Museum Store.
The Museum is wrapping up its literary programming for 2019 with the End of Year Writers Gathering and Open Mic on Thursday, December 12. Guests will meet fellow writers, learn more information about literary events, and hear a variety of poetry and prose at the Open Mic. The last event featured slam poetry, a reading from former Delaware Poet Laureate JoAnn Balingit, and even juggling! Participants are encouraged to register in advance and arrive on time to snag a reading slot.
“It’s really unique to see a community bookstore within a museum,” says Jessa Mendez, the Lead Museum Associate who works on literary programming alongside Store Supervisor, Jeanie Robino. “Jeanie and I are so excited to be a part of this literary evolution through our work in the Museum Store. I began my relationship with the Museum through literary programming, so it’s amazing to see how much the writing community has grown in this time. We’re creating an inclusive space and encouraging conversations around literature and art, and I’m so grateful to be a part of this vision.”
Plans are already underway for the fourth annual Wilmington Writers Conference, which includes a full day of breakout sessions, a panel discussion, and a keynote on a summer Saturday. More details will be announced in spring 2020.
About the Delaware Art Museum
For over 100 years, the Museum has served as a primary arts and cultural institution in Delaware. It is alive with experiences, discoveries, and activities to connect people with art and with each other. Originally created in 1912 to honor the renowned illustrator and Wilmington-native, Howard Pyle, the Museum’s collection has grown to over 12,000 works of art in our building and sculpture garden. Also recognized for British Pre-Raphaelite art, the Museum is home to the largest and most important Pre-Raphaelite collection outside of the United Kingdom and a growing collection of significant contemporary art.
Under the leadership of our Board of Trustees, the Delaware Art Museum is implementing a comprehensive approach to community and civic engagement. This exciting new strategic direction requires that we increase our value and relevance to all audiences. Visit delart.org to for the latest exhibitions, programs, and performances or connect with us via social media.
Thank you to Cynthia Smith, Marketing Manager, The Delaware Art Museum, for the content of this post.
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