Category Archives: Writing

The Bridge

The Bridge, Aubrey Fink

The Bridge, Field Guide for the Female

Magazine and Blog by Aubrey Fink

Hi!

I was skimming your website today and realized… hey! I have something they might be interested in!

The Bridge, Aubrey Fink

I am a junior graphic design major at the University of the Arts. Last year, I received a grant from the Corzo Center for the Creative Economy to create a ~new~ kind of women’s magazine. Jump cut to now… Issue No. 1 has been published! The Bridge Magazine features 17 original articles written by everyday women on topics like international breakups, uncomfortable conversations with your gyno, how to tell your boss that you are pregnant, first loves, and felony convictions.

The Bridge, Aubrey Fink

The Bridge, Aubrey Fink

This is a small project that was completed as a love letter to the amazing women I know, with the hopes of growing that circle, if even by a little bit. I partnered with Girls Inc. of Greater Philadelphia, with 25% of the proceeds benefiting their incredible programming for young women.

The Bridge, Aubrey Fink

It would mean the world if you would consider highlighting the project on your website. I think your readers would be interested in the story of a project that is giving local women a platform to share their experiences. Thank you for your consideration! – Aubrey Fink

The Bridge, Aubrey Fink

I had the idea for this project after realizing how little I was getting from the articles in women’s magazines. I could get better advice on life, love, and work from my dog… he is a REALLY good boy. I recognized that I was getting incredible advice from the women in my family because they actually have my best interest at heart. There’s a level of love, kindness, and realness in their wisdom. They are the ones who get real with me about how to deal with the three luscious black hairs that grow out of my chin. I needed a way to collect and revisit the great advice I was receiving from the wise women around me. Hence, The Bridge was born.

The Bridge, Aubrey Fink

About Girls, Inc.

In partnership with schools and at Girls Inc. centers, we focus on the development of the whole girl. She learns to value herself, take risks, and discover and develop her inherent strengths. The combination of long-lasting mentoring relationships, a pro-girl environment, and research-based programming equips girls to navigate gender, economic, and social barriers, and grow up healthyeducated, and independent. Informed by girls and their families, we also advocate for legislation and policies to increase opportunities and rights for all girls.

Thank you to Aubrey Fink for the content of this post.

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DoNArTNeWs celebrating ten years reporting on Philadelphia artists and art.

Unwilling

Unwilling: Exercises in Melancholy

EXPLORE MELANCHOLIA AT HAVERFORD’S CANTOR FITZGERALD GALLERY

HAVERFORD, Pa.- What if we saw sadness not as a giving up or giving in, but a getting out? What if, instead of being seen as a passive pain, feeling deep sorrow was understood to be an act of resistance? What if, given the current political and cultural moment in which so many feel ignored, maligned, or repudiated by the systems and people in power, mourning was not just an understandable reception, but a useful action against those systems? A new exhibit in Haverford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery, opening March 23, showcases the work of five artists from across different media to grapple with such questions of power, agency, and melancholy.

Unwilling: Exercises in Melancholy, curated by Vanessa Kwan and Kimberly Phillips, proposes a re-consideration of melancholia as defined through our contemporary condition. Resisting its historical definition as an affliction that creates disorder or inactivity, this exhibition reimagines passive sadness as a powerful refusal, a conscious (or unconscious) “standing aside,” a willful production of generative failures and resistant potencies. Each of the five contributing artists begins with the idea that outside the boundaries of “contentment” resides a potent flourishing. Unwilling is a resistance and a proposition: it responds to the profound cultural reckoning we are witnessing in this moment in time, as the boundaries and exclusions of state-defined citizenship become increasingly fraught.

The exhibition crosses disciplinary boundaries. Dance artist Justine A. Chambers explores choreographies of resistance, growing out of a studious and embodied interpretation of all the minor gestures on the way to hands raised in surrender. Sculpture- and performance-based artist Mike Bourscheid mines absurdities in relation to our cultural preoccupations with masculinist productivity, while social practice artist Ginger Brooks Takahashi works to create new networks of value in the production of food, drink, and community. (Her piece in the exhibit is a collaboratively created-and consumed-beer.) The “weeping” willow is at the center of media artist Noa Giniger‘s multi-faceted take on reversals of sadness and the refusal to succeed, and poet and critic Billy-Ray Belcourt positions mourning as a defining aspect of an active and resistant subject and proposes that the future must address this subject head on.

Unwilling: Exercises in Melancholy will be on view March 23 through April 27 at Haverford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. To celebrate the exhibit’s opening, there will be several events during its first week. On March 22, ahead of the official opening, a roundtable with four of the featured artists and the two curators will be held from 4:30 to -6:30 p.m. in the College’s new Visual Culture, Arts, and Media (VCAM) building, room 201. On March 23, Justine A. Chambers will perform an all-day, campus-wide, site-specific commission, ten thousand times and one hundred more. And later that day, at 4:30 p.m., there will be a talk with the curators followed by a reception at 5:30 p.m., featuring Ginger Brooks Takahashi’s Wyrt Blod Gruyt, a custom-made beer commissioned specifically for the exhibit and brewed in collaboration with Meredith Rebar Williams and Home Brewed Events. For further event details: exhibits.haverford.edu/unwilling.

Unwilling: Exercises in Melancholy is made possible with support from the John B. Hurford ’60 Center for the Arts and Humanities. The exhibition is organized in conjunction with the Hurford Center’s 2017-18 faculty seminar “The Arts of Melancholy,” which is led by John B. Whitehead Professor of Humanities and Professor of Music Richard Freedman.

Overseen by the John B. Hurford ’60 Center for the Arts and Humanities and located in Whitehead Campus Center, the Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery is open Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., and Wednesdays until 8 p.m. For more information, contact Matthew Seamus Callinan, associate director of the Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery and campus exhibitions, at (610) 896-1287 or mcallina@haverford.edu, or visit the exhibitions program website: www.haverford.edu/exhibits.

Haverford College is located at 370 Lancaster Avenue, Haverford, Pa., 19041

Thank you to Rebecca Raber for the content of this post.

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Bark!

Bark! Bark! Bark for My Park! Dr. Jessica Dimuzio

Jessica Dimuzio, award-winning children’s author, will read from her book

Bark! Bark! Bark for My Park! at DVAA

Jessica Dimuzio, VMD, conservation educator, author and veterinarian, will read from her book Bark! Bark! Bark for My Park! on Saturday, March 24, 2018 at 10:30 AM at Da Vinci Art Alliance, 704 Catharine Street in Philadelphia. This program is presented in collaboration with the Bella Vista Neighbors Association. This reading is appropriate for children 4 and older, conservation educators, gardeners and animal lovers of all ages.

Dr. Jessica Dimuzio graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, specializing in wildlife preservation. She has conducted research on elephants, rhinos, and wild baboons and taught conservation programs in Africa, Asia, and North America. Dedicated to wildlife conservation, Dr. “D.” loves to get kids of all ages excited about wildlife and their natural habitats through her nonfiction writing, “too true” storytelling, classroom talks, and nature walks. She provides these programs through Nature Tales and Trails, LLC, the company she founded in 2011.

Dr. Dimuzio, a member of Patchwork: A Storytelling Guild uses humor and suspense to share her international experiences with audiences of any age.

Her international award-winning book Bark! Bark! Bark for My Park! recounts the real story of how her five-pound puppy, Johnny Angel, saved a 690-acre farm park from destruction and is one of the few children’s books written on saving open space. It received the Silver Medal from Mom’s Choice Awards in the Green Earth Category and a rare RECOMMENDED from the US Review of Books.

Bark! Bark! Bark for My Park! Dr. Jessica DimuzioDa Vinci Art Alliance (DVAA) provides artists with a community that fosters artistic expression and growth through our exhibitions and programs.

Da Vinci Art Alliance (DVAA) was founded in 1931 to serve the needs of local artists and artisans and to promote the edification and appreciation of the arts in the community. Our building in South Philadelphia was obtained in 1959 to provide community space and studio, and gallery spaces for our membership. DVAA members are a diverse group of creatives of all ages and backgrounds, including those with advanced degrees in their fields and those that are self-taught. Members include award-winning artists whose works are in museums and private collections across the country as well as emerging artists, showing work for their first time.

The Bella Vista Neighbors Association (BVNA) improves Bella Vista’s quality of life and strengthens community bonds. BVNA encourages civic involvement, provides a neutral and public discussion forum, preserves and augments our institutions and character, supports the delivery of government services, and promotes dialogue with elected officials.  They are an independent and nonprofit organization.

Thank you to Linda Dubin Garfield for the content of this post. For more information, contact Linda Dubin Garfield at linda@davinciartalliance.org

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GoBabyGo!

gobabygo! murals at UDBuddy’s Reef, acrylic on canvas, 6′ x 6′, Tracey Landmann

The Evolution of Art as a Powerful Resource: The GoBabyGo! University of Delaware Murals

by Tracey Landmann

I am at The Philadelphia Sketch Club tonight to discuss the three-dimensional environments, or “movable murals” I painted for the GoBabyGo! Program, the headquarters of which are the Pediatric Mobility Lab on the University of Delaware’s STAR Campus. These three paintings, however, are only prototypes for their future potential, which is what I am going to write about.  The idea I present is not a new one, exactly, but it is one whose fulfillment is growing increasingly more important as our culture both escalates and deteriorates, wreaking data overload havoc. I believe artists can teach the vulnerable among us to control their reactions to that cacophony.  I only realized the extent of the power art (and its creators) has in the social service sector while I was working on these murals.  I will explain.

GoBabyGo is a program that provides independent physical, and therefore social and developmental, mobility for people whose movement is limited by physical disability. There are two sides to GoBabyGo!, the pediatric part, in which toddlers receive their own battery-powered cars specially adapted to work with their abilities (while combating their disabilities) in their own homes and nearby surroundings, and there is also an portion whereby a harness system, which enables people (adults and children) to traverse pathways in buildings by means of poles bolted into ceiling from which a “harness” (supportive vest) on a pulley hangs. This is also useful in a limited physical setting. My idea was to not only put a colorful patch over the ugly, boring gray of a pediatric rehabilitation setting, but also to enlarge cognitive range with an ‘assistive technology’ that will never lose battery power or enable mobility only with a suspended framework.

What I have done so far has been has been for GBG’s pediatric side: I decided to use the unlimited mobility of imagination to enhance the restricted kind provided by the adapted cars. Theoretically, the paintings would stimulate the previously stationary children, now able to maneuver independent of an adult transporter, to go toward the murals; motivate them to reach out for the new environments (they are intended to hang at tiny person eye level), and wonder what might lie in and beyond them. They could make up stories, play pretend – in other words, imagine any number of things about the amazing new places they would see, and be able to reach. All of the animals in the murals are named and described as to species, but their stories are up to the children.  The kids are not fed pre-fab fiction from a cartoon or toy conglomerate.  My dream for the murals is that their use would both set the program apart from those of its type, giving it an extra “edge” to entice potential funders, and inspire GBG founder/director Dr. Cole Galloway to better address the cognitive development needs of the children he serves. My bigger dreams are that the dozens of chapters of GoBabyGo! world wide, the University of Delaware’s physical therapy team, and especially, the caregivers of mobility-impaired children, will see the value of my ideas and duplicate my actions. I suppose you could say I’m planting an already cultivated field to ripen my own vision, but at least the ensuing harvest is for others. Unfortunately, as far as I know, my seeds have not yet been able to sprout very well.

gobabygo! murals at UDWelcome to the Jungle, acrylic on canvas, 6′ x 6′, Tracey Landmann

Growth will be far more likely when the murals are displayed in a more visible location, exhibited in GBG workshops, shown in the program’s promotional materials, and especially, are used as  the base for  lot more sensory stimulation in GBG’s new lab-to-be. This seems like a very complex plant, I know, but it didn’t begin that way.

At first, I wanted to do this because Cole Galloway had been incredibly supportive of the art program I designed for the Brain Injury Association of Delaware.  I couldn’t do much to show my appreciation, but Cole likes my work, so I decided I would produce some of it (but more kid-friendly) for his Pediatric Mobility Lab. It took me several months to figure out the most effective way to do that; it began when he asked me simply to come in and paint stuff – do whatever I want – but told me they, of course, had no money to make it happen.  I don’t think he realized that painting with skill takes a lot of time and costly materials, and considering my commitment level to both art and to cognitive rehabilitation, I’m not one to slap on paint just for fun in a therapy environment. It needs to be beneficial, and benefit requires a lot of thought. When I finally figured out how I could best add to the program’s impact, I was sure I could convince the Delaware Division of the Arts to fund the project (and I did – in part), which would not only pay for materials for me, but introduce Cole to a new grant source for future GBG creative endeavors.  And so: the mural project started off pretty simply, but soon meant a lot more to me.

The deeper motivations behind the project idea – why I would go to such extremes for GoBabyGo! – came into sharper focus as I designed and painted.  I had a lot of time to think while working.  I realized I wanted to paint the murals because I am very conscious of the disadvantages individuals with disabilities have, and how its members are far more limited if they can’t overcompensate for those deficits and social barrier than if they have the figurative tools to do so.  Even more than the average person, most people with physical and/or mental impairments must be adaptable to the potential scenarios and circumstances that may present themselves in the future. Come to think of it, everyone facing an excess of difficulties in any sense is better off if he or she can consider many options.

A person who is flexible is one who is able to view situations from many different perspectives, as well as capable of applying learned knowledge.  That person needs to organize and prioritize life’s tasks, and be in control of his or her own existence. Flexibility of perception and imagination is vital. Although I can’t magically imbue anyone with wisdom, I am  certain creating three dimensional environments will not only stimulate children to explore physical mobility potential by providing hints of what is ’out there,’ but could conceivably enable anyone to consider the possibilities of ‘out there’ in a broader sense.

My project goals really evolved. In doing the murals for GoBabyGo!,  I set out to address what I felt to be Cole’s needs for his program – making the murals light and portable, creating a background to motivate toddlers to move –  but for the toddlers, whose future life requirements are not the main priority for a physical therapy program created  to lower a few fences for a few years, it turned out I wanted my work to reach much farther.

Right now, we who have the gift of creativity might want to think about examining the goals we have for our artistic power, and reach farther, too. The externally provided routes to resources needed to successfully guide life, always elusive (at best), are growing extremely scarce as those whom society marginalizes are shoved aside, and as their demands to raise their Quality of Life expectations grow more insistent.

Today’s service environment for members of vulnerable populations is bad and getting worse as the fundamentals of democracy. Education and social programs are shriveling, and many are becoming less concerned for their neighbors because their attention is forcibly redirected toward potential danger to their own survival. Now more than ever before, we must work together to strengthen our weakest communities, in order to keep the voting majority able to make the decisions to both maintain social stability and allow for progress.  At present, that so-called majority is being manipulated into attacking itself. The divisions between those with literal and figurative wealth and those who are resource-poor is growing, and the resource-rich – inevitably the ones in positions of power – often spur that growth by steering those of us in the middle in disorienting circles.  We need to fortify ourselves by being aware, and enlightening those in the dark.

gobabygo! murals at UDVincent on Safari, acrylic on canvas, 6′ x 8′, Tracey Landmann

As artists, we despair: we mount protest shows, we join in marches,  we use our art to tell the world of our feelings about) the current state of events BUT WHAT CAN WE DO BESIDES VOICE OUR OWN DISCONTENT?  How can we control any of it? What special quality do we have that can help keep the canyon dividing the Withs from the Withouts from widening?

We can share our self-preservation, our therapy, our own secure base –ART – with the people who see their roads to the future as dead ends. It isn’t an easy fix, but we can help.  Our most significant strength is for the youth; it is much simpler to establish a broad boulevard in an open space than it is to widen a narrow road in an overpopulated city.  We can literally expand environments and alter thought patterns for the juvenile members of disadvantaged groups before mental pathways become set. The self-awareness, ability to balance composition and prioritize focus that our own creativity brings to us can be shared with others in the form of – not just art instruction, but – sensory environments.  We can create worlds in empty spaces – worlds that provoke thought, imagination, and a million different possibilities.  We can bring brightness, light, refreshing sounds, pleasing textures, delicious tastes and aroma, or at least the suggestions of all those, via visual stimulation to people who’ve given up on looking for pathways, or at least never were allowed the malleability of mind required to seek them. Our biggest potential contribution to society is our power to encourage mental agility.

If more of our disenfranchised groups, and especially, more children (who have largely been deprived of creative pursuits, and consequently, ability to foster analytic skill), are encouraged to think outside the boxes those who wish to retain control have created for them, perhaps the artists will be the ones who can kick-start the “Make America Great Again” process.  I don’t see anyone else doing it right now.

Thank you to Tracey Landmann for the content of this post.

Tracey.Landmann.TL@gmail.com

(302) 383-0698

For more information on GoBabyGo!http://sites.udel.edu/gobabygo/

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Picket

“PICKET FENCES” BY TEXTUAL ARTIST GERARD SILVA

ART GALLERY AT WILLIAM WAY LGBT CENTER DEBUTS

“PICKET FENCES” BY TEXTUAL ARTIST GERARD SILVA

Solo Exhibition  Features 26 Works on Paper through April 28, 2017

Picket Fences,” a solo exhibition by textual artist Gerard Silva, made its debut at the Art Gallery at the William Way Center on March 10 and runs through April 28, 2017.

Each of the exhibition’s 26 works on paper has been hand-printed by Silva and culled from a larger group in his “Picket Fences” series, serving a symbol of the way we choose what parts of ourselves to present to a society that makes judgements of approval or disapproval, of acceptance or rejection. While Silva strives for perfection, the hand-printing process produces slight variations that he can’t help but leave for the viewer to pass their judgements on.

“These screen prints relate to our daily lives in which we strive for acceptance; we are selective and we seek some kind of perfection in ourselves and in others,” Silva explains. “And it is this search for perfection in the many roles we all play that leads to insecurities that we have a difficult time admitting to or sharing with someone: insecurities that I’m acknowledging here.  But ultimately, I am who I am.  We are who we are.”

This project originated from the artist’s own frustrations and discouragement while working in his studio, often resulting in insecurities and self-doubt that spilled over into the many other roles in his life: a son, a friend, a gay man, a minority, a citizen, an outcast, a non-white, a non-black, a punk, a skeptic, a sinner, a foreigner, an American.

When pondering how he measures up, Silva’s collective work asks, “Is there a perfect state of being out there? Is the grass greener on the other side? Where is my white picket fence?”

Silva is a Philadelphia-based artist who has studied in New York, London and Arizona. His work has been shown in the Meyerson Gallery at the University of Pennsylvania, at the Kingston Gallery in Boston, at the San Diego Art Institute and at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico. He was also included twice in the Arizona Biennial.

The William Way Center is open Monday through Friday from 11:00am -10:00pm and on Saturdays and Sundays from 12:00pm – 5:00pm.  Admission to the main floor gallery is free.

The William Way LGBT Center is located at: 1315 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107

215-732-2220

PICKET FENCES” is showing the following 15” x 22” works on paper:

PERFECT

WHITE

LATINO

PRETTY

PHONY

LUCKY

ESTABLISHED

PREEMINENT

COMMERCIAL

IMPORTANT

RICH

PROMISCUOUS

OLD

EMERGING

POOR

SERIOUS

WILD

BLACK

YOUNG

MAN

FABULOUS

QUEER

FUCKED-UP

BUTCH

CONNECTED

ANGRY

Thank you to Jolyn for the content of this post.

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