Tag Archives: Gravy Studio


Beauties of the Common Tool

Roxana Azar

Jen Blazina

Will Douglas (featuring collaborations with Matthew Wicks)

Maria Möller

Cecilia Paredes

Makeba Rainey

gravy. 910 North 2nd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19123 · 267.825.7071

Exhibition Dates: June 7 – 29th, 2019

First Friday Opening Reception:  June 7th, 6 – 10pm

Sponsored by Powers Whiskey and Music by Mother MaryRose

Nolibs Second Saturday, June 8th, 1 – 5pm

Artist Brunch and Open Hours- Saturday June 22nd 1-5pm

Saturday Open Hours – 1-5pm and by appointment

Documenting objects with photography slowly transformed into its own artform with artists like Man Ray, Duchamp, Hans Bellmer, creating pieces which intertwined the two mediums.  This exhibition at Gravy is titled; Beauties of the Common Tool, references Walker Evans’ famous portfolio of photographs of ordinary tools in the 1950’s.  Today everyone used a new “common tool”; the photographic camera to document their lives and manipulate their world into art.  While digital technology has created imagery only used on a screen; this exhibition hopes to explore ways photographers are using materiality, the body, textures, objects, and installation to create multi dimensional pieces which expand our definition of photography.  

One theme throughout the work in this exhibition is the ability of the photographic objects to create multiple views for the viewer depending on the lighting and position of the pieces.  Roxana Azar’s work is influenced by science fiction, plant intelli-gence, anxiety, and floral design. In the Projections in the Last Greenhouse series, botanical images from greenhouses and conservatories are applied to reflective and colorful surfaces that allow sunlight to pass through, creating shadowplay and reflections that shift and create vivid colorful shadows, fluorescence, and prisms depending on the angle and quality of light.  They say, “I used to focus a lot on digital manipulation in my photographs, but now the materials I tend to use result in some sort of distortion and manipulation when viewing an image, whether it’s acrylic, mesh, or fabric. My fascination with these materials is that it shifts in color or shape as you move around it, so you’re never experiencing the surface in the same way.”

Glass artist, printmaker, and photographer; Jen Blazina creates ornate frames for her photographs of plaster sculptures set in nature.  This installation titled Menagerie is a combination of cast glass frames, glass flowers, and dye sublimation photographs on metal. She says, “The photographs were taken from an ephemeral site-specific installation which I created for Djerassi Artist Residency in Woodside, CA.  As a little girl, the forest and animals entranced me. Having grown up in a city, the forest seemed like a magical place where fairy tales came alive. Menagerie alludes to a dream like memory by using my sculpture in my photography and the elegance of glass baroque styled frames embellished with wild flowers.

Beauties of the Common Tool, gravy. Studio, Philadelphia Photography

In the collaborative works between Will Douglas and Matthew Drennan Wicks, the physical process of manipulating porcelain is fused with the digital process of image making. The flat, hand-built surface of a vessel becomes a screen for image on which to present a photographic image. The work vacillates between three- dimensional and two-dimensional space as both image and object work together to create tension. The artists are interested in the commercial and mass reproducibility of both images and objects; the hand-built vessel pushes against the immediacy of digital imaging. Establishing a new relationship between the two drives the traditional conventions of both materials into a new dialogue about the consumption of images and the viewing of objects.  

Created during a 2017 residency at a recycling center in Northeast Philadelphia, Maria Möller’s project One Last Time is a lens-based meditation on mortality, joy, and second chances. She developed a visual narrative that compares life cycles with waste cycles, salvaging six objects from Revolution Recovery and pairing each with a person in her life who is living in an especially close proximity to their own mortality. Working collaboratively with each participant, she staged a photo shoot during which the discarded object could fulfill its purpose “one last time.” After this shoot, another took place when the participant traveled to the recycling center and returned their object to the waste stream.

The images included in this exhibition by Cecilia Paredes are reminiscent of surrealist imagery while her use of pattern and color reveal her ties to Peruvian culture and visual vernacular of womanhood.  Paredes composes these photographs by selecting a patterned ground, such as floral wallpaper, and intricately paints her skin to match. Paredes says about her work, “Part of what makes us human is our ability to see beyond the narrow door through which we enter the world—to grow beyond the culture of our birth by recognizing other cultures, other patterns of life. Yet our birth culture is always imprinted upon us; the mystery of identity is never fully resolved. We are always from a time and place to which we can never return”

Makeba “Keebs” Rainey also uses the body, textures, and color to create photographic collages which are printed on fabric.  The piece in this exhibit is titled ‘Souls of Philly: London’ where the artist uses collage and statements from the subjects to share insights into her community with the audience.  Rainey’s creative practice focuses on building community and what that looks like. For her, community is an extension of family. By centering her work around social justice, specifically in regard to Black Americans, community becomes the key to liberation. Her artwork taps into aspects of the Black community, merging the old with the new by re-envisioning the ancestors through new media and creating space for young creatives to build and sustain themselves.

Thank you to gravy. for the content of this post.

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American Leisure, Gravy Studio

American Leisure

Matt Hurst, Lauren Klein, Katie Reynolds, Katie Tackman, and Jesse Todd at gravy.

November 2nd – December 1st, 2018

Opening Reception:  First Friday November 2nd, 6 – 10pm, Gravy Studio & Gallery, 910 N. 2ND Street, Philadelphia, PA 19123 · 267.825.7071

American Leisure, Gravy Studio

Jesse Todd

This collection follows five Philadelphia-based photographers who’ve traveled near and far, from places such as the shore towns of Wildwood, NJ and Atlantic City, NJ to Williams, Arizona and Miami Beach, FL, searching for inspiration in the leisurely and recreational activities that define the American consciousness.

American Leisure, Gravy Studio

Katie Reynolds

Images of mid-century motels and diners, rodeos, carnivals, and classic cars, seen through the eyes of photographers Matt Hurst, Katie Reynolds, Katie Tackman, Jesse Todd, and Lauren Todd, populate American Leisure.

American Leisure, Gravy Studio

Katie Tackman

Inspired by the work of John Baeder, Robert Frank, William Eggleston, and Robert Adams this series of 35mm and 120 film photographs offer a glimpse at how average Americans spend their time and providing a link between the past and present.

American Leisure, Gravy Studio

Matt Hurst

Additional American Leisure events:

South Broad St. Photo Walk: November 17th

Artist Talk/ Movie Event: December 1st at 1pm

Open Hours: Saturdays 1-5pm

Sponsors: Powers Whiskey and Neshaminy Creek Brewing Company

American Leisure, Gravy Studio

Laurin Klein

“Gravy started in 2011 by Drexel photography program alumni Emma Stern, Katie Tackman, and Benjamin Riley in a motorcycle warehouse space in Fishtown. Since then Gravy Studio + Gallery has grown to include six members and functions as a collaborative photography workspace and gallery located on 2nd Street in the Northern Liberties neighborhood of Philadelphia. Our goal is to serve as a multi-functional space that promotes the discussion and advancement of photography as an art form. As one of the only photography-based galleries in Philadelphia, we strive to support local photographers through gallery exhibitions, events, artist talks, and workshops. We are an artist-owned gallery collective which fosters an equal dialogue between curator and artist. We strive to connect with the community through open dialogue about social, political, and artistic ideas filtered through the lens of photography. The rest is Gravy.” – Gravy

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Of Metal and Light, Gravy Studio and GallerySage Lewis, sliver gelatin print

Photography Exhibit Of Metal and Light, Featuring Work By Lisa Elmaleh, Sage Lewis, and Lucretia Moroni On Display At Gravy Studio During March

PHILADELPHIA, PA — The Halide Project is pleased to announce its upcoming photography exhibition entitled Of Metal and Light, which will be on display at Gravy Studio & Gallery in Northern Liberties from March 3rd – 26th, 2017.

Of Metal & Light features work by three artists who explore the elementary nature of photography, both chemically and conceptually. Their work demonstrates how choice of material and process is an important—and too often overlooked—factor in image creation.

West Virginia-based artist Lisa Elmaleh will be exhibiting prints from her Everglades series, which celebrates an ecosystem that shaped her personal history as a native of South Florida. Her use of the historic wet plate collodion process, with its slow rendering of light, captures images that show the passage of time.

Vermont-based Sage Lewis painstakingly constructs architectural models and then crushes them, photographing the ruins from various vantage points in order to show divergent views of the same structure. Her evocative, high-contrast gelatin silver prints draw viewers into these constructed worlds and invite them to question just what it is they are seeing.

Lucretia Moroni (based in New York and Italy) approaches photography from a background in the decorative arts, a form that she has practiced for over thirty years. Experimenting with cyanotype and platinum palladium prints made on traditional gold and platinum leaf, her work reflects the interplay between art historical traditions and the more modern tradition of photography, firmly anchoring Lucretia in both realms.

The work will be on view during open gallery hours on Wednesdays through Sundays from noon to 6pm, or by appointment, throughout the duration of the show. The exhibition will open with a reception and artist talk on on First Friday (March 3rd, 6 – 9 PM, talks beginning at 7:30). In conjunction with the exhibit, The Halide Project will be hosting a variety of interactive events, including guided tours, a hands-on photography workshop, an informal group critique, and a trip to the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s study room. Most events are free and open to the public, though some incur a small materials fee. Registration is required for the events and can be made through The Halide Project’s website at www.thehalideproject.org.

Of Metal and Light was made possible by a grant from the Penn Treaty Special Services District. Additional funding was provided by Project Stream, a grant initiative of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts that is regionally administered by the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance. Additional support for Project Stream is provided by PECO.

Of Metal and Light, Gravy Studio and GalleryLucretia Moroni, Untitled, platinum/palladium print on gold leaf

About The Halide Project

The Halide Project was created in 2015 by Alexandra Orgera and Dale Rio in order to promote the continued practice and appreciation of traditional and alternative photographic processes. Run by a volunteer board of artists, The Halide Project produces two annual exhibitions: a small group invitational and a call-for-entry show, as well as affordable workshops, photographic study sessions, and other casual events throughout the year. Plans for future programming include artist residency opportunities and a dedicated darkroom workspace for community use.

About The Artists

Lisa Elmaleh’s work is an exploration of rural America. Using a portable darkroom in the back of her truck, Elmaleh photographs using the nineteenth century wet plate collodion process. Elmaleh is a West Virginia-based photographer and educator, teaching at the School of Visual Arts and the Penumbra Foundation in New York City. She has been awarded the Aaron Siskind Foundation IPF Grant, PDN’s 30, the Ruth and Harold Chenven Foundation Grant, the Tierney Fellowship, and The Everglades National Park Artist Residency. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, most recently featuring her American Folk project as a solo show at the Appalachian Center, Berea College in Kentucky, and her Everglades project in a group show, Imaging Eden: Photographers Discover the Everglades at the Norton Museum. Elmaleh’s work is in the collection of the Norton Museum, the Ogden Museum, and other private collections.

Sage Lewis is interested in the connections between material process and concept and works through drawing, sculpture, prints, and photography to translate images into multiple outcomes. She recently completed a Project Space Residency at the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, New York and 10-month Artist-in-Residence Fellowship at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar. While in Qatar she set up a darkroom for students to learn analogue processes and received a faculty research grant to study and teach the process of carbon printing. Recent exhibitions were held at the Denison Museum in Granville, Ohio, the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and Hamad bin Khalifa University Art Gallery in Doha, Qatar. Lewis holds an MFA in Painting & Drawing from The Ohio State University and a B.F.A. in Painting and Art History from Maine College of Art. She is currently based in Vermont.

Lucretia Moroni was born in Italy and attended the renowned Van der Kelen School in Brussels and continued her training in Interiors with the Renzo Mongiardino architecture firm in Milan. After working with Franco Zeffirelli, she moved to New York in the early 1980’s and has since worked on a large number of private and public projects, including painting 24 Murals at Bethesda Fountain, commissioned by Central Park Conservancy and New York Landmark. After studying photographic processes at International Center for Photography, she is currently experimenting in work that combines photography and the decorative arts.

Of Metal and Light, Gravy Studio and GalleryLisa Elmaleh, Slash Pines, gelatin silver print (from glass wet plate negative)


What: Of Metal and Light, a photography exhibition highlighting the work of three artists using chemistry-based practices.

Where: Gravy Studio & Gallery, 910 N. 2nd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19123

When: March 3rd – March 26th

Regular viewing hours: Wednesday – Sunday, 12 – 6 PM

Opening Reception and Artist Talk: Friday, March 3rd, 6:00 – 9:00pm (talks begin at 7:30)

Related educational events (information available at www.thehalideproject.org):

Guided tours of the exhibit

Hands-on Traditional Photography Workshops

Visit to the Philadelphia Museum of Art Study Room

Informal Group Critique

Registration and more info: www.thehalideproject.org

Thank you to The Halide Project for the content of this post.

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Northeast Kingdom, Andrew Frost, Gravy Studio

Northeast Kingdom, Andrew Frost, Gravy Studio

Written and Photographed by Laura Storck

On First Friday this month, I was excited to finally visit Gravy Studio, located in Fishtown, which serves as a space that promotes local photographers and their work.  As a photographer with a particular fondness for the darkroom, I was especially interested in attending the opening reception for Northeast Kingdom by Andrew Frost.  Not only does this body of work contain black and white images captured on film, but I felt compelled to learn more about the mystery surrounding his project.

Northeast Kingdom, Andrew Frost, Gravy StudioNortheast KingdomAndrew FrostGravy Studio

Northeast Kingdom, Andrew Frost, Gravy StudioNortheast KingdomAndrew FrostGravy Studio

Artist Statement:

“These photographs were made in the Northeast area of the state of Vermont, an area known as the Northeast Kingdom. It’s where my family has lived for more than 200 years. My father joined the Navy when he was a teenager as a way to get out of the rural area, and growing up we never went back, though I always imagined what it was like. Over the past several years, I’ve been traveling there, exploring my past, and making photographs.”

Andrew Frost has been making large format photographs within and surrounding the small town of Groton, Vermont, where his relatives have lived for more that two hundred years. In the late 1970’s, his father left and joined the Navy as a teenager. As Andrew was growing up, his family moved constantly, and he had never personally experienced his heritage in Vermont. He always imagined “a magical place, with mountains, rivers, and lakes, and a land of tree houses and caves — the kind of place where kids were free to ride their bikes to the village store.”

Northeast Kingdon, Andrew Frost, Gravy StudioNortheast KingdomAndrew FrostGravy StudioNortheast Kingdon, Andrew Frost, Gravy StudioNortheast KingdomAndrew FrostGravy Studio

Finally in 2010, he visited his roots for the first time and began photographing the world he had often envisioned. Because of his nomadic upbringing, the Northeast Kingdom held a mythical sense of history for Frost as he had been enamored by the stories of his father’s youth.  On his initial visit to Vermont, he had instantly felt a deep connection and a sense of belonging.  For the next 3 years, Frost had made frequent trips to the area, and brought his 8 x 10 view camera to record and discover his origins on a journey of self-exploration.

Northeast Kingdon, Andrew Frost, Gravy StudioNortheast KingdomAndrew FrostGravy StudioNortheast Kingdon, Andrew Frost, Gravy StudioNortheast KingdomAndrew FrostGravy Studio

Documenting with a view camera was a slow and gradual process, which complimented the way of life in rural Vermont. Some of his subjects are relatives, others are strangers. Frost’s images are beautiful and expressively rich in their black and white tonality. Several of the captures could easily be mistaken as having been made in the distant past – including an image containing elements of a wall photo of a vintage car combined with an antiquated radio, to a photograph of a soldier leaving for boot camp. Before I knew any of the backstory regarding this project, I asked Andrew about the timeline and for details as for when these particular images were captured (as I initially thought that these could have been enlargements made from old negatives).

Northeast Kingdon, Andrew Frost, Gravy StudioNortheast KingdomAndrew FrostGravy Studio

Andrew Frost explained:

“I don’t know for certain what type of car is in the photo, and as far as I know it’s a clock radio – it’s at my grandmother’s house, and she’s had it for a very long time. The photograph of the soldier, Jeremy, was made the day he left for boot camp. It was the 4th of July in 2011. He’s my aunt’s husband’s sister’s son, and in that area there aren’t a lot of career options. Your choices are mostly limited to farming, ministry, or the military, and he chose to enlist when he finished high school.”

Northeast Kingdon, Andrew Frost, Gravy StudioNortheast KingdomAndrew FrostGravy Studio

This poignant collection of work initially evokes feelings of melancholy, isolation, sterility, and stagnation in a pastoral land where time appears to be standing still. Yet these observations will eventually transition the viewer towards feelings of hope, beauty, tenderness, and human connection. The exhalation and inner peace that has resulted in this journey of self-realization and reflection are undoubtedly witnessed when viewing Northeast Kingdom.

Northeast Kingdon, Andrew Frost, Gravy StudioNortheast KingdomAndrew Frost at Gravy Studio is on display through December 31st. Gravy Studio & Gallery, 155 Cecil B. Moore Ave., 2nd Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19122, (267) 825-7071, gravy-studio.com, gravy.photo@gmail.com

Andrew Frost was born in Yokosuka, Japan. He has an MFA from Syracuse University, and currently lives in Northern New Jersey where he makes books for Conveyor Arts.

Gravy Studio & Gallery is a collaborative photography workspace and gallery located near the Frankford Arts Corridor.  Serving as a multifunctional space that promotes the work of local photographers, opening receptions are held on the First Friday of every month.



Written and Photographed by Laura Storck

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