Tag Archives: Moe Brooker


AFRICAN-AMERICAN ART IN PHILLYMartin Luther King, Jr., 1981, by John Woodrow Wilson (Philadelphia Museum of Art: 125th Anniversary Acquisition. Purchased with funds contributed by the Young Friends of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in honor of the 125th Anniversary of the Museum and in celebration of African American art © John Wilson/Licensed by VAGA, New York Credit: Courtesy Philadelphia Museum of Art

Bringing together more than 75 works from the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s extensive collection of art by African Americans, Represent: 200 Years of African-American Art displays works by 50 artists, including Henry Ossawa Tanner, Horace Pippin, Jacob Lawrence, Alma Thomas, Martin Puryear, Carrie Mae Weems and others. Highlighted by Tanner’s iconic painting The Annunciation, the exhibition features a wide range of items such as pre-Civil War-era decorative pottery, early 20th-century paintings and photography, sculpture and portraits. It runs through April 5, 2015.

In 2015, Philadelphia museums will mount six major exhibitions featuring some of the most celebrated African-American artists, further adding to the city’s reputation as one of the world’s great art centers. In addition to the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s special exhibition Represent: 200 Years of African American Art, featuring dozens of works from its collections, art lovers can take in the Brandywine Museum of Art’s landmark exhibition Horace Pippin: The Way I See It. Adding to the trove of artistic treasures is As We See It: Selected Works from the Petrucci Family Foundation Collection, coming to the African American Museum in Philadelphia, along with shows at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the Woodmere Art Museum.

After touring these special exhibitions, visitors can discover the array of African and African-American art in the permanent collections at many institutions around town. Here’s a look at the exhibits and museums worth exploring this year especially:

Special Exhibitions:

  • With work by renowned artists such as Henry Ossawa Tanner, Horace Pippin, Jacob Lawrence, Martin Puryear and Carrie Mae Weems, Represent: 200 Years of African American Art showcases a range of subjects, styles, mediums and traditions. Since acquiring Tanner’s The Annunciation painting in 1899, the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s collection of African-American art has grown significantly, especially during the last three decades, and much of it will be on display in this exhibit. January 10-April 5, 2015. 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (215) 763-8100, philamuseum.org
  • The African American Museum in Philadelphia presents two major art exhibitions this year. Masterpieces by such luminaries as Edward BannisterHenry Ossawa Tanner and Elizabeth Catlett sit alongside works by school children who have been influenced by them during As We See It: Selected Works from the Petrucci Family Foundation Collection. February 5-March 21, 2015. In the spring, the museum explores the artistic side of Danny Simmons, who is best known as a writer, producer and Tony winner for his Broadway version of Def Poetry Jam. The United Nations and the Smithsonian count his art in their collections. Selected Works from the Danny Simmons Collection features Simmons’ art works and poetry, as well as items from his own collection (Beauford Delaney, James Van Der Zee, Mickalene Thomas, Sol Sax, Derrick Adams and Kara Walker). April 24-June 7, 2015. 701 Arch Street, (215) 574-0380, aampmuseum.org
  • In the first major exhibition of the artist’s works in the country in more than two decades, Horace Pippin: The Way I See It features more than 60 bold, colorful and candid paintings that reflect life in the African-American community and comment on race, religion, war and history. The Brandywine Museum of Art’s exhibition reveals Pippin as an artist who upheld his own aesthetic sensibility while addressing larger social issues. April 25-July 19, 2015.U.S. Route 1 by Creek Road (formerly Route 100), (610) 388-2700, brandywine.org
  • Through an array of works in a broad spectrum of media, African-American Artists of 20th-Century Philadelphia at the Woodmere Art Museum tells the stories of some of Philadelphia’s most celebrated African-American artists, such as James Brantley, Claude Clark, and Ellen Powell Tiberino, and the institutions that nurtured their talents and exhibited their works. Numerous oral histories round out the story. September 26, 2015-January 24, 2016. 9201 Germantown Avenue, (215) 247-0476, woodmereartmuseum.org
  • With more than 80 paintings, works on paper and the artist’s hand-made puppets all culled from major international private and public collections, Procession: The Art of Norman Lewis travels through four decades of the artist’s career from the 1930s through the 1970s. Through the exhibition, visitors to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts learn about Lewis’ role in the Harlem art community and his contributions to abstract expressionism.November 13, 2014-April 3, 2016. 118 N. Broad Street, (215) 972-7600, pafa.org

Permanent Collections:
African Art:

  • Dr. Albert Barnes’ interest in African art dates back to the early 1920s when he acquired traditional African masks and sculptures from the Dan and possibly Kulango societies of Côte d’Ivoire, as well as from Guinea and northeast Liberia. Visitors can see theses works, which he describes as “the purest expression of the three-dimensional form,” at the Barnes Foundation. Home to a remarkable collection of paintings from the masters of modern art, the Barnes Foundation’s significant collection of African art is displayed in remarkable ensembles that show how the likes of Picasso and Modigliani were influenced by the stylistic and symbolic forms in African art. The Barnes Foundation also holds important works by American artists, including Horace Pippin. 20th Street & Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (866) 849-7056, barnesfoundation.org
  • The Penn Museum, or University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, boasts an extensive collection of African art and artifacts such as masks, sculptures, instruments, famed Benin bronzes, embroidered garments and jewelry. Visitors can also marvel at a wide range of other materials from throughout the continent, which are on permanent display in the African and Ancient Egyptian galleries. 3260 South Street, (215) 898-4000,penn.museum

African-American Art:

The With Art Philadelphia® collaborative is a first-of-its-kind partnership to position Philadelphia among the world’s great art destinations and to increase visitation to the region from around the world. The groups contributing financial and other resources to the campaign are: the City of Philadelphia, VISIT PHILADELPHIA, Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Penn Museum (University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology), Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, Philadelphia International Airport, Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau, Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, The Lenfest Foundation, William Penn Foundation, Knight Foundation, Arts & Business Council of Greater Philadelphia, PNC and PECO.

For more information about travel to Philadelphia, visit visitphilly.com or uwishunu.com, where you can build itineraries; search event calendars; see photos and videos; view interactive maps; sign up for newsletters; listen to HearPhilly, an online radio station about what to see and do in the region; book hotel reservations and more. Or, call the Independence Visitor Center, located in Historic Philadelphia, at (800) 537-7676.

For more information about With Art Philadelphia and high-resolution photos of the Philadelphia art scene and the region, visit visitphilly.com/withartpress.

Thank You to With Art Philadelphia for the content of this blog post. DoNArTNeWs contributed links to artist’s website and Wikipedia pages.

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Artists Against Hunger

Sandi Neiman Lovitz, Artists Against Hunger

Sandi Neiman Lovitz, Incognito, 18 x 18″, photo courtesy of the artist, Artists Against Hunger at Da Vinci Art Alliance

ARTISTS Against Hunger Exhibition May 2-5, 2013, at the Da Vinci Art Alliance, 704 Catharine Street in South Philadelphia featured art from artists from all over the city, juried by Moe Brooker, Artist and Chairman of the Mayor’s Commission of the Arts. Many different styles and media were represented. All the work is fine art and for sale. Proceeds benefit The Food Trust. Let art nourish your soul to fed our children. The Food Trust works to improve access to healthy, affordable food and to educate children and families about nutrition. For more information, www.thefoodtrust.org – press release.

Susan DiPronio and Linda Dubin Garfield organized this excellent juried art show and fund-raising benefit at Da Vinci Art Alliance in South Philadelphia. DoN met with Susan DiPronio at the gallery to talk about the impetus behind the art show.

June Blumberg, Artists Against Hunger

June Blumberg, Doggie and Friends, mixed media, $400.00, Artists Against Hunger at Da Vinci Art Alliance

“There were sixty-four entries and thitry-six were chosen by Moe Brooker. He’s very famous. He donated a painting for us to sell and 100% goes to The Food Trust.”

DoN wondered what is The Food Trust?

The Food Trust of Philadelphia donates to other food programs like The Night Market, the Farmer’s Market, the child nutrition programs in North Philly. They did the Corner Store program in North and South Philly and disadvantaged areas where they go in and try to get corner stores to sell healthy food.

So, we’re hoping that the money from this project, we also did this last year, we’re just trying build it more. We’re hoping it will go to child nutrition programs.”

When local artists Linda Dubin Garfield and Susan DiPronio read that in parts of Philadelphia over 50% of the children go to bed hungry, they knew they had to do something. They decided to create change the only way they could- through art. They chose The Food Trust which helps bring nourishment and education to the neighborhoods in question. They created ARTISTS Against Hunger Project and planned several events such as the Pre- Fringe birthday party for Linda in May, 2012 which raised over $700 in lieu of gifts. Next, they created a “Yummy Rainbow” mural banner as part of Robert Farid Karimi’s Cooking Show: The Diabetes of Democracy at  the Asian Arts Initiative with pre-schoolers from a Head Start class in South Philadelphia also in May, 2012. They participated in the 2012 Fringe Festival doing mixed media memoir workshops focusing on What Nurtures Us and Food Deserts in September, 2012. – smart business consulting  press release.

Louise Herring, Artists Against Hunger

Louise Herring, Haybales Red, oil/mixed media, $250.00, Artists Against Hunger at Da Vinci Art Alliance

“Linda and I have a long history of collaborating together. We do writing workshops, we’ve been doing that for about seven years now. We were recipients of a Leeway Grant a few years ago and we do writing workshops with Endow A Home, Covenant House, etc. We decided to do something a little bit more, um, it’s disturbing to us when you’re in a homeless shelter or whatever, you see that, I worked twenty-five years in North Philadelphia and Camden, and it’s disturbing to see how many children don’t eat apparently anything. Did you see the painting in the back?”

Susan DiPronio pointed out a painting done from a photograph which was in a local newspaper in 2009 of a young child. The mat under the glass has a layer of Cheerios.

“The artist saw it and was totally moved by it. It’s a painting of a little girl who is diagnosed with ‘failure to thrive’, she was subsisting on Cheerios and hot dogs. And that’s pretty much the basis, the gist, of what we’re getting at. It’s something that you see children running down the street and you see them with a crumpled dollar in their hand to a convenience store. And they buy a cookie and a soda and you don’t really realize that’s their dinner.

And it’s not that their parents aren’t working, maybe their parents are working two jobs and each job doesn’t even pay enough to feed a family. People complain about wait-persons in restaurants not being so good, well, the wait-person is probably working two jobs. People can work two jobs right now and still qualify for Food Stamps. That’s sad.”

Deanne Mills, Artists Against Hunger

Deanne Mills, Calm the Passion, oil,  Artists Against Hunger at Da Vinci Art Alliance

In writing DoNArTNeWs, DoN is aware of the difficult issues artists are tackling: hunger, homelessness, diseases. Artist’s like Kathryn Pannepacker teaching the homeless how to weave, Art Ability at Bryn Mawr Rehab creates big time art opportunities, Attic Graffix teaches at-risk youth production skills, Moss Rehab’s annual art show, The William Way Gay Community Center Annual Community Art Show all provide opportunities for art to make social impact.

“I think that when people are in a safe space, they’re living their lives day-to-day, and working and going home, they’re kind of in a sense of denial. As we get to more and more when people are home they’re so into their cell phone or the computer, and I think it getting worse. People are denying what they’re seeing. They think,’Yeah, we know about the homeless. But, they’re getting taken care of. Oh yeah, but these people make too much money’.

They don’t realize that a big part of the problem is the working poor. The people who are working every day and this is happening. And these children go to school and they can’t absorb or learn anything. And so it creates a cycle that will never end.”

Ellen Abraham, Artists Against Hunger

Ellen Abraham, Meet the Artist, graphite and acrylic on canvas, $375.00, Artists Against Hunger at Da Vinci Art Alliance

So, why are artists taking on this challenge? Talk about a disadvantaged group, they don’t call us starving artists for nothing.

“I know! We are starving artists. I’ve been unemployed, too. And we are starving artists, that’s true but I think for me, and for other people, as an artist, you realize that one of the reasons why you create art is because it’s a way that helps you. Because you understand yourself. You realize the curing powers of art and how important it’s been to you in your life. That passion. And you realize it’s something you need – to give back” – Susan DiPronio

Susan DiPronio, Artists Against Hunger

Susan DiPronio, Claudia and Her Mother, gelatin-silver photograph, $650.00, Artists Against Hunger at Da Vinci Art Alliance

The exhibit was organized by smART business consulting which offers business solutions for artists to reach their goals and their audience through individual consulting and coaching, small support groups and seminars as well as providing venues to exhibit art to the public both virtually online (web design and social media) and in reality (exhibitions in galleries and other public venues.)

For more information, contact www.smARTbusinessconsulting.org or smARTbusinessconsulting@verizon.net

The art show was just three days but some wonderful artworks are still for sale, contact smARTbusinessconsulting@verizon.net The current exhibit is a solo art show by Linda Dubin Garfield through May 26th, 2013. Read about her one-person show, Hear My Color, at DoNArTNeWs.com

Like Artists Against Hunger on facebook.

Written and photographed by DoN Brewer except where noted.

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