Tag Archives: Music


How Food Moves: Edible LogisticsImage: Amber Art and Design, Corner Store Project

How Food Moves: Edible Logistics

Amber Art & Design / Ryan Griffis & Sarah Ross
Brian Holmes / Otabenga Jones & Associates / Cynthia Main
Claire PentecostPhilly Stake / Stephanie Rothenberg
Candice Smith with Freedom Arts / Kristen Neville Taylor

Daniel Tucker, Guest Curator, Graduate Program Director in Social and Studio Practices at Moore College of Art and Design
March 27 – May 27, 2017
Public Program and Reception: Thursday, March 30, 2017, 6:00 – 8:30pm
Our public program begins at 6:00 pm followed by the reception
Rowan University Art Gallery, 301 High Street West, First Floor, Glassboro, NJ 08028
Admission to the gallery and reception is free and open to the public.
The public program begins at 6:00 pm, led by guest curator Daniel Tucker in dialogue on art, geography, and agricultural planning with Professor Megan Bucknum Ferrigno from Rowan University’s School of Geography and Environment, and with exhibiting artists.

Artists explore the US food supply chain and its complex patterns of distribution in between the point of origin (the farm) and its point of consumption (the plate). The exhibition aims to highlight the work of contemporary artists grappling with the complexity of this movement through multi-media, research-based, and participatory practices that focus a lens on the social and industrial impacts of migrant workers, food justice movements, immigration, multiculturalism, and economic disparities. This project builds upon Tucker’s event series, Moving Units: Where Food & Economy Converge. A companion booklet, produced by Rowan University Art Gallery, serves to provide a general overview of US food supply chains. It includes descriptions of the artist contributions to the exhibition that relate to each step on the chain. Throughout this booklet you read about an approach to geographic education that values connecting with the world outside the classroom. The booklet was researched and written by Megan Bucknum Ferrigno, part-time faculty member of Rowan University’s Department of Geography, Planning and Sustainability. Additional contributions made by Dr. Chuck McGlynn, Dr. Jennifer Kitson and Makenzie Franco.

About the Artists and Projects

With Corner Store, Amber Art & Design – a team of Philadelphia-based artists that work on public art within marginalized communities that have little or no access to art – explores the contemporary sociological and psychological intersection between pan-ethnic Black and Asian communities in Philadelphia and how relationships are shaped based on which side of the counter we stand. (image top)

Illinois-based artists Ryan Griffis and Sarah Ross are represented by Between the Bottomlands and the World, a video (combining photographs, narrative writing, and moving images) exploring the rural Midwestern town of Beardstown, IL, a place of global exchange and international mobility, inscribed by post-NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) realities.

Brian Holmes, an art and cultural critic with a Ph.D. in Romance Languages has a long-standing interest in neoliberal globalization and a taste for on-the-ground intervention. His online atlas, Living Rivers, is devoted to the Mississippi and Great Lakes watersheds and shows these fluid ecosystems as they are inhabited by a multitude of creatures and radically altered by human enterprise.

Otabenga Jones & Associates, a Houston-based educational art organization, documents a collaborative art project and public health program addressing the ongoing crisis of obesity and its related risks with “The People’s Plate.” Inspired by the Black Panther Free Breakfast for School Children Program, this art project includes a public mural in Houston and programs to kick off a year-long commitment to health education.

Cynthia Main, a multidisciplinary artist from Missouri focuses on relating to the land as part of an integral view of a more sustainable society. She shares her hand-made buckets and barrels created using traditional techniques to readdress storage as one of the current dilemmas of localizing production.

Chicago’s Claire Pentecost uses photography to show how industrial agriculture is only partly about supplying food and how it is structured to meet the problem of expense and excess capital accumulation when considering the cost of complex machinery, brand name chemical herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, fertilizers, and patented seeds.

How Food Moves: Edible Logistics

Philly Stake is a locally-sourced, recurring dinner that raises funds for creative and relevant community engaged projects that contributes to the well-being of Philadelphia’s neighborhoods through community arts, urban agriculture, social services, and activist work.

Stephanie Rothenberg’s Reversal of Fortune: The Garden of Virtual Kinship is a garden in the form of a global map that explores the question of what it means to be charitable through the click of a button and examines the cultural phenomena of online crowd-funded charity and how the flow of money impacts the project, positively and negatively.

How Food Moves: Edible LogisticsStephanie Rothenberg

Candice Smith runs Freedom Arts, an after school collaborative art program at Camden’s Freedom Prep Middle School, which is creating an installation responding to the idea that Camden is a “food desert” and examining the movement of food at their school and in their community.

Philadelphia-based Kristen Neville Taylor’s installation – a globe depicting routes of oranges and actual oranges outfitted with a QR code that links to music, articles, folk tales, and art – was inspired by a lyric from Leonard Cohen’s “Suzanne” (“and she feeds you tea and oranges that come all the way from China”) which she associated with the market place and the movement of food but also romance and exotic foreign cultures.

Admission to the gallery and reception is free and open to the public. 
Free parking is now available in the parking garage on Mick Drive directly across from the gallery. For visitor information go to our website: www.rowan.edu/artgallery.

Thank you to Mary Salvante, Rowan University Art Gallery for the content of this post.

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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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Alien Architect, Cohen AsherDevin Asher Cohen = Alien Architect = Cohen Asher at Kugel Collecive Gallery FOTO by Floyd Kelley

Devin Asher Cohen = Alien Architect = Cohen Asher

Equidistance: All Love All Praises Kunst Art Arte Exhibition

Love Joyous Celebration Inner Inter Connectivity Gentle Kindness Exhibition

at The Kugel Collaborative Art Gallery

Alien Architect, Cohen AsherDevin Asher Cohen = Alien Architect = Cohen Asher at Kugel Collecive Gallery FOTO by Floyd Kelley

Devin Asher Cohen = Alien Architect = Cohen Asher recalls, “it was or i was, capital I or lowercase i, posting and acting upon magical uninhibited kindness and inspiration peace love vibrations without feeling a need to read all the pages before getting to that point in the story, skipping a head, and skipping, bouncing bubbly as if solution or… na not exactly, just as if state of being, and not as to dominate or subordinate other states of being fore there is more to it and a plethora of realities, though this too is part of it, he thought to him self maybe…. which was when Doniel and I connected and the seeds that would later be this, my exhibition of making peace and harmony with rootedness revisited were planted and began to grow, though the seed that led to those seeds had already been seedlings fore shore.”

asher4Devin Asher Cohen = Alien Architect = Cohen Asher at Kugel Collecive Gallery FOTO by Floyd Kelly


“Before returning to Philly, Alien had been speaking intimately with Nereo Zamitiz of Colectivo la Pesera and Arturo Lopez on their radio show entitled El Vortice on SaberSinFin radio in Puebla Mexico  (http://www.sabersinfin.com/audios/119-el-vortice/14205-el-proyecto-de-alien-architect). Alien said to them, “soon, October 2nd, I come to Philly for a collective exhibition named Correspondencia or Corresponence in english, a touring exhibition that will travel through many countries… the participating artists met in hungary… one artist from Germany… one from Hungary, another from Chile living in Czech Republic … others from Mexico …” (check this DoN Brewer article for more info about Correspondencia ::http://www.donartnews.com/correspondencia/ )  …. At the same spot that is currently housing and showcasing this traveling Correspondence exhibition, Community Futures Lab on October 12th, Alien Architect / Cohen Asher / Devin A. Cohen performed a musical poetry words set at an incredible concert which also featured Curta, Wino Willy, John Morrison, Has-Lo, JPEG Mafia; it was a musical experimental progressive meta Rhythm and Poetry (RAP) show. Alien Architect performed with Lem Pidlaoan on drum set, Ras Aleph Judah on bass, and his bro on percussion. Alien/Cohen recalls moments after the fact, in a retrospect of mere moments, that the feeling of this performing experience on this night was a bit like a revisiting or a do over of an aspect of reality but then on second thought or from a different angle was simply simply a beautiful experience all its own in totality anew in which many of the congestions within Alien were expelled and evaporated into useful fueling energy sources as well as energies them selves and others.”

Alien Architect, Cohen Asher, The Kugle CollaborativeDevin Asher Cohen = Alien Architect = Cohen Asher at Kugel Collecive Gallery FOTO by Floyd Kelley

“The next day Alien awoke. Instead of the ‘normal’ Art opening way of presenting his solo exhibition at Kugel gallery, an exhibition which had actually been up for some time, maybe a month-ish, though it had more so been seen in extremely festive vibrant joyous celebratory magical inspirational mystical stellar private events and not through the channelings of some other folks and cats as well, whom Alien exuberantly enthralled ecstatically and excitedly wanted to also share it with;  he wanted to simply arrange visitations and kind meetings. Yes, prior to this exhibition had been huge festive vibrant gatherings, one of which Alien/Cohen had the pleasure and blessing to attend, and the many others Alien has only imagined with such smiling glee and fulfillment at the though of such a connectivity inner inter spirit joy…

And so on this Day, Thursday October 13th at Noon, Alien Architect at his exhibition met with Ruthie Schanbacher, an incredible experimental avant gard left field fabrics happening fashion artist whom also has a fantastic arts website with news and interviews, which we recommend you check out.  A few years ago, Alien was interviewed in Ruthie’s arts website:: this is the link to that interview

https://mandismag.wordpress.com/2013/04/19/cohen-asher-alien-architect-artist-musician-vocalist-writer-an-interview/ . The site, as you can see when you click on the link, is called Manufactured Dissent (like a play on the Noam Chomsky film Manufactured Consent, a film dealing with analysis on power structure, print and projection screen media like tv, language systems, and News and the channels it goes through before reaching an audience and the ways in which that effects its accuracy and what it perpetuates and who that perpetuation benefits and why and since when and so forth… ).  Anyways these are the stellar photos that Rutherford took of Devin Asher Cohen = Alien Architect = Cohen Asher and his vibration magnetism art works whilst at his peace love kindness exhibition of transcendence ::

Alien Arcitect, Cohen AsherDevin Asher Cohen = Alien Architect = Cohen Asher at Kugel Collecive Gallery FOTO by Floyd Kelley Alien Arcitect, Cohen AsherDevin Asher Cohen = Alien Architect = Cohen Asher at Kugel Collecive Gallery FOTO by Floyd KelleyAlien Arcitect, Cohen AsherDevin Asher Cohen = Alien Architect = Cohen Asher recalls “sometimes in the transcend of other-ness, what would have otherwise been associated with self-ness per haps, becomes alien or otherly, this experience and exhibition is very much about transcending that as well.”

Day 2: FRIDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  October 14th ::

Alien Architect, Cohen Asher, The Kugle CollaborativeDevin Asher Cohen = Alien Architect = Cohen Asher at Kugel Collecive Gallery FOTO by Ruthie Schanbacher

Before Alien and friends arrived, there had already been a gathering of children’s activities from 10-10:30 on site at the gallery exhibition, which made Alien smile at the thought that his paintings could be an aspect of the environment of such positive kind happenings.

Alien Architect, Cohen Asher, The Kugle CollaborativeDevin Asher Cohen = Alien Architect = Cohen Asher at Kugel Collecive Gallery FOTO by Ruthie SchanbacherAlien Architect, Cohen Asher, The Kugle CollaborativeDevin Asher Cohen = Alien Architect = Cohen Asher at Kugel Collecive Gallery FOTO by Floyd Kelley

Alien Architect, Cohen Asher, The Kugle CollaborativeDevin Asher Cohen = Alien Architect = Cohen Asher at Kugel Collecive Gallery FOTO by Ruthie SchanbacherAlien Architect, Cohen AsherDevin Asher Cohen = Alien Architect = Cohen Asher at Kugel Collecive Gallery FOTO by Ruthie Schanbacher

“Alien entered the space with that feeling pulsating through his being as he met some magical kin folks at 11am, which was a blessing. They experienced the exhibition and felt its vibration as well as the inner self and each other from their inner mostest to their outer aspects, as well as the non localized experiencial. Many of the pieces in this exhibition are retrospect and a recontexualizing of Alien’s Philadelphia collection of his works which he created in Philadelphia while time traveling and astral projecting, though a few of the pieces were newer and created in Hungary as well. (Alien also has a Mexican collection of his work as well, which exists n Mexico right now and bulk of it was created there, much of it at Liliput, he and Rebeca’s Gallery in Puebla). Alien’s work also exists in private collections in Paris (where Alien last year performed as featured poet at three incredible stellar poetry event happenings, He also created art works, paintings while there), in Hungary, California, New York, Philadelphia, London. He has exhibited his art which he exudes and cries sweats and bleeds out form his ARTeries lots in many different spaces in Mexico, across realities in Philadelphia, and at the beginning of this year in Spain and Japan now too. In fact, Alien Architect’s latest droney dramatic poetico musical poetry record is titled Arteria, which means Artery in Spanish. This is a link to Arteria on SoundCloud:


Feel free to Purchase Arteria or any other Alien Architect Album on his band camp at:


Ok, Flashback a little, when Alien had first set up this exhibition, was when he had returned with his love and artistic cohort companion, contemporary artist gothic metal head and photographer of culture and music and art for magazines and the avant gard, Rebeca Martell. Well, she had to head to Mexico to work on billions trillions of projects; Alien. still in Philly for a little, wrote to Doniel-Reuvana Leah Grodnitzky, and in a magic moment Doniel came by serendipitously, as they had been speaking of this for some time now though in different countries and physically at distances (equidistance)::: now this was the moment of fruition. Doniel came by. Alien felt the divine mystical intuition and began feeling and percieving and loaded Doniel’s car with his art works and brought the pieces over and hung them by means of flow and acceptance of the divine moment and existence that seems to be part of Alien’s process (including the transcendence of the pedestaling of such an idea too, but also the acceptance of all, including that and all all). Once they arrived at Kugel Gallery with Devin Alien’s art, Doniel stepped out for a moment to take care of some other things; when he returned Alien was just about finished placing his pieces upon the walls, Doniel began to shoot a few photos and each shot had such an precision and beauty to it, anecdotal and in that moment joyously.”

These are the photos that Doniel shot on that day of the beginning of this experiential inner inter connectivity shed layers exhibition:

Alien Architect, Cohen Asher, The Kugle CollaborativeDevin Asher Cohen = Alien Architect = Cohen Asher at Kugel Collecive Gallery FOTO by Doniel Reuvena Leah GrodnitzkyAlien Architect, Cohen Asher, The Kugle CollaborativeDevin Asher Cohen = Alien Architect = Cohen Asher at Kugel Collecive Gallery FOTO by Doniel Reuvena Leah GrodnitzkyAlien Architect, Cohen Asher, The Kugle CollaborativeDevin Asher Cohen = Alien Architect = Cohen Asher at Kugel Collecive Gallery FOTO by Doniel Reuvena Leah Grodnitzky

Ok, back to the present story, DoN Brewer arrived at 3PM, they were thrilled to see each other, Alien felt encouraged and accepted to be excited and kind and thrilled and friendly, Don is great spirit soul. They knew each other prior to this return from Mexico, however they had been sparking and energizing especially now;  At the Plastic Club’s Photographic Society Exhibition of which Don was a part of, and then moments later at Correspondencia, both October 2nd (which is still on display now). This is Don’s Article about Corespondencia:   http://www.donartnews.com/correspondencia/

And so, In moments, just after DoN and Cohen quite cathartically candidly and openly conversed “on the level,”  DoN shot a SUPER COOL  live VIDEO OF COHEN ASHER / ALIEN ARCHITECT PERFORMING A mINI EXCERPT FROM “ALL PRAISES” as well, this version a bit more calmly spoken on the low key, and as if calm descriptor of the wandering experience in relation to the inner inter of the exhibition, as well as the umbrella concept overarching generality specificity it alludes and tributes and attributes to.

This is that video:


——We’ve also found this, which has surfaced, it is WHAT appears to be A REHEARSAL  ACOUSTIC PRIVATE PERFORMANCE TESTING ENERGY LEVELS FOR ALIEN ARCHITECT SONG “ALL PRAISES” and super awesome ! Seems it is live from Alien Architect’s / Cohen Asher‘s Philadelphia artist studio.



Alien Architect 2016 Saber SinFin Interview: http://www.sabersinfin.com/audios/119-el-vortice/14205-el-proyecto-de-alien-architect


Soon Devin Asher Cohen = Alien Architect = Cohen Asher shall venture off into the distance to Mexico with his love. As for Alien, always more to say and details to articulate, but he shall return’th from the abyss one day. Feel free to follow the rabbit whole that is his Art and his website and that of links leading to links leading to interviews to articles to videos to subtext to intertextuality in his art works (poetry, art, music, theater) and the stories both linear and nonlinear and more info, adventures, wanderings, constructs, deconstructs, journeys, quests, and so forth. We will end off with three brief quotes from Alien Architect / Cohen Asher / Devin Asher Cohen, himself; excerpts from his upcoming book, these are also to a degree statements of art from perspective that of internal feeling as consciousness as lens from which as art and thoughts that go beyond language but also poetry as an internal experience which speaks to the tunneling and path and way and process of Cohen‘s Peace Love Joyous Celebration Inner Inter Connectivity solo Exhibition at Kugel Gallery:








direct connection


most immediate experiential

an infinity of self contained unity         peripheral expanse

tabula rasa

baggage and weight up lifted gravitational pulled

microscopic vibrations live

as we fall



immediate rooted extension overarching omni is

an infinity of self contained unity         peripheral expanse

tabula rasa

filled full emptiness

empty fullness









direct connection


immediate experiential

gazing outward

—— Devin Asher Cohen = Alien Architect = Cohen Asher, March 15, 2016 ——


”     sounds massing multi layered over under over under; micro, macro, bio, geo, textural cement: rocky, blue, red, yellow, maze – path – all at once –

overlap detail, fields surrounded by lines, lines filled in with patterns; stacked: developed multi mixed media rates of growth; textural all at once, soundly massing pictorially.

minimalism, maximalism, gestalt, mere, open ended indefinite into fixed though non specific to beholder’s eyes witnessing; inner inter-active, is.

process; result as residual of experiential   

—— Devin Asher Cohen = Alien Architect = Cohen Asher, 2016 ——

one cannot

act real

one cannot

behave real

but one

can feel real

one can

imply real

one can


feeling real

through acting and behaving

——Devin Asher Cohen = Alien Architect = Cohen Asher, 2006 ——

Devin Asher Cohen = Alien Architect = Cohen Asher websites (follow the rabbit whole, portaling):






Liliput websites:




Rebeca Martell: http://rebecamartell.wixsite.com/doom

Ruthie Schanbacher’s Manufacured Dissenthttps://mandismag.wordpress.com/2013/04/19/cohen-asher-alien-architect-artist-musician-vocalist-writer-an-interview/


Community Futures Lab: https://www.facebook.com/communityfutureslab/?fref=ts



Thank you to Devin Asher Cohen = Alien Architect = Cohen Asher for the content of this post.

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Live Philly Jazz – Through the Photographic LensEmannuel Ohemeng, Esperanza Spalding at the Keswick Theatre, photography

Philadelphia City Hall Exhibits Celebrate Jazz and Photography

Live Philly JazzThrough the Photographic Lens February 29 – May 6, 2016

Juror: Stephen Perloff

Art Gallery at City Hall, Room 116. Second Floor, NE corner display cases

The Clef Club at 50 through May 6, 2016

Curators: Don Gardner and Lovett Hines from The Clef Club of Jazz and Performing Arts

Jazz returns to City Hall this spring with two photography exhibits: Live Philly Jazz – Through the Photographic Lens, a juried exhibited located in the Art Gallery at City Hall; and The Clef Club at 50, which is located on the second floor near the Office of the Mayor. The exhibits will coincide with Philadelphia Jazz Appreciation Month in April. A joint reception will take place on March 28, from 4:00 – 6:00 pm.

Live Philly Jazz was juried by Stephen Perloff, editor of The Photo Review, a nationally recognized journal of photography that began in 1976. A call for photography was sent out in the fall, asking artists to submit work that captures the spirit of jazz during live performances, or subtle behind-the-scenes creative moments. The aim was to acquire original works of art that show a mastery of the photographic medium, depicting the rhythms, sounds, energy, and intricacies of jazz music.

Mr. Perloff selected 32 photographs: “At the heart of jazz is performance, which is reflected in a majority of the images in this exhibition that capture a wide range of performers from some of the jazz greats to street musicians.”

Juror’s Statement

Jazz may be the most quintessential American art form. From its birth in New Orleans it has spread like kudzu throughout the United States and around the world. And it has influenced all other succeeding forms of music from the blues to rock and roll and beyond. At the heart of jazz is performance, which is reflected in a majority of the images in this exhibition that capture a wide range of performers from some of the jazz greats to street musicians. There are many fine images among these. But I’m also heartened to see images that go beyond performance, from details such as Peter Applebaum’s Mr. Hornblower, whose lined fingers with glistening rings hold a battered horn that reflects years of playing; to Gerald Cyrus’s Freddie on Fire, which bursts with the pure energy of intense music making; to the composites of Regina Schlitz’s Jamaaladeen Tacuma Upright Abstract and Melissa Teasley’s Jazz-N-Around City Hall Sax Throwback; and even to Lynn Goldstein’s Beat Out of Box, a mostly abstract picture that captures the gestural quality and the balance between structure and improvisation of jazz. Philadelphia has its own rich jazz history and also a wonderful group of photographers who have managed to portray jazz’s soul. – Stephen PerloffThe Photo Review, Editor

Participating photographers:

  • Peter Appelbaum
  • Steven Berry
  • Rachel Bliss
  • Matt Cohen
  • Blinky Comix
  • Elliott Curson
  • Gerald Cyrus
  • Dean Anthony
  • David Dzubinski
  • Meredith Edlow
  • Peter Fitzpatrick
  • Annarita Gentile
  • Melissa Gilstrap
  • Lynne Goldstein
  • Alan Jackman
  • Leandre Jackson
  • Alonzo Jennings
  • Rob Lybeck
  • Jeff Lynch
  • Bill May
  • James McWilliams
  • Brian Mengini
  • D. Jacob Miller
  • Sarah Nathan
  • Emmanuel Ohemeng
  • Luzselenia Salas
  • David Simpson
  • Sound Evidence
  • Melissa Teasley
  • Bruce Turner

Live Philly Jazz – Through the Photographic LensRob Lybeck, Pat Martino, photograph

For 50 years, The Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz and Performing Arts has been an enduring cultural hub for Philadelphia’s jazz community. Art In City Hall, with the help of Don Gardner and Lovett Hines, the club’s respective Executive Director and Artistic Director, is presenting this extraordinary triumph through a display of photographs and memorabilia from the club’s collection. The Clef Club at 50 features images of past jazz legends that have graced Philadelphia’s jazz scene and some of the people who helped make it all happen. Many of the photographs on display were taken by South Philly’s John T. “Bunky” deVechhis, who passed away last year after decades of capturing Philly’s jazz scene.

Brief History:

The Clef Club began in 1966 as the social club for Union Local 274 of the American Federation of Musicians – Philadelphia’s black musicians’ union created in the mid 30s by Frank Fairfax. At the time of its incorporation, over seven hundred musicians were members of the club; including: Nina Simone, John Coltrane, Shirley Scott, Philly Joe Jones, the Heath Brothers, Butch Ballard, and Dizzy Gillespie among others. Other luminaries such as Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Art Blakely, Sara Vaughn, Max Roach and Clifford Brown would be frequent performers.

In 1971, Local 274 disbanded, but The Clef Club endured. In 1978 it expanded its mission to include jazz performance, jazz instruction, and the preservation of Philadelphia’s rich jazz history. It changed its name to The Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz and Performing Arts. In the 1980s, the William Penn Foundation – led by its Executive Director, Dr. Bernard Watson – allocated $2.8 million to construct a new facility at 738 South Broad Street, as part of the development of cultural organizations on the Avenue of the Arts. The state added an additional $1 million. Ground was broken in 1994 and the club opened its doors the following year.

Today, The Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz and Performing Arts houses a performance hall that can seat over 200 patrons, and contains two levels of classrooms and practice studios for its educational programs. It boasts some of today’s finest jazz musicians as former students, and continues to present world-class performances in its mission to celebrate and preserve the legacy of jazz.

The Photo Review

The Photo Review is a critical journal of national scope and international readership. Publishing since 1976, The Photo Review covers photography events throughout the country and serves as a central resource for the Mid-Atlantic region. Editor Stephen Perloff, a respected writer, educator and photographer, has been interviewed for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Bucks County Courier Times, and Art Matters. He has received two critic’s fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. For more information on The Photo Review, please visit: http://www.photoreview.org/

The Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz and Performing Arts

Jazz is a true, original American art form and The Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz and Performing Arts, in Philadelphia, is the first facility ever constructed specifically as a jazz institution – a testament to our national’s history. Located on the Avenue of the Arts at 738 South Broad St, the building houses a 240 seat performance hall, in addition to multiple classrooms and practice studios, making it ideally suited to fulfill its mission of celebrating and preserving the legacy of jazz. For more information, please visit:


Art in City Hall

Art in City Hall brings the people’s art to the people’s building, establishing a presence for the visual arts in one of the city’s most important civic spaces, and provides space for the local cultural community to display their work. City Hall showcases juried exhibits of professional artists, local artists, arts and cultural institutions, community organizations and schools that utilize the arts in their programming. Encompassing a variety of mediums, techniques, and subjects, the program is committed to presenting a diversity of ideas and artistic explorations. For additional information on Art in City Hall,

Creative Philadelphia — City of Philadelphia’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy

The mission of the Creative Philadelphia — City of Philadelphia’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy is to support and promote arts, culture and the creative industries; and to develop partnerships and coordinate efforts that weave arts, culture and creativity into the economic and social fabric of the City. For more information on the OACCE, visit: http://www.creativephl.org.

Thank you to Tu Huynh, City Hall Exhibitions Manager, Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy for the content of this post. Thank you to Rob Lybeck for sharing his photograph.

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CHROMOGRAPHY: WRITING IN COLOR, Rowan University Art GalleryMelinda Steffy and Gerard Brown, Sketch for The Hours, 2014, colored pencil on paper.

The Text for Translation

Written by Jane Irish

“The task of the translator consists in finding that intended effect upon the language into which he is translating which produces the echo of the original.”—Walter Benjamin, The Task of the Translator, 1923 (translated by Harry Zohn)


I am an artist writing this essay. In my work, I try to practice openness, to travel eagerly through territories of another’s culture. By painting about Vietnam, France, and the United States resistance histories, I practice to rectify the problem with European-based training of art history and history in general. Looking at Brown and Steffy’s work takes me to some stories that I often repeat. They are my core experiences with translation.

I. Counterpoint

In 2008, I traveled for my first time to Vietnam. I was inspired by John Balaban’s Remembering Heaven’s Face and reading his poetry and his translations of Ca Dao Vietnamase folk poetry. Just after, I saw him speak in Philadelphia. He was in his 60s. Some people are connectors, and John is one of these. He is highly thought of, a sage, someone who has stuck with his subject matter.

I have looked up to him. In 1994, nearly 15 years before meeting John, Linh Dinh was another person I looked up to. He was a young poet and painter living in Philadelphia; he was rough-talking and tough on his feet. I had him to my studio long before I started on a Vietnam narrative. He liked my paintings that day in my studio; he thought I had moxie.

CHROMOGRAPHY: WRITING IN COLOR, Rowan University Art GalleryMelinda Steffy, Prelude in C Major (red), No. 1, 2013, watercolor on paper, based on music by J.S. Bach.

Both of these idols of mine went on to translate the poems of Vietnam’s favorite poet, Hồ Xuân Hương. John was a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War but served in Vietnam with the Friends International Volunteer Services, first as a teacher, then saving burned children. Linh Dinh was born in Saigon in 1963 and in 1975 came to the U.S.

In 2010, I was visiting John Balaban in North Carolina. I had come to learn from the sage and to deliver a gift to him—a vase I had made with the collected Ca Dao poetry. When I arrived he was wearing a heart monitor, as he was in the midst of tests for a serious heart condition. I spent the evening learning about his days studying Mekong folk culture, his continued alliances with activists, and about Hồ Xuân Hương. The next morning, I learned how utterly emotional

the competition can become between translators. I mentioned Linh Dinh at the kitchen table and John flew into rage, heart monitor bleeping. They were both in the midst of working on the translating the same 18th century Vietnamese poetess. Returning home, I saw on many literature blogs that an ongoing insult fest was in high gear.

CHROMOGRAPHY: WRITING IN COLOR, Rowan University Art GalleryMelinda SteffyParallel Motion, No. 11, 2014, based on music by Béla Bartók.

II. Dissonance

There are three artists I visit in Hue, Vietnam: two twins (the Le Brothers, born in 1975 in Bình Trị Thiên) and one printmaker. They pick me up or have a student pick me up, and I ride on the back of a motorbike to a curatorial camp for a discussion of communist post modernism on a reclaimed French plantation. Or they send me on a boat trip up the Perfume River with a calligrapher and his family (wife, brother with Agent Orange disfigurement, father, grandfather, and student). In 2012, artist Phan Hai Bang invited me to work in his printmaking and bamboo papermaking studio in Hue, Vietnam. This was my third trip. On the first I had mused on finding motifs in dissident Vietnam Veterans’ literature. Then I traveled the poetry of Hồ Xuân Hương. Now I was intent on replacing right-wing myths with nuances. I was into serious iconography, combining images of monks and anti- war veterans, signifying a combination of spirituality and post traumatic stress disorder. The young artists working with Phan and me said, “You are killing he said, “a score!” His closest aesthetic hero/col-the monks,” which they found very funny.

III. Notation, with alertness after speaking with Gerard Brown and Melinda Steffy David Stearns and I were to go to the orchestra. He is a classical music critic. That evening we met for dinner, and later quickly stepped into his apartment so he could retrieve a Brahms score. His parlor had dim light, lots of upholstery and lamps, very French bohemian. As my eyes adjusted, what appeared to be floor-to-ceiling bookcases on three walls of the room became a multicolored grid of a smaller scale, made of thousands of CDs of classical music. I still want to paint that room.

David grabbed a large folio of sheet music from the back room and we walked to the Kimmel Center. In the dark of the theatre, he followed the large-scale score and wrote notes on his playbill. Soon after, David told me, “the score, it’s a blueprint.”Just now, I chat with my office neighbor at Penn, Bill Whitaker at the Architectural Archives. I asked him what a blueprint was, and no backstory given,he said, “a score!” His closest aesthetic hero/colleague, the landscape architect Lawrence Halprin, was solid on this idea—that a blueprint was time-based. “One doesn’t see a building or a garden like a photograph,” Bill said, “the architect’s blue drawing tells us the process by traveling through it.”

Coda: In visual art, knowing the backstory isn’t really necessary, it is more important to be completely present. But Brown and Steffy’s work embody a process supporting our journey; we can see how conceptualism is a way to travel through painting.

Jane Irish. A self-described history painter, Jane Irish has been making work on the theme of heroic resistance movements since 1998, building on her interest in using art to explore the concepts of social class and political art. She has exhibited her work in NewYork and Philadelphia since 1983. The recipient of many awards and fellowships, she received her BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art and her MFA from Queens College, CUNY.

CHROMOGRAPHY: WRITING IN COLOR, Rowan University Art GalleryGerard Brown, After Edith Wharton (In reality they all lived in a kind of hieroglyphic world…), 2015, Digital print on Dibond.

About the Exhibition

‘Chromography’ examines the relationship between graphic communication and sound. Writing is an ancient and elegant system of recording the human voice, and it has spawned other systems for the notation of music and movement. Most of these systems are so successful they seem to achieve invisibility – we can imagine the ‘voice’ of the writer when we read a page, or ‘hear’ the music described in a score. The system of representation disappears into the thing being represented. The authority of these systems is unchallenged; it rests on communicating their messages ‘in black and white’.

CHROMOGRAPHY: WRITING IN COLOR, Rowan University Art GalleryGerard Brown, After Robert Smithson (Language should find itself in the physical world…), 2015, Digital print on Dibond.

‘Chromography’ insists on a place for color in the description of sound and music. This complicates the relationship between seeing and reading because colors bring associations along with them. Are they bright or dull? Warm or cool? In sunshine or shade? What does it mean that a piece of music is composed mostly reds, oranges and yellows?

What do we see when the letters are switched with color symbols? Could such changes reveal patterns that tell us something new about communication? Translation scholar Lawrence Venuti argues that the translator’s invisibility results in important decisions being hidden from view. By pushing back against the conventions of writing and musical notation and exploring the space that such actions open, we hope to learn more about the content we represent.

CHROMOGRAPHY: WRITING IN COLOR, Rowan University Art GalleryGerard BrownAfter Judith Butler (An active and sensate democracy requires that we learn how to read well…), 2015, four screen prints on paper

About the Artists

Gerard Brown, a writer and painter, is an Assistant Professor at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art. His work explores how the mind moves from seeing to reading by concealing writing in patterns and color. His paintings and drawings have been exhibited at the Woodmere Art Museum, Tiger Strikes Asteroid, Painted Bride Art Center, Philadelphia Sculpture Gym, and the Icebox (all in Philadelphia), as well as Finlandia University Art Gallery (Michigan) and 5.4.7 Art Center (Kansas). He has also organized exhibits for the Center for Art in Wood (Philadelphia) and Hicks Art Center at Bucks County Community College.

Melinda Steffy, a visual artist and classically-trained musician from Philadelphia, has had artwork displayed across the Northeast and beyond, including the Icebox, the Hall at the Crane Arts Building, and Sam Quinn Gallery (Philadelphia); Delaware Center for Contemporary Art and Fringe Wilmington (Delaware); Lancaster Museum of Art and Villanova University (Pennsylvania); Finlandia University (Michigan); Micro Museum (New York); and Stamford Art Association (Connecticut). She is an artist member of InLiquid and a LEADERSHIP Philadelphia fellow. An accomplished musician, Steffy currently serves as Executive Director for the innovative music non-profit LiveConnections and sings with the Chestnut Street Singers.

This program is made possible in part with funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Additional funding was provided by The Vice Provost for the Arts Grant from Temple University, Philadelphia. Rowan University Art Gallery Westby Hall Rowan University call 856-256-4521 or visit www.rowan.edu/artgallery

Thank you Mary Salvante and Jane Irish for the content of this post on DoNArTNeWs

Mary Salvante is Curator, Gallery and Exhibitions Program Director Rowan University Art Gallery, 201 Mullica Hill Road, Westby Hall. Glassboro, NJ  08028

Rowan University Art Gallery is a premier cultural destination for the
Rowan University community and greater South Jersey region presenting the
work of professional contemporary artists.

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