Tag Archives: Philadelphia Sketch Club

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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Oils

PSC 154th Small Oil ShowTom Kohlmann, Portrait of Morales, 1st Place 153rd Annual Small Oils Show

Philadelphia Sketch Club 154th Annual Small Oils Show

Call for Entry: This is an open, juried competition for paintings where the principal medium is oil paint, acrylic, casein, tempera or other mediums used to represent oil painting. This is not a works on paper or water medium exhibition, although oil on paper is acceptable. Maximum size for any one dimension is 20″ (excluding frame). Paintings must be framed unless framing is not intended for the work. All items must be wired for hanging (no hooks, brackets or holes). Work must be original and not previously shown at the PSC. All paintings must be for sale.

Entry is by on-line submission at: www.sketchclub.org/exhibitions

Submissions: You can submit up to 10 works. Maximum Accepted Works Per Artist is 2.

Entry Fee: PSC Members: $1 entry for first piece, $10 each additional work. Non-Members: $20 for first piece, $10 for each additional work.

Online Entry Assistance: Saturday, March 18, 1:00 – 5:00pm at The Philadelphia Sketch Club. Bring your work and we will put it online.

Deadline for on-line submissions: Sunday, March 19, Midnight.

Enter Online at: http://sketchclub.org/psc-official-online-submission-site/

View the prospectus: SoS prospectus 2017

Show Co-Chair: Bill Patterson
Show Co-Chair: Joe Winter

On View Now: The School District of Philadelphia, Office of Arts and Academic Enrichment and the Philadelphia Sketch Club presents

The 33rd Annual Philadelphia High School Art Show

Reception and Awards: Sunday, February 26th, 2:00 – 3:30.

Exhibition Chair: Dorothy Roschen

PSC 33rd Annual High School Art Show

With over 150 years of artistic heritage, The Philadelphia Sketch Club has a mission to provide a community for visual artists, appreciation of the visual arts and visual arts education. America’s oldest club for artists. Since 1860 the PSC has served as a meeting place, forum for ideas, and a vital bridge between the creators and supporters of art. Past luminaries have included such American masters as Eakins and Anshutz. Present luminaries could include you.

The Philadelphia Sketch Club, 235 South Camac Street, The Avenue of the Artists, Philadelphia, PA, 19107

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Paper

Domenic DiStefano Memorial Works on Paper Open

Call For Entry

Reminder….Please join us for our next open juried show at the historic

The Philadelphia Sketch Club

2017 Annual Domenic DiStefano Memorial Works on Paper Exhibition

  • January 6th – 28th, 2017
  • Enter online HERE
  • See Prospectus Works on Paper Prospectus 2017
  • Entry Deadline: Sunday Dec 18, 2016 at Midnight
  • Notification: Dec 21, 2016
  • Delivery: Weds Dec 28, and Friday. Dec. 30, 2016 1-5 PM
  • Reception: Sunday Jan 15, 2017 2-4 PM where cash awards and PSC medal will be presented to the winners
  • Pickup: Jan 29 and Feb 1, 2017
  • Chair : Lauren Sweeney (ljsweeney1@verizon.net)
  • Faad Ghoraishi , PSC Exhibition Chair 

“The Sketch Club responded to the educational needs of the arts community in the early 1870’s when the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts was awaiting completion of its new building and was without instructional facilities. Under the auspices of the Club, life drawing classes were conducted with Thomas Eakins as instructor. Lectures on anatomy were also delivered. When the Academy opened its new building in 1876, Eakins, an honorary member of the Club, volunteered to take over its life classes, undoubtedly utilizing his teaching experiences gained at the Sketch Club. By 1894 the Sketch Club had 400 active members, including many instructors at the Academy. Thomas P. Anshutz, who succeeded Eakins at the Academy, was President of the Club from 1910 until his untimely death in 1912. When World War I forced the world famous illustrator and etcher Joseph Pennell to leave Europe, he returned to Philadelphia and served as President of the Club in 1921.” – The Philadelphia Sketch Club

Biography Domenic DiStefano

“Domenic B. DiStefano (1924-2011)

Born in Provincetown, Massachusetts, Domenic DiStefano was especially known for his marine and landscape watercolors of Cape Ann, Massachusetts. During most of his career he lived and taught in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania; but he spent his summers painting and conducting workshops in Rockport and Gloucester, Massachusetts.

A Dolphin Fellow of the American Watercolor Society and a member of the Salmagundi Club in New York City, he was also a long-time member and past president of the Philadelphia Sketch Club and a member of the Rockport Art Association and the North Shore Art Association

Information provided by Patricia Morfesis, a family friend.” – AskArt

The Philadelphia Sketch Club

235 S. Camac Street, Avenue of the Artists, Philadelphia, PA 19107-5608

215-545-9298
sketchclub.org

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<$100

Under $100, OTWGallery

12th Annual Juried Art Show and Sale at Off the Wall Gallery at Dirty Frank’s

Jameir Andrews, Regina Kelly Barthmaier, Jim Biglan, Meryl Bonderow, DoN Brewer, Marlene Bugansky, David Chatfield, Anthony Coleman, e.l., Mara Elizabeth Foley, Leroy Forney, Bob Gorchov, Rich Gunning, Bayaht Ham, Ken Harris, Hokey, Arthur Hopkins, Alonzo Troy Humphrey, David Karasow, Ed Keer, Liz Krick, Elizabeth, H. MacDonald, Samantha Milich, Deborah Miller, Bill Myers, Michael Nathan, Sarah Watkins Nathan, Tri Nguyen, Megan B. Olsen, Arthur B. Ostroff, Heather Raquel Phillips, Gene Renzi, Allison Scalera, Veronika Schmude, Chuck Schultz, Ed Snyder, Al Stegeman, Carol Tashjian, Noa Travalia ,Wayne W. Urffer, Chris Vecchio, Michael Weaver, Katherine Weber, Harvey Weinreich

November 13th through December 26, 2016. Artist Reception: November 20th, 2016, 4:00 – 7:00pm. NE Corner, 13th & Pine Sts, Philadelphia PA, 19146

under2South 20th Street, oil on canvas, 11″ x 8″, 2016, $93.50, DoN Brewer

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Thunderbird

Thunderbird Lodge

Thunderbird Lodge in Rose Valley Pa., Life Drawing Workshop

Written and photographed by Robert Bohne

Every now and then, you find an overlooked gem in your own back yard. And so it was with the Thunderbird Lodge in Rose Valley Pa. I’ve lived in this area my entire life, and I’ve driven by this location at least a thousand times, and yet I’ve never really noticed the Thunderbird Lodge. Hidden from view by decades of overgrown trees and wild vegetation, the Thunderbird Lodge on Rose Valley Road is now in the process of being renovated. The trees and vegetation have been trimmed and removed, and the building now takes it’s rightful place among the historic architecture of Rose Valley.

Thunderbird Lodge

Originally a circa-1790 stone barn, the building was converted into a home and studio for artists Alice Barber Stephens and Charles Stephens by architect William L. Price in 1904.  Charles was an authority on American Indians, and he named the Lodge after a legendary North American indigenous creature. Charles was a teacher at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and Alice was a successful illustrator. They raised their son, D. Owen Stephens (1894–1937) in Rose Valley, and painted there until their deaths.

Thunderbird Lodge

The Thunderbird Lodge then became the home of Allen Seymour and Mildred Olmstead. He was a lawyer, member of the Men’s Commission for Women’s Suffrage, and helped in the founding of the ACLU. Mildred worked with the American Birth Control League and was a director of the U.S. section of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. Together they worked with the American Friends Service Committee, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The house was used as a safe meeting place for other activists, including Jane AddamsJames FarmerGeorge Washington Carver, and Martin Luther King, Jr.

In 2015, the house was given to the community of Rose Valley and is now in the process of being converted into a museum that will feature the arts and crafts of the region, and on Sunday, Oct. 16, 2016, the Lodge held it’s first drawing workshop in the studios that were originally built for the Stephens. Studios that haven’t seen artists put pencil to paper in well over a hundred years.

Thunderbird Lodge, Robert BohneRobert Bohne, Carol, charcoal and white pastel on tan paper. 12 x 9 from the first Thunderbird Lodge drawing session.

So here’s a tip of the hat to the volunteers at the Thunderbird Lodge for their hard work and for their vision of preserving the past and presenting the artists of the future.

Written and photographed by Robert Bohne

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