April 4, 2009 · 13 Comments
From pristine beauty to trash-0-licious, two art shows opened Wednesday on the 700 block of South Street in what were vacant retail spaces. The hope is that art will attract a new renter.
The show at 704, organized by Judy Gelles and friends, features some really great and polished work. The contributors to this are Gelles herself (her work in the window is not to be missed), as well as Susan Arthur Whitson (toys in improbable, often undefinable, glowing spaces), Ava Blitz (photos of trees and leaves transformed into abstracted maps), Linda Brenner (elegant, totemic carvings), Brigitte Rutenberg (woven paper drawings), Richard Ryan (collaged dollar bill scraps–the thumbprint is tops), and Keith Sharp (photos that catch the uncanny and weird).
We hear that Gelles herself had never painted an entire room, let alone a gallery space prior to this event! But she sure does know how to put together a show in just a few weeks! She promises the next exhibit next month will be different.
The hippy-scrappy show, at 734, is brought to us by the Dumpster Divers, Philadelphia’s famed band of artists who find their raw materials in dumpsters around town. The exhibit is more like a second-hand store jumble of ebullient and mostly process-driven work and objets. But some of it is solid gold.