2009 is the year artblog had its sixth birthday and graduated to a WordPress design and a real logo and new maps and listings! Liberta made it to the Miami art fairs this year for the first time. Loved it, won’t be going back — we’ll take Manhattan. Volta New York is still our favorite art fair. This also was the year Liberta realized some people hate her. Frankly we don’t give a damn and will carry on as if everybody loved us. Hey we love everybody almost.
In other news, Pew changed its M-O for how artists can apply for fellowships. Much unhappiness was expressed on facebook and in our comments among some disgruntled artists. But keep your eyes on the prize — the Pew money is still there. On the other hand, PA Council on the Arts canned its grants to artists program due to PA budget cuts — recession era blues.
A Junto at P’unk Ave about art criticism is still stirring up some energy. Even artblog got a few theoretical posts (more to come in 2010!).
In architecture news, 319A N. 11th St. became the new First Friday destination with nine galleries now and room for more! Gotta love it. And Philly continues to get respect outside the city limits. Alternatives FluxSpace and Vox Populi in the red-hot X-Initiatives festival in Chelsea; the PMA gets the Golden Lion for Bruce Nauman at the Venice Biennale; and NY Times writers are all over what’s happening here.
Fun with your presidents award — Tie!!!
Jayson Musson for his Obama-has-superpowers show at Last Drop Coffee Shop and Maira Kalman for her I-love-Abe-Lincoln project at Rosenbach Museum.
books so weighty they beg to be put down — Cezanne and Beyond catalog (9 lb.) and Shape of Things to Come (10 lb.)
Inexplicable Omission Award
New Museum for not including Kalup Linzy in Younger than Jesus
Risky Business award
—Nick Cassway gets out of his comfort zone and networks to create some excellent projects at Nexus — Nexus Radio, My Face in Your Space (props to Austin Lee and if you missed this show eat your heart out) and Supergirl — still time to catch this good one.
–Runner-up–Michael Kalmbach takes a chance on Willmington and transforms its art scene (post coming soon)
Best show we had no expectations for
ICA’s Dance With Camera
Ahead of the Curve Gold Award
We saw a lot of gold in Miami but we saw James Johnson‘s solid gold art manifesto first (Arcadia Works on Paper show).
Best Double Bill Ever Award
MOMA for Pippilotti Rist and Marlene Dumas
The Not Marijuana Potted Plant Award
Chris Golas‘ chewing of dieffenbacchia leaves in his homey karaoke performance at Exclamation raised new awareness of that plant’s possibilities.
Pew Wish List
Joe Boruchow (repeat) Chris Davison (repeat), Phil Jackson, Jennie Thwing (repeat), Sarah Stolfa, Martina Johnson-Allen, Bruce Wilhelm, Danielle Bursk, Gabriel Boyce and Preston Link, John Gibbons and Isobel Sollenberger
Dead Tree Media Award
Machete and New Asshole, two print publications on theory launched this year in Philadelphia. They’re occasional publications so they won’t kill that many trees.
Fast Forward Award
Video break-throughs knock our socks off. Steve Coss‘ animated portrait paintings in Vox V and Lance Winn and Simone Jones, Script by Hope Thompson robotic projections on three walls and the floor at University of Delaware Gallery keep the viewer in motion to keep up with the scenario. The level of interactivity seemed new and excellent.
Little Berlin reinvents itself as an 8-person collective. Slingluff renames itself and relocates to E. Girard. Breadbox was Esther Klein Gallery and moved up the street. All these opened: Grizzly Grizzly, Marginal Utility, Philadelphia Photo Art Center, AHN/VHS, Tiger Strikes Asteroid, Progressive Sharing, Mt. Airy Contemporary, 919 Gallery, 12 Gates…and this just in, Sweatshop in Port Richmond, Part-Time Studios in Frankford. We know there are more–put your name in the comments if we forgot you.
Bye Bye to Pifas
Artists to watch
Ashley Flynn, Amir Lyles, Matt Savitsky
Tom Chimes, Jeanne-Claude (Mrs. Christo), Andrew Wyeth, Philadelphia art critic R. B. Strauss. Of course Michael Jackson died, too, a huge hole in the pop culture canopy.
A shout-out to our design and tech team
Kelani Edmondson, Beth Heinly, Howie Ross for design; Nick Paparone and Jamie Dillon for logo and branding. We love you guys!
Also, a shout-out to artblog reviewers who make us look good
Stefan Zebrowski-Rubin, John Vick, Corey Armpriester, Kelani Edmondson, Judith Stein, Lauren Whearty, Elisa Ludwig, Sue Spaid, Brandon Joyce, Debra Miller, Matthew Rose, Michael Andre, Jacob Hellman, K-Fai Steele, Annette Monnier (who also writes the new blog one review a month), Max Mulhern, Jennifer Zarro
Next year’s a whole new ballgame. See you then! xo xo Liberta