News post – Shonibare at the Barnes, Al-Bustan grows their musical heritage, Cannes in a Van does Venice, Plummer-Suib-Marti collab, opportunities and more!



Image: Yinka Shonibare. Planets in My Head, Philosophy, 2011.
Image: Yinka Shonibare. Planets in My Head, Philosophy, 2011.
If you were worried about what the Barnes Foundation’s contemporary art gallery would think of next, worry no more! They’ve chosen an  outstanding next exhibition, as well as a new commission, with Yinka Shonibare MBE: Magic Ladders running from January 25, 2014 through April 21, 2014. A British artist of Nigerian descent, Shonibare’s works in the exhibition include approximately 15 sculptures, paintings, photographs, and a room installation. This is his first major exhibition in Philadelphia, since his residency at the Fabric Workshop and Museum in 2004 and it includes a commission entitled Magic Ladders.

A big news reveal from another local gallery, and it seems that this Amazon deal is catching on: Rodger LaPelle Galleries announced this week that they now have over 250 original works listed on Amazon. If the modern wonder of finding your favorite artist’s work and having it shipped right to you beckons (not to mention feeding a starving artist), then go see everything RLP’s listing has to offer.

Not everybody is raring to celebrate Labor Day by sweating it out in the crowd at Made in America this weekend. In fact, some people may even want to go to the Museum to escape the noise and insanity, and that’s why the Philadelphia Museum of Art is staying open. The main building and Perelman Building are open Saturday, August 31 and Sunday, September 1, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m, while the Rodin Museum is closed until Monday, September 2 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Enjoy, and watch out for detours and street closures in the local traffic patterns over the next couple of days.

Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture has been hard at work this summer preparing incredible upcoming programs. First up is a special music ensemble, open to Penn students and the community, that opens on Sept 9. The Philadelphia Arab Music Ensemble invites singers, percussionists, and string/wind instrumentalists to join its 2013-14 season, offered jointly by Penn’s Music Department and Greenfield Intercultural Center. Led by music director and violin virtuoso Hanna Khoury, percussionist Hafez Kotain and cellist/maqam theory specialist Kinan Abou-Afach, this program is open to middle/high school and college students and adults, particularly singers and percussionists of all skill levels and intermediate to advanced instrumentalists of strings and wind. The classes take place on Monday, beginning September 9, and consist of a choir class from 6-7 PM with Hanna Khoury, an intermediate/advanced percussion class from 6-7 PM and a beginner class from 7-8 PM taught by Hafez Kotain, and an instrumentalist session from 7-9 led by all three instructors. Classes are located in the Penn Department of Music, 201 South 34th Street, Rooms 101 & 102. The season culminates on Sunday, December 8 with a performance at Trinity Center for Urban Life.

The Van, full of Cannes.
The Van, full of Cannes.
The four wheel film festival Cannes in a Van (best when pronounced “vohn”) is going mobile on its biggest challenge yet – the Venice Film Festival. Begun by two UK film enthusiasts with a vision of literally bringing independent films to the street, Cannes in a Van is an annual occurrence in which short films are screened from the back of a Ford Transit van. Seven years after its creation, the mobile cinema is driving its Official Selection of Van d’Or Award-winning films (plus a number of Italian entries) to Venice for the first time, with support for a second successive year from Ford. This means an unprecedented long haul for the CIAV team, with a four-country drive not to mention the question of how to get a Ford Transit into Venice and its canal-dependent geography. We believe in these guys.


The iMPeRFeCT Cacophony Mail Art Exhibition is seeking entries to celebrate the publication of Tales of the San Francisco Cacophony Society, a chronicle of the city’s turbulent 80s and 90s. If you’ve got any objets d’art, odd postcards, or other sundries you’d like to send, address them to iMPeRFeCT Gallery, 5601 Greene Street, Philadelphia PA 19144 by September 6. That night is the book signing and reading, beginning at 6 PM.

Calling all masters of brevity: Ryan McCartney and Tim Belknap have announced the 20/92 Open Video Call, seeking submissions for a juried one night video screening. They’re accepting up to sixty videos, each one minute in length, and each formatted to fit the Icebox Projection System, which casts a continuous image at 20’ x 92’. The 20/92 Video Call screening takes place September 26, from 6-9pm, with all concession sales and donations directly supporting the collaborative efforts of Title Magazine, The Nicola Midnight St. Claire, and McCartney-Belknap projects in the upcoming “Citywide” exhibition this November. Each applicant is allowed one submission each, and your video must be no more than 60 seconds in total length. Audio may not be available during the screening, so please shoot accordingly. To submit, email your name and a link to your video via YouTube or Vimeo to: If you’re chosen, you’ll get a reply email to address format and delivery of video. Act fast: the deadline is August 31 at midnight, and, happily, there’s no entrance fee. Juried by Tim Belknap and Ryan McCartney, the screening is scheduled for September 26, 6 – 9pm at the Icebox Project Space.

Artist News

Robert Straight, P-390, acrylic on canvas, 91 x 208 cm (36 x 82 in), 2004.
Robert Straight, P-390, acrylic on canvas, 91 x 208 cm (36 x 82 in), 2004.

Robert Straight is participating in the Greater Reston Art Center’s 40 for 40 celebration from September 12-November 2, 2013, the fortieth anniversary for the venerable organization. There’s an opening reception and live auction, Thursday, September 12, 6-9pm. 40 for 40 features works by forty selected artists who have exhibited at GRACE over the course of the past four decades.

The circle of life and art: Chris Davison, who wrote a piece on James Gallagher’s Jolie Laide (RIP) show in 2011, is now spotlighted in Gallagher’s new publication Secret Behavior. This biannual magazine, focused on contemporary art and the human condition, makes its official debut next month at the NY Art Book Fair / MoMA’s PS1. The preview night is Thursday, September 19, 6–9 pm, and the fair is September 20–22.

Johanna L. Plummer, former director of education at ICA a while back, got to pay a recent extended visit to Philly recently to work with Virgil Marti on a project for his current MATRIX exhibition at the Wadsworth. Together with Matt Suib of Greenhouse Media, they’ve created  an interpretative video that sheds light on the making of MATRIX 167.


al-bustan, barnes foundation, cannes in a van, chris davison, Icebox, imperfect gallery, pma, robert straight, ryan mccartney, virgil marti, yinka shonibare mbe


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