Posts By rachel heidenry


Interview with the artist — Mia Rosenthal’s plans for her Leonore Annenberg Fellowship

[Rachel sits down with artist Mia Rosenthal, who recently wrapped her second solo show and has big plans for her just-awarded career development grant. -- the artblog editors] What would I do if I could do anything? What is it that I really want to do? That is what Mia Rosenthal has been asking herself since applying for a 2014 Leonore Annenberg Fellowship. As fellowship winners were announced this week, Rosenthal became one of seven recipients of a $50,000 career development grant awarded by the Leonore Annenberg Fellowship Funds. The award comes at the end of her second solo show, ... More » »

Tlisza Jaurique, "Desátame," (Unravel Me), 2005.

Tlisza Jaurique glitters at Taller Puertorriqueño

[Rachel discusses how Tlisza Jaurique's combination of traditional and modern cultural tropes, plus the use of glitter, gives the artist's work meaning and relevance. --the artblog editors] The iconography is strikingly familiar, but the execution comes with a twist. Tlisza Jaurique takes traditional Mexican imagery–Aztec motifs, local fauna, nationalist colors–but mixes in contemporary nuances. Her main ingredient? Glitter. The Madonna takes center stage in Taller Puertorriqueño’s current exhibition, A Contemporary Madonna Counterpoint: Mexico & Puerto Rico. Jaurique offers the Mexican perspective, while Philadelphia artist and musician Daniel de Jesús offers a Puerto Rican-inspired view. While de Jesús’ influences from colonial Latin American ... More » »

Haas and Hahn, Philly Painting, 2012. Photo by Steve Weinik.

Book review — Mural Arts @ 30

[Rachel reads the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program's recent book, which includes essays on the organization's projects, history, impact, and goals. -- the artblog editors] Thirty years of making murals The first words encountered set the scene: change, value, place. Mural Arts @ 30, the latest publication from the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, explores the contemporary identity of the organization as it examines itself. The book highlights the program’s 21 projects completed since 2009, using their concepts, partnerships, and imagery as ways to talk critically about mural painting, public art, and social change. As Mural Arts celebrates its 30th anniversary with ... More » »

At the start of the show a series of objects confront viewers before proceeding to the films and trailers

Be Alarmed: The Black Americana Epic by Tiona McClodden

[Rachel moves through a series of video "visions" and accompanying art objects created by Tiona McClodden -- the artblog editors] A sleeping bag and bright blue shield mark the interior entrance of the Science Center at 35th and Market Streets. The pairing immediately transmits feelings of protection, fear, veneration, and shelter. An eerie familiarity is communicated as you begin to move through the space, gazing into portraits with fireworks transposed onto photographic surfaces. The exhibition is Tiona McClodden’s Be Alarmed: The Black Americana Epic, Movement I – The Visions, on view at the Esther Klein Gallery through March 15. Co-presented ... More » »

Robert Gumpert, "Take a Picture Tell a Story" series

Prison Obscura at Haverford’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery

[Rachel examines a deeply moving group exhibition focusing on the lives, dreams, and stories of prisoners in penal facilities all over the U.S. --the artblog editors] You begin with tangible material–concrete, chain-link, cement. Then move through the imaginary, faux-photo backdrops, dreams, desires. All the while, you are immersed in the physical and mental world of contemporary prison life, viewing both reality and reality hoped for. Prison Obscura, on view at Haverford’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery through March 7th, is not only comprised of great art–but poignant narratives that deserve witness. Curated by Pete Brook, the exhibition presents a critical look at ... More » »

Still image from Soun-Gui Kim's "Beating the Market" installation.

Soun-Gui Kim in conversation with Cage, Derrida and Nancy

(Rachel’s post explores video artist Soun-Gui Kim’s new exhibit at Slought Foundation. Rachel also attended a discussion between Kim and art theorist Thierry de Duve, exploring the artist’s process, philosophies and influences. — the artblog editors) The monitors were turned on one by one. Two projectors. Four screens. Six sets of sounds. Soun-Gui Kim stood in the middle of the gallery, her left hand shielding her eyes, listening. From time to time she looked up, pointed up or down, then bowed her head as the volume was adjusted. When the sound satisfied her ears, she nodded enthusiastically, repeating the phrase, ... More » »

"Beyond the Paint" captures the vibrancy of the Mural Arts program.

Beyond the Paint – Philadelphia’s mural arts on view at PAFA

(Rachel is excited about the new exhibit at PAFA that celebrates the city’s painted walls, and she wishes the show could have covered even more territory about murals and placed Philadelphia’s mural movement in a national context.–the artblog editors) Here is a small secret I don’t let many in on: I moved to Philadelphia because of the murals. Since my undergraduate days memorizing the names and dates of Mexico’s iconic walls, the vast community of muralists and public art scholars has been whispering Philadelphia into my ears. Philadelphia’s reputation as a mural mecca is unequivocal – a reality that a ... More » »

Kim Hyo Sook, "Empty No. 4"

The Start of a Long Journey – Young artists from China on display at Drexel

(Rachel visits Drexel’s Pearlstein Gallery for a show of recent graduate of the China Central Academy of Fine Arts.–the artblog editors) The Start of a Long Journey, on view at Drexel’s Leonard Pearlstein Gallery, is great. The show’s name is brilliant – the concept underscores the burgeoning lives and potential trajectories of 24 young alumni from Beijing’s China Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA). With sixty pieces created in the past two years in a range of mediums, styles and artistic intentions, it’s a big diverse show. The show has wit and subtlety The project began five years ago in Beijing as ... More » »

Particpants gathered to paint tables and chairs.

Asian Arts Initiative transforms Pearl Street with a community block party

(Rachel visits a block party and finds inspiration in the community activities and spirit. –the artblog editors) Pearl Street resembles anything but its name. Dark, narrow, and lined with dumpsters and loading docks, it feels claustrophobic and uninviting. Most Philadelphians probably experience the street as a tiny artery in the neighborhood’s navigation system, a shortcut to and fro, or, for the community’s homeless, a potential space to sleep. Along the street’s four blocks stretching from 10th to Broad Streets in the North Chinatown neighborhood, are cultural organizations, tech offices, Catholic grade schools, and auto repair shops. Luxury apartments are moving in. ... More » »


Collaboration is the basis for anti-violence project, One Year, at the Rotunda

—>Rachel’s post delves into a year-long anti-violence project in which artists of MamaCITA collective collaborated with Mothers in Charge to create a project to memorialize the deaths by homicide in Philadelphia in 2012. –the artblog editors——————–> The twisted-wire vessels — 331 of them — are suspended from metal rods, with their shadows projected onto streams of white cloth behind them that cascade to the floor. The vessels’ dark wires create linear journeys of angles, curves, hurdles and loops, manifesting into intricate casings of sculptural form. Three hundred and thirty-one documented homicides took place in Philadelphia in 2012; 331 lives were lost. ... More » »

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