studio visits/interviews

write-ups of studio visits and other interviews

Colin Quashie, Auntie Jemima (Oprah)57” x 69”Acrylic on Canvas2004; Uncle Ben (Colin)57” x 69”Acrylic on Canvas2004

Colin Quashie burns down the Plan-ta-shun at the African American Museum in Philadelphia

[I had the pleasure of talking with artist Colin Quashie about his incendiary show, Plan-ta-shun, at the AAMP. The artist, who is a very funny, congenial guy, told me he had been a comedy sketch writer for the show MadTV, and is now a registered nurse! He’s always had a day job, he said. Our phone interview on June 19 was two days after the mass shootings in the Emanuel African American Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC, and the artist, who lives in Charleston, was in Philadelphia for the opening of his show at the African American Museum.  It was a sad ... More » »


From the vault: Podcast interview with artist Shelley Spector

[During this radio blast from the past, meet artist Shelley Spector. She’s a longtime active member of the Philly arts community, and she has a new show up at the PMA, which runs until Sept. 27. — the artblog editors] Shelley Spector studied dance for many years–her mother was a dance teacher and taught dance classes out of the studio in the basement. So the idea of creating art that looks effortless–the way dancers make dancing look effortless–was built into Spector’s way of working. Spector founded the influential Spector Gallery on 6th and Bainbridge in 1999, and that space, which ... More » »


Studio visit with Althea Baird

[Kelly can’t get her recent visit with Althea Baird off her mind, and finds herself interpreting Baird’s latest project from a different level. — the artblog editors] It turns out I was wrong about Althea Baird’s “Roof Residency”. When I walked into her studio during Philadelphia Open Studio Tours a few weekends ago, I found her work interesting in a way she didn’t intend. What stuck in my mind was something she said about looking at the sky. She mentioned that in the city, people tend to direct their gaze to about head height and down, never looking to the ... More » »

Hope Kroll, That should do it. 2012. 12 x 17 inches, on vintage book paper.

Letter From Paris – Four great shows you might have missed and two American friends come to visit

(Our Paris correspondent, Matthew Rose, wraps up 2013 giving a shout out to some shows he saw and some work by Americans who visited him in Paris.–the artblog editors.) Best Mail Art show: Correspondence at Louis Vuitton Espace Culturel Correspondences (1 Feb – 5 May), an exhibition of mail art that brought together nearly a dozen artists who have scribbled and stamped away at the postal canvas for years: Ray Johnson, Eleanor Antin, Alighiero Boetti, Jan Dibbets as well as others with interests in networks and packaging – Stephen Antonakos’ works were featured outside (see photo) the building in the ... More » »

Madonna and Child, Diane Laison. Photo credit: Jack Ramsdale.

Political action and the love of painting – Diane Laison at iMPeRFeCT Gallery

(Maegan talks with artist and long-time Temple University mathematics professor Diane Laison about her late-blooming career as a painter.–the artblog editors)  I met Diane Laison to discuss her show, Waiting for the Wars to End, at iMPeRFeCT Gallery this month.  Her use of color, texture, religious iconography, symbolism and abstraction create a show that is both emotionally and intellectually stimulating.  Through our discussion of Laison’s beginnings, I caught a glimpse of what motivates and inspires her work: a passion for political action, combined with a profound love of painting. A career in mathematics and a switch to art Although Laison ... More » »

William Rhodes, HipHop Junkie, mirrors and wood, the tag a replica of that of a San Francisco tagger who seems to have stopped making his mark

Studio visit–San Francisco artist William Rhodes art of the spirits

A friendly email invitation for a studio visit brought me to a peeling red door in San Francisco’s Noe Valley, the home and studio of artist William Rhodes. The trip was a little harrowing. In a rental car I had never driven, I felt like I was zooming through hyperspace. I missed the entrance to I-580 not once but twice, crossed the Bay Bridge which is always a little dicy, and then resigned myself to creep along behind a junk-man’s pickup truck so I wouldn’t miss my exit. Then I tried to park. Up a steep San Francisco stoop, the ... More » »

"Cities of Ys, 2013", still from video.

In New Orleans – Camille Henrot dives into Houma oral traditions and finds connections to a lost city in Brittany

(Lianna’s post explores a project by French artist Camille Henrot that weaves together information about Louisiana’s Houma Indian Nation with ideas about loss of cultural identity and legends.) In Cities of Ys, her first solo exhibition in the U.S., French artist Camille Henrot explores the ever-changing definition of “culture.” Through video, sculpture, woodcuts and prints, Henrot draws connections between Louisiana’s Houma Indian Nation and the tribe’s rapidly disappearing native wetlands, and other cultures’ flooding myths, including the legend of Ys (pronounced EESS), a mythical drowned city in Henrot’s familial region of Brittany.  I talked with the artist and NOMA curator Miranda Lash ... More » »

Frost215 with his works.  Photo copyright El Toro, courtesy of the artist's website

El Toro ten-year retrospective at Ps & Qs on South Street and an interview with the artist

Post by Veronica Perez (Veronica Perez’s post is part of a collaboration between artblog and Moore College of Art and Design’s Culture in the Classroom program. Veronica is one of two students in Terri Saulin’s Professional Practices class chosen by Libby and Roberta to have their posts published on artblog. We look forward to seeing more of Veronica’s writing on artblog in the future.) On October 6, 2013, I attended a private talk and exhibit at Ps & Qs by graffiti and sticker artist, Frost215. Frost215 (or Jason Smith, his given name), along with a few other artists, are credited with ... More » »

Heliotrope, detail view

Invisible Cities – A studio visit with Colin Keefe to see his fine ink drawings

—>Sam visits the studio of Colin Keefe, maker of intricate, ink drawings based on cities and cellular forms. Keefe, whose works you can see this month at Grizzly Grizzly, also runs the occasional gallery, Mount Airy Contemporary, from a space behind his house. –the artblog editors——————-> Colin Keefe creates his art while standing, drawing with a Micron pen on paper hung flat on the wall of his studio. He occasionally rotates his drawings to concentrate on different areas, alternately approaching compositions from a horizontal, vertical or upside-down perspective. The roots of his finished works are sparsely detailed diagrams on standard ... More » »

Willi Singleton, Woodfired functional stoneware, Photograph by Ken Ek

Open studio at Beverly Fisher’s with drawings by Fisher and pottery by Willi Singleton

—Maegan visits an artist’s studio for a show of drawings and pottery, and she finds some nice camaraderie along the way.–the artbog editors—————–> Willi Singleton and Beverly Fisher prove that the old adage is true—good things do come in small packages.  Fisher opened her studio to the public over Memorial Day weekend with invited guest, potter Willi Singleton for an intimate home show of their respective work.  Singleton displayed his handmade functional pottery in the garden, while Fisher showed her drawings inside the studio.  Their show, while small in scale, was full of vigor.  Fisher and Singleton blended fine art with ... More » »

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