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First Friday off the grid


So it’s First Friday this week and where are Libby and I going to be at 4:30 pm on Friday, Oct. 3? In Swarthmore at the opening of Carmen Lomas Garza’s exhibit “Como la Salvila/Like the Aloe” at Swarthmore College’s List Gallery. (image right is Lomas Garza’s “Para la cena/For dinner”)


The Latina artist and educator whose folk-style paintings are like Grandma Moses only ratcheted up in color, pattern and mystery, will give a slide lecture in the Cinema next to the gallery. Lomas Garza’s an activist. cubanoHer paintings dignify the family and cultural traditions of Mexican Americans as a way of countering racial stereotyping and bigotry. The List show has a group of the artist’s paintings and prints and a Day of the Dead installation and ofrenda.

Meanwhile back in Old City, we want to catch the exhibit of Cuban folk paintings at Indigo Arts (in conjunction with Philadelphia’s third annual “El Festival Cubano.”) (Image left is “Infanta con Gallo” by self-taught Cuban artist Jose Garcia Montebravo) And we’ll check out mattgreenMatt Green’s exhibit at Cafe Ole (3rd and Quarry Sts.). You may remember Green from Libby’s First Friday post of 9/7/03. He had some nice, forlorn, Philadelphia photorealist landscapes on the sidewalk in front of the cyclone fence on 2nd St.. Good to see he’s found a home inside for the paintings this month. (image right is by Green)

rnfeasleyFinally, we may run over to the Fabric Workshop and Museum for the opening of “RN,” Mark Dion and J.Morgan Puett’s conceptual fashion romp through the history of nursing uniforms with thoughts about nursing’s future. Call it the anti-Schiapperelli exhibit*, it will likely be little to do with fashion and much to do with concepts. Lecture by the artists at 6 pm. (Image is futuristic nursing garb modelled by artist and FWM preparator Joy Feasley)

*That’s not a knock against the Philadelphia Museum of Art‘s Elsa Schiapperelli exhibit “Shocking”….I went and wasn’t shocked but found it all quite interesting in a distaff sort of way. The Henri Bendel-like gift shop at the end of the show did give me pause. It’s not that I fault them for having a little fun with it, pretending to be a department store. But I had to question one item that was specially made to promote the show — pink women’s underwear with the show’s logo “Shocking” on it. The modestly cut tank top ($25) and panties ($25) were Bendel’s in the price department but K-mart in their design — not so classy. And how about the mindset of those who thought it funny? or hip? or shocking? to make them in the first place.