Into the nabes

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A good-hearted show at City Hall (a part of the Art in City Hall program) sings the well-deserved praises of neighborhood art centers, keeping art education alive for adults as well as children.

Programs from five neighborhood art centers were featured, each one with its own mission and clientele. More than 60 citizens–a mix of teachers and students–have work on display in those dreary cases. I always regard it as a miracle when any work shines in there. But some of it does, indeed (shown right, work by Coalition Ingenu’s Robert Bullock).
As little group shows within the larger show, the work from Coalition Ingenu and Allens Lane stood out (shown left, work by Ingenu’s John Author Goffigan).

Coalition Ingenu works with adults who live in mental health centers, homeless shelters and rehabilitation programs (shown below right, work by Ingenue’s Vanice Clay); Allens Lane Art Center‘s Vision Thru Art Program works with people who are blind or otherwise visually impaired.

The other three neighborhood art centers showing off their programs are Center in the Park, which works with an aging population; the University City Arts League, with a general, diverse, population. The West Philadelphia Cultural Alliance‘s artist residency program offers workshops throughout its inner-city West Philadelphia community.

Coalition Ingenu offers some punchy, outsider stuff, including the piece at the top from David Kime (made from melted crayons and yarn!) and each of the other images shown above.

The Allens Lane show includes some clay face jugs from William Talero (shown left) and a wooden face totem from Ronald Bryant (shown below).

Other noteworthy pieces were by Donald Laura, Kathy Faul and Eve Lipman (Lipman’s piece below left).

I was not always clear who’s who in terms of faculty versus students, but both of these programs–Allens Lane and Coalition Ingenu–seemed to show uniformly good work from all who contributed.

The Center in the Park display included this funky decorated telephone by Dorothy Payne, who also showed a number of other colorful pieces.

Artist Bernie Hayward, also from Center in the Park, contributed this swell lithograph with its WPA-Depression Era feel (shown left).

The diverse Arts League display included this beautifully decorated sekere by Sara Buget Fabunmi, as well as crochet work, ceramics, paintings, collages and photos showing off the wide variety of classes offered there, including a variety of performing arts.

And artist Isaac Mayfield’s “Endangered Species” (shown) and carved walking stick stood out in the West Philadelphia Cultural Alliance work.

“Artists from Community Art Centers” is one of those democratic shows where not all the work stood out on its own merits, but the variety and volume added up to a city-wide expression of joy in art-making. The Art in City Hall program has shown the works of more than 800 professional artists since it set up shop in 1984, according to coordinator Tu Huynh.

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