Student lounge at Moore

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When you stop by the opening of “Philadelphia Selections 5” tonight at Moore, be sure to save some time for the “5 into 1” show in the school’s lobby gallery. This sculpture exhibit, sponsored by Philadelphia Sculptors, has entries from five Philadelphia art schools and includes some pretty nice stuff. But see it now. The show comes down June 20.

Pietro Mantia’s big pink table and pink-framed Modigliani-esque paintings have the scale just about right — if you’re one of Goldilocks’ three bears, papa, say. (top image) The plus-sized dining room suite, with its old fashioned, fairy-tale cabin in the woods affect — is carved out of pink foam insulation and is crafted beautifully. Having tried to carve this stuff once upon a time, I was mighty impressed. The piece’s themes of family, beauty and (cold) comfort were a nice fit with the construction material.

Michelle Posadas’ brown living room suite, placed next to Mantia’s pink installation, creates a kind of studio apartment or student lounge within the show. When I saw the work yesterday with my friend Jane who was visiting from Athens, Ga., we ran into Moore Curator Brian Wallace who, with proprietary delight, flopped down on the stained brown couch for a chat and to tell us a little about his show (Philadelphia Selections) in the Paley Gallery. (more on that later)

Posadas’ installation includes some family photos on the wall above the couch. You can’t tell from this small image (above) but the family portrayed — mom, dad and sis — belong to a new species — puppet headed humans. They seemed a typical middle class family nonetheless.

Finally, Bettina Zirkle-Garcia’s yellow and red quilt on the wall deserves more than a moment of study. What looks like a hand-stitched piece, made from skin-like fabric (pleather?) and stained throughout with what looked like blood, becomes a kind of a map of the bodily universe with every excretion portrayed. Disease and injury are the obvious references. But with all the open zippers, and zippers within zippers, the piece also evokes sex and the birth of a baby as well.

For the last several years, the sculptors’ group has pulled together this great, end of year student show. It’s kind of a stealth show but always a great round-up. This year’s no exception.

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