First Friday preview: Moveable feasts

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matthew suib
The Gilbert Building aflame in Purified by Fire, Matthew Suib’s video installation there last month.

The lights are going dim soon at the Gilbert Building, home of the Fabric Workshop, Vox Populi, and more. And Nexus has been forced to vacate its long-time Old City space.

In the spirit of partying while Rome burns, these places are offering First Friday parties, to mark final shows and optimistic beginnings. Here’s the scoop:

A Fab Farewell

They’re going to need a hell of a big U-Haul to move all the art that’s part of the Fabric Workshop and Museum collection. Never mind; what counts is the holiday party, 5 to 9 p.m., along with the exhibit, curated by new Director Lorie Mertes, which includes work by Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Mona Hatoum, Glenn Ligon, Matthew Ritchie and more–all drawn from the FWM’s fab collection of work made by artists in residence there.

Vox Pops off big

matthew suib
When Suib projected his fire on the windows of the building, some people on the street thought it was the real thing, he said.

Vox Populi’s big fundraiser has come and gone, but these guys know how to party, even while they are a little short the funds for their next move (hey, help them out; tis the season to beg, I guess, between Nexus, Vox and Eakins). So while you’re up at the FWM’s 5th floor party, slide down the elevator or the stairs to the 4th floor 6 to 11 p.m. for an opening of what looks like it will be a mostly new media show, including work by members Anita Allyn, Max Lawrence, some kind of audio event by Redbook Productions, plus a video show curated by Colette Copeland, showing work from 12 artists, including local videographers Nadia Hironaka and Matthew Suib.

At Nexus, everything must go!

For their last First Friday opening in Old City, Nexus, granddaddy of co-op galleries in Philadelphia, will celebrate the past and the future with a one-night-only sale of the artist members work to benefit the move to the Crane Building in Northern Liberties. You get to donate at the same time that you get to take home a piece of art. What could be better? Don’t even think of the obvious answer.

Besides, Nexus’ move to join InLiquid and the Ice Box at the Crane Building in Northern Liberties brings more gravitas to that section of town as the future of Philadelphia’s hip art world. I’ll say Northern Liberties has arrived when a couple more good galleries like Nexus also move there. Oh, and while I’m putting down my New Year’s wishes, I hope the on-street parking remains free and available.

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gilbert building, matthew suib

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