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Weekly Update – New galleries in town!


This week’s Weekly has my roundup of new galleries. Below is the copy with some pictures and additional words.

For most galleries, it’s a stuggle to sell enough art to pay the rent.  In Philadelphia many galleries supplement by selling offsite at the art fairs (often more successful financially than shows in town).  And many of the newest venues for art have a different business model altogether, selling coffee, tea, picture frames, etc in the front or back office – and running a gallery to boot. Many new galleries have opened around town lately. Here’s a breakdown of who’s selling what and where.

Jude Buffum-chapterhouse cafe
Jude Buffum at T&P Fine Art. I saw this piece and others by Buffum previously at Chapterhouse Cafe.

T&P Fine Arts
(1143 S. Ninth St) opened Nov. 7 with a traditional gallery model—no cafe or frame shop, just artwork and wares. Started by New Yorker Andrew Ellis, Philadelphian Bryan Dilworth and Californian Jonathan Halperin (all formerly in the music business), T&P sells art, T-shirts and Kid Robot toys from its Italian Market storefront. The store got it’s name from the building’s previous inhabitant: a general store that sold everything from turtles to pornography.

The street-influenced art at T&P is the kind that Juxtapoz magazine loves.  It’s a niche market but very popular on the coasts: T&P’s goal is to introduced the art in Philadelphia and create some new collectors.  Philadelphia has a lot of artists who make this type of art and T&P’s innaugural show includes some — Space 1026ers Andrew Jeffrey Wright and Adam Wallacavage and Tyler grad Jude BuffumJason Sho Green who has a Philadelphia connection (he shows at Art Star) is also included.

Jason Sho Green
Jason Sho Green at T&P FIne Art

The art is modestly priced, from prints by Wright at $30 to paintings and a wonderful Ryan Bubnis work on paper, The Upside Downers, for $2000. There was one sold sticker on the wall when I visited.   Philadelphias are shy with their money when it comes to buying art and both Lineage Gallery and Jonathan Levine’s Gallery, which specialize in the same type of art, had trouble here. Levine moved his operation to Chelsea in 2005 where he continues to thrive.  And Lineage closed, although Joshua Liner of Lineage has also set up a new gallery in Chelsea.

Opening night, Proximity Gallery
Opening night for Chris Clark’s show last month at Proximity Gallery.

Fishtown’s Proximity Gallery (2434 E. Dauphin St. 267.825.2949) resides in a corner storefront and is a boutique and a gallery. (Bambi Gallery (2005) and Cerulean (2006) are two older galleries that also use this model selling fine crafts as well as art.)  Chris Clark’s recent show at Proximity made great use of the walls and the glass case. His screenprinted T-shirts and stickers were for sale along with his heavily worked screenprinted and stencilled paintings. The show almost sold out, according to Janel Frey the artist/owner, who lives next door.

Erin Riley's tapestry at Rebekah Templeton earlier this year.
Erin Riley’s tapestry at Rebekah Templeton earlier this year.

Like T&P, Rebekah Templeton (173 W. Girard Ave. 267.519.3884) sells nothing but art. The gallery, housed in a rehabbed row house on Girard Avenue, opened a year ago and is the love-child enterprise of artist Ben Will and curator Sarah Eberle. They showcase cutting-edge and experimental works and installations by mostly local artists including James Rosenthal, Todd Keyser and Jackie Hoving.

other woman collective.jpg
The Other Woman Collective at Random Tea Room

Random Tea Room (713 N. Fourth St. 267.639.2442) in Northern Liberties is the newest cafe featuring art. Like Chapterhouse Café, Bean Café, La Colombe and Rocket Cat, Random is a cozy spot to sit and look around while sipping. When I visited, the Other Woman collective was installing a show of very small drawings and what looked like tintype photos. Last but not least, Memphis Tap Room (2331 E. Cumberland St. 215.425.4460. www.memphistap, a bar with an art program, started showing art in April. Leigh Maida says they’ll keep the focus local and change the exhibit monthly.