Knight Foundation grant to Artblog boosts Philadelphia art scene

We sent this press release out this morning. The grant involved was a small grant–$2,500–but it’s our grant and we love it to death. We hope it’s a precedent–for us and for Philadelphia!–l&r

Artblog, the Philadelphia region’s oldest and most complete source of online reviews, discussion and opinion on the visual arts, has been awarded a grant by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

A recent photo of libby (left) and roberta (center) participating in a reading of Maira Kalman’s childrens books at the ICA. Also pictured, event organizer and ICA Senior Curator Ingrid Schaffner (right).


“Philadelphia is now one of the hip visual arts towns in America. You have Los Angeles and New York and Miami, where I live, but Philly is one of those towns, too,” said Dennis Scholl, program director for the Knight Foundation, which is based in Miami.

Artblog makes sure that anybody anywhere anytime can find out what’s happening in Philadelphia. Blogs are easy to do, but the question is which ones are special, which are more than just one person’s meditation. Artblog is special.”

Artblog was begun in 2003 by two collaborating artists, Roberta Fallon and Libby Rosof.


“This money will give us a chance to reach a broader audience for Philadelphia’s fabulous art scene,” said Fallon and Rosof. “We will be using new technologies on Artblog to help art lovers navigate to galleries and art events around town. We also will create a new series of podcasts modeled on our favorite radio talk show, ‘Fresh Air.’

Fallon and Rosof also share English literature and writing backgrounds. They met in the mid-1980s and began working together as painters and sculptors. Despite grants, commissions and accolades, Fallon and Rosof were frustrated with how few people their art was reaching. So they took the art out onto the street where they gave it away. One of these giveaways is documented in Academy-award nominee Wendy Weinberg’s film “Art of Activism” (excerpt here):


That same activism spurred them to create Artblog to fill a growing gap between the burgeoning art scene and the shrinking art coverage in the print media.

The Knight Foundation also recently gave grants in Philadelphia to the Galleries at Moore College of Art and Design, the Institute of Contemporary Art and Vox Populi Gallery.

The Philadelphia Foundation participated in the issuing of the Knight grant.