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Weekly Update – art list of summer, just do it


Art Gallery at City Hall
The new 700 square ft. Art Gallery at City Hall — with high ceilings, fixed walls, and lots of natural light — brings art into the seat of power like never before.  The brainchild of Gary Steuer, head of the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy, Art Gallery at City Hall lives at street level in Steuer’s new offices (near the Tourism office).  The gallery’s mission is to help arts organizations with their programs, thus “On the Rise” which opens tomorrow, has work by 12 artists from three non-profits – inLiquid, Center for Emerging Visual Artists and Philadelphia Sculptors.

Art Gallery at City Hall, installed with the current show, On the Rise

The gallery is not part of the Art in City Hall program, which will continue in the glass cases on the 2nd and 4th floor.  Rather, it will be run separately with the help of an Advisory Council made up of arts professionals, Steuer said.  Upcoming this summer is a Philadelphia School District exhibit; and in the fall, a Design Philadelphia exhibit.  “Every effort was made to ensure the space was as “green” as possible,” Steuer told me in an email. “Special non-VOC paint was used, flooring is made from recycled material, ceiling fans installed to reduce heating and cooling needs.” Check out the gallery at the open house tomorrow, June 17, 10 am – 4 pm.  Read more on Gary Steuer’s blog.  More about the show.
Art Gallery at City Hall, Room 116

Vogel Collection @PAFA
Herb and Dorothy Vogel are newsworthy not only for having given away one of the best contemporary art collections in existence but because they are humble characters – he was a postal worker and she a librarian – who lived on one salary and spent the other buying art obsessively.

Jim Hodges (Born 1957), Blanket (Peter Norton Family Christmas Project), 1998 Woven wool textile, 52 x 72 inches, The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States, 2008.31.19 

At a certain point their apartment was too full and they gave the art away to the National Gallery – which couldn’t hold it all, so passed some on to museums in each of the 50 states. PAFA is the recipient of 50 Vogel pieces, mostly small works on paper, 31 of which go on view this month.  Visit works at PAFA by Richard Tuttle, Lynda Benglis and other legendary artists, then rent the documentary, Herb & Dorothy, and see the tiny aging collectors tottering around New York going on studio visits and talking with Tuttle.  It’s your guaranteed summer feel-good activity.
June 26-Sept. 12
118 N. Broad St.

Summer Studio @ICA
ICA’s Summer Studio with Anthony Campuzano — the free, month-long series of drop-in art activities like film screenings, art-making, exhibits, classroom re-enactments, bull sessions and more — offers art school ambiance without the assignments, grades and guilt.  Organized by the Tyler-trained Campuzano, who showed at ICA in 2009, this summer school-ish experience follows on the heels of Ed Winkleman’s classroom-in-a-gallery in February and March. Bravo, ICA for plunging into this new art-edu-tainment territory.
July 1-31
36th and Sansom

Bravo’s Work of Art
OMG these artists are so cute and the art is totally cool and Jerry Saltz is awesome did you see him tell that guy he’s not an artist???!!!  Seriously, if you’re not watching this tv art competition originated by Sex in the City’s Sarah Jessica Parker, what are you watching?
Bravo, Wednesdays at 10 pm

Fresh from the three-day celebration No Soul For Sale at Britain’s Tate Modern, FLUXspace will re-create its Cat Culture (however it’s spelled) project, a faux anthropological exploration of how cats died out as a species in 2019.

Kat Kultur at FLUXspace, image from the free broadsheet

See the Cat Moon Bounce and pick up a copy of the broadsheet with theory by Jacques Derrida translated into icanhascheezburger language.  Meow mix hysterical.
June 26-Aug. 15
3000 N. Hope St.

David Kessler at IHouse
David Kessler’s documentary video portraits, screening on a monitor at International House’s lobby, feel like National Geographic shorts devoted to the citizens of Philadelphia’s outer reaches.  As with Errol Morris’ documentaries, Kessler’s works have no narrative voice-over to help you figure out the back story or orient you to the morality (or lack thereof) of the persons portrayed.  But that’s part of their appeal.  Stop by for a dose of reality after summer school at ICA.
To July 2. International House

Shore reading
Vox Populi’s new book We’re Working On It celebrates the member gallery’s 21st anniversary. Typical of the community-spirited nature of Vox, a large part of the 120 page book – 25 pages — is not even devoted to the member gallery—but to a historical timeline documenting the Philly alternative scene from the 1960s to the present. Vox’s story is a triumph over continued economic adversity.  And the timeline of the Philly alternative scene – compiled by Arcadia Art Gallery Director Richard Torchia – makes you understand that our town is a natural incubator of collectives.  Right now we’re in a particularly fruitful period — with 24 alternative galleries, projects and publications established in the last three years — and that doesn’t include the three or four that opened after the book went to press.  $30, available at the gallery
Vox Populi
319A N. 11th St., 4th floor

Read this story at PW.